Patreon Silver Badge Special | Reading | Should Celebrities Promote Charities?

We’re back after a half-a-year with a Patreon Special! I’m going to start promoting my Patreon heavily so that I have a more exclusive podcasting group that I can communicate routinely with, do Q & A’s, live videos, and more! If you have any questions about my Patreon, feel free to link up with me on social media!

If you have been a long-time follower who has read my blog posts and viewed my podcasts, this Patreon Silver Badge would be a great way to donate to my work, as well as get exclusive content (for ESLers only).

Personal Development Patreon could come in the near future, but I want to focus jus ton the Bronze and Silver Badges as of today.

Here are some of the things you get with the Silver Badge.

This is the second badge of the three, and it will feature the same things from the Bronze badge +

– Personalize lessons that cater to Patrons

– Writing

– Vocabulary

– Reading

– Worksheets

– PDF’s

– Academic Writing (once a week)

– Audios for each lesson

– Additional audiocasts on a weekly basis

– Speaking Task

– A video a week.

Patreon

Here’s an excerpt of what will be discussed in this episode.

Regardless of how famous they are, and despite the star treatment the receive, many celebrities make it a point to give back to charities. Every year, musicians, actors, authors and top athletes share a proportion of their fortunate to help those in need, amount to millions in total. Some have even set up their own private foundations.

ARSENIO’S ESL PODCAST | SEASON 5 EPISODE 158 | Grammar | Participle Clauses

Participle clauses are used to make academic writing more succinct. The present participle (-ing) has an active meaning. The past participle (-ed) has a passive meaning. In this podcast, we’ll be discussing examples and I’ll have some exercises for you available on my website!

  • We use participle clauses to express cause, effect, and condition. Introduced effectively, change can be positive. (= if it is introduced)
  • We can use participle clauses with on, while, after, and before to describe time. On/While facing reduced sales, the company implemented change. (= When they were facing)
  • We use the present particle (having + -ed verb) to say that an action finished before another action. Having found his feet, he accepted the change. (= because he had found his feet).

Rewrite the sentences using a participle clause. Use the prompts to help you.

  1. Because they wanted to create a change strategy, senior managers brought in a consultant.

Wanting______________________________________________________________________________________.

2. When they were reading the consultant’s report, they realize they needed to organize a meeting.

While ______________________________________________________________________________________.

3. The meeting took place in the boardroom and was attended by all management.

Attended ______________________________________________________________________________________.

4. When they heard about the report, the managers had a lot of question.

On ______________________________________________________________________________________.

5. Employees were known to dislike change and so managers thought they may reject the proposals.

Known ______________________________________________________________________________________.

Rewrite the sentences, replacing the underlined section with a participle clause.

  1. As some staff members heard about the changes, they became angry.
  2. Some staff members resigned because they did not welcome change.
  3. After they outlined the need for change, managers received positive feedback from the staff.
  4. All staff received training and successfully coped with the changes.
  5. If they are implemented appropriately, change strategies can succeed.

Podcast

ARSENIO’S ESL PODCAST | SEASON 5 EPISODE 157 | Critical Thinking | Inferring Criticism

Although most academic writing strives for balance and “impartiality,” some authors may criticize an idea or argument that they are discussing without specifically saying they dislike it. Be aware of your own and / or an author’s personal opinions on a topic, which may not be objective. For example, in the excerpt below (or in the podcast), the underlined words suggest the author is critical of businesses that do not try to keep up with a changing market.

The need for change is obvious and yet businesses around the world fail to actively work toward change, unnecessarily suffering the consequences as a result.

Read the following excerpt from Leadership and change management. Underline the sentence which shows criticism.

Like a climber reaching a mountain peak, leading businesses must not spend too long standing and admiring the view or they may find themselves swiftly overtaken by leaner and more adaptable mountaineers. Successful companies such as Apple, Google, and Amazon are all examples of industry leaders which understand that they still have a mountain to climb; while other companies have mistakenly spent far too long looking at the scenery, not appreciating that further heights were there to be scaled.

Podcast

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 150 | Listening | Understanding Non-standard Accents

English is spoken by millions of people worldwide, sometimes as a first language and often as a learned second or third language. As users of English in today’s world, we need to be prepared to deal with different accents and interact with different varieties of English.

Gain exposure to different accents through listening to and watching programs from media channels around the world. As well as exposing you to different accents, this will also provide you with different perspectives on the world.

When listening to different accents, practice identifying the key features of the accent. If you are going to a context where one accent is dominant, spend time familiarizing yourself with the accent before you arrive. Remember, varieties of English can also differ in the specific vocabulary used. Research differences and ask for clarification.

Task 1 in Podcast – Decide if the sentences down below are true or false.

  1. Chris argues that though a system works now, it might not in the future. T/F
  2. Hailey agrees that clients are no longer interested in face-to-face meetings. T/F
  3. Chris suggests that recording meetings may be a negative action. T/F
  4. Rashid mentions a colleague who would have worked effectively in this situation. T/F
  5. Chandini explains the strength of her views on this issue. T/F
  6. Rashid is concerned about competitors accessing confidential information. T/F
  7. Chris explains that an outside company will be totally responsible for all levels of security. T/F
  8. Hailey suggests that even top-level organizations face issues with security. T/F
  9. Chandini knows about working on tablets from her domestic situations. T/F
  10. Rashid agrees Chris’s final point is a good idea. T/F

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 149 | Study Skills | Checking your Reading Speed

Welcome back to another podcast and today we’re going to talk about reading speed. Now, I do think this is completely irrelevant because if you don’t pick up what you’re actually reading, the speed doesn’t matter. However, smart reading is more like it. So let’s go over some techniques that can help you.

  • Find something familiar to read.
  • Set the alarm for ten minutes.
  • Read for ten minutes at a speed that allows you to understand what you ready.
  • Count how many words you read.
  • Divide this number by ten, to find out how many words you read in one minute.
  • Do this using different texts. If you read fewer than 200-250 words per minute, even with material that is clear and interesting, it is worth trying to increase your speed.

Tips for improving your reading speed.

  • Keep your eyes moving forward to avoid re-reading parts of the text
  • Avoid moving your mouth or using your fingers to follow the lines.
  • Read with a clear purpose to keep you motivated and on track.
  • Practice reading academic material more often.
  • Actively improve your reading speed through practice.
  • Change your reading speed according to what you are reading. Slow down for sections with unknown technical words and speed up for sections with more familiar language.

Podcast

Study Skills – Reading Speed

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 148 | Reading | Adapt or Die

We’re back with another reading today! Adapting or dying. This comes at a time where industrial-aged workers are at a loss of what to do next, due to the pandemic. We have to scale back and see what’s working and what’s not working. If you listen to my personal development podcast, this will coincide with it, as well as the interview I did this last March with a real-estate / teacher from San Diego (coming tomorrow). So, make sure you listen to the podcast and answer some of these question down below!

Six sentences have been removed from the article. In the listening, you will hear a “beep,” and this is where you’re going to place the sentences down below. Listen closely because I will only write four paragraphs down below, forcing you to listen to the podcast for the additional four sentences. 😉

a. Its main rival on the other hand, decided to take an alternative approach

b. The brand’s outlook was further darkened by the credit crunch.

c. However, in retrospect, this was too little, too late.

d. This challenging situation was not taken lightly by senior management.

e. In fact, this was likely a convenient tale used to explain the business model.

f. Yet despite this success, the company has had its fair share of failure.

g. It had also successful expanded into several international markets.

International Guest Speaker | Paz of Chile | Her English Language Learning Journey & NGO

Such an amazing conversation I had with Paz.  At the dawn of her teenage years, she began watching American hit TV shows like Friends and others, creating not just an intrinsic motivation to learn English, but loved it. She echoed the accents in TV shows and just had such a great enthusiasm to learn. However, when it comes to public schools and private schools, there are a number of things that need to be dealt with, and that’s why she’s further developing and pursuing a life-passion NGO that will aim to make education not only affordable but also for everyone.  Here’s the podcast!

Her link

Podcast

TOEFL iTP | Grammar | Structure & Written Expression | Parallel Structure Sentence Break Downs

We’re back with the sentence break downs of parallel structures! This is the follow up from ______________.

  1. Frozen orange juice must be packed, _______________, and stored when the fruit is ripe.
  • be frozen
  • must be frozen
  • frozen
  • it must be frozen

2. Sioux is a North American Indian language that is spoken not only ______________ Sioux but also by the Crow and Osage tribes.

  • by the
  • the
  • do the
  • and the

3. In 1900 electrically powered cars were more popular than gasoline powered cars because they were quiet, operated smoothly, and ________________.

  • handled easily
  • easy of handling
  • handling easily
  • easy to handle

4. Roger Williams was a clergyman, _______________ the colony of Rhode Island, and an outspoken advocate of religious and political freedom.

  • founded
  • the founder of
  • was the founder of
  • he founded

5. Paint can be applied to a surface with rollers, _____________, or spray guns.

  • brushes
  • brushes can be used
  • with brushes
  • by brush

6. The use of labor-saving devices in homes, _____________, and factories added to the amount of leisure time people had.

  • at an office
  • used in offices
  • offices
  • in offices

7. A dulcimer can be played by either striking its string with a hammer or ______________.

  • to pluck them with the fingers
  • fingers are used to pluck them
  • they are plucked with the fingers
  • plucking them with the fingers

8. Throughout history, trade routes have increased contact between people, _______________, and greatly affected the growth of civilization.

  • have resulted in an exchange of ideas
  • an exchange of ideas has resulted
  • resulted in an exchange of ideas
  • resulting in an exchange of ideas

9. Walt Disney made many technical advances in the use of sound, color, and ______________ in animated films.

  • photographing
  • using photography
  • photography
  • use of photographs

10. Artist Paul Kane traveled throughout Northwest Canada on foot, by canoe, and _______________ to sketch Native Canadians going about their ordinary lives.

  • on horseback
  • riding a horse
  • horseback
  • by a horse

11. Barbara Jordan was the first woman in the South to win an election to the House of Representatives, _________ as Congresswoman from Texas from 1973 to 1979.

  • to serve
  • served
  • serving
  • has served

12. Photographers’ choice of a camera depends on what kind of pictures they want to take, how much control they want over exposure, and ___________ they want to spend.

  • the amount of money
  • what money
  • how much money
  • so much money that

13. Atlanta is the commercial, financial, and ______________ of Georgia.

  • center of administration
  • administrative center
  • center for administering
  • administering center

14. Even after the Revolutionary War, American importers obtained merchandise from Britain because British merchants understood American tastes, offered attractive prices, and _____________.

  • easy credit was provided
  • because of easy credit
  • easy credit
  • provided easy credit.

TOEFL Podcast

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 146 | Reading | Charity Matters

We’re back with a HUGE listening in terms of charity. Most of you already know how I feel about these “charities” that actually profit from the poor (pencils of promise), but it’s time to dive into it even deeper. So, we have two parts: the listening, which you’ll have the A-G paragraphs to it down below. So, listen to the podcast player for the full audio, and when you hear the beep, know that one of the paragraphs down below (or on the blog) must be matched to it (1-6).

A) It is true that real-time updates and live feeds allow you to view people’s tragic situations in far-flung countries as never before. And the images, taken not just by photo journalists but by anyone with a recording device, have become far more intimate.

B) The situation turns out not to be as straightforward as it seems. In order to do so, your own needs must come second to the needs of others. According to psychologists, this is easier said than done.

C) Certainly it can help people to feel part of a global caring community. However, this is illusory in terms of creating impactful change, and it may also lead them to overlook the most practical thing in a critical situation.

D) Scientists and psychologists have been debating the nature and evolutionary origins of altruistic behavior ever since. It has also been suggested that altruism doesn’t really exist.

E) Then consider a slightly different situation in which the potential recipient of your goodwill is more familiar to you. This happened to a friend only recently; her contribution to a collaborative project was far more significant in terms of time, effort and ideas than her classmates.

F) Vague notions of tending to the sick, or helping to rebuild the infrastructure had begun to form. As with many other willing volunteers, the relinquishing of home comforts for a few months seemed to him a small sacrifice to make.

G) This, according to relief agencies, is not a unique case. In the haste to assist the needy, many would-be volunteers rush in without weighing up what they can realistically contribute against how much they might actually binder relief efforts.

Gateway C1

Podcast

ARSENIO’S ESL PODCAST | SEASON 5 EPISODE 145 | Vocabulary | Offering Assistance

We’re back with another ESL podcast! In today’s podcast, we’ll be discussing donations, offering, NGOs (real — not money-grabbers) and helping strangers by having a strong moral duty. Let’s dive into the vocabulary and then the story-telling!

  1. Voluntary
  2. donation
  3. beneficial
  4. motive
  5. empathy
  6. protests
  • vocational
  • contribution
  • profitable
  • incentive
  • sympathy
  • campaigns

Choose the correct alternative.

  1. The decision raised a storm of protests/campaigns among people living in the countryside.
  2. It’s his own fault. He’ll get no empathy/sympathy from me.
  3. Voluntary/Vocational courses offer job-focused training for specific roles or careers.
  4. Exercise is beneficial/profitable to your health.
  5. Rosie has made a massive donation/contribution to the project, putting in lots of late nights and extra hours.
  6. Have you been watching that new detective series? It’s intriguing!! What do you think is the motive/incentive behind the crime?

Complete these questions with words above. Then discuss them with someone.

  1. How much ____________ do you have for celebrities whose private lives are exposed in the media?
  2. Do you agree that a person doing ___________ work should not expect a high salary?
  3. Which group of people do you think should receive greatest recognition for their _________ to society?
  4. In your opinion, is it OK for parents to offer their teenagers money as an ___________ to study hard?
  5. Do government ____________ aimed at changing the behavior of young people work? Why/why not?

Podcast