Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Mindful Feedback can Replace Discipline with Katarina Gleisberg

Speaker 1: (00:00)
Alright guys, welcome back to another ESL podcast and you know what I got the most wonderful person in the world on my podcast. This must be the fifth one and you know what? We’re creating so much noise because her podcast, her videos, the feedback we’re getting from teachers and students from around the world has been unbelievably amazing and today I’ve got the one, the only that Katrina Glassberg on here to talk about mindful feedback that can replace discipline. Katrina, thank you so much for coming back. 

Speaker 2: (00:42)
Thank you so much. I think this is our maybe six wow. Six one damn. And I’m excited because all of these conversations go by so fast. It’s so fun. 

Speaker 1: (00:55)
Absolutely. Absolutely. It’s the six one. I need to start making more snippets because I, we put so much value into this and I just need a post more like on the different platforms out there, especially on Linkedin, linkedin. Oh yeah. It’s big time right now, but nonetheless. Oh my goodness, we in you. We just had an hour conversation before we had this conversation. And it’s just, I love it cause it’s like mind chemistry that’s happening. Um, but you know, what you, if for people who don’t know, who you are, I guess for the little slate that we just talked about, you’d be in, you know, a contractor going into mindful teaching and what you just started doing at middle school. So let’s get into this topic, introduce it to them. 

Speaker 2: (01:39)
Sure. So, um, first for the background, yet I have taught elementary school, third grade, fourth grade ESL and special education. Um, and I’ve taught ESL from elementary to adults. Now the mind and all of those experiences made me realize that mindfulness is valuable to everyone, um, and just drastically improves our ability to focus and produce work and just be in that happy state of mind and get along with others. And so now I am doing, I left the traditional teaching world and I’m still in traditional classrooms, but I’m doing contract teaching where I’m teaching mindfulness and I am still teaching, um, English as well, both online and in person classes. But what’s really cool about the worlds of ESL and mindfulness is that they are taught together. I am being paid to teach mindfulness classes, but I’m teaching some of them to English language learners. 

Speaker 2: (02:48)
And so that is amazing that I still get to use that expertise. And then I’m also teaching English classes and see like I saw in all my other teaching context, how mindfulness helps people to be more calm and open to challenging things like pronouncing things that are difficult or trying words when they’re not certain and just building that confidence. So I love that these are skills that so wonderfully tie together and I can do some of the same lessons and completely different contexts. So you had mentioned, yes, we had been getting questions about discipline. Yes. 

Speaker 2: (03:37)
A mindful approach to teaching is something that all teachers can use no matter what subject you’re teaching or what age of students. And so these techniques can be used by anyone. And it all starts with, as a class discussing classroom norms, call them classroom norms, classroom expectations, uh, classroom rules, what have you. But as good teachers know, the more you have students, um, create the classroom norms, the more ownership they take versus just being lectured to. So I just, since this is the beginning of the school year, this is a perfect time to talk about this. Just yesterday I was teaching a middle school mindfulness class and part of our lesson was discussing classroom norms. Now this was my second class with this group of middle schoolers. The previous class I just had them brainstorm what are expectations that you would like to have in a safe, um, healthy classroom. 

Speaker 2: (05:00)
And what I did for the second lesson yesterday as I put the classroom expectations on little subset paper and I put them in a bucket and on these slips were things like that the kids had already brainstorm, write things like speak only when it’s your turn. Um, respect others and respect property, participate things like this. And then so the students were in partners and I had them each pick a classroom expectation out of the bucket and with their partner they needed to act out that classroom expectation well enough so that the rest of the audience could guess what that expectation is. And it was so interesting because I, it just happened that one of the girls who has um, maybe the biggest issue with interrupting others gets the, gets the paper that says speak only when it’s your turn. And um, I was going around from group to group as they were practicing what they are going to act out in front of the lash. 

Speaker 2: (06:24)
And this student says to me, she said, I got this one and this is something that I struggle with. So it’s really good that I have this one. She’s like, I have a lot of examples to act out. And she’s been in a mindful in a few other mindful classes before. So she kind of gets this vibe of we’re in this safe place where we can be vulnerable. And I thought that was such great awareness that she wasn’t grumpy about it. She was aware of this is an issue that I need to work on. Wow. And so that was an activity. I mean anytime we can put students in a leadership role or where they take ownership or in this case, how valuable is it for a student to be up in front of the class and to experience what it’s like to have perhaps a disrespectful I audience have, you know, just or just what it’s like to have all eyes on them. And as the students were doing this activity, I was able to give them feedback that was mindful feedback. So instead of things like stop talking, it’s feedback such as notice the impulse to interrupt because when you ask them to notice that impulse, you are putting that responsibility on them for them to realize that, oh, it’s my choice to interrupt. 

Speaker 2: (08:04)
It’s not like someone made me do it. Yeah. Because a lot of times if you just say, stop doing this, stop doing that, then it can make the teacher just look like they’re being the bad guy or being nitpicky. But when you say, Oh, can you notice the impulse to interrupt? Then you’re having them look at their own actions. 

Speaker 2: (08:27)
And so we can use that kind of language with all kinds of other scenarios. Um, I’m lucky that some of these mindfulness classes I get to co-teach with other teachers. And so we help, um, you have that kind of feedback to students. So it might be something like, um, cause we don’t want to embarrass the students, right? Cause that’s gonna make them, didn’t make them act out more. So you have a student who’s there, who’s clicking the pen incessantly, realize that they’re doing that. And it might be really irritating to someone, but you snap at them and that’s all all of a sudden going to make them defensive or embarrassed or whatever. But if you say, notice, 

Speaker 3: (09:10)

Speaker 2: (09:11)
your body and how still you are right now, then they might, and you can say this to everyone, right? Because mindfulness is paying attention on purpose to the present moment without judgment. So they know that without judgment part is, I’m not calling you out to embarrass you. I just want you to be aware of what’s going on with your body. So that could be tapping of the foot or you know, clicking the pen. But it could also be anything else that someone’s aware of, you know, like am I stressed out and is my body really tense? Is My heart pounding because I’m nervous? Um, it’s good for anybody to take a moment and realize what’s going on with their body. 

Speaker 2: (09:59)
So this mindful approach decreases the need to even have discipline in the race, right? Because students are aware of what’s going on in their body, what’s going on with their emotions and that they have control over it. Because a lot of times when teachers call that students, the first thing they say is, but so and so is doing such and such or so and so made me do it. Or I was distracted. And so I posed the question with the students, when someone’s doing a behavior, do you have the control over whether to be distracted or not? Or can you simply notice it because noticing it and your reaction to it? Just taking those few seconds, those few seconds just to be aware of I’m getting angry or my heart is racing or whatever it is. Kids stop someone from reacting and just snapping at someone and saying something that they felt that they would regret later. 

Speaker 2: (11:11)
So I, I used that, that mind talk all of the various, the impulse to, and then they, and then a lot of times because I’m not, I may not be calling them out specifically they, oh, sorry. And they become aware of it if they’re not, because a lot of the times things that students get scolded for it. Yes, sometimes they do things just to be difficult, but a lot of times it might be habits like pen clicking or foot tapping that they’re not even aware of or they might not be aware that other people are distracted or annoyed by it. That’s so fascinating. Oh, you know what we talked 

Speaker 1: (11:54)
about, you know, being able to tap into how you’re feeling at that specific moment. And you know, these moments could happen to me on, you know, while taking public transportation, you know, and I’ve realized over like the last three weeks, I’ve become increasingly very stressed about like the traffic or the train come in late, although it’s not late, but I’m telling myself it’s late, you know what I mean? So I practice mindfulness on daily basis. You said something so interested in being able to the students who have problems with specific areas and then choosing that little card that they have to act out and see how it feels to be interrupted. You know, and I love this because you know, can you imagine, uh, I had this role play situation happening, uh, just a couple of days a few days ago with a, this tech company out here. And I told her, I said, okay, let’s see. 

Speaker 1: (12:49)
You’re going to have to be able to handle these stressful situations. You have a group of people over here, there are airline passengers. You have to give them the bad news that because with chemical issues, it’s been delayed and you’re not going to be able to do this, this, this. And she was, she had, she was dealing with that constant interruption. But I love it cause she was just so candid and said, okay, just calm down. Listen, okay, I can’t do that for you here. Call by. And you know what I mean? And so it makes you practice not only real life situations, but things that you need to improve on. So when we talk about discipline, Katrina, the most broken philosophy to discipline is potential. And so even if there is detention or something to middle school, what we would call in house suspension, you are basically sit in a room for six hours a day and you would do the homework that a teacher decides to give you, but it doesn’t teach anyone anything. 

Speaker 1: (13:45)
You know what I mean? So what’s a way for, let’s just say teachers out there, whereas they could improve you, you know, that well, you know, improve the mindfulness by not doing the historically driven discipline, you know, taken the historically, uh, disciplinary actions that most teachers would take. You know. Okay. RPC Report Require Parent Conference and House suspension. You’re suspended. That doesn’t do anything. It’s like keep keeping a caged animal who shouldn’t be caged in the cage. What’s going to happen? They’re going to become more combative. They’re going to do more things that may be, you know, it’s just like prison. Right. So I don’t know. What are some things like you dealing with the, you know, a variety of different cultures and stuff out there at the international school in Athens, Greece? Um, yes, sure. There were times where a student or students or a group of students would act very, very wildly. I saw them yesterday at the MRT station. You know, the subway station. They are crazy as hell, you know, so you know, what are some ways instead of discipline. Then here in Thailand they hit them. I know they have a, like they have a 1000 year old philosophy out here. What’d you say? If they get it wrong, you little Beth, you know, they hit ’em that doesn’t teach them a damn thing. It teaches them pain and not to do it. It’s just a broken philosophy. So country that take it away. 

Speaker 2: (15:17)
So first of all, I’d like to preface when mindfulness doesn’t cure everything, but it gives people relief, especially for the teacher. Um, right. It makes us less reactive. And studies have shown that those are some of the biggest benefits from mindfulness. Is that less reactivity and greater attention. Right. Um, and, and I do know from having been a classroom teacher and having a, also having been a special education teacher that there are students with a behavior disability for which there are times when they do need to be removed from the classroom because they might be, um, endangering other students. I’ve, I’ve definitely had that before. Wow. Um, I think of mindfulness as a proactive way 

Speaker 2: (16:19)
to benefit everyone, whether it’s teacher or students so that students have these skills. Just think before they react. So if we take the time with, um, the language that we use in front-loading at the beginning of the class, this school year, um, with things like talking about classroom norms and, and not just doing that as a first day of school thing, but continuously referencing them and using that safe mindful behavior or that, um, mindful, um, dialogue, then students will adopt it themselves. So, you know, you were asking that or you are mentioning these really old school techniques of just giving a student a consequence that maybe does not even relate to what they were doing. So part of mindfulness is heartfulness, which includes things like empathy and gratitude, right? So a lot of good teachers do things like giving students that maybe are difficult, giving them a leadership role or giving them an important job like, oh, they can see so and so is frustrated. 

Speaker 2: (17:40)
Oh, I’m going to give this student a note to deliver to the office or to another teacher. And maybe that note has no purpose other than getting that kid out of the room and giving them some movement or a change of setting so that they can come back with a different perspective in a refreshed mindset. Right. So there are things like that that teachers can do to, to do, to be preemptive practice. If you’re giving students leadership roles and you’re letting students take ownership of the classroom by their sending the classroom rules, they are the ones coming up with ideas for projects and assessments. When you can be creative, they take much more ownership of it. And if you’re giving them a project such as you role play in front of the class, well that’s building their empathy for what the teacher deals with and therefore is also building their gratitude for the teacher of wow, you do a lot, you do a lot. 

Speaker 2: (18:38)
And I can only realize that when I’m in your spot up here in front of the class. So it’s not, it’s not just a few simple little cures. It’s more about the safe environment and the overall teaching style that the teacher is setting in that classroom of letting kids know, I’m open to your ideas and giving them different responsibilities and not just lecturing to them, uh, give them more. Okay, we’re control, you know, implementing a variety of different things to my students. Maybe some of them were more driven, you know, to be, I wouldn’t say discipline, but more. Okay. So let’s scratch all that discipline. When we talk about discipline, we need the, 

Speaker 1: (19:43)
because I love it. When I first mentioned it to you, you were like a discipline. How about mindfulness and this and that. And you were like very good, 

Speaker 2: (19:51)
very opposed to the word discipline. So 

Speaker 1: (19:55)
when it comes to teaching discipline in class, does that put up more barriers, you know, does that say, okay, you must do this, you must do this, you must do this. It’s gotta be a better way of approaching it from a teaching perspective. Right. 

Speaker 2: (20:10)
It’s about the language that we use for sure. Um, you know, like a lot of us teachers are, we’re taught in college or in different trainings about instead of telling kids what not to do, tell them what they should be doing. So instead of no interrupting you, tell them Phique only when it’s your turn instead of telling them, stop running in the hallway, you tell them, please walk. Um, so I feel like it’s the same, people have different reactions depending on the language that you use with them, right? So instead of discipline, which is a way to react to a problem, I think it’s more important to teach skills like mindfulness that is proactive, that decreases the need for discipline in the first place. Because I’ve shared in other podcasts how much, I love the quote by the Dalai Lama, that if every eight year olds in the world was taught meditation, violence would cease to exist in one generation. 

Speaker 2: (21:18)
And at first I heard that and thought it was really bolden and I thought about it. And with mindfulness, we realized that we’re in control of our emotions and therefore we take accountability for our actions and we develop things such as empathy and gratitude and patience and trust and non-judgment. And so if we can develop all of these things, it is so true that violence would cease to exist. But it starts when they’re at a young age, when they realize I’m about to call someone a mean name, but I’m going to stop and take a breath and realize how, how I feel right now. And it changes the course of everything. And then if kids can do that on their own, then I don’t have to as a classroom teacher, spend my time, um, problem solving with these two kids that got in a fight. So pro. So this teaching mindfulness and other proactive strategies just benefits everyone. So it’s a more peaceful environment in general. 

Speaker 1: (22:24)
God, that’s really a discipline. 

Speaker 2: (22:29)
Reactive mindfulness, proactive. 

Speaker 1: (22:33)
I love that. Oh my God, we’re going to have to like cut that out. We’re going to have to coin the phrase for you. Okay. In the name of Katrina Glassberg because that was solid. And so in the sea. And so when you look at a class, if you look at a class from the outside and you look at a class that’s mindful versus discipline, what would you see? Would you say? Yeah, I would like that. Like from your perspective, what would you see from the discipline students versus the students who are more mindful? 

Speaker 2: (23:01)
So I think as a discipline in that old school way, kind of like what you were talking about where in some countries students are still musically that fear thing. You’re putting theories where I think of my mindfulness, you’re opening kids up to awareness. So when kids are open to awareness, they have more thoughtful, mindful speech. They’re being more truly authentic. They’re more comfortable in their own bodies, right? They don’t need to be tense because we don’t want kids to be text a lot of the times. And this is why we have so many, even kids having back problems and neck problems and all of these things because we live in this society of stress and all of these really, really, really high expectations where a lot of times mental health is not valued or addressed in the classroom setting. In a mindful classroom, kids can learn to be with their emotions, right? Because mindfulness is not just all about calm, right? And some people have that misconception that I practice mindfulness and I’m going to be calm. Well, I can be mindful of when I’m angry or frustrated or stressed or nervous or embarrassed, right? 

Speaker 2: (24:35)
Because that way I’m not stuffing it. Right. I can take a moment to be, okay, I’m nervous. What does it feel like in my body? Okay. I’m, my cheeks are warm, my heart rate has increased. Um, and I feel tightness in my chest. Oh, you have kids that are more comfortable in their own skin, in a mindful classroom. So these are going to be classrooms where kids volunteer more. Yup. These are going to be classrooms where students share creative ideas. Yep. These are student classrooms where there’s more connection because students, when they’re comfortable in their own skin, they’re gonna radiate that comfort in those positive vibes to everyone else. There is, you know, there’s, with that connection there is going to be greater empathy and gratitude and trust and patience. 

Speaker 1: (25:27)
I see that so much. I see that so much with my classes compared to other teachers. No offense to the other teachers, but my class does more of a open communication. People are more Asians, you know, they love to speak up, they love to joke, they do this, they do that versus other classes where they’re just very systematic and you know, you could see their solos are rolled over. They’re very tense. The back isn’t straight, they’re not very loose and whatnot. So wow. Very, very interesting observation, man. Man. Katrina. Okay, so what are, and it sucks because we could go on and on and on about this. You know what I’d be, but of course we got to go watch some back shoot voice dog. And within the next three minutes, what are some of the biggest takeaways, uh, that we could, that, that it could be from a teaching perspective or a student perspective in terms of my, uh, mindfulness versus discipline within the classroom and maybe some steps that you know, either or can take 

Speaker 2: (26:26)
simple steps such as when your students enter the classroom, stand by the door and greet them all. Yeah, I saw this one time and because you can catch right away if somebody looks a little off, if they look angry, withdrawn, [inaudible] et. Mm. And we all know that smiles are contagious and you know, everybody does better when they feel like they’re, um, cared for. [inaudible] so, um, and some of the schools here where I teach, they use this thing called the mood meter. And because the whole school uses it, you can ask them, where are you on the mood meter? And they can tell you, um, you know, I’m mad or, you know, I’m low energy or whatever it happens to be. And so if you can just start off the class by asking them how they are and letting them know that this is a safe place to be vulnerable and it’s okay to say, I’m nervous, I’m stressed, I’m worried, I’m bored, et Cetera, because that’s part of mindfulness, right? 

Speaker 2: (27:31)
You don’t, we shouldn’t be, we shouldn’t have to put on it fake face all the time and say, I’m fine, I’m fine. I’m fine. Right? Um, another thing with that is, okay, if starting a class and we’re taking attendance, we go through the list and we have it, uh, a simple question that we ask every student like, um, okay, Arsenio, how are you feeling today? They can show it with their thumbs. They can say a word or they can say, or, you know, in mindfulness a lot of times we say, um, um, use words like, um, positive or negative or neutral for example. Um, so just using that really quick time of going down your roster, just to check in with every kid really, really briefly and also students have been sitting all day. Okay. Start with the mindful movement. It’s okay to start with a stretch. We start our classes, even with adults, are all of them. Start with a mindful movement of take a moment to stretch, take a moment to breathe. [inaudible] even 30 seconds can be super impactful. So yes, greeting everyone, checking in with them so that they know that I see you and taking them a moment to do something with the body and also letting them know it’s okay to do that when you’re sitting at your desk. If you need to take a moment to stretch [inaudible] do it. Self care is so neglected. Yeah. Yeah. 

Speaker 1: (29:11)
Awesome. Oh my God, I love it. I love it. I love it. Actionable steps. A little snippets guys. Bad. I’m telling you a Katrina nightmare. We rocked the house all the time. Okay. If you guys have any questions, please let us know. We’re going to be getting back to this. I know it’s been a while since I’ve been treated, got on and people were actually missing her or what not. But you know what? We try to bring you as much as we possibly pay it all the time. And again, Katrina, um, for everyone, of course you guys already know how to get in contact with Katrina. All the links are in the description. This is her good six time on here. So again, more discussions, more Q and A’s, more things are coming up shortly. And again, Katrina, thank you so much for this nice little half hour podcast. 

Speaker 1: (30:01)
Thank you for having me. And to all of your listeners who give such awesome feedback and suggestions for next topics. Thank you. Keep ’em coming. Absolutely egg. I curious George bad. We’ll see you next time. And the little black doggy right over there over your right. Your right shoulder. Yeah. She’s just not even looking you at me. Can I? They every day, every gun that has no eyes, no eyes, no eyes. They have eyes. Well there are I beady eyes, but they’re kind of, yeah. Ah, okay. Okay. On top of the head. Okay. Oh right. Awesome. So guys, with that being said, but I hope you guys have a wonderful morning, afternoon. He did again, thank you so much. And guys stay tuned for more. I’m your host as always over and out.

ESL Podcast with Katarina


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Mini-Series – Self-Sabotage – Five Speakers from Around The World

So unbelievably grateful to be launching a new series (mini-series) on my podcast over the next five weeks that talks about self-sabotage. 

What is self-sabotage? That’s you making a poor decision which ultimately jeopardizes you from achieving success.  We make decisions all the time that are detrimental to all parties that are involved, so I wanted to inject five different accents, along with their perceptions of life, into my podcast.  I’m very excited about this and I hope you guys are, too!

Because my English language podcast is so diverse, I love bringing on amazing people to use the platform to spread knowledge to you guys (which probably isn’t available in your language)….so I’ll have England, Germany, Ireland, America and Russia coming on in a five-part series over the next five weeks (podcasts debuting on Saturday and video debuting on Friday).


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Developing Vocabulary – Collocations Connected with The News

Welcome back, everyone! I do apologize for the episodes being everywhere (in the 60’s), but I’m just trying to push everything and catch up. Without further ado, let’s get into some of these sayings!

  1. Global Warming is making headlines all over the world.
  2. 350 million years ago Antarctica used to be a tropical climate. It made front-page news!
  3. The PM of Thailand held a press conference about the pollution hanging over the city of Bangkok.
  4. The next news item is great news for Bangkok commuters but terrible for drivers.
  5. We will keep you informed with the next breaking news.
  6. There has been a very surprising turn of events regardings Alibaba.
  7. Our website is the best for breaking news, bringing to you news updates at every moment.
  8. There was a newsflash earlier and it made my head turn.

Match the expressions in bold with their meanings down below.

  • piece of news, individual story or article
  • organize a meeting where journalists get information and ask questions about a particular piece of news
  • become famous by being reported in the news
  • reports containing all the latest news
  • news that is appearing for the first time
  • become important enough to appear on the first page of a newspaper
  • a short broadcast of an important piece of news in the middle of a TV or radio program
  • an expected change in a situation
  • tell you all the essential information

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Vocabulary – Work Conditions & Responsibilities

Welcome to the specials, people! I told you that I would be unleashing a tirade of podcasts/blogs this weekend because I’m a bit backlogged, and so let’s kick it off with some vocabulary and a nice excerpt from one of my favorite books about jobs in general.

You don’t need special qualifications to do my job, except for a driving licence. I deal with the public. I’m responsible for getting them where they want to go. It’s a stressful job because of the traffic and because my passengers are often in a hurry. I work outdoors, but because I’m inside my car I work in quite good conditions. I’m self-employed, not an employee in a company. I don’t earn an enormous salary.

Who am I?

I work in dangerous conditions. One day I’d just like to work indoors in an office and do paperwork, or maybe even manual work. I’m not very well paid considering the amount of work I do. It’s a skilled job because you need special training to do it. For example, you need to learn to control a big crowd of people. But really, it’s experience that teaches you to deal with criminals.

Who am I?

I would like some of you to create your own paragraphs with some of the vocabulary down below.

  • Architect
  • Bank manager
  • Construction worker
  • Head teacher
  • Office worker
  • Personal assistant
  • Physiotherapist
  • School caretaker
  • Software engineer
  • Vet

Working Life

  1. You have flexible working hours.
  2. You sometimes work during the day and sometimes at night.
  3. You work extra hours.
  4. You spend a long time working.
  5. You don’t work all day.

a. Work long hours

b. Do shift work

c. Work from nine to five

d. Work full-time

e. Be on flexitime

f. Work part-time

g. work overtime

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 51 – Pronunciation/Speaking Skills – Content Words

“Content” words carry the most meaning in a sentence so receive more stress. They include questions words, nouns, most verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and negative auxiliary verbs (don’t, won’t, hasn’t, etc).

“Function” words give a sentence its grammatically correct form. They carry little meaning so are unstressed. They include articles, pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, the verb be, and affirmative auxiliary verbs (do, can, did, etc).

Listen to the audio in the podcast down below to understand what words are stressed.

  1. Doctors can help people with phobias.
  2. Alice saw the little snake and screamed loudly.
  3. I am helping my friend with his fear of water.
  4. I didn’t know you were afraid of flying.
  5. Phobias are powerful but very treatable.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 41 – Vocabulary – Homophones

Hello, everyone! I’m now bringing to you some intermediate homophones!

Homophones are words that have the same pronunciation but different meanings. For example, compliment and complement.

You can usually determine which word is being used by its context.

Flying Singapore Airlines must complement the overall trip

I was complimented by one of my colleagues today about my physique.

Look at these sentences down below and choose the best alternative.

  1. When choosing the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup, FIFA did not make a fare/fair decision.
  2. A doctor is just as successful as a store clerk, as long as they made/maid the decision to do their respective jobs/careers.
  3. The principle/principal of school has done a lot for children-at-risk.
  4. Applying to universities costs a large some/sum of money.
  5. America has the most overweight/overwait citizens, in any country, in the world.
  6. I need to contact and ask her weather/whether or not she’s going to come later on this afternoon.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 40 – Grammar – Present Conditionals (Intermediate)

Welcome back! I’m bringing back a more intermediate form of conditionals today, but this is essentially a review for the majority of you out there who haven’t found this podcast on my spotify.

In conditional sentences, like I said a long time ago, one action relies on another. Study the forms: use the present real conditional to talk about possibilities in the future that are real and likely.

If + simple present, will + base verb == If you talk to someone about peer

pressure, you will feel better.

Use the present unreal conditional to talk about possibilities in the future that are unreal and unlikely. You are imagining what you’d do if the condition were to happen, even though it’s unlikely to.

Skillful Intermediate

If + simple past, would + base verb == If I told my parents about a problem,

they would support me.

Questions and sentences can begin with either the condition (the if clause) or the main clause. Notice the contractions of will (‘ll) and would (‘d) after pronouns.


A. If it’s rainy tomorrow, what will they do?

B. They’ll stay at home if it’s rainy tomorrow.

A. What would you do if you felt an earthquake?

B. If I felt an earthquake, I’d get under a desk.

Write present real conditionals….

  1. you be amazed / you see the San Andreas fault from the air.
  2. pressure build up / one tectonic plate push again another.
  3. climate change is likely / the warming of the planet is at an all-time high.
  4. an underwater volcano erupt / a tsunami occur.

2. Complete these present unreal conditional sentences with your own ideas.

a. If my mother pressured me to do something I didn’t want to do, I ____________________.

b. If my friends suddenly stopped talking to me, I ________________________.

c. I wouldn’t go to school if ________________________.

d. If schools educated people about real skills, ______________________. 

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 27 – Vocabulary – Cities & Houses

Arsenio's ESL Podcast
Arsenio's ESL Podcast: Season 3 - Episode 27 - Vocabulary - Cities & Houses


Welcome back to another episode, everyone!  You know, teaching British English, as an American teacher, is unbelievably confusing.  Blocks of flats would mean “projects” in America.  Cottages are regular homes but they come from fairy tales (the ones we see in the books).  It’s a lot of weird things, so here are some pictures and vocabulary.





Detached House


Flat/blocks of flats


Semi-detached house


Terraced house


Adjectives describing cities

Busy, clean, crowded, dirty, historic, lively, modern, noisy, quiet

Make sentences using the above words.

Additional vocabulary: city center, factory, inner city, outskirts, port, skyscraper, square, suburbs



Motivation Mentors: Episode 004 Featuring Celina Celeste!

Hello, everyone! This is a special project I’ve been working on with another mentor and coach from Shroud, England by the name of Luke Burrows.  The focus of this is since we’re both mentors and coaches, we encourage people to send questions in throughout the week for them to be featured on our show.  On this week’s episode, we brought along another wonderful entrepreneur and podcaster by the name of Celina Celeste.  The links to each of our worlds are down below along with the show notes which were written up by content writer Jiun Ting Yong.  Be sure to tune into the FB page!


Things being discussed in this week’s episode…


  • Introductions and talking about the power of technology.
  • Talking about which comes first: passion or business ideas.
  • Passion and business are terms in a grey area.
  • Passion and business are two different things that people never realize.
  • Referring to GaryVee’s latest book ‘Crushing it’.
  • Learn to how to play the rules, learn what is their strategy and learn to do personal branding with social media.
  • Read a lot of books and understanding the economy from different regions from a non – entrepreneurial perspective, especially for people who are fresh out of college or universities.
  • Traditional colleges and universities aren’t working anymore and schools were built for workers.
  • Getting a business apprenticeship and learning the craft of being a business ownership as well as being self-educated, is important.
  • Many jobs will be obsolete like white collar and pink colour jobs, doctors (debatable until AI officially comes), nurses and other professional jobs. How the economy will look like in the next 20 years because of cryptocurrency, machine learning, artificial intelligences and blockchain? Currencies have a possibility of being wipe out.
  • Mainstream universities don’t teach life skills and personal development.
  • Being smart in the choices that you make.
  • Skills that are important in the next 20 years like entrepreneurial skills such as creative thinking, emotional intelligence, self-awareness, being resourceful and having entrepreneurial mindsets.
  • Being self-aware on how you fit into this world and being smart about jobs where the future of the specific industries are bleak.
  • Being creative to bring in something that can make people feel good and being true to yourself.
  • Being true to yourself, stop complaining about yourself, stop giving excuses and stop feeling discontent.
  • Reprogramme your subconscious mind.
  • Be responsible for people who are in your life and stop complaining.
  • Don’t forget yourself, being yourself and stop getting caught up externally with what is happening– build yourself up and invest in yourself.
  • Don’t fall into the trap or trap yourself with fake people around you.

Thank you for listening!


Thank you so much for joining me for this podcast. Please do write down some feedbacks and comments. Please do share this podcast to your social media.




The Arsenio Buck Show



Luke Burrow



Motivational Mentors



Celina Celeste


Why ‘Black Panther’ Could Be The Game-Changer In Asia & The World

When Michael B. Jordan said, “I don’t want to live.  I want to die like my ancestors did when they jumped off boats into the Atlantic (then pulled the sword out of his chest before falling),” it had a profound effect on me.

Michael Johnson, the prolific American sprinter from the 90’s, saw pictures at a university of the conditions of the slave ships from the 1650’s to the 1750’s.  Slaves were literally stacked on one another, defecating and urinating everywhere because there weren’t any bathrooms, and why would there be any on a slave ship?  Some of these slaves took their own lives by jumping overboard, drowning in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.  Those slaves, who didn’t jump overboard, suffered from the worst crimes in humanity.

There was a scene in Django Unchained where African slaves were involved in Mandingo Fighting, a term that you can see in…….those types of movies.

Anyways, this type of fighting was vicious.  For a slave to survive the fight, he would have to kill another slave to continue moving on.  Well, one of them ran away into the wilderness before being found by dogs – vicious dogs and a handful of them.  Jamie Foxx, known as Django in the movie, told the slave owner that he didn’t care about the “nigga” and they could kill him.  They, the slave owners, let go of the dogs, charging at the African slave before ripping him to pieces.

In saying that, all of these events have been shoved under-the-rug and now with Black Panther sending it’s own shockwaves across the planet, what can it really provide for people of ALL COLORS around the world?

If we can go back to the cast, Michael B. Jordan is African American.  Chad, too, is African American.  The women come from all walks of life (England, one born in Mexico and another born in the most remote town in Iowa – IOWA!).

Before I watched this movie, I saw herds of Thai people flocking into the theatre. I said to myself, “ummmm, well this is very interesting.  The racial hatred I’ve received five years being here in Thailand has been forgettable, so why are these people coming in to watch what it would essentially be (according to Bangkok Post), a BLACK MOVIE?

The slang of Michael, to the perfected African accents of the others, I saw Thai people looking at each other like, “huh? This doesn’t make any sense? Americans have black people?”

Ummmm….yes, they do.

It wasn’t even just that, it was the fact that there were insidious comments made within the movie.  Of course the typical anglo-American saying, “third-world country” over-and-over, to the sister saying, “omg! Don’t scare me, colonizer!” (which made me – the only one in the theatre – laugh my ass off). This director, who did a breathtaking job, put all these comments in there to show everyone…..the truth.  What we’ve been through and what’s still happening.

The Truth

China has denied more than 10 “black” movies over the past 8 years.  They said, “it’s not because we’re racist, but we don’t want to see “black” movies in China bomb.”  Just recently, people were marching down the street in Guangdong ranting, “we need to solve the BLACK problem here!” referring to African migrants who apparently bring drugs into their country (made me laugh while typing).

Nonetheless, this movie is soon to debut in China and in a few days in Japan.  Could it possibly trump the mindsets of people which are controlled heinously by the west? I’m talking about the media.  The Chinese, Japanese and Korean are so swayed by the western media to a point that it’s sickening.  You have Japanese actors painting their face black trying to depict Eddie Murphy, and schools across South Korea putting Africans on the front covers of children’s books, showing them eating bananas.

So what could this movie possibly do? Tell the truth.

But are they, on the other end, willing to listen? It remains.

Over the last week or so, my students have come to class saying, “I like Black Panther – black man handsome!” My jaw dropped.  Sure, that’s a stereotypical comment, but a very positive stereotypical comment (lol). On T.V. in this country, you get your weekly newsflash of the African being caught pedalling drugs in Pattaya, influencing and suggesting that all colored people are black and to stay away from them.  Just the past few months, I had a job prospective contact me saying, “could I see your picture?” indicating they want to see if I was color or not (was much worse 4 years ago).  So, now with a story of what we’ve been through, and colored people all over the world coming together, can we finally put to rest an image that was created by the media?