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!

IELTS | Reading | Cambridge 14 | T4 – P1 – The Secret of Staying Young

Welcome back to a breakdown of reading passage 1 on the Cambridge IELTS test 4! This is a first of its kind, and what I’ll be doing is breaking down T/F/NG and fill in the blank. The most difficult part about IELTS reading is finding where the key words are (far more difficult than TOEFL)….so watch how I do this.

Pheidole dentata, a native ant of the south-eastern U.S., isn’t immortal. But scientists have found that it doesn’t seem to show any signs of aging. Old worker ants can do everything just as well as the youngsters, and their brains appear just as sharp. ‘We get a picture that these ants really don’t decline,’ says Ysabel Giraldo, who studied the ants for her doctoral thesis at Boston University.

Such age-defying feats are rare in the animal kingdom. Naked mole rats can live for almost 30 years and stay fit for nearly their entire lives. They can still reproduce even when old, and they never get cancer. But the vast majority of animals deteriorate with age just like people do. Like the naked mole rat, ants are social creatures that usually live in highly organized colonies. ‘It’s this social complexity that makes P. dentata useful for studying aging in people,’ says Giraldo, now at the California Institute of Technology. Humans are also highly social, a train that has been connected to healthier aging. By contrast, most animal studies of aging use mice, worms or fruit flies, which all lead much more isolated lives.

In the lab, P. dentata worker ants typically live for around 140 days. Giraldo focused on ants at four age ranges: 20 to 22 days, 45 to 47 days, 95 to 97 days and 120 to 122 days. Unlike all previous studies, which only estimated how old the ants were, her work tracked the ants from the time the pupae became adults, so she knew their exact ages. Then she put them through a range of tests.

Giraldo watched how well the ants took care of the young of the colony, recording how often each ant attended to, carried and fed them. She compared how well 20-day-old and 95-day-old ants followed the telltale scent that the insects usually leave to mark a trail to food. She tested how ants responded to light and also measured how active they were by counting how often ants in a small dish walked across a line. And she experimented with how ants react to live prey: a tethered fruit fly. Giraldo expected the older ants to perform poorly in all these tasks. But the elderly insects were all good caretakers and trail-followers — the 95-day-old ants could track the scent even longer than their younger counterparts. They all responded to light well, and the older ants were more active. And when it came to reacting to prey, the older ants attacked the poor fruit fly just as aggressively as the young ones did, flaring their mandibles or pulling at the fly’s legs.

Then Giraldo compared the brains of 20-day-old and 95-day old ants, identifying any cells that were close to death. She saw no major differences with age, nor was there any difference in the location of the dying cells, showing that age didn’t seem to affect specific brain functions. Ants and other insects have structures in their brains called mushroom bodies, which are important for processing information, learning and memory. She also wanted to see if aging affects the density of synaptic complexes within these structures — regions where neurons come together. Again, the answer was no. What was more, the old ants didn’t experience any drop in the levels of either serotonin or dopamine — brain chemicals whose decline often coincides with aging. In humans, for example, a decrease in serotonin has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

‘This is the first time anyone has looked at both behavioral and neural changes in these ants so thoroughly,’ says Giraldo, who recently published the findings in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Scientists have looked at some similar aspects in bees, but the results of recent bee studies were mixed — some studies showed age-related declines, which biologists call senescence, and others didn’t. ‘For now, the study raises more questions than it answers,’ Giraldo says, ‘including how P. dentat stays in such good shape.’

Also, if the ants don’t deteriorate with age, why do they die at all? Out in the wild, the ants probably don’t live for a full 140 days thanks to predators, disease and just being in an environment that’s much harsher than the comforts of the lab. ‘The lucky ants that do live into old age may suffer a steep decline just before dying,’ Giraldo says, but she can’t say for sure because her study wasn’t designed to follow an ant’s final moments.

‘It will be important to extend these findings to other species of social insects,’ says Gene E. Robinson, an entomologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This ant might be unique, or it might represent a broader pattern among other social bugs with possible clues to the science of aging in larger animals. Either way, it seems that for these ants, age really doesn’t matter.

Cambridge IELTS 14 Test 4 Passage 1

Choose one word only from the passage for each answer.

Focus on a total of 1 ___________ different age groups of ants, analysing

Behaviour:

– how well ants looked after their 2 ______________

– their ability to locate 3 ____________ using a scent trail

– the effect that 4 _____________ had on them

– how 5 ______________ they attacked prey

Brains:

– comparison between age and the 6 _____________ of dying cells in the brains of ants

– condition of synaptic complexes (areas in which 7 _____________ meet) in the brain’s ‘mushroom bodies’

– level of two 8 ______________ in the brain associated with ageing

Questions 1-8

Second phase

  • True: if the statement agrees with the information
  • False: if the statement contradicts the information
  • NG: If there is no information on this

9. Pheidole dentata ants are the only known animals which remain active for their whole lives.

10. Ysabel Giraldo was the first person to study Pheidole dentata ants using precise data about the insects’ ages.

11. The ants in Giraldo’s experiments behaved as she had predicted that they would.

12. The recent studies of bees used different methods of measuring age-related decline.

13. Pheidole dentata ants kept in laboratory conditions tend to live longer lives.

Tips & Tricks

  • If the question asks you to write two words and/or a number, this means the answer may be: one word, one word + a number, two words, two words + a number

Remember that even if a number is written as a word, it counts as a number (e.g., twenty five trees = one word and a number). You do not need to write full sentences or join words together.

Podcast

TOEIC | Grammar | Part 5 | Incomplete Sentences | Improving your Knowledge with Phrasal/Academic Verbs

There’s a bit of a delay, but I’m back with the blog! Here’s a rundown of what I talked about on my podcast (which will be down below) and the questions, too.

Becoming familiar with the correct use of gerunds and infinitives and understanding phrasal verbs is helpful for many parts of the TOEIC test. This unit will make you more aware of how they are used.

Language building: Gerunds and Infinitives

Gerunds are verbs in their base form + -ing, e.g. doing. Infinitives are verbs in their base form.

Test Tactic: Familiarize yourself with phrasal verbs

  • to arrange
  • to complete a blank area in a form
  • to support
  • to review or check something
  • to stop using something gradually
  • to fail to stay on schedule
  • to investigate
  • to continue
  • to delay or reschedule something
  • to consider carefully

Choose to correct phrasal verbs and match them with the academic verbs (answers in podcast at the bottom).

  • set up / call up
  • fill out / bring about
  • fall through / back up
  • go over / take over
  • buy out / phase out
  • fall behind / back out of
  • look into / fill in for
  • keep on / go through
  • shut off / put off
  • run out of / think over
  1. Despite working overtime every day for two weeks, he still ________ with his work.
  • went through
  • backed up
  • fell behind

2. The customer called three times this morning to ________ a meeting.

  • set up
  • call up
  • take over

3. It was decided to _________ buying the new equipment until next year.

  • put off
  • fill out
  • take over

4. The judge promised to __________ any new evidence as soon as possible.

  • look out of
  • look into
  • look after

5. Visitors to the United States are required to ________ an immigration questionnaire.

  • bring about
  • think over
  • fill out

6. The planned merger between the companies ____________ because the couldn’t agree on the price.

  • took over
  • fell through
  • backed out of

7. When color televisions became popular, black and white sets were gradually ___________.

  • Phased out
  • bought out
  • set up

8. A temporary worker was hired to ___________ Mary while she was on vacation.

  • take over
  • fill in for
  • fall behind

Podcast

IELTS | Listening | Cambridge 15 | Test 1 – Bankside Recruitment Agency

Welcome to a comprehensive Part 1 breakdown of the IELTS test! Cambridge 15 has made its debut, and I found a perfect website that has all the tests available. So, before we get into the test, we need to establish some things.

But even BEFORE THAT, make sure you tune into the podcast to get my breakdown, answers, techniques, etc.

Technique 1 – Predicting Notes

Here are some examples of the different type of information you’re going to need to fill in part one. Try to quickly identify the situation from the notes and from the introduction on the recording. You should then spend the time before the dialogue starts thinking about the situation and predicting the type of language you might here.

  • a price
  • a measurement
  • a reference number
  • a number
  • a month
  • a name
  • a color
  • a time
  • a place
  • a telephone number

IELTS Writing | Part I | Maps | Describing Changes

Welcome back to another IELTS blog on writing maps! About 1 year ago, I was sitting in a cafe at a BTS line here in Bangkok, Thailand and I promised that I would begin doing IELTS writing. However, I failed…but I’m back a year later to deliver. I’m going to get you warmed up with some questions before giving you a description of a map. Now, if you want to see the map, hit my YouTube link down below, scroll down and you’ll see the exact title of this in video format. From there, you’ll be able to see how I explain everything.

  1. What changes have occurred in the place you come from? Do you think they are positive or negative changes?
  2. Imagine you are a young person moving to a new town. Which facilities in the list below would be important to you?

Vocabulary: golf course, skate park, theatre, railway station, concert hall, gallery, stadium, ice rink, park, college, airport.

IELTS | Developing Pronunciation | Word Linking with Vowels/Consonants

Welcome back to a another IELTS blog/podcast, everyone! The YouTube link will be available down below if you want to see the book, and make sure you email me for the book itself. In saying that, I will be discussing down below how to create continuous natural speech. When you do this, the pronunciation points will be high and that can surely put you a band higher than not having that natural speech. Here are some sentences you can practice down below and the podcast.

  1. I’d like to get a place of my own as soon as I can.
  2. I hope I can take early retirement before I’m sixty.
  3. I’d like to start a family when I’m about thirty years old.
  4. Next year I’m planning to take a sabbatical so that I can travel to South America.
  5. I’ve always wanted to get a degree in electronic engineering.
  6. I can’t afford to take a gap year unless I can get a job and save up.

If you want me to grade your pronunciation, make sure you record the above 6 sentences and send them to my email down below. Note: I will probably feature you (not your name and your whereabouts) on my podcast for explanation.

Podcast

Premium Business English Podcast: https://www.mocha.fm/creator/thearseniobuckshow

Pronunciation Course Phase III: https://www.udemy.com/share/102DYQ/

Pronunciation Course Phase II: https://www.udemy.com/share/102wQS/

Pronunciation Course Phase 1: https://www.udemy.com/course/arsenios-american-esl-pronunciation-phase-1/?referralCode=8C3941AAFB58102377C4

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/arseniosesllearning

Podcast on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/7hdzplWx6xB8mhwDJYiP6f

Podcast on ListenNote: https://www.listennotes.com/c/778cf3cfd2564ba5b01f693bfebc96de/arsenio-s-esl-podcast/

Podcast on CastBox: https://castbox.fm/channel/Arsenio’s-ESL-Podcast-id1251433?country=us

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Arseniobuck/?ref=bookmarks

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIzp4EdbJVMhhSnq_0u4ntA

Website: https://thearseniobuckshow.com/

Q & A: ArsenioBuck@icloud.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/arsenio-buck-9692a6119/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thearseniobuckshow/?hl=en

Buzz sprout: https://www.buzzsprout.com/165390

Twitter – https://twitter.com/arseniobuckshow?l…

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 97 | Grammar | Using Parallel Structures

Parallel sentences used repeated grammar structures — parts of speech, verb patterns, clauses, etc, — to add emphasis and to make a text easier to read.

Common parallel structures are formed with:

Conjunctions — and, but, yet, so, not only….but also, either….or, neither….nor

Sprawl is neither cheap nor eco-friendly.

Comparisons with than or as

Some people much prefer to live in the city than to live in the suburbs.

Clauses

Planners were criticized for what they said and what they did.

Lists

Benefits include bigger houses, better schools, and lower crime rates.

Rewrite the sentences down below using parallel structures.

  1. There are many people who like to live in an urban area rather than living in a suburban one.
  2. Some people would rather be close to city facilities than to be far from them.
  3. Urban areas can be stressful due to constant noise and places that are crowded.
  4. The plan for a modern suburb was ambitious, an innovation but not cheap.
  5. The development was praised for its public transportation system, having a network of cycle lanes and local parking.
  6. Planners tried not only to convince residents to use public transportation but also that they should walk around the areas.

Podcast

IELTS Listening Skills | 1 on 1 Coaching | Section 2 | Map/Diagram

Yes! This is my FAVORITE! Now, remember all blogs and whatnot could be found on thearseniobuckshow.com.

I really want to break down where to listen for answers, as well as identifying areas of the map.  Because there are only four questions, you will have 6-7 potential answers. However, if you look at the map and detail where potential rooms/places could be, it would be much easier for you in the long run. Listen to this if you have problems identifying places on a map.

Because it’s difficult for me to upload the photo here, I’ve instead put up the book as a PDF down below. The segment we’re doing is on page 36, so make sure to download, tune in and tag along!

Website

Podcast