TOEFL iTP | Listening Part C | Longman | Bookstore Conversation

Welcome back to another ESL podcast! And today is a TOEFL iTP special! I know many of you have been waiting, but also be sure to tune into my Patreon! I do lots of exclusive TOEFL iTP material over there, as well as you get two coaching hours per month to learn with me (and a discount for additional hours you may need). Nonetheless, let’s get into the listening Part C!

  1. Who is John Rogers?

Note: manager student book store

  • The employment office manager
  • University registar
  • The bookstore manager
  • A student working in the bookstore

2. What does John Rogers need to do now?

Note: prepare work schedule,

  • prepare a schedule
  • decide which workers to hire
  • plan student course schedules
  • train office workers

3. What does John Rogers NEED to know?

Note: hours, need to work, 20 hours; hours when they have classes, job preference

  • what the students’ majors are
  • When the students are able to work
  • Why the students want to work
  • In which jobs the students have experience

4. Which is not mentioned as a possible job opened to the students?


  • Cashier –
  • Shelf stocker –
  • Business office worker –
  • Phone operator


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 193 | Listening | Successful Teams & Conflict

I never looked at it from this perspective, but conflicts are actually sometimes good. You have to choose the right grounds though. You have five different types: compromise, collaboration, avoidance, competing and accommodating. In this podcast, you’re going to learn a lot about the stages of a conflict, as well as the different ways of compromising.

Read Success teams and conflict. Complete the article with the headings (a-e)

a. Balancing the needs of the individual __

b. Adapting to context __

c. Utilizing conflict to reach our full potential __

d. Workplace conflict; a necessary evil? __

e. The role of conflict in team development __

__ 1 We’ve all been there. The boardroom fails silent as two o fits occupants lock horns. Some of the onlookers revel in the conflict, silently watching it unfold. Others try to pacify and mediate. Others still, strategically take sides. Although conflict in the workplace has traditionally been seen as detrimental, some modern theorists claim it is essential to productivity. An ugly, but necessary obstacle on the path to optimum performance. So, at what stage in a team’s development might conflict arise and how can it be successfully navigated.

__ 2 One of the first academics to see conflict as a necessary and inevitable part of a team’s development was the psychologist, Bruce Tuckman. In his 1965 publication, Development Sequence in Small Groups, Tuckman proposed a four-stage theory of team development. The model explains the maturity, development, relationships, and performance of a group. The four stages are:


At this stage, the group is created and learns about the opportunities and challenges available. They agree on goals and discuss how to tackle any issues present. One challenge at this stage is the fact that each team member will still largely be operating as an individual and the predominant behavior is polite and courteous, meaning people refrain from conflict. Leaders tend to play a dominant role at this stage, offering guidance and direction.


At this stage, people start to push against any of the established boundaries and begin to form strong opinions about the other personalities and characters in the group. When people are perceived as not pulling their weight or attempting to dominate the group, then others will push back. If disagreements and conflict of personality are not resolved at this stage, some teams may never move on, or will quickly re-enter this phase as disputes arise. Intolerance and impatience can be high. Managers frequently need to intervene in order to resolve issues.


If a group is able to move beyond the storming stage, then agreement and consensus evolves. Leaders can take more of a facilitative role, rather than acting as autocratic leaders, as people become comfortable with their colleagues and have a much clearer appreciation of their roles and responsibilities. Teams are committed and unified towards a common goal and strive to accommodate each other’s needs.


The team now has a shared vision that does not require the intervention of a leader. They work in a largely autonomous manner and generally want to outperform the goals set during the group’s inception. Conflict is easily resolved and the members now look to each other, rather than leadership, for help and support.

In 1977, Tuckman revised his theory to include a fifth stage:


This final stage reflects the status of a group after it has disbanded. If a strong team was formed initially, then the break-up stage can leave people feeling vulnerable and insecure about the change. A great deal of empathy is often required from management at this stage.

__ 3 Successfully navigating the “storming” stage of Tuckman’s model relies, in part, on the ability to recognize sources of conflict. A lack of shared goals or the perception of different priorities is a common cause of conflict, as are personality clashes. Significant differences in working styles, conflicting methods of communication, and different expectations of individual output can all contribute to a hostile working environment. People often value different things or face of scarcity of resources that makes it hard to collaborate. When individuals feel that they have to compete with other team members for a share of a limited budget, it is inevitable that conflict will occur.

__ 4 So if conflict of varying degrees is highly likely, what’s the best way to resolve the issues that arise? Given the diverse sources of conflict, it is perhaps unsurprising that successful teams are able to adapt their reactions to suit a range of contexts. According to Thomas and Kilmann, in conflict situations, as individual’s behavior can be broadly described along two dimensions; assertiveness (i.e., the extent to which the individual tries to satisfy his or her own need) and cooperativeness (i.e., the extent to which the individual attempts to satisfy the needs of his or her competitor). These two basic dimensions can then be used to define five conflict management styles:


Individuals show a high degree of cooperation, often to the detriment of their own objectives. It may involve yielding to the view of someone else, even when you disagree with them. This style works well when the other person has more expertise and/or style works well when the other person has more expertise and/or a better solution, and can also strengthen long-term relationships.


Here the individual neither addresses their own concerns, nor helps others resolve theirs. Rather than confront issues head on they actively avoid them, often by diplomatically moving to another topic, postponing discussion, or retreating from discussion altogether. For minor issues this is a good way to minimize conflict and is also effective when a situation is emotionally charged or tense. However, in the long-term, this strategy can lead to conflict and failure.


Here people mutually try to achieve both sets of goals through consultation, which can be effective in complex situations. However, it requires a lot of trust, time, and effort to reach a consensus that accommodates all ideas and perspectives.


Individuals aggressively pursue their own interests at the expense of those around them, subsequently making little to no attempt to cooperate. Often this approach does not work well and leads to the greatest amount of conflict. However, when decisive action is needed, for example, in times of emergency, this can be an effective way to resolve conflict.


This mode presents a happy medium. Both parties aim to find a mutually acceptable solution to the issue at hand. This might mean accepting views that you don’t agree with in order to have some of your own accommodated. This style could work when goals are of equal importance, but largely it leads to neither goal being reached effectively.

__ 5 Given the diffuse sources of conflict, a successful team must learn to adapt both its working and management styles in order to optimize performance, regardless of individual beliefs and preferences. In other words, teams that are unable to accommodate and harness conflict may never achieve their full potential. However you choose to address conflict in the workplace, one thing is clear; it is an essential part of a team’s development, and until we view it as such, we will consistently underperform.

skillful reading 4

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 192 | Critical Thinking | Making Counter Arguments and Concessions

Welcome back to another ESL podcast! In today’s podcast, we’re going to look into ways that are effective in terms of strengthening your own argument.

By including and dealing with opposing views in the form of counter arguments, you anticipate objections, demonstrate you have considered the issues in depth, and provide strong support for your own conclusions.

A counter argument may highlight a disadvantage of the argument you propose, or give an alternative explanation that seems to make more sense. Such opposing arguments are often introduced with a signpost phrase or question, e.g., However, it could be said that….some people argue that…., admittedly,….but isn’t this just…..?

To then deal with the counter argument, demonstrate how or why the counter argument is incorrect or how it is less important or probably than your argument. Avoid stating a counter argument without refuting it.

Concessions show respect and consideration for the opposing views, by acknowledging some positive features of them, e.g., They are correct in the sense that…., while we agree that….

  1. Match the two sets of arguments, counter arguments, and refutations.
  • The main reason is that women are choosing careers.
  • Performance doesn’t change easily, and studies support the theory of the effect of role conflict.
  • Fathers face conflict with their roles, so we cannot conclude it is the woman’s choice.
  • The promoted worker’s performance went down due to role conflict.
  • The issue of declining birth rates is too complex to identify one cause.
  • The promoted worker’s performance went down due to laziness.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Exam Success | Episode 1 | Ann Succeeding In IELTS

Such an amazing talk with someone who I had just met a day before the exam. After reaching out to people in the group to try and be of service, I ended up coming across Ann, who was preparing to take her IELTS test in just a day’s time. She got her results within five days times, and to her astonishment, she achieved the band in her speaking. Well, to kick off this new series, I’m going to bring on people who have achieved success in different test preparation courses. Welcome to a new series!

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 191 | Presentation Skills | How to Cope with Different Presentation/Lecture Styles

Many people, like me, enjoy different presentation styles — based on tonality, energy, story-telling, etc.  I have my favorites, and then there are presenters that put me to sleep. So, if you’re someone who not only has to listen to a presentation but also engage in meetings with foreigners who speak monotone….how can you cope? Well, that’s today’s discussion. Tune in!

  1. Think of two lecturers you have had during your academic/professional career. Describe the style and approach of each one in the comment section on this blog.
  • organization of material
  • speed of delivery
  • style of lecture
  • visuals and support material provided

If you regularly have the same lecturer, you will become familiar with the speed of delivery, the amount of support provided, and the organization of material. When the lecturer is new to you, be prepared with your notebook and audio recorded. Access all available support material, and listen for clues to the organization of the lecture in the opening to the lecture.

Listen to two parts of a lecture in the podcast down below. Identify which lecturer does each thing, Speaker A (Brett Wilson) or Speaker B (Sofia Lang).

  1. Provides pre-reading
  2. Starts with examples and then moves to general statements
  3. Encourages interaction
  4. Gives clear verbal signposts for the organization
  5. Speaks faster
  6. Relies on visuals for showing organization

IELTS | Speaking | 1 on 1 Coaching | Speaking Part 3 – Celebrations At Restaurants

Welcome back to the final installment with my wonderful student, and in this episode, you’re going to hear me implement structure in her talk. See, the problem with a lot of students is if they fail to use any kind of structure, they end up giving a baseless thesis with sporadic examples that don’t contribute or flow. That’s surely detrimental to your score.


Podcast on Spotify:

Podcast on ListenNote:

Podcast on CastBox:’s-ESL-Podcast-id1251433?country=us




Q & A:



Buzz sprout:

Early Access to next week’s episode titled: TOEFL iTP — Grammar — Errors with Articles.

Early access (general patreon badge = $5) is now available on my Patreon! If you’re learning TOEFL iTP, this is going to be a two-part series (free to the public over two weeks but now available on Patreon if you subscribe to my badge), as well as exercise (exclusive to Patreon only) for you guys to practice! Link down below!


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 188 | Listening | Dealing with Conflict Debate

Welcome back! Today we’re going to listen to a debate about proactive and yielding methods of dealing with conflict. There are also some techniques in regards to listening to confirm predictions and anticipating information to come. This is great for IELTS students. So, let’s go over some methods.

  1. What methods do people use to deal with conflict? Make a list.
  2. Which methods confront conflict and which attempt to prevent it?

Read the list of methods for managing conflict. Predict which may be suggested by a proactive style, and which by a yielding style. You will have to listen to the podcast down below to do the exercise.

__ Offer positive reasons for the other side to change their position.

__ Make the effort to understand your opponents’ viewpoint.

__ Cooperate with your opponents by doing some, but not all, of what they want.

__ Do what the other side wants you to do in order to maintain a good relationship.

__ Avoid situations in which the stronger side is able to dominate.

__ Do nothing and wait for the situation to resolve itself.

Skillful listeners use all the available information to predict information the speaker will give. Anticipating in this way supports the listeners: as the speaker continues, the listeners confirm their predictions and/or identify new themes in the communication.

  • Read through the information available about the lecture or discussion, e.g., handouts, notes, etc.
  • Review titles and visuals and consider their connection to the topic.
  • Anticipate missing information, e.g.:
  1. What kind of information is missing?
  2. What has the speaker not discussed yet?
  3. What stage of the argument is missing?
Proactive Conflict ManagementsYielding Conflict Management
Speaker 1
Cooperative methods are
Results are 2_________
Provides a positive 3_________
for those involved
Difficult due to high levels of
May require training and 5___________

Speaker 4
It is irresponsible to ……
11 ____________
Positive rewards….. 12___________
Speaker 2
Conflict situations often
__________6 if we just wait
Loss of face in a conflict situation can damage 7________

Speaker 3
The proactive style …….
In reality, in most relationships one side 9__________
Stronger sides …….. 10 __________
Fill in the blank (IELTS-style flow chart)


TOEFL iBT | Part 3 Question | Speaking | Vertical Migration + Note-taking

Welcome back to another TOEFL iBT Speaking segment. Today we’re going to be focusing on Part III, a difficult task for many non-NES speakers (because it’s difficult to follow) and in today’s podcast, we’re doing vertical migration. This was a difficult task for a recent student of mine because he was unable to follow the conversation. However, I’ll show you exactly how I had taken notes (video down below in the links if you want to see it).

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 174 | Listening | World Oceans (IELTS Style)

Welcome back to an IELTS-style type of ESL podcast! In today’s podcast we’re going to listen to a lecture about the problems that oceans worldwide are facing. Before you listen, make a list of the possible problems you are aware of.

Marine ecology — problems and solutions

A. Overfishing

1. Three types

i “recruitment overfishing” — amount of fish taken > than amount possible to (1) _________ –> fish population decreases

ii. “growth overfishing” — fish too (2) __________ to product the best yield are taken

iii. “ecosystem overfishing” — damages balance of ecosystem, e.g., (3) ________ are overfished, leaving too many small fish

2. (4) __________ supporting seriousness of problem

i. size of illegal catch

ii. decrease in number of species

3 example of (5) ________ affected by overfishing in Canada:

history –> problem –> effect –> resistance

4. (6) Human ________: problem –> regulation –> resistance

5. Other possible (7) _________:

i. aquaculture

ii. raising consumer awareness

B. Coral Bleaching

1. (8) __________ — coral loses color

2. (9) __________

i. change of conditions

ii. human influence

3 (10) _________ of coral bleaching — U.S., Maldives, and Sri Lanka