Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 30 – Vocabulary – Synonyms & Antonyms

Here we go, people! Some more vocabulary is on the board for today! Synonyms and Antonyms are my favorite, and this is why most of you should develop first your synonyms, then find out the opposite meanings.  Again, this can reduce the recycling.

For those of you who do not know, synonyms have similar meanings.  Antonyms have opposite meanings.

 

Advantage:         Synonym – Benefit;      Antonym – Disadvantage

Wealthier:          Synonym – Richer;       Antonym – Poorer

 

Put the words below into the five categories.  Make sure you know which one is an antonym and which one is a synonym.

Ancient, current, different to, idealistic, insignificant, like, metropolitan, practical, rural, significant

 

Urban

Similar to

Considerable

Modern

Realistic

 

Podcast

Stephen Covey’s Season 4 – Episode 2: The Economics of Trust

Here we go, people.  Here’s a simple formula that will enable you to take trust from a variable.  Trust affects two outcomes — speed and cost.  When trust goes down, speed will also go down and costs will go up.

When trust goes up, speed will also go up and costs will go down.

Stephen Covey talked about the historic situation that happened on September 11th, 2001.  His trust in flying in America had gone down significantly.  When he would travel before the attacks, it was very easy for him to get through airport security and home in the quick airport routine.  Now there are procedures that take a lot longer at airports.  In recent years, FAA and airport security had come under fire because apparently they were sexually molesting a lot of passengers, including children.  Since then, the reports have plummeted, but you guys get the drift.  His trust went down, speed also went down and the cost went up. 

He also had flown out of a high-risk area in the Middle East.  His trust was super low in this area and had to arrive at the airport four hours before his flight, significantly reducing the speed.  He had to go through several screenings, and his bag was unpacked and searched multiple times by multiple people.  I also saw this when a passenger flying from Dubai to New York (on the flight that apparently 100 people were sick) had the same exact problem.

Clearly, extra security measures were necessary, and in this instant I was grateful for them, but the point remains the same: Because trust was low, speed went down and cost went up.

So, how can I relate this to my life? Well, when I had first flown Southwest Airlines in August of 2006 to Arizona, I flew alongside my friend Ty.  When we took off, I was terrified and tears were running down my face because of the September 11th events. I no longer trusted Americans, flights, airports or anything after that happened.  However, as time went on, I got maybe a fraction better — but still didn’t trust them.

Fast-forwarding it to present day, I live in a hot zone where planes crash quite often (Indonesia).  My students always tell me, “Nok Air and Air Asia are cheap!”  I would say, “I don’t have a cheap life.”  Air Asia, with two inexperienced pilots, got slammed four years ago when a flight going from Jakarta to Singapore fell into the ocean.  The pilots tried climbing elevation too fast and they fell out of the sky.  Human error.

A week and a half ago, Thai Lion Air, which is based at the airport I hate just north of Bangkok, also crashed leaving Jakarta airport.  Jakarta is known for having the worst crash-safety (Russia and north Africa, too), in the world and that scared the hell out of me.

Will I ever fly Air Asia or Thai Lion Air if I go to any part of Indonesia? Absolutely NOT.

I flew Singapore Airlines 2 years ago. Why? Trust is extremely high with them and the speed is fast — however — the cost is high, too.

When the Bali bombings happened in 2003, I asked a colleague (should I go to Bali)? I was terrified of going to Bali after bombings, such as that, had happened.  I then realized my trust in Bali was low because of one event.  If that’s the case, I can NEVER go to New York!

See how silly that is?

So I went, and it was the best trip of my life.

Anytime I travel now, I take the best airlines.  Travel to HK? Cathay Pacific.  Back to America? Singapore Airlines.  As of this year, I told myself I’ll never fly Air Asia again.  The flight attendants are stupendously unprofessional and don’t care about anyone.  The last time I flew with them it was a shaking rollercoaster and a tube with F1 Race car seats inside. I can’t do it anymore.

When I fly now, I fly out of the main airport.  I don’t go to the old airport anymore in the north. Why? I don’t trust the security, check-in, staff, food, or ANYTHING there.  Sure, the speed is high and the cost is low, but without trust, I just can’t do it.

 

Podcast

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – IELTS – Part 2 – Giving a Talk

Welcome back to another IELTS coaching!  Today is Episode 002, and I’ll be talking about giving a talk.

So, if you guys don’t already know, Part 2 is about the examiner asking you to talk about a specific topic.  The examiner will give you a booklet showing you the question and the ideas you need to talk about.

Let’s look at a task that I have done recently.

Describe a time that you helped someone.

You should say:

who you helped and why?

How you helped this person

what the result was

and explain how you felt about helping this person.

Taking Proper Notes

This is the most important part and could be very time-consuming and ill-prepared if the student isn’t sure about how to take notes.

Before you talk, you will be given a paper to make notes on.  This is how I want you to fill in the notes.

  • Who you helped: James
  • How: Family emergency
  • How you helped: Rushed to his place
  • Result: Rushed to hospital — cared for
  • Explanation: Amazed and rewarded

Here are some rough notes.  Again, you don’t want to write full sentences, pick out key words whereas if you look at them, you’ll be able to speak about it for 20-30 seconds in detail.  If you put articles, adjectives, verbs, etc….that could be fine, but key words will help guide you. Also, using transitions to separate thoughts will help significantly.

If you run out of time

If you run out of ideas after one minute, go to your notes again, look at the question again (did you use all details), refer back to an earlier point to add more, and keep talking while you think.

Phrases to help you keep talking

  1. Like I said earlier…..(reference)
  2. I don’t think I mentioned……(reference)
  3. At the beginning, I….
  4. One thing I forgot to mention was…….

Arsenio’s ESL – IELTS Coaching 002

Podcast

YouTube – Coming Soon

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3: Episode 16 – Speaking Skill – Becoming a Good Conversationalist

As a non-native English speaker, it’s important to become an active listener.  Becoming an active listener revolves around attentively listening to the other speaker.  Yes, it’s important to speak, too, but you will be liked very quickly if you ask people questions that they WANT to answer.

“So if you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other persons will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments.

Remember that the people you are talking to are a hundred times more interested in themselves and their wants and problems than they are in you and your problems.”

Some people are very good at this in and around Thailand because they ask the best questions that they know I would LOVEEEE to answer.  Example, “so what got you into personal development? Why do you love teaching? What are your goals? How did you overcome the obstacles in your life?” I can go on for HOURS about these topics; therefore, it makes them a great listener and conversationalist.

Follow-Up question technique

Let’s get into the basics. If you ask someone, “where are you from” and they say “Greenland,” do you know how many questions you can make from that?

  • Omg! I’ve never met anyone from Greenland! This is exciting!

The person is now feeling the excitement and they’re even more excited to get talking.  Don’t talk about your travels, stay focused and on topic with them.

  • What are some things I can do in Greenland if I go there?
  • Would you recommend any flights? How are the people?
  • Places to eat? How’s daylight there since it’s far up north? Northern lights?
  • Where else have you traveled and what brings you here?

If the other person wants to speak, that’s at least 20 minutes of conversation and more follow-up questions.  You will become this person’s best friend because you have a general interest in what they have to say.

Help those tourists!

Only way to build confidence is to genuinely be in-tune when a tourist asks a question.  I don’t want you to just smile, but really move out of your own way to help them.

Two months ago I saw two foreigners lost on the BTS and they were talking about going somewhere. They asked me where, and I told them they can get off at one particular stop.  I then went on my phone and saw that the station they were going to was not on my side of town, so I quickly told them what to do, get off at Saphan Taksin, go downstairs and take the pier to #8 where Thon Buri train station will be.  They were unbelievably grateful.  This is called doing for others without any expectation of getting anything back.

If a foreigner comes to you (and the Japanese are magicians at this), take them or at least direct them where to go.  Don’t just point and walk away like a douche (lots of people in Hong kong were like that, lol). If you’re trying to think about it, put your hand on your chin to show them you’re thinking and you’re not just being a douche.

Here are a couple techniques for this week and stay tuned for more!

Podcast

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – TOEIC – Reading – Finding the Answers

Hello, everyone! If this is your second time tuning in, this was part of the TOEIC live coaching I did last weekend. However, because Facebook live stinks, I’m not able to show you exactly how I found the answers, and more just talking.  However, I will have the YouTube video down below (coming soon) so you can see how I find the answers.  Also, this is in podcast form, if you want to listen to this without the video.

The PDF is down below for you guys, too!

With that being said, today we’re going over a test tactic (from the book Tactics for TOEIC) and the goal is to locate information in double text questions.  So, towards the latter stages of the TOEIC exam, you will get these double passages. If you’re not looking in the right places, you will lose, quickly.  So my goal is to show you guys this in bulk (YouTube) and have the podcast down below, too.

 

Questions

 

Where did Kelvin Adams see the ad?

  1. On the internet
  2. In the newspaper
  3. In a shop

 

What feature probably attracted Kelvin to this apartment?

  1. The central heating
  2. The price
  3. The location

 

How many rooms are there in the apartment?

  1. 2
  2. 5
  3. 6

 

What does Kelvin request?

  1. Directions to the apartment
  2. Pictures of the apartment
  3. An appointment in March

 

Which of the following is likely to be a problem?

  1. The availability date
  2. The policy on pets
  3. The apartment size

 

 

Text

 

Apartment for rent

  • Modern downtown studio apartment located 10 minutes from shops and public transportation
  • 2 bedrooms, kitchen, living/dining room, bathroom, balcony
  • Centrally heated (gas)
  • Suit young couple or professional
  • Part furnishing can be arranged
  • Rent $985 per month plus utilities
  • Deposit + 1 month’s rent in advance
  • No pets
  • Available mid-March

Contact Karim Patel 555 2345 Email: karim98@s_mail.com

 

To: karim98@s_mail.com

Cc:
From: Kelvin Adams (kelheart2@s_mail.com)

Dear Mr. Patel

I saw your advertisement in the local newspaper. I’m very interested in the apartment for my family. We are currently living in Westside, but are looking to move closer to the town center, by the end of February so this apartment would be ideal. I was hoping to be able to arrange a visit sometime next week. Monday would be the best day for us, if this is convenient for you.

In the ad, you mentioned that the place could be part-furnished. We have a small amount of furniture ourselves, but probably not enough for a two-bedroom place. Could you possibly tell us what inventory is likely to be included with the apartment?

I would also really appreciate it if you could possibly send us a couple of pictures of the bedroom and living/dining room, as well as some directions as to how to get there. Thank you very much in advance.

Yours

Kelvin Adams

Podcast

 

YouTube –

 

TOEIC Lesson 001

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – TOEIC – Reading Comprehension – Graphs + Podcast/YouTube

Welcome back, everyone! It’s been a long time since I’ve done a TOEIC video.  Excuse behind it? None.  It takes a lot of time and preparation.  However, I’ve got a special treat.

Since I’m checking out what the market likes, my reading comprehension video on YouTube has gotten an insane amount of views.  This time I’m coming back with how to deal with charts, tables, forms, double passages in this segment (could be broken up into two).  So without further ado, let’s get this show started!

Questions involving charts, tables, forms and double passages require a slightly different approach.

Let’s first break down an email, which will relate to many of my business English students.  So, down below are some features and how to find information quickly.  I will have A-F and I want you to match it with 1-6.

A. The main focus of the chart/table/form

B. Details of how information in the chart/table/form is meant to be used.

C. Information about who the text is from or intended for.

D. Extra details that indicate changes/differences to information in the chart/table/form

E. Background information that relates to the chart/table/form or the people who use it.

F. Details/facts/numbers/dates/names

 

**I’ve put the answers next to the numbers for you guys to understand how it works!

 

1) C

From: johnsmith@gmail.com

To: arseniobuck@icloud.com

Date: October 27th

Subject: November Visit

 

2) A

Dear Arsenio,

 

After my visit last month, I would like to talk about some of the different approaches for improving sales that were discussed at last year’s sales conference.  I would appreciate it if you would set aside the whole day on the 25th of November.

 

(3) B

so that I can meet with you and your sales team.  I am including, in the attachment, the most recent sales figures from last year for you and your team to review before we meet.

See you next month.

 

John

 

4) F Sales of Cars

5)  D                                    Jan-Mar                     April-June              July-August

Toyota                             1521                              655                            *232

Mitsubishi                       756                               943                            1100

Honda                             1873                              800                             422

6) E  * model discontinued in November

 

Podcast

 

YouTube

 

Arsenio’s ESL TOEIC

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 4 – Speaking Skill – Offering Advice and Suggestions

Use some of these phrases below when offering advice to others.  Some are followed by the -ing form of the verb.

  • I suggest going to Siam Paragon.
  • How about getting a new dog to take care of?
  • I’d recommend reading Paulo Coehlo’s The Alchemist.

Others are followed by an infinitive.

One idea is to volunteer at a daycare center.

It might be a good idea to eat things that will help you emotionally everyday.

Task: Correct mistakes in these sentences.

  1. One idea is to eating more junk food.
  2. I’d recommend to eat more apples.
  3. How about to buy more vegetables in outdoor markets?
  4. It might be a good idea for improve yourself.
  5. I suggest have a healthy snack before going to work.
  6. One way is get a pet.

Task 2: Complete the dialogues with suitable advice.

  1. I really need to find a better place to live.

I suggest __________________________________________________.

2. I don’t know what subject to major in.

How about ________________________________________________.

3. It’s very difficult for me to sleep.

It might be a good idea to ________________________________________.

4. I want to improve my diet.

I’d recommend ___________________________________________.

Podcast

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 3 – Discussion Questions/Critical Thinking

As promised, I wanted to implement some more developing thinking for my ESL learners around the globe (and for my native English speakers who aren’t asked these questions at school).

Nourishment is the topic today.  It means the things that we need to stay alive, healthy and grow strong.

What are some of the best ways to find physical and mental nourishment?

Freewriting – 15 minutes

In the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, I started meditating before going to work everyday.  It was a money affirmation by Bob Proctor.  I would do it in stillness, laying down with the blinds open.  This would really relax me, my spirit, and all the outside noise that would’ve been going on at the time.  So, this is called meditation/visualization.

Physical nourishment involves me doing strength, core, power, and conditioning training every morning.  After I’m done working out, I feel that I can conquer anything.  David Goggins says, “do the things that suck,” but that “suck” can become a passion.

What are some brain foods that you eat? Do you eat blueberries? Chocolate? Fish? Pasta?

What are some of the differences you feel when you consume brain food compared to when you don’t?

If I eat anything high in sodium, fat, carbs, or fast-food in general (primarily in the afternoon), I feel very lethargic, tired and fatigue.  I often get drowsy, too.  However, if I eat good fat like avocado, blueberries, nuts, or things high in B vitamins, I’m often awake.

What do you feed yourself emotionally? How does it make you feel?

Podcast

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 2 – Episode 50 – Pronunciation – Syllable Work (Part II)

Hello, and welcome back to some more syllable work.  It’s always good to review, reflect, and practice saying particular words.  Again, stressing syllables is very important, so I want to go over some more syllable stressing in the next 2 pronunciation blogs and podcasts.

So, in my podcast (right down below in the link) you’ll hear me reiterate the words three times.  Your goal is figure out how many syllables there are in each word (one, two, three, or four).

After that, I will stress particular syllables and you’ll have to listen closely to the ones I stress.

Words

Arrive, authority, competition, curious, immediate, page, manager, please, business, dictionary, omitted, positive, center, essay, own, text.

One syllable:

 

Two syllables:

 

Three syllables:

 

Four syllables:

 

Podcast

Ramble of Positivity: 5th Anniversary In Thailand

It’s been an unbelievable 5 years.  Wow, how can I even put it into context. I will try highlighting this through pictures.

First Three Years

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You understand where my focus was, right? 2013-2015 were the rough years with lots of racial influences, advertisements, and me focusing on “what I didn’t want.” I had a woman from Thai Airways threaten my life, stating that she would get dangerous people to kick my face in.  I got the “ewww black man! Low-class! Pimp!” comments from lots of women.  I was denied jobs for being black.  My language center (New Education World if you must know the name) denied me dozens of jobs stating, “ohhh, they want a white teacher.”  All of these culminated for three years (and even well into this year after cutting off the unknowledgeable job)…..until the beginning of 2016.

Then this happened…..

Last Two Years

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And just like that, within two years time, I was able to overcome all of the ignorance — ignorance that I saturated myself in.  Let’s look back at the years that transformed me into the influential figure I am.  It’s time for the ramble!

My first photo, which was taken at a night safari deep in some forest in Bali, is possibly the best trip I’ve ever had in my life.  Bali, an alluring island that’s tucked away in the bottom of Indonesia, was one of those chips that changed me as a human being.  It should’ve been the trip that made me quit my current job, but it never crossed my mind.  This island is inhabited with white sandy beaches, quiet beachside fronts, jungles, monkeys, and a rich history.  The indigenous people there are full of smiles, big round eyes, and possess such a wonderful heart.

The second Spartan Race, which took place in Chon Buri, Thailand, was a memorable WALK.  I’m kidding.  However, I’m not kidding about it just being a long walk.  Regardless of laziness and the willingness to push yourself, this was one of my favorite runs because the amount of smiles and people pushing each other.

Maldives.  I’m laughing while writing this because this was a country that featured no currency.  That’s right.  I went there with Thai currency, only to be turned away and had no means of getting any currency while I was there.  Until I was met with the most incredible gesture anyone has ever given me.  This trip, which could’ve been a hell of a lot better, taught me a lot about myself in general.

Ho Chi Mihn City – the city of beautiful souls.  Well, not all.  I got cussed out roadside by a Vietnamese boy who was soliciting me for services *curling eyes*.  Going inside the remnants war museum and seeing the pure destruction the USA Army unleashed upon all Vietnamese crippled me inside.  Not only that, but it made me realize how strong-willed the Vietnamese are.

First Spartan Race in Malaysia (and the one just two weeks ago) were FUN! Wait, I’ll take that back. The first Spartan race SUCKED.  Ok, yes….it was near public transportation (versus the last one that was in the middle of a damn jungle), but there weren’t comedians or anyone cheering each other on – on the course.  Get what I’m saying? But a Sprint and Super have been achieved.  It’s time for the BEAST!

Moving into my new condo and leaving a place that was killing my insides…was a monumental feature.  I believe I brought all the pain from the beginning of the years to my last job and it held me down.  I took the leap of faith, left, and I could finally breathe again.

Anyways, enough of that.  How about checking some things off my list! Sheraton Hotel, which is a five-star hotel in KL, was put on my 101 goals list in 2015 — ACHIEVED! It wasn’t the only one to join the “checking” list with several others being highlighted.

And last but not least, the trip back to Arizona — a place I haven’t been in years.  I competed in a Tough Mudder after fighting off food poisoning (courtesy of Singapore Airlines – Thank You!).

All in all, when I was looking in my camera roll on my iPhone, I began to tear up.  How was I able to overcome all of it?

Personal development, of course.  5 years in Thailand and I still go through the craziness of it all.  So, I want to just say THANK YOU to no only my loyal followers and supporters, but the fact that I never gave up.