TOEFL iTP | Reading | North American Colonies | YouTube + Podcast

Welcome back, everyone! In this episode, I’m going to do a thorough break down of this TOEFL iTP reading passage — North American Colonies. I’ve been doing a lot of coaching as of late, so I decided to make my first YouTube video + podcast that pertains to the passage down below. I will give you techniques, how to answer questions, doing the these questions first, and much more. Hope you enjoy this!

The technology of the North American colonies did not defer strikingly from that of Europe, but in one respect, the colonists enjoyed a great advantage.  Especially by comparison with Britain, Americans had a wonderfully plentiful supply of wood.


            The first colonists did not, as many people imagine, find an entire continent covered by a climax forest.  Even along the Atlantic seaboard, the forest was broken at many points.  Nevertheless, all sorts of fine trees abounded, and through the early colonial period, those who pushed westward encountered new forests.  By the end of the colonial era, the price of wood had risen slightly in eastern cities, but wood was still extremely abundant.


            The availability of wood brought advantages that have seldom been appreciated. Wood was a foundation of the economy.  Houses and all manner of buildings were made of wood to a degree unknown in Britain. Secondly, wood was used as a fuel for heating and cooking. Thirdly, it was used as the source of important industrial compounds, such as potash, an industrial alkali; charcoal, a component of gunpowder; and tannic acid, used for tanning leather.


            The supply of wood conferred advantages but had some negative aspects as well. Iron at that time was produced by heating iron ore with charcoal. Because Britain was so stripped of trees, she was unable to exploit her rich iron mines. But the American colonies had both iron ore and wood; iron production was encouraged and became successful.  However, when Britain developed coke smelting, the colonies did not follow suit because they had plenty of wood and besides, charcoal iron was strong than coke iron.  Coke smelting led to technological innovations and was linked to the emergence of the Industrial Revolution.  In the early 19th nineteenth century, the former colonies lagged behind Britain in industrial development because their supply of wood led them to cling to charcoal iron.

  1. What does the passage mainly discuss?
  2. The advantages of using wood in colonies
  3. The effects of an abundance of wood on the colonies
  4. The roots of the Industrial Revolution
  5. The difference between charcoal iron and coke iron
  • The word “strikingly” in line 2 is closest in meaning to
  • Realistically
  • Dramatically
  • Completely
  • Immediately
  • Which of the following is a common assumption about the forests of North America during the colonial period?
  • They contained only a few types of trees
  • They existed only along the Atlantic seaboard.
  • They had little or no economic value.
  • They covered te entire continent.
  • The use of the word “abounded” in line 8 Indicates that the trees were
  • Present in large numbers
  • Restricted to certain areas
  • Cut down
  • Cultivated
  • According to the passage, by the end of the colonial period, the price of wood in eastern cities
  • Rose quickly because wood was becoming so scarce
  • Was much higher than it was in Britain
  • Was slightly higher than in previous years
  • Decreased rapidly because of lower demand for wood
  • What can be inferred about houses in Britain during the period written about it in the passage?
  • They were more expensive than American houses.
  • They were generally built with imported materials.
  • They were typically smaller than homes in North America.
  • They were usually built from materials other than wood.
  • Why does the author mention gunpowder in line 19?
  • To illustrate the negative aspects of some industrial processes
  • To give an example of a product made with wood
  • To remind readers that the Colonial era ended in warfare
  • To suggest that wood was not the only important product of the colonies
  • The word “conferred” in line 21 is cloest in meaning to
  • Consulted
  • Gathered
  • Provided
  • Restricted
  • The phrase “follow suit” in line 27 means
  • Do the same thing
  • Make an attempt
  • Have the opportunity
  • Take a risk
  1. According to the passage, why was the use of coke smelting advantageous?
  2. It led to advances in technology
  3. It was less expensive than wood smelting
  4. It produced a strong type of iron than wood smelting
  5. It stimulated the demand for wood
  1. The phrase “cling to” in line 33 is closest in meaning to
  2. Try to develop
  3. Avoid
  4. Continue to use
  5. Reconsider
  1. Where in the passage does the author begin to discuss in detail the advantages that an abundant supply of wood brought to the colonies?
  2. Lines 1-3
  3. Lines 5-7
  4. Lines 13-14
  5. Lines 21-22



Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 5 Introduction (Advanced Level)

WOW! 1.5 five years and 4 seasons later, I’ve reached the biggest level of them all: advanced. I first began at the elementary level before going into pre-intermediate, small segment of intermediate, and then upper-intermediate. Now we’re here at the most difficult season of them all. Here’s what you’ll be hearing throughout these podcasts.

Grammar: Concessive clauses, contrastive structures, inverted conditionals, transitive & intransitive verbs, infinitive phrases, parallel structures, nominal clauses, participle clauses, verb patterns.

Writing: anaphoric & cataphoric referencing, delinquent behavior in teenagers, practice paraphrasing, essay topics: fight against overpopulation, business reports, commenting on sources, reference lists, argumentative essays, direct quotations for your writing, impacts of social media.

Speaking: review and improve your use of phrases to keep a discussion going, learn to deal with issues resulting from group work, practice referring to other speakers during presentations and discussions, persuasive arguments,

Other skills: vocabulary, reading, life skills, guest speakers, etc.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 133 – Grammar – Whatever, Wherever, Whoever

We use whoever, whenever, whichever, whatever, however when it doesn’t make any difference who, when, which, etc. The clause which contains whatever, whoever, etc, can come at the start of the sentence or in the middle.

Whatever I do, you’re always angry with me.

You’re always angry with me, whatever I do.

We use however + adjective/adverb to say it doesn’t matter how much you do something, or how big/small/difficult something is. The clause which contains however can come at the start of the sentences or in the middle.

However fast you run, you’ll never beat me.

You’ll never beat me, however fast you run.

Complete the sentences with these words: however, whatever, whenever, wherever, whichever, whoever.

  1. He gets nervous _____________ he has to speak English on the phone.
  2. People tend to speak English ___________ you go.
  3. You can never learn all the words in a language, _____________long you study it.
  4. We can meet _____________day you like.
  5. In my opinion, _____________says that they can speak 20 languages fluently is lying.
  6. _____________happens, I’ll always love you.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 125 – Advantages & Disadvantages of Interning

Speaker 1: (00:00)
Guys, welcome back to another, ESL podcast and man, I’m your crazy ass host as always of the one and only the latte and only Arsenio and today. Oh yeah, we’re talking about possible advantages and disadvantages of the good oh internship. So I got some good, good, good vocabulary terms for you guys. Okay. These are things that you could do in your writing assessments, your writing task or any writing in general. Even if you’re writing blogs, it’s all good to differentiate your wording. Now if you guys have read my blogs before, you have probably have already seen that. Hey. Okay. So, um, with with some of your blogs you use very, very basic language, but then you use very descriptive language when you write your travel blogs yet because there are times that I’m lazy and I don’t want to use language and there are times that I use my language and I showcase my sentences.

Speaker 1: (00:54)
But anyways, with that being said, let’s get into this heavy workload. Okay. Now decide if these are possible advantages or disadvantages. Now, a heavy workload, you can stop the podcast, you can decide advantage, disadvantage. I’ll let you do that for one second. It is a disadvantage. Now, a heavy workload. That means guys, you are given a lot of work. If you’ve seen in any of the movies on Netflix, the series, whatever it may be, the interns, they’re always rudely, they’re always treated so poorly. If you look at Jimmy Fallen, if you look at CNN, Fox News, if you look at any of that, it’s just so disrespectful. So I would tell you, you know, all these late night show hosts, it’s just, I don’t, I don’t appreciate that. I just feel that empathy and happiness and you know, compassion and being grateful for every individual. I don’t care if you’re sitting on your high horse, meaning you think you’re a god because you’re on top of this and you’re a Kosho hose, whatever it may be, you need to show respect on all cylinders.

Speaker 1: (02:01)
And if you don’t do that, just like what Steve Jobs didn’t do, guess what? It’s going to come back and bite you in some of the most egregious ways, meaning horrible ways. So guys, please, if you have a heavy workload and people are giving you so much in, you’re being mistreated. It’s a good opera. It’s a good way to for you to actually just go about your, you know, just find another internship. Remember what I told you about the externship? Right. When I did an externship at the CSN dental faculty practice in Las Vegas, Nevada. I was working with the doctor by the name. He’s not a doctor, a dentist by the name of Dr. Pierce, and he mistreated me. Okay, now is this because of color? Well, him being an old generation Junky, him being a dentist for over 34 years and being from Utah, the chances of that being, you know, being, you know true, are probably true, but he ended up realizing that I was very good.

Speaker 1: (02:59)
Then he ended up treating me with some respects and he shared some of his stories about, I just didn’t send to Reni, Greece, l sorry, I have my British accent. I don’t know how to do American accents. Anyway, he said he was in Santa Rita, this and that. Guys, I had heavy workloads. Who cares. I’m done with that story. So let’s let Bob that story. Anyway, so here we go. Career advancement. So is this a specific company where you can advance your career based on what you do? This is very important now. Okay. This is something to consider because being a teacher, yes, career advancement, but you have to think way outside the box. You have to drop the discipline like Katrina Glassberg setting. You need to add the mindfulness. You need to become someone of value. Now, being a teacher, there is career advancement. If you stop teaching in a school, right?

Speaker 1: (03:51)
And stop calling yourself just to teach teacher. See, I’m a coach, I’m a trainer. I’m many other things. A lot of people say, are you a teacher? For people who I want them to look at me just as a teacher. Okay, yes, I’m a teacher. That’s all I do. Oh, that’s so sad. Yeah. And I’d tell me about it. They don’t really know what I do. Right. But career advancement is everything. If you enter a company just as you know, a janitor, just like what Les Brown did and he ultimately ended up becoming a dish Dachille and a radio host that’s called career advancement. Although he went in an entry level job where he was just sweeping and mopping floors, he ended up becoming the Jack of all trades in his respective field. Pretty cool. Huh? So insight into how a company works that is very, very, very good.

Speaker 1: (04:38)
Okay. Because that’s very important. Remember I told you work for someone for free or free volunteer for free if you’re young, if you’re 40, Nah, not really. If you can, you can. Okay. But if you cannot and you need that money, all by all means. I used to have a content writer with me by the name of Juwann. She used to get all these different, uh, little internships and whatnot. I’m like, okay, is the internship, but they’re not paying you? No. I’m like, ah, yeah, you are more than capable of doing work outside and you know, get him paid for it. She’s like, I know. I was like, Nah, I think you should turn this down if they’re not going to pay you. You know what I mean? So insight on how a company works, very, very important. But at the same aspect, you need to be paid a what you’re worth.

Speaker 1: (05:28)
Always remember that now long antisocial hours. I’ve never heard of antisocial hours before, but long hours again, that’s not fun. I have a student currently, um, who I’m going to be teaching this morning as a matter of fact, and she has very, she, I told her, I said, if you work for the real estate job, what time do you work? Oh, I work at nine. What time do you finish? Maybe eight. I said, that’s bull. So that’s, that’s terrible hours. Now me, a lot of you would ask me, don’t you do that? Well, I used to do that on the weekends, but now I’m in control of my weekends, which is the best, right? So when I talk about working long hours, um, it’s very, very important to understand that if I’m working long hours, I have breaks in between. So if I work from eight 30 to 1:00 PM okay, finish and then I will work from like one to 3:00 PM five 30.

Speaker 1: (06:22)
Uh, this time I’m, I mean it would just be too much. I remember one time I worked from eight 30 to eight 30 at night. And to be honest with you, was it even worth the money? Absolutely not because that’s when my health deteriorated. So be careful with your health. Be careful with working long hours, especially if you’re just an intern. Mundane tasks. What does mundane tasks mean? This is a disadvantage. Okay. Just as long as antisocial hours are disadvantaged to mundane task or doing the boring things, some people would consider them not to be born. So this, this is what I do. Let me give you an example. And not in terms of internship, but in terms of my clothes, right? I washed my clothes, but I do not iron them. I take them down the street, which I’m going to take them today, uh, right down the street so they can iron them for me.

Speaker 1: (07:11)
Some people would say, how come you don’t hire them? I am not going to waste an entire evening when I can be creating so many different things and establishing relationships, ironing clothes that other people enjoy to do. That’s all. It’s kind of like my friend and I, Luke, Luke, motivational mentors. That’s another podcast I have. By the way, you guys will hear a lot of craziness with me on there. We interview entrepreneurs and amazing mindset coaches around the world, and when it comes to Luke and I, we realize, hey, we’re going to need a VA, a virtual assistant. We found one by the name of Reais sent all the details and whatnot. He said, okay, listen, we’re going to have to delegate these tasks, but we’re going to have to pay for it. And I’m like, okay. I completely understand that. But at the same token, we need to understand that we need to be covering overhead of at least $200 a month to be able to delegate all these tasks to a VA.

Speaker 1: (08:07)
So let’s under it, let’s, that. This shouldn’t be coming out of our pocket. It should be coming out of this, you know, out of our stipend that we’re actually making online. So he’s like, yeah, I was thinking about launching in October and then you know, in October we’re going to bring the VA on. I’m like, yeah, but the thing is when we launch it, what exactly, you know, who do we have that’s actually doing all the research and this and that. Hey, I think we should lay off on the VA until November just because I think we’ll be able to have some, we need to be able to make $200 minimum to cover the VA and unless we have a ridiculous amount of work and people are buying big packages, that is it. Does that make sense guys? So mundane task, let me focus on the Monday task again.

Speaker 1: (08:52)
What it is is a boring task that we do not want to do, right? So what I would do is like send my show notes to a content writer who would like writing up the show notes. Although that was kind of like a task that really didn’t work at all. Um, Monday task and be like, Yah, let’s say, ah, here we go. Creating the test. Okay. Creating beautiful templates, creating, uh, teaching profiles and coaching profiles. One, I don’t know how to do any of that too. I know someone that knows how to do that. She’s a fantastic, amazing individual, beautiful soul from mosquito university. And these people do not realize the potential that they have within their mind in terms of creations. I noticed it when I was doing a big a workshop at a manufacturing company here in Thailand and I realized, I looked at these little cars, that things that she made.

Speaker 1: (09:41)
I was like, how’d you do that? And I’m like, oh, I need her on my tape. I need her on my team. So one time I needed a PowerPoint done, but me, man, my powerpoints are ugly, very, very ugly. So I told her, I say, hey man, I got this big Bangkok international digital conference coming up. Could you please, um, create, um, you know, a, a PowerPoint that looks appealing. She did in the matter of five minutes and it was gorgeous. She made a test, a pretest, same thing. Absolutely gorgeous. She made a post test, absolutely gorgeous. She made these profiles. Unbelievable. You see, these are mundane tasks to me that would take hours for me to do, but for her it will be great. So as an intern you would get these mundane tasks because a lot of people would just throw a lot of different things on you, so be very, very careful if you’re interning, to learn, not to just get things thrown at you.

Speaker 1: (10:35)
All right. Networking opportunities. Yes. As an intern, you can develop your personality, you can develop your capabilities, you can develop your integrity. There’s a lot of different things that you can develop within your core values that can permeate meanings spread throughout the department. Whereas people are like, do we need you on our team? You are fantastic and you can actually begin shaking hands of other people have different departments and that can lead to other opportunities. That’s very, very important as an intern on the job training. Yes. Learn everything as an intern. Become the most valuable member. Learn skillsets. The more you learn, the more you earn. A right? Because if there’s one day where the boss wakes up and says, oh, we got to get rid of some people and they look at you, they’d be like, oh, he knows too much. We can’t get rid of him becoming an asset of the company.

Speaker 1: (11:25)
And of course perks, perks, our advantages, right? Little things that you would be given. Now as an intern, you won’t be given anything but working for a company like Google, you would be given everything. There are lots of amazing perks that you would get for working at a place such as Google, such as having your own car, having this, having that, oh my God, it’s just amazing, right? You have sleeping pods within the office. Go check it out, go on youtube and go watch that video. So guys, advantages, disadvantages. I just went over them and hopefully you’ll be able to consider yourself and figure out what you would like to do in terms of an internship and whatnot. So, Huh guys, so much more coming up. As always, we have a listening. We are going to listen to a podcast on my podcast about internships and have conversations about it.

Speaker 1: (12:16)
I’m hoping to bring someone on for my developing a speaking task along with a really good episode. We’re going to write a cover letter, which is going to be very, very fascinating along with prepositions in relative clauses. Some more grammar, Huh? So would that be, and say, guys, thank you for to today, do another ESL podcast. Man, I’m your crazy ass host. As usual, if you have any questions, fire them away and make sure you share my podcast, review it and tell everyone about it. I would be greatly appreciative of it, if that makes sense.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Katarina Gleisberg on Communication in the Classroom

Another brilliant podcast with one of my favorite people in the world! Katarina Gleisberg, teacher from North Dakota, has come back onto my podcast today to deliver bombs of glory for both teachers and students. Here’s the podcast, YouTube video, and full transcript!



Hi guys, welcome back to another ESL podcast. Welcome back to another wonderful life that we’re going to be doing. Well, not necessarily alive, but it’s going to be on youtube and podcast. One day I got the wondrous and the one n do leak, a treat, a Glassberg here with them again, and we’re going to be going over some wonderful topics. So thank you so much for coming on Katrina. Thank you for having me again. Absolutely. So there were some things, man, we had a kind of touch up on some things, so we need to go over. Okay, let’s first go over the first topic. Okay. So we had some Q and a. Some things that of course I discussed in the past. I’ve sent you some messages in regards to some disheartening conversations I’ve had with students. I remember at the end of May I was teaching a class and some of the students at the very end they said, teacher, we already know how to speak English.
We want to learn grammar because grammar will help us at university and et Cetera, et Cetera, et cetera. And I’m like, wait, what? What are they talking about? And it’s really, it was really sad because after class had finished, I went with one of the students who were on my side in a taxi and we went all the way down this long road, a long road. And it, the conversation, it was very bad and I was like, dude, I’m not going to be able to, of course, survive at this particular school. So yeah, that’s one thing I want to talk about. Conversation and grammar. How does it tie in? And I mean, I just don’t understand how someone in a non-native English speaking country would much rather learn something outside of conversation then, you know, the conversation itself. So I’m gonna let you take it away now.
Well, I feel like that mentality shows,
What is valued in that person’s education setting? Right. So I come from a background of, in Grad school, we’re taught from the get-go and our language teaching program that all lessons should have a balance of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Those are the four domains of language learning. No matter if it’s your native language or a foreign language, those are the four domains and you have to have that integrative approach or your, um, things are not going to tie together and you’re not going to learn as quickly or effectively. So I would imagine in a context like that, it must, I’m assuming you’re, that student probably grew up low. Their version of language learning was very old school with a grammar worksheet.
And so I mean, grammar worksheets and how grammar, learning, grammar out of context. So remember we talked about grammar in context, vocabulary in context, learning grammar by worksheets alone. It’s not very effective, is it?
Ah, it is not. I always thought that the easiest way to teach grammar was through someone’s writing. Have them start with jotting down what they do know and then we can teach through their own words because of their own message. We are egocentric people, right? We learned from our own situations. When I, I remember as a kid having those grammar worksheets where each sentence is about a new person and I have a totally isolated topic. It’s not interesting, but we learn more from ourselves. Right? So I always start with a piece of writing if possible. Right? But as we said, language learning is an integrative approach. And I would assume that most students have this goal of learning English so that they can communicate because their sole English language learning isn’t always going to be writing papers and taking tests. Most people when they learn a language that ultimate goal is, oh, I want to be able to communicate with native speakers. I want to be able to travel and use all these language skills I worked so hard to acquire. And Gosh, when you’re doing conversation in class, that’s so important for the students because they can notice whatever that grammar topic is that they have learned. It’s so much more powerful when they have that reinforced and a natural conversation out in public.
Right. And that ties into exactly what I was telling you right before we, I actually clicked record on here and it’s the story in regards to what I had experienced over the last week. Um, and it’s about like particular areas of Bangkok. They’re very, very interested in one place over here would be completely different from another place to just 10 kilometres outside, right. Or like five miles down the road. And so here I am on a Thursday evening, I remember I was sitting down, I had this girl Wa this lady walk in and I asked her what her name was and she said, Lynn. And then I looked at, of course, the manifests and she was Chinese and I’m like, this is going to be interesting because now I had someone from native China who’s in my classroom, boom, another one comes in who I had already met probably a few weeks prior to that.
And she walked in. And so now I have two Chinese students. They’re the first ones that were there. And then after that, I had four other Thai individuals come in. And so with communication in the classroom, I’m going to give you an example. So on a Sunday at about 10:00 AM a lot of my students, they are just so hard for them to communicate openly, you know, openly to one another. They’re just like a deer in headlights. They just stare at me like this. I mean it doesn’t matter how animated I am. It doesn’t matter what I do over here, over there, it’s just they have that same look on their face except one. If that one wasn’t in there, this will be one of the most difficult classes to teach even though there are seven students. However,
going back to the chain, you know the two Chinese students with the four Thai students, these two students and able the Thai students and make them speak English because one always turns to the lady and asks her because she doesn’t speak Thai. And I’m like, oh this is good. So she asks her everything in English. The other lady over here speaks to the other one in English show, everyone is communicating in English. So while I’m on break, I’m listening to the conversations that are happening and everything is in English, which is unheard of in this country. So having, you know, a variety of different people from different nationalities in the classroom will enable that type of communication. So when we talk about communication in the classroom, what is it that you know, what is it that you are speaking about?
So first of all, I love that you pointed that out, that when you have people in a class of many different nationalities, it benefits everyone. Because I had that in Greece, in my classroom where I had students with 16 different native languages. Wow. Right? So if the students from China wanted to communicate with the students from Greece and the students from Israel, they were using English. That was the link, Lingua Franca. So, oh my gosh, you what a blessing to have that great diversity because these students are seeing for themselves how important it is for a lot of people. You know, even take us growing up in the United States and we’re in a middle school or high school, let’s say Spanish or French class, right? We’re all with native English speakers. And when we learn these Spanish concepts, we’re able to ask, so ask all of our questions in English. Right? But that doesn’t give us the experience of asking a question in Spanish. And so then when I studied in Mexico, in college, I didn’t have that firsthand experience of asking questions in Spanish. But it’s so important. That brings up that important concept of ask for help. Ask for help. Right. Your, your students have an advantage.
And so man, okay, so when you talked about 16 nationalities in Greece, what is it that you would do in your classrooms to like say, okay, I’m going to take everyone out of their comfort zone because of course Chinese would stick with the Chinese. This was stick with this. They said all the nationalities, they have a tendency of going back to what they are comfortable with. So are there things, would you say? Okay. All right. One, two, three, four. What? Okay. Line them up. Okay. These are the nationalities. Okay. You, you’re from this country, you hear, you hear you here. What is it that, um, you would do in your classroom to enable that type of communication?
Okay, so many, many things. Um, first of all,
oh, where do you even start? Visuals are so important to pull up things on the screen. If we’re talking about something such as, um, even with my beginning learners, we would read books together and um, we picture books, but even chapter books and whatever the words were from the story that I knew was going to be coming up that day. So let’s say, Oh, I love the book because of Winn-Dixie for example. Okay. There are words in there my students aren’t familiar with. Right. My students had never tasted peanut butter, so I literally am bringing up, if they’re talking about food in the book, I literally have on the screen, I have pictures of the food that’s referenced in that book. Picture of tomatoes, macaroni and cheese, rice, peanut butter, pickles, you name it. Because by pictures everybody can relate to that. And then as they’re taking notes, I encourage pictures all the time.
I also would print out graphic organizers and have them do note taking on graphic organizers or diagrams, right? So some kids, as we’re talking about the word peanut butter, they’re literally in their notebook. They’re drawing a picture of a jar of peanut butter and they’re drawing a picture of the peanut butter sandwich. So they can remember. So I, I always do visuals and I do actions. It was amazing to me how you can gauge comprehension from ways other than speaking because I had, I was probably several weeks into the book because of Winn Dixie that I was doing with second graders and I go through it really, really slow. Even if we get through two pages a day, that is something because it is quality over quantity. Right. And so we would do graphic organizers. Where were you and write a sentence or two, a lot of picture drawing,
but a couple of weeks in the book we had parent-teacher conferences and I asked this second-grade student, this girl from China to explain to her mother what the book was about. Granted, the mother does not speak English, the mother only speaks Chinese. This little girl got down on the floor. It was acting like a dog was acting out the whole first scene of the book where the dogs making a mess and are knocking produce all over the floor of the grocery store. And I was like, this is what it’s all about. You use pictures, you use actions. The kids remember this.
Wow, that’s awesome. I can’t imagine. I can’t imagine that seeing, you know, like the mother just sitting there like, what did you do with this? She’s not,
I feel lucky wildly in Chinese and I was like, yes, this girl has the comprehension. She may not be able to explain it to me in English yet, but she has it down because this little girl’s drawings match the scenes from the book. She was labelling things with the character names and the settings and so it doesn’t have to start with complete sentences. It can start with those things such as character names, locations and vocabulary from the book. Eventually, they will string it along into sentences and because everybody loves the book because of Winn-Dixie, it was amazing how they were. I would pose a question or we would start each day with summarizing what we had read the day before and you have these kids, you have the kid with the first language of Chinese speaking with the kids, the first language of Greek and the kid. The first language of from Israel’s talking to the girl who speaks Hungarian and it’s because they’re all invested in, they want to be able to converse.
So yes, just start with pictures, not the grammar worksheets. Right, and you start with a longer book, like a chapter book. Even if you think it’s overwhelming. Well, everything consists of baby steps, babysits, baby steps. Like I said, two pages of a chapter book. These kids are so engaged and invested in this book, they want to know what happens, right? So it gives it, the benefit for me as a teacher is that the kids already have that attention where they are just so interested to know what is going to happen next today with this four dog.
Wow. That’s just amazing. You know what? You touched upon that little area that I was going to ask you a question like the first day of school, how was the classroom like everyone sat down, you’ve got all these different nationalities. What kind of body language did you see amongst the students like and how? How can some of these international students or students who are very sighted speak English overcome that? Because again, first days are always the most difficult. But what did you see from some people? Did you see some people of this nationality? Let’s say Israelian you know, they were like, hey, you know what, I’m more outgoing then this over here, then over there, like what? Like, like what you see? I know that was it just then
I, I literally had my, Ah, the first day that I had first graders, there were kids crying. Oh, they already have separation anxiety and nets being scared if I’m in a new school with this new language and there were kids crying. Um, I was bitten by a kid named tiger. Okay. Is that his first day? Is that a nickname or? Well, cause it fits. It fits perfectly. Just try to rip you off. Where was he from? America was that from America. He had to be from America, this, this and, and I realized soon after, um, this act kit actually became one of my favourites. He was just really scared. Um, he was from China and tiger was his nickname, but I’m like, oh my gosh, the first day of school, I’m by a tiger. So what happened? You set like [inaudible] you know, all that craziness or he just didn’t want to be told. No, but that’s why as a teacher, you know, part of front-loading is at the beginning of the school year, classroom management, you front load, right? You okay spend so much more time on the rules and the expectations. And I’m talking about things like respect and coming up with a list of classroom norms.
And it just took a while with the younger ones. It took a while because those younger ones didn’t already have education in their native language to know how to even act in a classroom. So then when you put them in a classroom where it’s a language that they’re not familiar with, it makes it even scarier. Um, so we just start with easy things, like everyone’s decorating a name tag, uh, you know, and they’re picking something that they like. So I have objects, right? So it might be plastic animals or something and something that I can have them speak about. Even if it’s like this is a tiger, you have to start somewhere. Um, what about the oldest students? Like the refugees, you teach and stuff like that? Would they just come into the classroom and they were just very, very free? I have a feeling that they were very free to, you know, like free-flowing communication within a classroom setting.
Like if I think of my adults, refugees learning English here in us okay. Um, depending on what culture they come from. Right. Some culture more reserved, some cultures are more about speaking and listening. Um, some of them are very timid to speak at first. So I just start with sentence frames. And so anytime I would have a brand new student enter that day, we’d pause whatever that was on the lesson plan. And I would have every single person in the classroom respond to the same speaking first. So my name is blank, I am from blank or because a lot of them have lived in many countries. I have lived in the following countries, I speak the following languages and my favourite activities are and things like activities. Those are things I already have in Google docs or PowerPoint slides that I can project.
So if they don’t know how to say something, there’s at least one activity they can point to like swimming, cooking, reading, whatever it is. And starting with pictures always helps because I can, the understanding is there they point to a picture of swimming and I can literally guide them with I like to swim, Bam. And then I let whoever is the new student start or go last if they so choose. Um, some of them want to go right away and that way they’ve already seen everybody else in the class model. This is what we do. We write down the sentence frame, we fill it in as the teacher is circulating amongst the students. It is, this is a safe place to ask for help.
Hmm. Nan, I love that. In a safe place, let’s, especially because a lot of people are scared to ask for help. And so, oh, that’s really, you know what I was, um, over the last week, man, I’ve done like, like three workshops. It’s been bananas. You know what I did when I had a big manufacturing company named Kubota out here in Thailand, and communication was our, you know, it was our main theme. It was called foodie goodies. So emotional reaction towards food, which of course all of us can relate to. And so the thing is, I was teaching it with another teacher and he was the head, I was the one over here, you know, I was doing other things in terms of pronunciation and the mechanics of the language. Um, but he would speak in Thai, but he would also speak in English. And then I would also put things into context with English.
So of course, if you look at some of the big, uh, popular people out here in Thailand, um, they, let’s just say a guy from Utah, right? He speaks perfect Tai, but he teaches English through the Thai language. I don’t necessarily, first I’m going to stop it there before getting back into the company. What do you think about that? Because communication in the classroom, when you are speaking, let’s say if I go to China and I speak Chinese, if I start speaking Chinese, Mandarin or Cantonese, whatever it may be, Cantonese for Hong Kong, Mandarin for native China. If I started speaking mandarin to the Chinese students, they’re going to fall back into that comfortable slab and I mean it’s just the piece, the purpose of learning English, I believe. Do you know? So I don’t know. And it’s really weird because then you bring an Asian American to a job.
I used to teach at, his name was, I don’t know, but he was, he, his blood comes from or somewhere around in Southeast Asia, but they would say, hey, just don’t say your tie. Okay. Because they’ll start speaking to you in Thai. And I’m like, but yet these other teachers speak fluent high and they speak it in the classroom. There’s so much crazy that’s happening. My question is if you are a teacher if I go to Mexico and I speak fluent Spanish and I teach my students English to Spanish, is that good or is that bad?
I feel like it needs to be a mix. Okay. No, um, you know, for example, I took five years of French from eighth grade to 12th grade and there are these phrases that that stick in my head, um, as far as questions that we were expected to ask. And I think about that, I think about those questions and the basic phrases. That’s why they stuck in my head is because I’ve heard them repeatedly. So when I relate, when I was able to relate that to my own students, if, especially the little ones, it’s like if they wanted, if the first graders wanted to go to the bathroom, I would have them. The rule was, you have to ask me an English first. Can I go to the bathroom, please? Because they learn that way and then they, they’re learning not just that sentence, but they’re learning a sentence frame of, oh, these are question words.
They’re learning the word, please. I, that’s a requirement in my classroom, you will use please, you will not order me around. I wouldn’t have, I would have students, adults included that would tell me. They would come up to me and they’d say, I need a pencil. I need paper. And I’d be like, oh, it sounds much more polite. If you phrase it as a question, can I have a pencil? Lee’s, when you use manners, people are going to be much more willing to help you. So that mixed waste so important. So when we’re talking about how, how grateful we are to have these mixes of students with different native languages, it is so amazing because I am not opposed to having students have the same native language, use their native language to help each other understand vocabulary. But at the same time, you know, with my refugees, students in a classroom setting where they’re learning English in the United States, if I have students from 16 different native languages, I, there’s no way for me to know everybody’s language. So there they’re going to have to pick up on all of these important nonverbal cues and inferencing skills. So they’re noticing, okay, these are the gestures she’s using. This is her expression of voice that’s going up and down. And
if I, if I didn’t, if I was just speaking to those people in their native language, they wouldn’t be noticing these nonverbals as much. They wouldn’t be noticing all of these inferencing skills of how you can figure out a vocabulary word based on context. That’s so important. Yes, there. Believe me, there’s been plenty of times where it would have been really helpful if I knew every single student’s native language, so I could explain something when they were confused. But you know what? That they have had valuable learning opportunities from us figuring out these complicated misunderstandings. It’s so, it’s so valuable.
And so like, I’m interested because what is it you teach in first grade is kind of relates to me teaching the kingdom goodness at my very first job in 2013 right. And I remember I had a teacher and she shouldn’t assistant and I had a headteacher in there. Uh, not in the other, I forgot the other girl’s name, but yeah. So they would tell me, oh, make sure you speak to the children. Slowly do this, do that. And I remember in a class of just 10 students, it was a private school, right? These students change so quickly. Within four months. I remember specifically there was a kid named punk Kang and pompom. That was his nickname, right? And his mother gives speak English, right? Gritty pretty well, like, like upper intermediate level. Um, and I remember I was speaking of Pong Pong one day and he was, he was pretty good at conversation like right here.
And everyone else was below him. Another girl named Punk Pun, she was excellent at writing. This girl was excellent at all skills. So why try meshing everything together and had the, you know, collaborating within three months, pong pong ended up speaking fluent English to me and I was like, Whoa, Whoa, whoa, Whoa, whoa. Like there was a girl screaming and crying at lunchtime. Right? And I remember he turned around to me and he said, teacher, this girl is really freaking me out right now. Perfect English. I started screaming into laughter. Okay. And I was like, what’s going on? And so I talked to his mom. I said, your son pretty much speaks English right now. What does he do? She’s like, oh well he plays Minecraft all day. And I’m like, aw. That’s where he gets the bad language from too. So how do you encourage people
like you know, at smaller, you know, young ages or older ages to learn English outside of the classroom? That’s something really, really good. Right? You know what? I have had several adult students who tell me when they already come to this country and they’re not in the beginning class. They’re in my class who tell me things like, um, I learned English from watching youtube videos from video games, from singing karaoke. Okay. Okay. Okay. From Facebook, they would see memes and stuff and they would want to understand them. So, okay. When people want to learn badly enough, they will, they will figure out ways to learn. They want to watch an American TV program. I have several kids who said they’ve learned from cartoons, they’ve learned from comic books. So there are so many resources available. So many available
time was, you know what I mean?
Yes, yes. And so there are so many more resources available in English. When I was trying to learn Greek, it’s what, it’s not as easy for me in the United States to get my hands on Greek comic books, youtube videos, Karaoke like it is people and other countries getting English resources right. But use, use whatever works for me. I remember in other countries, yeah, like when I studied in Mexico when I was in college, turning on the TV and having a Disney movie con and if it’s a Disney movie I already am familiar with like Aladdin. Ah, I already know the context of the story. Now I’m watching it in another language. Hi. Especially children’s movies because they speak with more slowly and with simple language. If you and I have discussed in a previous podcast, children’s books, oh my gosh, I have adults who love children’s books just as much as the kids do. And the adults a lot of times want to learn so that they can read these books to their children. And so I will use some of the same strategies that I use with elementary students. Absolutely.
Wow. So when you were in cut, I love that. And that’s what I see sometimes. Like out here in Thailand, I see a lot of in tie with the Thai subtitles or this speaking tie. And it’s funny because I pick up a lot of things in the Thai language now. Like I could pick up the ideas. So I don’t listen so much for all the, you know, the unnecessary words. I try to listen for the main idea and I can pick it up pretty quickly. Okay. Not all of the time, like 30% of the time, I’m probably just a little bit wrong. But you being in Mexico, you learn in Spanish out there and whatnot. Give me an example. So who are the people that, how did you communicate, who was it that you communicated within the classrooms? And how about Golan around because you were a learner of also Greek, Spanish in Panama, Mexico, which are probably just a little bit different or maybe an immense of that different. Um, how was it that you learned communication in the classroom being, you know, a Spanish learner too? Because that’s very interesting.
What’s interesting is I feel like I learned more Spanish, not in the classroom, but because I was staying with a host family.
And the couple who I was staying with, Natalia and Kino, very gracious couple, they didn’t speak hardly any English. I went there knowing hardly any Spanish. We were doing a lot of charades and writing things down. And because I had taken, um, five years of French, I could understand, of course, like a lot of us, I can understand a lot more than I can actually produce. But because you’re in this situation where I’m in somebody’s home, she has just made me a four-course amazing meal. She wants to know what I think of it. Of course I the most, the majority of the feedback I’m giving her is nonverbal. But because I’m invested in this relationship, right, when you’re in that kind of a situation, it’s so motivating to learn quickly because you can bet your bottom dollar. I was looking up words, I was figuring out how to say exactly what I wanted to ask them. So one day I wanted to ask, um, how to walk to the mall. So you perfect situation of me doing my research. I’m trying to figure this out so then I can actually use my words and then I can be validated when I actually get the information that I want. And the host father is drawing out a map for me of how to get to them all.
So you asked about the classroom, but I tell you, it is those natural situations where I feel I learned so much more in the classroom. I was learning things like we normally learn first in a language learning class. My name is, I am blank years old. I am from a blank. But as I have found being both a students and being both a teacher, what people want to learn most is those how to get around, how to ask for
help, how to carry on with their daily activities. That’s called, yeah, since you wasted funnel, ageless or situational, fill in the blank. Do you know what I’ve made? Um, man, I had a couple of stories, but I think they just went right away. But I’m like, be here, be in here in Thailand. Would I learn Thai in the classroom? Absolutely not. I’m living in the country right now. You being in university, fantastic. Me, I was a teacher so I needed to learn. Okay, what are some of these, you know, these things that I need to learn, the basics? How can I go here? Go Straight, turn right, turn left. And you know what? These things are absolutely going to stick. No one will remember the last time we talked about the taxi and stuff a while back. Um, you know, knowing how to take a taxi, very important, telling him to turn on the meter. Very, very important. You know, so, um, Oh man, I’ve had a man, I had a couple of experiences but they all just went away cause I was so in tune. So anyway, so, okay. Um, oh my God, my ideas. I hate when my ideas go away. Those are some real,
it shows that you were being a mindful listener.
Yes. Because you taught me that. That’s right. You taught me that
great speech would say just take a deep breath. It’s okay. We don’t judge ourselves. If it’s important enough, it’ll come up later.
Right, right. It’s important enough. Right. Okay. So here we go. I want to give you, so of course, you being a learner of Spanish and Greek. Me being a learner of Thai, of course, living in a spitball, an English speaking household with a mother who speaks spoke both languages, both of course Spanish and English. Um, what are some ways communication in the classroom for students, for students out there around the world or for students in general? The students of life, because we are all students of life. Okay. If you’re out there in a community if they’re going to travel, how can they communicate more thoroughly, more effectively? What are the three simple ways that you know, people could do it both inside and outside the classroom? So
first of all, come to the classroom,
prepared with your questions,
because we always think of questions when we’re not in the classroom. And then we forget to write them down. And we don’t remember when we’re in the presence of a teacher. The first of all, write your questions down. Come to class with those questions. Teachers love receiving questions because that way they know what you’re interested in. I think I shared in a previous podcast something that I really, really wanted to learn and when I was in Greece, as I wanted to learn how to ask for help in a grocery store, I wanted to know how to order cheese. Um, and so that was a question that I, I came to class with and I asked my Greek teacher. So first of all, write your questions down. Don’t be afraid to ask those questions. Um, when you are in the classroom, notice patterns, questions, because those same patterns of questions are things that you can use throughout your knee.
A normal daily situation. So if I’m noticing a pattern of asking for cheese, asking for, um, chicken, asking for whatever, once I learned that one phrase of how to ask for cheese, I was noticing those same sentence patterns and other people’s speech. And so that those patterns are so important, whether it’s a sentence frame or whether it is noticing root words, um, and piecing those together. So your original question was strategies that people can use for conversation in the classroom and outside of the past, right? Yeah. So outside of the classroom, just like inside the classroom, not being afraid to ask questions, overcoming that fear. That’s it. Yes. And Yeah, we’ve, yeah, we’ve discussed this before about how, we may not know how to phrase an entire grammatically correct sentence, but we might know one word, just he was the one word. Use the one if you point, and even if it’s the word like I’ve done this before and I’m, I’m wanting to find the bank, I point and I’m like bank here, here and there. And then because you’re in this, this dire situation where you need to know this, you’re going to pick up more on the grammar of the bank is over here, tender it more next time. So, oh gosh, yes. Just asking the questions
right then. I love that so much. That’s a, you know, speaking from personal experience, that’s what I did, you know, live it out here in Thailand. I went like, like, do I know how to say banquet? Is it Tana Chat? So I would say a 10 of chat KTB which is who? Thai bank, basically the one that I normally teach at or the bank that I’m with. Right. So I would say, ah, try China to, to be united. Unite is my favourite word. Where, where, where, okay. I’m, Oh, what is it? Don’t they a, I don’t they last sweater. Right. Where’s the school? And I would just say the school name and BNI. Yeah. Denai or you and I, where is it? You see, I mean, so the basic question, where is the who, what, where, when, why, you know, um, and if it’s a very difficult question, uh, good luck. What about the difficult questions before I top this bad way off? Like how would you get over that? Like the real difficult questions.
So, um, can you give me an example of a really difficult question?
Uh, let’s say if you’re at the hospital, right? And I’m like, ah, I normally just go all hands. I’m like, ah, a jet meaning pain. Right. How do you say that in Spanish? Did I forget, don’t they? I don’t know, but yeah, I forgot. Uh, but yeah, we’ll say pain here or here or here, but there could also be a misdiagnosis. So how could someone go about learning question? Oh my God, I don’t know what I’m trying to say. But then, if so like conversation conversations or how can some, well, you know what, that’ll have to be in another podcast because we have to figure out how to build up those sentences to make them bigger and bigger. Such as, you know, your order in the cheese and then you realize that there was a little bit of a, you know, you could follow that same, you know, that saying, what am I trying to say? That, yeah, that same pattern. Yeah, no, in terms of this, in terms of that. So that’ll have to be another one. That could be a nice little
mines. This is why it’s so important to record things that happen in your everyday life. Because I remember in Greece, I was in an apartment where none of the neighbours spoke English. And I had a situate [inaudible] was, um, there was a leak in my ceiling. Right? And in your, in my regular Greek classes, it’s not like I ever learned how to say, um, my ceiling is leaking. So those were words I had to look up on my own. And then words to describe it of this is when it happens, this is how often it happens so that they know it’s not just a trickle here, trickle thereof, oh, it happens every morning at this time to help them figure out the root of the problem. Right. But those were words I had to look up on my own. And again, because, um, Google translator isn’t always grammatically correct. I had to start somewhere and I had to humble myself with, even if I didn’t have the perfect financiation, if it’s important enough, I’m going to ask about it in my very, very broken.
Great. Right? Oh Man. Awesome man. Uh, Katrina, the summit, the communications. I love that. I’m going to put those into little snippets. I’m going to have to tag you in that because those were some golden bombs for a lot of people. For non-native English speakers have a specific language, you know, pointing and being able to just build up, go from a word to a phrase and then from a phrase to a possible sentence, the questions and whatnot. Those were so, so good. So, oh my God, there are still so many other things to cover and I’m so excited like the vocabulary and whatnot. That’s going to be another very, very good one. But um, oh my God, Katrina, thank you so much, uh, for coming on to this wonderful podcasts and youtube video.
Thank you so much. I always enjoy this. You’ve come up with really good questions on the spot that makes me think
right. Yeah. And that’s what’s so great about it. Cause I don’t do like the 21 questions, stuff like that. It’s always because of personal experience, right? So, uh, so wait, so before we go, man, you’ve got to introduce what are your guys, so we had curious George odd yet. Uh, what was it the other time I bought Mr Eight, a man over there on your left, Mr Eight? Man, let’s talk to that guy over there. Who is he?
Well that, and that’s kind of just a generic word where it’s a character from a story. Okay. Interesting. Is next to the eight,
next to the eight is a house
next to the ape is a house. And also I’m a retro cabbage patch doll. Whoa. Um, yeah. But the students that I teach online, just love seeing props and it just happens that my mom saved a ton of my stuff for my childhood and when she moved, there were Rubbermaid bins in the basement of stuff that I didn’t even know she had kept, which is awesome. The House that’s here was from my, my dollhouse back in the day. Um, or no, my grandparents bought me for my fifth birthday and it comes with all of the little tikes people, props, whatever. And I use these all the time for teaching because it’s, um, I, I find that it’s very difficult for some English language learners to differentiate between him and her. So I owl, I almost always have props in my hands as I’m teaching. Sometimes they’ll say she for everything and I’ll be like, he,
I experienced that with some of my students out here too. Oh, in the cabbage patch doll. What did they invent? The cabbage patch dance. When did that come out? In the nineties. Was that before? Yeah, they kind of go like this, you know, they hold up their fist and they move it in like circles. It’s like the cavity
research when I was living overseas in the A’s wars and elementary school, well where we were kind of like cut off from American pop culture pre Internet. Wow. Um, but I know that cabbage patch dolls, even before I was born, were this one of those, you know how you always hear about the hot toy black Friday. We’re like, parents are fighting in the store for their kid. Right, right. You know that cabbage patch dolls some at some point in the 80s where that hot toy, but I had this, this bald baby cabbage patch in the late eighties when as I was a little toddler and then boom, it was just called bald baby and it never left my side.
Wow. [inaudible] bald baby. I love that ball baby. Oh my God. Oh Man. Well Ball Baby Kevin Scratch. Matt, it is a pleasure meeting you and thanks to you so much for joining me.
Oh, this one. Okay. Thank you so much for having me and thank you to all of your listeners who pose such awesome questions like these topics.
Right? Right. So that’s what you guys make sure again that you’re following. Now Katrina has rebranded herself into just Katrina Lights Berg. You could follow her of course on Instagram. You can follow her on the Facebook page. I tag her normally on my post, on my Facebook page and on Instagram. So you make sure that you look at the links that I have and the description of her. And again, Katrina bed. I would love to extend this, but it’s time to get my book. You would be on in the gym and enjoy this rain. Hopefully, the rain has stopped, but Matt, thank you so much again.
Thank you.
Welcome back, guys. With that being said, man, have a wonderful morning, afternoon and evening. If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, please share it like it. Leave a review, do whatever, and as you wish with this podcast, man, I’m just grateful that I have your ears. So again, guys, I hope you enjoyed this one and stay two for more because Katrina, and I think we just have so many topics. We’re just going to keep on coming and coming, so stay tuned for more. I’m your host, Arsenio as usual over now.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 76 – Grammar – Indirect Questions

Indirect questions can be confusing, so I decided to go over them with you guys.

We use question marks when the first part of the sentence is a question. Have you any idea what time he’s coming?

When there is no question word (who, what, where, etc), we use if/whether. I’d like to know whether you agree.


We use indirect questions in more formal situations and to be more polite. We can also use indirect questions to ask a big favor from someone we know well.

Dad, I was wondering if I could take the car tonight.


I’d like to know why you came.

I wonder what you prefer.

Do you know whether they won?

Could/can you tell me what the problem is?

In the second part of these sentences, we do not put the verb before the subject.

I wonder if you could tell us what you thought of the show.

Complete the second sentence so that it has a similar meaning to the first sentence, using the word given. Use between two and five words.

  1. How long did it take to figure out where your hotel was? TOOK

Can you tell me how __________________ to figure out where your hotel was?

2. Why did you decide to give the picture away? WHY

Can I ask _________________ the picture away?

3. Was she talking to her parents? WHETHER

I’d like to _______________________ to a friend.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: TOEIC Reading Comprehension – General Text

Welcome back to some TOEIC Reading! So, here’s the format/paragraph that I’ll be doing. The YouTube video will be coming shortly, but the podcast will suffice for now because I came down with some allergies. Stay tuned!

Online water/sewer payment

Welcome to the Worthwood Water / Sewer Account Payment System. You can now pay your bill online via credit card using the most secure online payment system available.

Please enter your Worthwood Water / Sewer account number below, then click “Submit”. Your account number can be found in the upper – left corner of your bill. If you do not know your account number, please call 555-8375.

If your door has been tagged for non-payment, you must call 555-0874 to stop termination of water service.

Please do not use this Web site if your payment is intended for overdue sewer charges related to sewer certification. If you recently received a notice about unpaid sewer charges, please follow the payment instructions on the notice.

Sewer payments can be mailed to Division of Water, P.O. Box 139012, Worthwood, South Dakota 57248. Payments must be received by Feb 16.

A two dollar ($2.00) or two percent (2%) processing fee (whichever is GREATER) will be added to your payment.

All general inquiries should be addressed to the Information Section, Worthwood Public Works Section, P.O. Box 138976, Worthwood, South Dakota 57248, or call 555-2378 (ext. 124)

1.      Who would be most interested in this notice?

         (A) People who need sewer certification

         (B) People who don’t wish to pay additional processing charges

         (C) People who want to pay by computer

         (D) People who wish to receive a Water / Sewer account number

2.      How can customers find their account number?

         (A) By calling 555-0874 for information

         (B) By clicking a button on the website

         (C) By checking the corner of their bill

         (D) By looking on their sewer certificate

3.      What must people with overdue sewer bills do?

         (A) Call the Division of Water

         (B) Pay an additional processing fee

         (C) Address their inquiries to the Information Section

         (D) Follow the instructions given


YouTube –

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 41 – Vocabulary – Homophones

Hello, everyone! I’m now bringing to you some intermediate homophones!

Homophones are words that have the same pronunciation but different meanings. For example, compliment and complement.

You can usually determine which word is being used by its context.

Flying Singapore Airlines must complement the overall trip

I was complimented by one of my colleagues today about my physique.

Look at these sentences down below and choose the best alternative.

  1. When choosing the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup, FIFA did not make a fare/fair decision.
  2. A doctor is just as successful as a store clerk, as long as they made/maid the decision to do their respective jobs/careers.
  3. The principle/principal of school has done a lot for children-at-risk.
  4. Applying to universities costs a large some/sum of money.
  5. America has the most overweight/overwait citizens, in any country, in the world.
  6. I need to contact and ask her weather/whether or not she’s going to come later on this afternoon.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 40 – Grammar – Present Conditionals (Intermediate)

Welcome back! I’m bringing back a more intermediate form of conditionals today, but this is essentially a review for the majority of you out there who haven’t found this podcast on my spotify.

In conditional sentences, like I said a long time ago, one action relies on another. Study the forms: use the present real conditional to talk about possibilities in the future that are real and likely.

If + simple present, will + base verb == If you talk to someone about peer

pressure, you will feel better.

Use the present unreal conditional to talk about possibilities in the future that are unreal and unlikely. You are imagining what you’d do if the condition were to happen, even though it’s unlikely to.

Skillful Intermediate

If + simple past, would + base verb == If I told my parents about a problem,

they would support me.

Questions and sentences can begin with either the condition (the if clause) or the main clause. Notice the contractions of will (‘ll) and would (‘d) after pronouns.


A. If it’s rainy tomorrow, what will they do?

B. They’ll stay at home if it’s rainy tomorrow.

A. What would you do if you felt an earthquake?

B. If I felt an earthquake, I’d get under a desk.

Write present real conditionals….

  1. you be amazed / you see the San Andreas fault from the air.
  2. pressure build up / one tectonic plate push again another.
  3. climate change is likely / the warming of the planet is at an all-time high.
  4. an underwater volcano erupt / a tsunami occur.

2. Complete these present unreal conditional sentences with your own ideas.

a. If my mother pressured me to do something I didn’t want to do, I ____________________.

b. If my friends suddenly stopped talking to me, I ________________________.

c. I wouldn’t go to school if ________________________.

d. If schools educated people about real skills, ______________________.