Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: How “To” NOT Learn a Language

I was literally sitting, in horror, listening to recommendations. These students said, “we already know conversation. We would like to learn vocabulary and grammar.”

Really? What vocabulary would you like to learn? The same vocabulary you’ve learned 10-30 times but haven’t remember yet? That vocabulary?

Let me give you an insight of how I learned Spanish in high school.

My teacher, Mrs. Finek, would stand for maybe 10 minutes and speak in Spanish (speaking Spanish without the actual accent) and students were completely disruptive and didn’t care.



IELTS Listening: Episode 002 – Labeling a Map

Sometimes, a map completion task asks you to identify an area on a map then choose an answer from a list. For this type of question, you need to familiarize yourself with both the list of options and the features on the map before you start.

Test tip: Before you listen, read the option several times so that you become familiar with the information you need to listen for. Don’t cross out any options unless you are sure they are wrong. If you can’t decide between two answers, write both down and decide later.

Follow me on this YouTube link at the 10:00 mark.

Here’s the photo of the map and answers.



Tune into my live video on my facebook page.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 61 – Smart Reading

Why is it important to read actively? Well, when you’re reading an academic text, you’re trying to hurry to find the answer, points, ideas, assumptions, etc. If you’re reading a novel, you would want to close read rather than read actively. When I read personal development books, I read for the overall gist and definition rather than the mini-stories. So, here are some things about reading actively that you can check.

Read Interactively

1. Do I question what I’m reading?

2. Do I look for answers to my questions?

3. Do I make notes of the important points, and ideas triggers by what I read?

4. Do I challenge the assumptions of the writer, the logic of the arguments, and the validity of the conclusions?

5. Do I map out ideas so that I can see how everything fits together?

Now, let’s go through this text and point out the key figures.

How is it, that if you drop a cigarette in a wet forest it starts a fire by accident, but when you’re camping and trying to set a fire on purpose, with dry wood and plenty of matches, you can’t do it?

Personal fire-making skills aside, the causes of wildfires — defined as a large, rapidly spreading fires especially in rural areas — are worth understanding. If we know what causes fires, we can work to prepare for them, and hopefully, prevent them.

Wildfires are both destructive and costly — and they’re getting worse. Over the past few years, the number of wildfires has increased around the world, especially in countries with large forests such as Russia and Canada. One country, in particular that is facing wildfire problems is the USA. In fact, every state in the western United States has seen an increase in the number of wildfires. They occur up to five times more often than 10-20 years ago. The fires burn for longer, too, and last nearly five times as long, and cover six times as much land. In 2015, more than ten million acres of land burned — an area about the size of the entire country of Switzerland. The amount of money spent to put out these fires is climbing to two billion dollars a year.

What’s causing this? Fires have to be started by a trigger — that is, something that begins a fire. This can be by humans, either on purpose or by accident, or something natural, such as by lightning. But events like these have always happened. Why are they leading to more fires now?

The main answer is global warming (debatable, in my opinion), a gradual heating of the planet. This affects forests in several ways. First of all, a warmer climate means a drier climate because more water evaporates. Snow in mountain areas melts earlier, so the ground is drier for a longer period of time. Together, these factors increase the risk of a chance spark growing into a wildfire. Furthermore, when fires start, because the ground is drier, they burn hotter, spread faster, and last longer. and they’re more difficult to contain or extinguish. Wildfires in large forests can burn for several months.

Climate change affects fires in other ways, too. When the balance of nature in a forest changes, trees become weak or sick. Insects and other animals damage the weakened trees, which can die, and dead trees become a fuel source for fires. Lightning strikes the earth more than 100,000 times a day, and 10-20% of these events are capable of starting a fire. It’s clear that steps need to be taken to reduce this risk.

However, about 90% of all wildfires are started by humans. In theory, it should be easier to reduce this number than the number of lightning strikes. Let’s take a closer look at some of the causes.

The fifth most common cause of wildfires started by humans is backyard burning — fires that people set to burn garden waste of trash. These fires may be set following local laws, but then grow too large, are spread by wind, or are not put out correctly. Local laws need to be clarified and properly enforced to reduce risky behavior.

The fourth most common cause is sparks from equipment such as cars, trucks, or famy machinery. Proper maintenance is essential to stop machines from starting a fire.

Cigarettes are the third leading cause of wildfires. Education campaigns that teach fire safety are a good way to address this problem.

Second is unsupervised activities, such as children playing with matches or people setting off fireworks. Education is important but not sufficient in the case of young children. they need to be supervised at all times by parents or other adults and kept away from fuel and things that start fires.

And first? The main cause of human-caused wildfires is campfires that are either not in a safe area, get out of control, or aren’t put out properly. Campers and outdoor enthusiasts need to learn where and when it is safe to build a campfire and how to make sure the fire is completely out before they leave the area.

Is it true that some fires in wilderness areas can have beneficial effects too, such as helping new trees and plants to grow. However, because recent wildfires burn hotter and longer, these effects don’t always occur. Instead, we lose land, animal and plant life, and a lot of money. As the earth grows warmer, we need to work harder to protect forests from wildfires.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 59 – Pronunciation – Correcting Information

We’re back with some more pronunciation and today we’re going over the correction of information. I’m going to use the word “actually, “which is a softener. It’s useful when you are correcting a previous statement. If you introduce your response with actually, you will sound more polite.

Here are some sentences you can complete with friends.

  1. Mark Twain wrote the book The Lord of the Rings.
  2. Mt. Fuji is in Thailand.
  3. Australia is the biggest country in the world.
  4. The mini-mart is over there.
  5. Kyoto is the capital of Japan.
  6. Lunch is at twelve thirty.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 58 – Developing Writing + Vocabulary – A For & Against Essay

We’re back into ESSAY writing! However, make sure you’re tuning into my Patreon so you can see me break down an essay. In this podcast, I will go over the writing bank and vocabulary.

On my patreon you will see an essay and me breaking down the paragraph, so make sure you’re tuned in over there!

Writing Banks

Useful expression in for-and-against essays

  1. First and foremost
  2. secondly
  3. lastly
  • moreover
  • furthermore,
  • what is more
  • in addition
  • not only…..but also
  • a further advantage of
  1. On the one hand
  2. on the other hand
  3. in contrast
  4. in spite of (+ noun/)
  5. Despite the fact
  • However/nevertheless
  • Conversely
  • by the contrast
  1. Therefore
  2. and so
  3. as a result
  4. as a consequence
  5. consequently
  • In my opinion
  • personally, I believe that
  • My own view is that
  • As far as I’m concerned
  • it is said that
  1. In conclusion
  2. Last but not east
  3. All in all
  4. To summarize

Vocabulary – Causes, reasons, and results

Choose the correct alternative.

  1. The news has given rise/risen to a fierce debate.
  2. People are afraid of some scientific research since/as they don’t know what effects it might have.
  3. There is always a risk of accidental infection which could on its way/in turn, lead to a general pandemic.
  4. We still cannot know the full repercussions/all the negative consequences of artificially creating viruses.
  5. The second/side effects of some vaccines are still unknown.
  6. We must be careful because playing with nature could have disastrous/catastrophic results.
  7. The research could bring about/lead to changes in the way governments prepare.
  8. The news about the experiment sparked off/stemmed from a lot of criticism.
  9. I believe the research will prompt the government change/to change the law.
  10. Some experiments are risky due to/owing to the lack of proper precautions.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: IELTS Listening Skills – Following a Conversation

Woohoo! This is the first of its kind! I’m super excited to debut this, and I’m even more excited that this will be in YouTube, podcast, and Facebook live form. Now, you guys will get this on Facebook live before anything else. The podcast will debut Friday and the YouTube video will debut shortly after the Facebook live. So, today we’re going over the basics!

Cooking ClassFocusOther information
The Food Studiohow to (1) ________
and cook with
seasonal products
– small clases
– also offers (2)_________
– clients who return get
a (3)_______ discount
Bond’s Cookery Schoolfood that is
– includes recipes to
strengthen your
– they have a free
every Thursday.
The (7) _________ Centremainly
(8)_________ food
– located near the
– a special course in
skills with a (10)
________ is
sometimes available.



Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 57 – Developing Speaking/Writing – Talking About Statistics (IELTS)

Yes! Talking about statistics! This one is going to be great for writing, too. The speaking bank, which will be provided down below, will help you in terms of your IELTS Writing. I will also put this on FB live and upload the podcast form on Tuesday. Excited about providing you guys with more content, and remember, I’m not creating an IELTS badge that will be much cheaper than 1 on 1 coaching. That will be available soon!

  1. Bar chart
  2. Pie chart
  3. Table
  4. Line graph
  5. Map
  6. Process

Speaking Bank

Useful words and expressions to talk about statistics

Numbers and proportions

– a half/third/quarter/fifth/sixth, etc
– one in two/three/five/ten, etc.
– 5/10/15 percent
– the majority/minority
– just under/over
– approximately/roughly
– twice/three/four/five times as many/big as
– slightly/considerably more/fewer
– a large/small/considerable number/proportion of (+ countable noun)
– a large/small/considerable amount/quantity of (+ uncountable noun)
– the (second/third/fourth) largest/biggest/highest
– in comparison with


stay the same/change/level off/stabilize
reach a high/low
slow(ly)/gradual(ly)/slight(ly), stead(steadily)
significant/sharp/dramatic — significantly/sharply/dramatically

Practice Makes Perfect

Write down some sentences using the expressions above about the photos down below.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: International Guest Speaker – Adil of Tanzania

Man, this man Adil is FASCINATING! I brought him on my Motivational Mentors podcast and saw that he was just a hustler like no other. Copywriting freak that has an astounding reputation. I then messaged him about details on finding people to come on my international guest speaking podcast, and he told me he was from Tanzania. In awe, I brought him on, and here’s a fascinating conversation with an amazing soul.

Get in touch with Adil from Tanzania, a linguist, an international speaker.


Things we discussed:

  • Introduction
  • The mix of cultures: Indian, Arabic and Tanzanian.
  • How to influence people based on languages.
  • The power of language and what it does to your mind.
  • Acclimating to languages in different regions.
  • The official language of Swahili and other languages he speaks.
  • How did he adapt to the UK when he moved there?
  • Did the guest suffer from any racism and ostracisation in his new environment?
  • How to overcome bullying.
  • Popular culture and fitting in.
  • How does he continue to learn the languages and just be fresh.
  • How do you learn a language?
  • Diversity in the cultures.


Thank you for listening!


  1. Facebook page:
  2. Instagram:
  3. YouTube:
  4. Podcasts:,,
  5. Website:
  6. Twitter:

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 60 – Grammar – Using Stance Markers

We’re back with some more grammar! In this one I’m going to explain stance markers, intonation to express feelings and attitudes, and changing a conversation topic and returning to it.

So, stance markers are used by speakers to express their attitude about ideas they are presenting. They help us know if an idea is an opinion or a fact. Some ways we can express stances are.

  • with a single adverb.

Frankly, that sounds like a bad idea.

Actually, being able to fly from country-to-country was a major turning point in human history.

  • with adverbial clauses and prepositional phrases. In order not to sound impolite, try to support your stance with facts and relevant information.

As a matter of fact, I didn’t do the project alone. I got help from everyone around me.

To put it bluntly, we lost pretty bad at the chess tournament.

To be honest, I really don’t understand what my boss wants from me. He hasn’t clarified my role.

  1. Listen to each conversation and choose an appropriate response.

1. Frankly, it’s too dangerous. / Actually, it’s my favorite thing.

2. Yeah, luckily it was late at night. No one was there. / Actually it’s next week.

3. To be blunt, I thought it was boring. / Frankly, I’m not interested.

4. To be honest, I can’t. My friend did it. / Actually, I can’t go. I’m busy.

Skillful 3


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 56 – Grammar – Other Conditionals

Welcome back to another special! And on today’s podcast I’m going over other conditionals that you could possibly see in academic. Here’s the rundown.

Unless = if …..not, except if.

We won’t be able to swim unless the swimming pool is open.

As long as, provided/providing (that) = if, only if

We’ll be able to swim as long as/ provided the swimming pool is open.

In case = because, maybe

We’ll take our swimsuits in case the swimming pool is open.

Supposing/suppose = imagine….

Supposing he came to eat tonight, would we have enough food?

Should/were to/happened to = when something is less probable

If it were to/should/happened to rain tomorrow, what would we do?

Second Part

I wish/if only + the past = talking about imaginary situations in the present. It expresses wishes for things to be different in the present.

I wish I was on the beach right now.

I wish/if only + past perfect = talking about past situations that we would have liked to be different. It expresses regrets.

If only I hadn’t spent all my money last weekend.

I wish/if only with would/wouldn’t + infinitive = talking about somebody’s habitual behaviour that we want to criticize and change.

My day smokes. I wish we wouldn’t do it.


Write conditional sentences for the situations below.

  1. I’m annoyed today because you didn’t help me.

If you ______________________________________.

2. We couldn’t go out last night because we have an exam today.

If we ________________________________________.

3. I’m afraid of heights so I didn’t go to the top.

If I ___________________________________________.

4. I don’t know any French so I couldn’t translate it.

If I ___________________________________________.

5. He didn’t take his medication. That’s why he’s sick.

If he _________________________________________.

6. They didn’t let us in because we aren’t old enough.

If we _________________________________________.

7. She isn’t happy now because she didn’t get the job.

If she _________________________________________.