Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 131 – Pronunciation – Linking & Sound Change

In written English, there is space between words: What is her name?

In spoken English, there is no space between words: Whatsername?

Words in a thought group are linked or joined together and often sound like one long word. It is sometimes difficult to tell the end of one word from the beginning of the next.

When words are connected, sounds may change. Learning to recognize common sound changes will improve your ability to understand conversational English, and learning to make a smooth connection from the end of the word to the beginning of the next will improve your fluency.

Practice these words with me in the podcast.

  1. Art class — Arc class
  2. Ate breakfast — ape breakfast
  3. Bad credit — bag credit
  4. Made your bed — major bed
  5. let her — letter
  6. light green — like green
  7. them all — the mall
  8. all of her — Oliver


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Developing Writing – An Opinion Essay

Welcome back, everyone! I told you I would bring a surprise to you, and here it is! However, this isn’t an entire breakdown. More just useful words, expressions, and paragraph formatting. So, let’s look at this.

Source: Gateway B2

Topic: It’s a bad idea for teenagers to do part-time work while they are still studying.

Paragraph 1: Introduction with general statement on the topic and your opinion.

Paragraph 2: First and most important reason for your opinion.

Paragraph 3: One of two other reasons for your opinion or other people’s arguments against your opinion and why don’t you agree with them.

Paragraph 4: Summary and conclusion restating your opinion.

Gateway B2

In some countries, the US for instance, many teenagers work while they are still studying at school or at university. In my opinion, this is a bad idea.

To begin with, studying at school or university is a full-time occupation. Students need time to take notes, revise, do assignments and research topics. In my opinion, students who work in the evenings or at the weekends do not have time to do these things properly. Furthermore, young people often work in bad conditions or late at night. This means after work they find it difficult to pay attention and concentrate.

On the other hand, some people say that work experience can help to make you more independent and responsible. I agree with this up to a point. However, there is time for students to gain this experience when they finish their studies.

To sum up, I believe that a student’s real responsibility is to learn as much as possible. They can only do this if they study full-time, with no other distractions.

Expressing opinions

As far as I’m concerned

Personally, I think

In my opinion

I believe that

Adding opinions and putting them in order



To begin with,

In addition,

What is more,

Contrasting opinions



On the other hand


In conclusion,

To sum up,

All things considered,



Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: IELTS Speaking III with Nattagan

I loved bringing one of my ex-students on. I first started teaching her at a not-going-to-mention-place (lol) just north of Bangkok, but because she was so driven, I stayed in touch with her and decided to bring her on for some IELTS Speaking! Here are some things we covered and questions — plus show notes!


  • What’s the climate like in your country?
  • What effects will the climate have in the future?
  • Has the climate changed in the last 10 years?

Things we discussed:

  • Nattagan’s introduction.
  • Sharing the guest’s experience about IELTS examination. How did she improve herself in the IELTS speaking test?
  • How does she identify her weaknesses in her IELTS speaking?
  • How does she feel about the IELTS part 3 speaking test?
  • What accents were most difficult?
  • Debunking the myth that you can’t ask the Examiner to repeat the question.
  • What is the Thailand’s climate?
  • How has the climate changed over the years?
  • Feedback.
  • Three ways to protect the environment.
  • Feedback.
  • How would climate change people’s lives in the future? The host shared his tips on how to construct ideas and present those ideas.
  • How does climate change affect people how they eat?
  • Different ways to construct ideas for difficult IELTS speaking.
  • How does climate change affect people how they communicate? The host is sharing additional ideas on how climate change affect people how they communicate.
  • Addressing the host’s concerns about being unable to give 3 ideas.


Thank you for listening!


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Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 50 – Developing Vocabulary – Phrasal Verbs Connected with Sports

We’re back with some more phrasal verbs! Because these particular blogs and podcasts are very popular, I love to debut them weekly. Here we go!

  1. She took up a new sport because she was bored during the winter.
  2. You should always warm up before going for a run so that you can reduce the chances of cramping.
  3. The Baltimore Ravens knocked Pittsburgh Steelers out of the playoffs in Week 17, so the Steelers won’t be participating in the postseason.
  4. Hey! Are you from around here? Want to join in?
  5. I gave in while playing Danny in ping-pong during college; it was impossible to beat him!
  6. They really want to win so they’re going to go for the two-point conversion.
  7. She’s really fit because she works out at the gym everyday.


  1. Prepare for a sport or another activity by doing gentle exercises.
  2. Stop competing and accept you can’t win.
  3. Try very hard to win or get something.
  4. Start participating in an activity with other people who are already doing it.
  5. Start a sport or hobby.
  6. Do physical exercise.
  7. Eliminate somebody from a competition by beating them/make somebody unconscious.

Complete the sentences with the correct form of the phrasal verbs.

  1. I’m going to _______________ badminton. Tomorrow I’m going to buy a racket.
  2. Yesterday we played in the Final Four. We aren’t in the final because the other team _____________ us ______________.
  3. Why don’t you __________?
  4. She’s got the right conviction to become a champion. When she’s losing, she never ________________.
  5. It’ll be a hard race but she’s going to ______________ the championship.
  6. He pulled his hamstring because he didn’t _________________ before running.
  7. They’re really strong. They _________________in the gym, doing weightlifting.