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. __

IELTS | Speaking | 1 on 1 Coaching | Speaking Part 3 – Difficult Jobs & Personal/Career Success

And we’re into the final podcast with the exceptional speaker from India. I’m very grateful to have brought this to you because these are great examples. In this one, she uses excellent examples, however, she does speak more about other people than she does herself. A bad thing? I like to think not, but to be safe, it’s always great to give personal examples, too. Let’s tune in!

IELTS | Speaking | 1 on 1 Coaching | Speaking Part 1 – Neighbors

We’ve got ourselves an AMAZING speaking student on the podcast today from India! She’s a professional and taking IELTS general training, and as you may hear in this podcast, her speaking capabilities and flow with pronunciation is beyond solid.  However, it’s time to critique! In today’s podcast, we’re talking NEIGHBORS!

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 | Season 5 Episode 164 | Gateway to Exams | Are Sports Stars Born or Made? | All Four-Skills

Welcome to Gateway to Exams! This is going to be a LONG ONE! We have reading, speaking, listening and writing ALL-IN-ONE! I’m going to write the majority down below, but remember to tune into the podcast for the listening and speaking segments! Let’s get into it!


What separates a competent player in a school or local team, form a gold-medal winning start? At what stage is it possible to identify potential new starts — in childhood, the teenage years or not until adulthood? Is that potential determined by their genes or their environment? Certainly, there is plenty of superficial evidence for the importance of genes.

1. ___. Well, the short answer is, maybe. That’s because, when we dig deeper into the influence of genes, we find that this is a highly complex area of science. Let’s take something as straightforward as height. It’s reasonable to assume that someone’s height is going to have a major impact on how far they can progress in certain sports like basketball or high jump. And research has also established that it’s a highly heritable characteristic — 80% is down to genes and 20% environment and diet.

2. ___. None of this is to say that genes aren’t important. It’s just that there are other aspects of sports performance that are going to be easier to identify and manipulate. For starters, few young athletes would be able to get involved with sports at all without help from their parents, who provide valuable resources including transportation, finance and emotional support. then it’s also widely recognized that coaches contribute to an athlete’s development in numerous ways.

3. ___. In deed, Sir Clive Woodward, formerly the England rugby coach, believes that there are very few things that cannot be coached. However, most coaches would also recognize that there are certain influences that they do not control and one of the most crucial of these is the wider culture. Why do so many good ice hockey players come from Canada? Footballers from Brazil? Rugby players from New Zealand?

4. ___. Admittedly, there’s little that most sportspeople can do to influence this. But what is relatively easy to change is where a young athlete grows up. Evidence suggests that this should be neither too small nor too big: minor towns lack the necessary facilities and in larger centers and facilities become overloaded. There’s also the debate about age. Is it better to allow children to play a broad spectrum of sports before choosing a specialization, or to specialize young?

5. ___. Given this, specializing too young could be a mistake. But whichever route an athlete takes, this has nothing to do with genetics and everything to do with the environment. So is there any role at all for genetics in determining top athletes? The answer seems to be a qualified ‘yes’. That’s because knowing more about our genetic make-up can provide information of great value to athletes.

6. ___. The truth, then, is that top athletes need both nature and nurture. Few, if any, are going to make it to the very top on raw talent alone; it will take years of dedicated training and coaching as well. But certain inherent physical abilities may predispose an individual to reach the highest ranks of a particular sport.


A. The most obvious is to optimize the athlete’s training and so enable them to advance to higher levels of attainment. But their role is wider than is generally understood and may include everything from nutrition to psychology.

B. The choice may vary depending on the individual. Remember, however, that many sports complement each other, lending skills that can transfer to another discipline and enhance a youthful athlete’s abilities.

C. However, that’s where the simplicity ends. Scientists have — so far — identified hundreds of thousands of different variations in DNA that can account for how tall someone is.

D. How else can we explain why some athletes become world-class within 12 months of taking up a sport, while others train for years and are never more than mediocre? Is there any other explanation for why certain countries like Jamaica seem to dominate sprint races while East African athletes dominate distance running events?

E. It may the sort of foods or training programs that are most beneficial fo their body type or learning more about their susceptibility to certain injuries. And it might provide insights into which sports they’re most likely to excel at.

F. That’s because athletes have so far shown very little enthusiasm for this sort of experimentation. Instead, they have preferred to rely on established techniques.

G. this is one aspect of elite sporting success that’s difficult to pin down, but, say the experts, hard to overstate. The fact remains that certain national identities seem to have so much invested in one particular sport that it makes further success in that sport inevitable.

Gateway c1


You are going to listen to five people talking about doing voluntary work. Listen and complete both tasks.

Task 1

For questions 1-5, choose from the list (A-H) what type of voluntary work each speaker is talking about. There are three extra letters which you do not need ot use.

A. collecting money on the streets

B. environmental work

C. helping at a homeless shelter

D. helping at a hospital

E. helping at a library

F. charity shop assistant

G. building a skate park

H. website creation

Task 2

For questions 6-10, choose from the list (A-H) the reason each speaker gives for doing this voluntary work. There are three extra letters which you do not need to use.

A. researching a future career

B. developing business contracts

C. getting to know a new area

D. relieving stress

E. acquiring new skills

F. keeping physically fit

G. being part of a team

H. believing in the cause.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 163 | Listening | Conservation Program

Welcome back to another listening, everyone! This is an IELTS-style type of listening. And before we get into it, I want to first go over a skill. While listening, don’t just write the first ‘possible’ answer that seems to fit the gap as this may be a distractor. Listen carefully: does the speaker give other information that may provide a better answer? Now, in saying that, let’s get into it.

– Silvia describes the accommodation as (1) _________

– She hadn’t expected to collect so much (2) _________ from the beach.

– She admits to needing more (3) _________ when she constructed the fences.

– She describes the researchers’ efforts to save the seals as (4) _________.

– Silvia’s team leader sometimes asked her to take on the role of (5) ___________.

– She is surprised at the number of (6) _________ which developed during the time on the island.

– She admits to feeling nervous about the (7) ________ at the end of the week.

– Silvia uses the word (8) _________ to convey her feelings about her time on the conservation program.

Gateway c1

TOEFL iBT | Part 4 Question | Speaking | Coevolution | How to Take Notes

Welcome back to another TOEFL, everyone! In today’s segment, we’re going to learn how to take notes throughout the audio. Now, some are very long and some are short, but when it comes to the Part IV question, it’s much easier than Part III. So, I’m going to show you how to take notes (watch my video and listen to the podcast) and what you see down below are the notes I took on the video. So make sure you listen to the audio so you can piece them together.

two species affect each other

extreme example of mutualism

flowers/humming birds have evolved


color suited to vision

shape perfect size

high volume of nectar

meets energy requirements

blooming time – breeding season coincides

ants and trees

trees have something that ants live in / substance in food

ants attack plant-eating insects

two species rely on one another for survival


Listening Transcript

Okay! so we said that coevolution happens when two species reciprocally affect each other’s evolution. In fact, coevolution is an extreme example of mutualism. For example, honey birds and bird pollinating flowers have evolved a mutualistic relationship. The flower has nectar suited to the bird’s diet, the color suited to the bird’s vision and the shape is a perfect size for the bird’s beak. Bird pollinating flowers usually have a higher volume of nectar pollinated by insects. This meets the birds’ high energy requirements. Therefore, the blooming time of bird pollinating flowers usually coincides with honey bird’s breeding season.

Another example of coevolution can be found in Acacia ants and Acacia trees. The Acacia trees have large hulking trunks that Acacia ants live in. The tree makes a substance that can be used by the ants as food, while the ants defend trees from herbivores by attacking plant-eating insects and other plants competing for sunlight. So…ultimately, in this relationship of co-evolution, two species rely on one other for survival, while reciprocally affecting each other’s evolution.