Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 170 | Study Skills | How Effective Are You In Giving Presentations & Talks?

We have different strengths as speakers. It useful to reflect on these skills and also to identify areas we could improve. However, to be most effective, as well as identifying areas for improvement, we also need to make a plan for how to improve.

Use a checklist to identify your strengths and areas for improvement. For example:

Was my main argument clear?RatingHow could I improve this aspect?
1 2 3 4 5Clearly identify the main point
when planning the presentation
and make sure I signpost this to
the audience and include enough
examples and supporting points.
Aspects of giving a talkRatingHow could I improve this?
How good was my opening?12345
Did I begin with a brief outline?
Did I stick to my outline?
Was my main argument clear?
Did I sum up at the end?
How well did I finish?
How appropriate were my handouts or audiovisual aids?

Think of the following: audience, different viewpoints, examples, eye contact and body language, feedback, order of points, questions.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Developing Speaking Task | Pim of Thailand | Rebelling Against The System, Found Her ‘Why’

WOW! Unbelievably grateful for this one! I met her literally through a work assistant upcountry where I had just begun teaching.  Pim, a girl who was embattled and estranged living here in Thailand, had the opportunity to go abroad (to America)….and then she was able to live outside the box rather than tied down in Thai society.  Getting ready to go on a mission with her church, she joins me today to destroy the BRULES (bulls*** rules of society) and give everyone, of all ages, some profound wisdom. 

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 169 | Study Skills | Planning Your Writing Assignments Spatially

It can sometimes be difficult to gain a sense of what the word limit means in terms of how much you will actually write. Here are some ways you can do this: work out roughly how many words you can type on one page of A4, check the overall word limit of the assignment, draw out in pencil how much space you will give to each section, item, or topic. How many words can you allocate for each section?

  1. Read the essay prompt and answer the questions.

Global warming is one of the biggest threats to our environment. What problems are associated with global warming and how could they be tackled by individuals?

Word limit: 500 words

skillfull 4
  1. What are the key elements that must be discussed in the essay?
  2. What topics might you cover in each paragraph?

Look at the information about essay extent and complete the task below.

Five hundred words is approximately two sides of A4 / letter size typed in a 12-point font size with double spacing. Many tutors require double spacing to allow for their feedback.

1. Take two sheets of A4 / letter size.

2. Draw boxes of the amount of space you have for each topic you identified in the exercise above.

3. Write an approximate word count in each box.

  1. Does your planned content fit the word-count limit?
  2. How might you lose points for going over or under the word count?


Questions & Answers | Brainstorming Techniques | S.C.A.M.P.E.R. – Improving On Ideas

S.C.A.M.P.E.R. is essentially a process for expanding and improving upon ideas by testing and questioning them from different angles. For each letter of the mnemonic, ask yourself a related question about your project or the problem at hand:

  • Substitute, e.g.: What would happen to the project if we swapped X for Y?
  • Combine, e.g.: What would happen to the project if we combined X and Y?
  • Adapt, e.g.: What changes would need to be made to adapt this project to a different context?
  • Modify, e.g.: What could we modify to create more value on this project?
  • Put to another use, e.g.: What other uses or applications might this project have?
  • Eliminate, e.g.: What could we remove from the project to simplify it?
  • Reverse, e.g.: How could we reorganize this project to make it more effective?

This method forces you to approach your project or problem in unexpected ways. Each question asks you to dig a little deeper into the issue and consider new possibilities.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 168 | Reading | Climate Change 101

Welcome back! Damn, so we have a lot of reading to go through today, but this will be converted into listening, so be sure to listen to the podcast for the full article. In addition to that, we have tasks down below for you to do whilst listening.

Listen for the headings and subheadings in the podcast. Which section in the listening will contain the information in (a-g)

a. Historical examples of climate change occurring naturally. ___

b. Data linking CO2 emissions to increased temperature. __

c. Data on rising sea levels and increased acidification. __

d. Evidence of glacial retreat. __

e. The predicted impact of an immediate emissions cap. __

f. Data on average global temperature increase. __

g. Examples of increased flooding and drought. __

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 167 | Discussion Point | Top 5 Challenges Facing Humanity

Here you go with another discussion point! What we’ll be talking about today are the top 5 challenges that face humanity: lack of freshwater, food production, invasive technology, increasing economic divide, climate change.

Here are the discussion points.

  1. Of the threats listed in the infographic, which do you think poses the greatest challenge? Why?
  2. Which sectors do you think will be the most affected by increased automation?
  3. What practical measures could be implemented to address the growing economic divide.

The audio of “The CO2 Forest” will be in the podcast down below!


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 166 | Listening | Surfing and Interpreting Idioms

We’ve got a fascinating podcast today. We’re going to be listening and matching sentence parts to complete a summary of the program. After that, we’re going to listen and interpret idioms, which are fixed expressions that use images and metaphor to describe things.

In saying that, here’s the first part.

  1. The host introduces
  2. The writer identifies
  3. The writer outlines
  4. The host introduces
  5. The surfer describes
  6. The surfer explains
  7. The surfer identifies
  8. The surfer describes
  9. The host introduces
  10. The critic provides

a. how she became interested in the sport.

b. an error of thought.

c. the history of surfing.

d. a surfer.

e. a writer.

f. specific benefits of being a surfer.

g. how surfers feel about the sport.

h. a theory about the popularization of surfing.

i. a critic.

j. features of the equipment used.

Listening to Interpret Idioms

They must have had nerves of steel, given the size of the waves and the design of the boards, which were actually made to be difficult to maneuver.

Idioms can be difficult for language learners because the connections between image and idea may not be immediately obvious. Idioms in the learner’s own language may use different ideas and images. However, despite these differences, it is often possible to deduce the meaning of the expression.

– Think about the context the idiom was used in.

– Consider the actual meaning of words in the idiom.

– Look for connections and relationships with the context.

Skillful 4

Listen to extracts from the interviews and complete the idioms.

  1. Dicing with _______ was an important part of the activity.
  2. The town ________ to bursting with surfers from all over the world.
  3. I loved to watch them and I suppose that’s when the bug __________.
  4. …. only a ________ of surfers ever strike it
  5. ….. but we don’t ________ over spilled _________.
  6. They can ________ an arm and a leg for professionals.
  7. ….using artificial materials was a quantum __________ in surfboard construction.
  8. To be honest, your _______ is as good as mine! Part of it is just the luck of the _______.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Real Discussions | Exxon Mobil’s Global Destruction

Pfft, I was thinking for so long that these companies such as PTT, Exxon Mobil and Shell were GREAT. The word Exxon Mobil just sounds like an amazing company, right? When you think Exxon you think hat-wearing people who are “pro-environment,” BOY WAS I WRONG!

Simply put, Exxon Mobil is a greenhouse gas emitting juggernaut the Donald Trump supports. They knew about climate change back in the late 70s and stopped everyone from making it happen. They’re responsible for over 10k oil spills around the world, including the dumping grounds in Nigeria where there are constant battles of “black-market oil” because the constant spills that have now inundated food supply, further worsening the already bleak food supply in the region. The Niger Delta’s mangrove populations have been completely slashed, and with Exxon Mobil infiltrating poor-black countries, it’s happening back home in America, too.

Welcome to real discussions, a now-new series on my ESL podcast the features a range of vocabulary and things that are happening around the world that must be brought to our attention.