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)


IELTS Live Coaching | S1: E6 | Speaking | Traveling & Transportation

Welcome back to another live coaching, everyone! Whether you’re reading this particular blog before tomorrow’s live or at the time of the live….I’m grateful to be bringing you a number of different segments today.

So, I want to make a quick point of order. Today we’ll be going over complex vocabulary terms, driving, transportation in different countries, etc. In next week’s live, we’ll be talking about why we go on holiday and I’m hoping to bring on a student for the live episode.

The Patreon special, which I’ve mentioned before (link down below), will be about listening, how to describe a country you would like to visit and a place you’ve been on holiday. You will hear a student explain Malaysia, along with some pronunciation cues. Exam listening will be the follow-up on Patreon, too, so if you’re not already on my Patreon, I suggest you reach out to me ASAP!

Topic Talk

  1. How many different forms of transport can you see in the photo?

2. Which form of transport do you most often use on a daily basis?

3. Which form of transport is th emost popular in your town/city?

4. Which of these forms of transport has the most benefits?

Complete the sentences with the words in the box.

breakdown     collision     congestion     overtake    cycle lanes    overtake    park and ride    pedestrian crossings    rush hour     subsidized    traffic calming measures
  • Parking in the city is a nightmare but the local council is planning to introduce a ________ scheme next year.
  • My city has recently introduced special _______ for us which makes the journey so much quicker as we don’t have to worry about cars or pedestrians.
  • It can be quite difficult and dangerous as there are no _______ and it’s a very busy road.
  • Last month I had a _______ on that busy roundabout. I had to call someone out to recover my vehicle.
  • Car drivers can be so selfish; they always try to _______ and rarely give you enough room — I was knocked off once!
  • I find it very frustrating when there’s a lot of ______ I can get quite impatient.
  • The downside is it can get very crowded during the _____ and it’s difficult to get a seat.
  • It’s quick and reliable and because Io’m a student I get a _________ fare.
  • It can be quite dangerous as so many cars speed on the main road; they need to introduce some _________.


Future of Travel after Covid
Future of Travel in General

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 187 | Grammar | Participle Clauses

Welcome back to another ESL podcast, and today’s podcast is going to be about the complexity of participle clauses. Now, having taught in upcountry two months ago, I realized that participles are often confused with gerunds. Before we get into that , we normally use participle clauses to avoid repetition and say things in a more concise way. We use the present participle to convey an active meaning while the past participle has a passive meaning. They both look like -ed and -ing adjectives, at times.

Seeing the vast range of food on offer, i couldn’t help wanting to buy everything.

Given enough support, they should be able to complete the task.

If we want to say that one thing happened before another, we can use a perfect participle.

Having spoken to him on several occasions, I’m surprised he didn’t recognize me.

We use participle clauses:

  • to replace a relative clause.

Many of the children spoken to in the survey said they were satisfied with the facilities.

(Many of the children who were spoken to…)

  • to replace a conjunction with because or so.

Being too far to walk, we decided to get a bus home.

(Because it was too far…./it was too far……so)

  • to replace a conjunction with after, when or once.

Having read a review of the film, I no longer wanted to watch it.

(Once I had read…./after reading….)

  • to replace a conjunction with while.

He ripped his trousers climbing over the fence.

(while he was climbing…)

  • to replace the if clause in a conditional.

Taken with just a little milk, tea is one of the most refreshing drinks.

(If it is taken….)

Although the subject is usually the same, the participle clause can have a different subject from the main clause.

All the other children having been collected, Alex started to wonder where his mother could be.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Patreon Relaunch! Early Access to Episodes + Exclusive Content

WOOHOO! So many of you have asked about donating and getting exclusive content, including early podcasts.  Well, for $5 a month, you will access all my early podcasts through my Patreon channel, get audiocasts, videos, webinars and live Q&As! Super excited to put this out there for those of you who want to donate to the cause and give back. Now, there is the Patreon Silver Badge, which is available….TOEFL iBT, iTP and IELTS….too.  So, listen to this podcast and hear about all the perks that each individual badge has to offer!



Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 186 | Grammar | Gerunds & Infinitives

Here’s another rundown of a Gerunds and Infinitives! Make sure you tune into the blog so look at all the examples to improve your writing today!

We use the gerund (-ing form):

  • after prepositions.

He’d been thinking about buying a new laptop for some time.

  • as the subject or object of a sentence.

Moving to the countryside was the best thing we ever did.

She suggested going out for some food after the class.

  • After some noun phrases, e.g. It’s not worth, It’s no good, There’s no point (in), have difficulty/problems/trouble (in/with)

They’re having some difficulty answering the questions.

  • After verbs of liking or disliking, e.g. like, can’t stand, hate, love, enjoy.

I can’t stand having to wait in long queues at the supermarket.

  • After certain verbs e.g. admit, avoid, consider, deny, feel like, imagine, miss, practice, resent, suggest

We considered going to the USA, but we decided to go to Canada instead.

If the subject of the main clause and the gerund are different, we need to use an object, object pronoun or possessive adjective.

They can’t stand people complaining all the time.

I can’t imagine us being at different schools.

We use the infinitive with to:

  • to express purpose or intention.

She worked very hard to get a place at university.

  • after the verb to be for orders and arrangements.

You are to place all metal objects in the tray.

  • after a number of adjectives.

He was thrilled to be invited to the party.

  • After too, enough, the first, the last.

There wasn’t enough time to meet everyone.

  • after certain verbs, e.g. afford, agree, aim, decide, deserve, expect, happen, hesitate, hope, pretend, refuse.

The prime minister hesitated to give an answer to the question.

  • after certain nouns, e.g. attempt, decision, desire, determination, failure, permission, right, willingness.

It was his willingness to come on the trip which surprised me.

Complete the sentences using the correct form of these verbs.

be     enjoy     find     get (x2)     have     hold     receive     study     take    
  1. I came across a recent survey that aimed _______ out what it was that made people seem heroic.
  2. As people get older, they tend to avoid _____ risks as they are more aware of the consequences.
  3. Practice ________ you breath for several minutes if you want to be on the diving team.
  4. I resent ________ asked to stay behind and help if i’m not going to get any credit for it.
  5. I don’t feel like _______ now. Let’s go out instead.
  6. Rock climbing is not for me. Imagine _______ stuck halfway up a cliff.
  7. Don’t hesitate ________ in touch if you need help.
  8. When I took my little brother on the roller coaster, I had to pretend ______ the experience.
  9. I appreciate _______ the opportunity to work with you on this project.
  10. He deserves __________ an award for his bravery, whether he wants one or not.


TOEIC Live Coaching | S1: E2 | Reading Comprehension | Mini-test Follow-Up

Welcome back to another TOEIC live coaching session! In today’s episode we’re picking up right where we left off last week. Here are the notes for tomorrow! By the way, HUGE announcement for those of you who want to learn TOEIC on a monthly budget (planning on taking the test after October 15th). Patreon will be going LIVE as of tomorrow and I’ll be sharing the link in the comments, along with my calendar in case you want to get on a video call for a consultation in regards to what content it will have!

With that being said, I will cover Questions 1-6 here on this video and I will cover 7-12 on Patreon. That will be in a word doc/PDF form, too.

For those of you reading this, make sure you tune into my video down below (or podcast) to hear what I’m talking about.

Question 1: Who would NOT be a potential customer for this company?

The heading says “printing for your personal small business needs.” It goes on to say “graduation and wedding announcements, invitations, MENUS (relates to a restaurant).

The answers are: couple planning a wedding, major corporation, local real estate agent, a restaurant in need of new menus.

Now, because it says “your personal and SMALL business needs,”….

Question 2: What could customers who spend $150 get?

Look for the numbers, which are located at the bottom. There are two prices: 100 and 250. For prices over 100, you receive 2 business cards or invitations for the price of 1. For 250, you will get a voucher worth 10% off your next order.

Answers: 10% discount, double the number of invitations, discount on envelopes, two free sets of business cards.

Question 3: What will happen after July 1st?

Above the box, it reads “June-only special offers”. So, after July 1st, what happens to those offers?

Answers: Time the shop opens will change, fax orders not allowed, discount vouchers will become invalid, no bonus given for large letterhead orders.

Question 4: Who would be most interested in this notice?

The first sentence reads: “we would like to invite all Groveland resident to become members of the public library system.”

Answers: members of public library, staff at desk, people who want to borrow books, all residents of Groveland.

Question 5: What will NOT be possible two working days after submitting the application?

– You will receive a library barcode number via e-mail (enabling you to place reservations and access online databases before collecting your card). Note: You will require a PIN to place reservations and to access your record online. Please note that the default PIN number is the last four digits of your telephone number. If you would prefer to specify a different number, please do so on the application form.

– You card will be available for collection at the branch library you have nominated.

tactics for toeic

Question 6: According to the notice, what special condition applies to children?

“If you are under the age of 18, we require a parent or guardian’s signature on a permission letter (Form 103) which will need to be brought into the library when you are collecting your card.

Answers:…… the video!

IELTS Live Coaching | S1 – E5 | Writing | Noun Phrases, Planning Your Essay, Benefits & Drawbacks

Welcome back to another IELTS Live Coaching! Here’s the notes for today’s live coaching! Review it, have your comments ready and be ready to comment and chime in on the conversation!

Europe is the biggest ‘tourist resort’ in the world, taking 25 percent of (1) money spent around the globe on tourism. (2) Tourism boards have recently released figures which show that within Europe, four countries are the (3) destinations that most people choose: of all the visitors, over half go to France, Spain, Italy, or the UK. Eighty percent of all (4) tourists who are over 18 include a cultural activity on their holiday such as a visit to a (5) place with cultural or historical interest. So, any (6) finances that are drained for the upkeep of such tourist attractions is covered by income from their visits, along with (7) the other things tourists spend money on.  This is important as there is a correlation between tourism and the future (8) way the economy develops in that country.

  1. Development of the economy
  2. Other expenditure
  3. Global spend
  4. The release of recent figures
  5. Destinations of choice
  6. Adult tourists
  7. Heritage site
  8. Drain on finances

Techniques: we use noun forms to improve the way that we writing thingsour writing style and reduce the amount of space needed to describe thingsthe economy of our writing.

Task: you should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Some people believe the benefits of tourism outweigh the problems it creates in a particular place. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Introduction: growth of tourism seen as benefit (resorts bring in money and other advantages), But some people complain about negative effect (environmental damage/increasing prices). Will look at the different aspects of tourism; argue that it can be both beneficial and cause problems.

Idea one: Benefit: brings in money/local economy improves – more jobs for local people

Disadvantage: also, increases costs, house prices go up and prices aimed at tourists so local people suffer; jobs only seasonal

Idea two: benefit: tourism improves infrastructure – more facilities for tourists/transportation better, etc. – helps local population, too

Disadvantages: damages the environment/not good long term, e.g. beautiful area gets overdeveloped

Idea three: benefit: brings in new people/new types of attractions and cafes, etc.

Disadvantages: history and culture sometimes damaged – becomes very commercialized

Conclusion: benefits very clear – commercially good for an area. Key point – must be done with care or becomes damaging. Therefore, I believe tourism is largely benefit but only if done with controls.

Final Point: when writing essays, a common mistake students make is not planning enough. Spend a few minutes brainstorming ideas, e.g. using a benefits/disadvantages table or a mind map, before writing. You can then focus on language issues.


Release Tension/Stress Performance Prompts

  • The things that cause me the most amount of tension each day are….
  • A way I can remind myself to release that tension throughout that day is….
  • If I felt more energy I would be more likely to
  • When I reset my energy everyday with this practice, I’d like to start the next activity like….

So, throughout the day, we experience a number of transitions. Let me give you an example. When I wake up and do 30-90 flights of stairs in my condo — before I do that, there’s a transition.

  • Before I go to the gym
  • After I go to the gym
  • Before I go to work
  • After I finish work
  • Between classes
  • Activities such as getting on a call

These are all transitions, and we have a tendency of carrying things from one activity to another. Ask yourself these questions…

  1. Do you ever carry any negative energy from one activity to the next?
  2. Do you feel depleted but still plough through activities?
  3. Are you losing a sense of presence and appreciation for life and others the further you go throughout the day?

Releasing Technique

To overcome the depletion and tension, do a releasing activity to release yourself mind, spirit, back, legs, muscles, EVERYTHING….from all the tension you may have experienced. Inhale for 6 seconds and exhale for 4 while saying “RELEASE”. Brendan Burchard’s YouTube video is down below for a longer release.

I did this before my workout and I realized I had one of the greatest workouts EVER. I did it when I got off the last train before getting to my condo and I had an amazing sleep. I did this before having a class with one of my students and we ended up having an AMAZING class.

Then, don’t forget to set INTENTION.

  • What energy do I want to bring to the next activity?
  • How can I do that with excellence?
  • How can I enjoy listening to someone? How can I enjoy it even more? Such as writing notes, continue listening, grab a cup of coffee. Etc.



Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Speaking Class | S1 E1 | Developing Ideas | Leadership

BOOM! We’ve got ourselves a new series! As promised, I told you guys in July that I would have another new series, and here it is! In today’s podcast, I’m featuring a wonderful student from Tibet and a teacher from India in a developing ideas type of segment which they speak about leadership and talk about historical figures who have left a lasting legacy on humanity — as well as developing their ideas in terms of a task towards the end.

Unfortunately, it was cut short because of myself, but know that this is just the beginning! Many more to come! Full notes down below!

Leadership Qualities

  • The ability to listen properly and consider the views of others
  • The use of persuasion and encouragement to achieve end goals
  • The strength to be honest and open when tackling sensitive issues
  • The willingness to take responsibility for failure
  • The ability to delegate

Have you demonstrated any of the qualities above? Tell us about it in a specific instance.

You’re going to listen to a student attempting to lead a team as the try to construct a raft made of tires, planks, and ropes. Do you think the student is an effective leader who commands respect? Why/why not?

Are you cut out to be a leader?

  1. You are taking part in a team-building activity.  The activity involves using old tires, planks of wood and piece of rope to construct a raft, which your team will then use to cross a river.  Do you….
  1. Give the different members of your team specific tasks to carry out?
  2. Wait and see what everyone else starts to do with the equipment?
  3. Observe and make suggestions as and when you think necessary?
  • You are collaborating on a group presentation with three other students.  The others have nominated you as leader.  When it comes to delivering the presentation, the slides created by one of the team members contain numerous inaccuracies, which the teacher and observing students remark on.  Do you….
  1. Talk the errors down and insist that they are only minor ones?
  2. Admit that you should have checked on the team member’s progress?
  3. Explain why you think the team member made those errors?
  4. You are a member of the student committee at school.  The committee is looking at ways to encourage other students to become more ‘green’ as consumers.  Do you start by….
  1. Checking that any clothes or products you buy come from companies with sustainable business practices?
  2. Putting up notices telling everyone how they could reduce paper and food waste during school time?
  3. Organizing an inter-class competition, getting classes to design posters illustrating environmental issues and solutions?
  • Your coach has made you their assistant for this season.  One of the players on your team has come to you, complaining that she/he never gets a turn at the more important positions and often feels sidelined.  You are aware that the coach is concerned about this player’s skills and level of fitness.  DO you….
  1. Try to placate the player and say there will be plenty more opportunities in the future?
  2. Say that you are never directly involved in choosing player positions, but you’ll find out more about it?
  3. Explain why the player is not regarded as suitable at the moment suggest what practice steps they could take next?
  • You have been asked to create some artwork to cover the walls of the rooms at your local club.  A team of six other people were assigned to help you in the beginning, they all seemed enthusiastic, but now some of them are no longer turning up at the scheduled times.  Do you….
  1. Text them and order that they show up when they’re supposed to, according to the original agreement?
  2. Use social media to highlight the problems in a light-hearted way and see if you can find some other volunteers?
  3. Email the rest of the team, asking what ideas they have for the artwork and when it would suit them to have a meeting.
  • You are on a school committee which is hoping to get a well0known and popular figure to come and give a talk.  However, that person is known to be reticent about taking part in public engagements.  Do you…
  1. Come up with a list of alternative potential speakers and compare the level of interest they might generate amongst students?
  2. Express your concerns about the likelihood of the figure agreeing to take part, but offer to help out with advertising should the event actually take place?
  3. Contact the figure’s PA, email a list of potential topics they could choose from and offer to meet them at a time and place of their choosing to discuss things further.


IELTS Live Coaching | S1: E4 | Speaking | Making Generalizations, Technology & Science

Welcome back to another IELTS Live Coaching! This week I’m going to dive deep into technology and science, two areas that you need to be especially aware about. Because Education, Science and Technology are hot topics in the world of events, you need to pay special attention to these subjects and be prepared when tough questions are thrown at you. On this blog, here are the notes of what will be discussed tomorrow.

Think of the following….
  • Scientific invention
  • Scientific breakthrough
  • Cutting-edge technology
  • Recent discovery
  • Groundbreaking discovery
  • Medical breakthrough
  • Scientific research
  • Digital revolution

Now, choose one of the noun phrases above and complete the following Part 2 task card. I would like you to submit your part II speaking task to me…follow the instructions on the video.

Describe (a/an) _____________ of the last twenty years which you feel has a major influence on your life.

You should say

  • What the __________ is
  • When it started/happened
  • What effect it had

And explain how this _____________ has influenced your life.

Making Generalizations

  1. Which science subject at school do/did you like the most? Why?
  2. Do you think life is safer, or more dangerous, with modern technology?
  3. Does everybody need to know how to use a computer these days?
  4. How has your study of science helped you?
  5. Do you think new developments in science often cause more problems than they solve?
  6. Which area of scientific research do you think is most important and deserves further research and development?
  7. What science subjects do students study at school in your country?
  8. Is there anything about science that you dislike?
  9. Do you think there are some areas that should be off-limits to scientific research?
  10. What effect does new technology have on employment?

Read the candidates answers in both a and b. Which one provides the best answer? Underline any words or phrases that Candidate B uses to make generalizations.

Candidate A

Well, I think life is more dangerous as I know many people who have had problems with crime on the internet. I have a friend who lost some money when she was banking online. Also lots of my friends’ parents are worried about them using the internet because of online bullying and things like that.

Candidate B

In general, I would say advances in science and technology have made us more secure in many ways. Increased scientific knowledge tends to make us more away of dangers, and developments in some areas have meant that we are more able to deal with difficulties. Health and medicine would be a good example. Of course, technology is liable to bring dangers too.  Take the internet, for instance – that has brought new risks and more criminal activity. More on my Patreon! Stay tuned for announcements in