TOEFL iBT | Reading | Full Lesson | Household Pests

Who’s ready for a full, crazy reading lesson? In the first of its kind, I have the FULL RUNDOWN for you guys today. We’re going to go through all these questions together and pray we can make it through. I would’ve like to make this live, but premiere’s are better because I can speak to you while the video is going. Nonetheless, the lesson is on household pests, and after all the reading techniques, let’s see if you got what it takes to succeed!

[1] Including almost 10 million species and representing over 90% of life on planet Earth, insects are ubiquitous. And while humans live peacefully side by side with most insect species, some pose a threat to human activity and habitats. You need only to consider the damage caused by insects to agricultural crops, and the ramifications for food security and agricultural economies, to understand their potential to wreak havoc. But it is not only the food we grow that can be threatened by insects; our homes themselves may be impacted. And while many pests – such as cockroaches and beetles – are regarded as disgusting and unseemly on our floors and walls, others may be outright damaging and threaten the value of a homeowner’s property. Two such pests are ants and termites.
 

[2] To a homeowner, termites can pose a significant threat. As detritivores, termites consume dead plant matter, which includes the wood we use in construction. Thus a colony of termites may undermine the strength of timber foundations, chew through walls, and hollow out stairs in a matter of months. This not only damages the home itself, but also creates safety hazards for the human occupants. Another insect capable of chewing through wood is the humble ant. Ants may put their well-deserved reputation for industriousness to work on more than just your house; they are also attracted to foods in the home and, left unchecked, can quickly become a terrible nuisance in the kitchen or garbage areas.
 

[3] Of course, pests such as termites and ants can be prevented, controlled, and eradicated, primarily through the use of chemical compounds that are toxic to the pests. These chemical compounds combat the insects at a biological level. Most compounds are composed of a pesticide, a dilutant, a particulate, a thickening agent, and a surfactant system. The pesticide is the toxic chemical that kills the pest, while the dilutant ensures that the compound does not endanger its human users (still, direct exposure is not recommended). The particulate agent suspends the pesticide within the dilutant, and the thickening agent serves to make the compound easier to apply to infested areas. Finally, the surfactant lowers the surface tension of the compound, further facilitating application.
 

[4] When it comes to pesticides, application is key. More specifically, the compound must be applied in the correct location, either exterior to the home or on the interior. Exterior application of a pesticide will help to prevent future pests from entering the structure. This commonly involves applying a compound to outside walls, porches, and window areas. Interior application can be more challenging, since insects seek out nesting areas which are relatively inaccessible to humans. This includes hollow spaces between walls, soft spots beneath floors, and hard-to-reach corners in cabinets and other furniture. Interior application is meant to eliminate those pests which have already infested a home. Thus effective pest control involves both prevention and eradication. While many homeowners choose to take the problem into their own hands and apply pesticides themselves, others choose to support the burgeoning pest control industry, hiring professionals who have the knowledge and equipment to ensure that compounds are applied safely.
 

[5] Exactly how big of a threat to termites and ants pose to homeowners? Global statistics are difficult to compile, but it is estimated that in the southwestern U.S. alone termites cause approximately 1.5 billion dollars in damage each year. The scale of the problem is such that the pesticide and pest control industries are growing, and entire communities have undertaken measures to control and eradicate these insects.
 

[6] While biochemical solutions remain highly effective methods of pest control, there is growing opposition to the use of chemicals in and around human habitation. The move toward “organic” food – that grown without the use of pesticides or herbicides – has helped to raise awareness of the potential health risks of such chemicals. Thus natural pest control, relying on non-toxic methods and compounds, is becoming more popular. Natural methods may utilize plants or even other insects to ward off or eliminate pests. Particular plants are known to repel particular insects; for example, crushed mint leaves are touted as an effective ant deterrent.

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Questions

  1. The word “others” in paragraph 1 refers to…
  • cockroaches and beetles
  • pests
  • floors and walls
  • homeowners

2. Which of the following can be inferred from paragraph 1?

  • a majority of the world’s insects cause problems to humans.
  • insects’ damage to homes is a greater problem than their damage to agriculture
  • insects are the most common type of animals on the planet
  • cockroaches and beetles are commonly misunderstood by humans

3. The word ‘unchecked’ in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to:

  • inside
  • uncontrolled
  • persistent
  • bothered

4. Which of the following components helps to make applying the pesticides easier?

  • particulate
  • dilutant
  • pesticide
  • surfacant

5. According to paragraph 4, which of the following is true of the interior application of pesticides?

  • it is more dangerous than exterior application
  • it helps to prevent an infestation from happening
  • it is more difficult than exterior application
  • it is not very effective

6. In paragraph 4, the author mentions “hard to reach corners in cabinets and other furniture as an example of

  • common points of entry for insect infestations
  • areas which should be avoided when applying pesticide
  • key pathways for insects within a home
  • possible nesting areas for pests

7.Which of the following best expresses the essential information highlighted sentence? Incorrect answer choices change the meaning in important ways or leave out essential information.

While many homeowners choose to take the problem into their own hands and apply pesticides themselves, others choose to support the burgeoning pest control industry, hiring professionals who have the knowledge and equipment to ensure that compounds are applied safely.

  • Homeowners may work alongside pest control professionals to support the safe and effect application of pesticide.
  • Some homeowners choose to support the pest control industry, which hires knowledgeable and safe professionals who can assist the homeowner in applying pesticides
  • Some homeowners deal with pests on their own, but others seek professional help for a higher level of safety
  • Even though the pest control industry is growing some people do not wish to hire professionals and instead attempt to control pests themselves.

8. In paragraph 5, why does the author mention “1.5 billion dollars in damage?”

  • to lend support to community-wide pest control solutions
  • to prove that estimating the impact of pests is difficult
  • to introduce the idea of natural pest control methods
  • to illustrate the extent of the problem caused by termites and ants

9 Examine the four █ in the selection below and indicate at which block the following sentence could be inserted into the passage:

Another natural approach involves altering the timing or pattern of lighting, since this appears to disrupt the insects’ breeding habits.

While biochemical solutions remain highly effective methods of pest control, there is growing opposition to the use of chemicals in and around human habitation. █ [AThe move toward “organic” food – that grown without the use of pesticides or herbicides – has helped to raise awareness of the potential health risks of such chemicals. █ [B] Thus natural pest control, relying on non-toxic methods and compounds, is becoming more popular. Natural methods may utilize plants or even other insects to ward off or eliminate pests █ [C] Particular plants are known to repel particular insects; for example, crushed mint leaves are touted as an effective ant deterrent. █ [D] .

A)

B)

C)

D)

10 Directions: An introductory sentence for a brief summary of the passage is provided below. Complete the summary by selecting the THREE answer choices that express the most important ideas in the passage. Some sentences do not belong in the summary because they express ideas that are not presented in the passage or are minor ideas in the passage. This question is worth 2 points.

Termites and ants are pests that can damage homes by chewing through wood.

?????

a. the pest control industry is growing rapidly, and pest control professionals can help ensure safe application of pesticides.

b. pesticides may be applied outside the home for prevention and within the home to kill existing insects

c. pests do a lot of damage to homes every year, and some people are turning to more natural methods of pest control

d. pesticides alone have been found to be less effective than pesticides used in combination with natural methods of pest control

e. compounds used to eliminate pests are typically comprised of several key ingredients

f. besides damaging homes, insects can cause significant damage to agricultural crops and food supplies

{Patreon Special} Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Personal Development | How to Pro-act to Situations (Not React)

Arsenio's ESL Podcast
{Patreon Special} Arsenio's ESL Podcast | Personal Development | How to Pro-act to Situations (Not React)
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This is definitely going to be one of the top podcasts of the year. While I was doing my personal development podcast, I came across an AMAZING technique that will help you with reacting to situations.  In this podcast, I will inject some personal development into your lives that will help you understand your feelings, react to situations, and find a systematic way of breaking down a situation. This is very good not only for business but also for all relationships in general. This is on Early Access Podcast and Business English!

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{Patreon Special} Pronunciation Course | Phase III | Reducing Structure Words

Welcome to the second-to-last audio/video of my pronunciation course, phase III! Today I’m bringing you reducing structure words. After coaching an Egyptian pharmacist and hearing out she over-stressed structured words, this is very important for everyone out there. Here’s a sneak peek. Remember, it’s available on all Patreon badges!

Unstressed words are often reduced, meaning some sounds are shortened or omitted.

Dictionary Pronunciation Reduced Pronunciation

Is John’/z/ an old friend.
Can /kan/ you see?
Him Letem go.
Of I need a book /uh/ stamps.

Structure words are often reduced through contractions, the omission of consonant sounds, and the reduction of vowel sounds to schwa.

Tip: Practicing Reduced Words

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Arsenio’s Business English Podcast | Season 6: Episode 20 | Tips for Running a Successful Meeting

Arsenio's ESL Podcast
Arsenio's Business English Podcast | Season 6: Episode 20 | Tips for Running a Successful Meeting
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Shouting matches, complaining, interruptions, zero accountability….we’ve all been there. Whether it’s at home with the family or at work, things never seem to get done when people don’t have an agenda for a meeting or course of action. How could you avoid this from happening? In today’s podcast, I will give you five useful steps for running a successful meeting and focus on the solution.

TOEIC | Grammar | Part V | Practice Test Questions 1-10

Welcome to a short podcast/video! Today I’m going to break down some grammar/vocabulary questions that you would see on a test — let alone this practice test! Again, if you’re interested in coaching or membership services, please reach out to me!

  1. Ms. Walters _______ to another branch, so your new financial advisor will be Mr. Merenda.
  • transfer
  • transferring
  • has transferred
  • transferable

2. The restaurant on Main Street offers a wide selection of gourmet desserts ____ several regions of the world.

  • with
  • by
  • from
  • until

3. ________ interested in viewing an apartment should contact the property manager to arrange an appointment.

  • these
  • those
  • this
  • that

4. A growing _____ in the cosmetics industry is the use of natural and organic ingredients.

  • product
  • scent
  • sale
  • trend

5. Because of its _____ melodies and upbeat rhythms, Toby Nathan’s music has broad appeal.

  • simple
  • patient
  • kind
  • blank

6. The park service asks visitors to behave _______ and show respect for wildlife.

  • responsibly
  • responsible
  • responsibility
  • responsibilities

7. It is not the company’s policy to grant sick leave ______ overtime pay to part-time employees.

  • yet
  • if
  • but
  • or

8. The ______ of the Board of Directors is scheduled for Monday.

  • election
  • elected
  • elects
  • electable

9. Last year, the number of new university-level textbooks _____ by American publishers dropped for the second year in a row.

  • priced
  • sold
  • marked
  • instructed

10. Traffic congestion is ______ than usual because of road construction, so it will take us at least an hour to get to the meeting.

  • badly
  • bad
  • worse
  • worst

Answers on next page

Pronunciation Course | Phase III | Unstressed Words in Sentences

We’re back with the third-to-last video in the pronunciation course! Again, if you guys are ready and requesting the video course, please reach out to me and I’ll make it LIVE on Podia. Until then, this audio is available on all Patreon badges, as stated dozens of times before.

And in today’s episode, I will teach you how to unstress structured words. Remember, structured words make the grammar of the sentence correct, but in spoken English, we often unstress them.

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IELTS | Listening | Cambridge 15 | T2 – P1 – Festival Information

It’s been a few months, but I’m officially back with another IELTS Listening practice. In today’s video/podcast, I will be breaking down the typical section 1 form and allowing you guys to answer the questions.  If you want the answers, make sure you view my blog!

Festival Information

DateType of EventDetails
17tha concertperformers from canada
18tha balletcompany called 1) ____________
19th-
20th
afternoon
a playtype of play: a comedy called Jemima has had a good 2)
_________
20th
evening
a 3) _________ showshow is called 4____________
Questions 1-4

Workshops

– Making 5 __________ food

– (children only) Making 6 _________

– (adults only) Making toys from 7 _________ using various tools

Outdoor activities

– swimming in the pool 8_____________

– Walking in the woods, led by an expert on 9 _______________

See the festival organiser’s 10 ___________ for more information

Answers on next page!

Arsenio’s Business English Podcast | Season 6: Episode 19 | Put Your Heads Together: Solving Problems Proactively

Sometimes in the world of business, and even in our personal lives, we act in a reactive way instead of a solutions-based way. When COVID had shut down my job last year, the anxiety level was out of the roof because I didn’t know how I would generate income. So, when the second shutdown happened this year, I was more than prepared and excited.

Putting your heads together is an idiom that means “helping one another find a solution.” In the entrepreneurial world, sometimes you need to sit down in a mastermind group to ponder what’s happening and plan out actionable steps. In today’s podcast, you have stories and a situation between two women who came across a massive problem at work.

TOEFL iBT | Listening | Listening Tips for Success! | How to Note-take with a Utensil

Welcome back to the super amazing blog here! I’m BEYOND grateful to give this to you, and normally this is available to my Patreon students — but again — a student has come forth and showed me that she has a lot of listening difficulties. So, I want to be able to do this blog/podcast for you guys.

Listen for the main idea


In most cases, the first question after each lecture is a main idea question also known as a gist question. At the beginning of a listening lecture, the professor usually mentions what the main topic of the lecture will be about, but sometimes the topic might be branched into something more specific. Please note the topic can change, so always be prepared to note down any new topics.

Listen to the speaker’s tone of voice


Sometimes you’ll be asked questions regarding the speaker’s attitude or opinion. To answer these questions correctly, tone of voice matters. For example, does the speaker sound excited, confused, sad…etc?

Listen to how ideas are connected throughout the lecture


When listening to a lecture, make note of the way the ideas in the lecture are connected. In other words, how the professor organized the lecture. When you encounter a question asking you how the lecture is organized, you can refer back to your notes. Some of the main relationships between ideas include cause/effect, compare/contrast, and steps in a process.

Listen for key points not specific details


TOEFL listening questions will not test you on small details. For example, you won’t see questions that are about a specific year, name, or location. Instead, questions will test your understanding of key points mentioned in the lecture.

Listen for signal words that indicate different parts of the lecture


To help you capture key points in the lecture, you need to learn to listen for signal words or transition words. These words are like the road signs that tell you what is coming next. Signal words can tell you the beginning or the end of a topic. They can also help you move through the middle of the lecture by introducing topics.

Signal words
“Okay”, “Well”, “Now”, “But”, and “So”

1. “Okay” and “Now” are usually used to transition into a different topic or a different key point.
2. “Well” is usually used before answering a question.
3. “But” and “So” are usually followed by a key point.
Examples
All right folks, let’s continue our discussion of alternative energy sources and move on to what’s probably the most well-known alternative energy source— solar energy. The sun basically provides earth with virtually unlimited source of energy every day, but the problem has always been how do we tap this source of energy. Can anyone think of why it’s so difficult to make use of solar energy?OK. Another ancient Greek philosopher we need to discuss is Aristotle—Aristotle’s ethical theory. What Aristotle’s ethical theory is all about is this: he’s trying to show you how to be happy—what true happiness is. Now, why is he interested in human happiness? It’s not just because it’s something that all people want to aim for. It’s more than that. But to get there we need to first make a very important distinction. Let me introduce a couple of technical terms: extrinsic value and intrinsic value.All right, so far we have been looking at some of the core areas of linguistics, like syntax, phonology, semantics. Now I’d like to talk about the branch of historical linguistics, and the comparison of several different languages, or the comparison of different stages of a single language. Now, if you are comparing different languages, and you notice that they have a lot in common. Maybe they have similar sounds and words that correspond to one another that have the same meaning and that sound similar.
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Signal words
Let’s move on to …
This brings me to my next point, which is….
So far we have have been looking at…. Now I’d like to….
So now that we’ve covered…
What … is all about is this…
Examples
All right folks, let’s continue our discussion of alternative energy sources and move on to what’s probably the most well-known alternative energy source— solar energy. The sun basically provides earth with virtually unlimited source of energy every day, but the problem has always been how do we tap this source of energy. Can anyone think of why it’s so difficult to make use of solar energy?OK. Another ancient Greek philosopher we need to discuss is Aristotle—Aristotle’s ethical theory. What Aristotle’s ethical theory is all about is this: he’s trying to show you how to be happy—what true happiness is. Now, why is he interested in human happiness? It’s not just because it’s something that all people want to aim for. It’s more than that. But to get there we need to first make a very important distinction. Let me introduce a couple of technical terms: extrinsic value and intrinsic value.All right, so far we have been looking at some of the core areas of linguistics, like syntax, phonology, semantics. Now I’d like to talk about the branch of historical linguistics, and the comparison of several different languages, or the comparison of different stages of a single language.   Now, if you are comparing different languages, and you notice that they have a lot in common. Maybe they have similar sounds and words that correspond to one another that have the same meaning and that sound similar.   
Signal words
(opinion) I think, It appears that, It is thought that
(theory) In theory, the hypothesis is that
Examples
You have an advertising budget to spend, but how do you to spend it wisely. Again, research is the key. Good research gives you facts, facts that can help you decide, well, as we already mentioned, decide the right market to target, and the best media to use. But also: When to advertise? or…or how to get the best rates? Like, maybe you’re advertising Sport equipment, and you have been spending most of your budget during the holiday season when people buy gifts for each other. Now, in theory, that would seem a great time to advertise, but maybe a research shows you’re wrong, that the customers who buy sports equipment tend not to give it as a holiday gift, but want to use it themselves. In that case, advertising during a different season of the year might give you better results.We recently noticed an increase in cloud cover over an area of the ocean waters around Antarctica. An increased area of low thick clouds, the type that reflects a large portion of solar energy back to space and cools the Earth. Well, the reason for this increased cloud cover, it turns out, is the exceptionally large amount of microscopic marine plants. Well, the current hypothesis is that these microorganisms produce a chemical that interacts with the oxygen in the air, creating conditions that lead to the formation of the low thick clouds we observed. Well, that’s true. It could have huge implications. So, maybe we are talking about controlling the weather. Perhaps, if the microorganisms near Antarctica really are responsible, perhaps we can accelerate the process somehow.

Pay attention to the following transition words which can help you capture the main ideas and examples:

Type of connectionTransition words
These words show the order of ideas.First/Second/Third
Firstly (or “First of all”)/Secondly/Thirdly (or “Lastly”)
For one thing/For another thing/Finally (or “Lastly”)
In the first place/in the second place/Finally (or “Lastly”)
These words show the addition of informationIn addition, furthermore, additionally, also, next, moreover, what’s more, on top of that
These words shows conclusions.To sum up, in summary, in conclusion, to conclude, all in all, all things considered ,overall, taking everything into consideration, in a nutshell
These words demonstrate contrastConversely, on the contrary, by contrast, by way of contrast, on one hand/on the other hand
These words compare or demonstrate similaritySimilarly, likewise, by the same token, along similar lines
These words show result.As a result, as a consequence, consequently, therefore
These words state a generalization.Generally, on the whole, in most cases, in general
These words clarify a point.That is, in other words, to put it simply, That is to say, just to reiterate
These words give examples.For example, for instance, take something, for example, to give a clear example
These words state an alternative.Alternatively, as another possibility
TIPS TO IMPROVE TOEFL LISTENING SCORE

NO SKIPPING ANSWERS
Unlike the reading section, in the listening section you CANNOT skip answers and come back. If you skip a question, you will not be able to go back and answer it

Make an educated guess on questions you are unsure of
When you don’t know the answer, try to figure out which choice is most consistent with the main idea of the conversation or lecture. Another way is to eliminate obvious wrong answers.

Don’t take more than two minutes to answer a question.
If you spend more than two minutes on a question, you might run out of time. It is not worth it. Leave time for other questions that you have more confidence on. It’s better to have an educated guess and move on than it is to miss out on potential easy questions because you ran out of time.

NOTE-TAKING TIPS

Here are symbols you can use in your notes:

SymbolMeaningExamples
=refer to, occur, ..etcA concept that people make choices to describe a situation in a positive or negative way is referred to as word framing
Word framing = ppl describe a situation in ✓ or X way.
Because, as a result of, due to, because, owing toDue to the increasing popularity of e-books, there has been a fall in paper book sales.
∵↑e-books, paper books $↓
ThereforeElement 43 has radioactive decay, therefore element 43 doesn’t last very long, which means if that ever had been present on earth, it would have decayed ages ago.
Elem43 has radioa. decay ∴ it ≠ last long
=>result in, lead to, contribute to, give rise to, causeCarbon dioxide significantly contributes to global warming.
CO => global warming
isn’t, doesn’t, don’t, can’t etc.Element 43 has radioactive decay, therefore element 43 doesn’t last very long, which means if that ever had been present on earth, it would decayed ages ago.
Elem43 has radioa. decay ∴ it ≠ last long
+many, lots of, a great deal of, etc.Because potatoes have the ability to provide abundant and extremely nutritious food crop, no other crop grew in Northern Europe. As a result, the nutrition of the general population improved tremendously and population soared in the early 1800s.
∵ potatoes /nutri crop/+vitamins => popul↑ in Europe 1800s
++ComparativesOlder and more experienced birds who nest in the high density shrub areas have significantly more offspring than those in low density areas, which suggests the choice of where to nest does have an impact on the number of chicks they have.
older birds /nest in high shrub ++offsprings birds/nest in low shrub
+++SuperlativesWhat was even more surprising were all the large organisms that lived down there. The most distinctive of these was something called the tube worm. Here, let me show you a picture. The tube of the tube worm is really, really long. They can be up to one and half meters long, and these tubes are attached to the ocean floor, pretty weird looking, huh?
! +++special = tube warm /long/tubes attached to ocean floor
Little, few, lack ,in short of/ be in shortage of, etc.As I said the monsoon migrated itself, so there was less rain in the Sahara. The land started to get drier, which in turn caused huge decreases in the amount of vegetation, because vegetation doesn’t grow as well in dry soil, right? And then, less vegetation means the soil can’t hold water and the soil loses its ability to retain water when it does rain. So then you have less moisture to help clouds form, nothing to evaporate for cloud formation.
– rain in Sahara
land+dry => vegetation↓
–vegetation => soil ≠ hold water => -water to form cloud
!Important, interestingBut what’s particularly interesting about these volcanoes is that most of the volcanoes here on Earth are not shield volcanoes. Instead, they are other volcano types, like strata volcanoes, for example, which are a result of tectonic plate movement.
! volcanoes on earth ≠ shield volcanoes = strata volcanoes
tectonic plate => volcanoes on earth

Other symbols:

SymbolMeaning
&And, also, in addition, etc.
~about/around, approximately, etc.
And so on
$Sales, money, cost
e.g.For example
i.e.That is
xWrong, incorrect, bad, detrimental, negative, etc.
Right, good, positive, etc.

TOEFL iBT | Independent Essay | Evaluating an Essay #6 | How to Get a 24

Here it is, people! The last Independent Essay from my previous student who ended up achieving a 24 on her writing, giving her a grand total of 100 for her test.

So, in this video/podcast, this is what a 23/24 essay would look like, but the amount of things she could have done better is staggering. Nonetheless, hear me break down each paragraph, try drawing conclusions of the 2nd body paragraph, and see if everything correlates — which it doesn’t.  This is a great learning lesson for most of you out there, and she made a quantum leap to get that 24, which I’m absolutely so happy about.

Here’s the essay topic.

People learn things better from those at their own levels—such as fellow students or co-workers—than from those at a higher level, such as teachers or supervisors.

Podcast