Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 35 | Close Listening | Vocabulary Preview | Children, Sports, & Identity

Ahhh, controversial topics, good vocabulary to speak about, and a preview into what we will be doing next Monday. Following Monday’s post will be a study skill technique called “cornell notes.” Now, I don’t necessarily care so much about universities in general, but while you’re listening, there are different ways you can take notes to separate information. So, welcome to the first part of the three-day festive!

Match the following words from the box with the correct definitions.

Words: eliminate, enhance, initiative, interfere, motivate, outrage, prestige, protective

  1. to encourage someone to behave in a particular way
  2. to deliberately become involved in a situation to try to influence it
  3. a strong feeling of anger and shock at something you feel is unfair
  4. the high reputation that someone or something has earned
  5. wanting to stop someone or something from being hurt
  6. the ability to decide in an independent way what to do and when
  7. to get rid of something that is not wanted or needed
  8. to improve something or make it more attractive or valuable

Complete the sentences with the words in bold.

  1. All competitors would _________ their sports performances if they had the opportunity.
  2. It would be impossible to _________ all elements of competition from society.
  3. Most sports competitors will do anything for the __________ of winning.
  4. Parents and teachers should not _____________ in children’s playground games.
  5. Parents should avoid being too ______________ of their children in team sports.
  6. Prize money is the most effective way to __________ sports competitors.
  7. The government should take the _____________ to fund more public sports centers.
  8. We are right to feel ____________ when a sports competitor is revealed as a cheat.


Listen First Trust Tips

  • Think back over your interactions with others during the past week, both at work and at home. Think of a time when you did or didn’t Listen First. What were the results? What would have been the results if you had behaved differently?

Of course, withdrawals. See, this is very important, especially in the world of business. When handling a client, it’s important to know that “they’re always correct.”

Recently I was watching a YouTube series of Heathrow Airport and they featured a man on Singapore Airlines who said, “no matter what, the passenger is always right.” Yes, even if they’re wrong. Remember the technique I gave you a long time ago involving Dale Carnegie and how he handled belligerent wood buyers? Ask the right questions and then make the other personal realize, indirectly, that they’re wrong. It takes strong personal skills to achieve such a feat though.

Nonetheless, if you just listen instead of voicing your opinion, the matter can be handled. Yes, when dealing with First Class and Business Class passengers, these entitled brats would still not say “thank you” and talk about their personal feelings. It’s insanity, and thus why I can’t work for anyone who has these types of individuals.

  • The next time you’re in a conversation, stop and ask yourself, Have I really listened to this other person? Do I really understand how he or she feels? If not, simply stop and do it. Set your own agenda aside and really focus on understanding the other person’s point of view before you share your own.

I’ve gotten FAR BETTER at this! This past Tuesday, I nailed it. When dealing with an investment client and a few other employees from Agoda. I listened….for the very first time, and it felt damn good! I didn’t want to impose my agenda and opinions no subjects, but rather asked the right follow-up questions afterwards.

  • In your company, take proactive steps to understand your stakeholders — both internal and external. Don’t get caught up in the illusion that you know everything or have all the right answers. Consider what you can do to ensure others that you are listening to them and making an effort to meet their concerns and needs.

And this is the ultimate one of humanity. Please, don’t always assume that you’re correct and know everything. This type of broken leadership is why companies completely fall apart — often overnight.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 9 – Listening: American Fraternities

Arsenio's ESL Podcast
Arsenio's ESL Podcast: Season 4 - Episode 9 - Listening: American Fraternities

This is going to be SUPER INTERESTING. This if the first time I’ve done an audio, and I thought this was a very interesting topic to touch up on. This is great for listening and you’ll also have some questions to answer. Yes, this could be a potentially long podcast, but let’s get right into it!


Have you ever been a member of a society, club, or team? If not, would you like to be in one in the future?


Are the statements True (T), False (F) or is the information Not Given (NG)?

  1. Fraternities have purely social purpose.
  2. Fraternities use Greek letters as their names.
  3. Originally, fraternities met to discuss important issues.
  4. Sophie is a member of different clubs.
  5. Sophie always gets good grades.
  6. Students aren’t involved in the choice about which fraternity they join.
  7. “Hazing” is not allowed in most universities.
  8. Students can talk about what happens in hazing rituals.
  9. Daniel is involved in student government.
  10. Sophie feels that her sorority has helped her with her social skills.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 1 – Self-Awareness – Self-Evaluation

Arsenio's ESL Podcast
Arsenio's ESL Podcast: Season 4 - Episode 1 - Self-Awareness - Self-Evaluation

Guys! Welcome to the first episode of season 4! I just want to kick some things off before starting this. I want to do a self-awareness/self-evaluation before proceeding.

To develop a skill, you first need to know where you’re starting from. What are your current strengths and weaknesses in particular areas of English? Is it listening? Is it speaking? Pronunciation? Incorrect grammar use? Once you become aware, what is it you want to achieve? Where do you need to improve? What are your resources? What could obstruct your goals?

Ways of developing such awareness include:

  • Using self-eval questionnaires
  • Monitoring your progress
  • Maintaining a reflective journal or blog
  • A group discussion or chat
  • Feedback from others

Now, I want you to complete the chart with your own information about your study of English.




Aids (people and tools that can help me)

Challenges and obstacles


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

Arsenio's ESL Podcast
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: Season 3 – Episode 50 – Developing Vocabulary – Phrasal Verbs Connected with Sports

We’re back with some more phrasal verbs! Because these particular blogs and podcasts are very popular, I love to debut them weekly. Here we go!

  1. She took up a new sport because she was bored during the winter.
  2. You should always warm up before going for a run so that you can reduce the chances of cramping.
  3. The Baltimore Ravens knocked Pittsburgh Steelers out of the playoffs in Week 17, so the Steelers won’t be participating in the postseason.
  4. Hey! Are you from around here? Want to join in?
  5. I gave in while playing Danny in ping-pong during college; it was impossible to beat him!
  6. They really want to win so they’re going to go for the two-point conversion.
  7. She’s really fit because she works out at the gym everyday.


  1. Prepare for a sport or another activity by doing gentle exercises.
  2. Stop competing and accept you can’t win.
  3. Try very hard to win or get something.
  4. Start participating in an activity with other people who are already doing it.
  5. Start a sport or hobby.
  6. Do physical exercise.
  7. Eliminate somebody from a competition by beating them/make somebody unconscious.

Complete the sentences with the correct form of the phrasal verbs.

  1. I’m going to _______________ badminton. Tomorrow I’m going to buy a racket.
  2. Yesterday we played in the Final Four. We aren’t in the final because the other team _____________ us ______________.
  3. Why don’t you __________?
  4. She’s got the right conviction to become a champion. When she’s losing, she never ________________.
  5. It’ll be a hard race but she’s going to ______________ the championship.
  6. He pulled his hamstring because he didn’t _________________ before running.
  7. They’re really strong. They _________________in the gym, doing weightlifting.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 49 – Developing Vocabulary – Collocations Related to Work

This is a two-episode week of developing vocabulary, which I think a lot of you may be looking forward to. Today we’re going over some regular collations with work.

So, to break it down, some verbs and nouns naturally go together. There are verb/noun collocations that are related to work, such as solve a problem, earn money, and schedule a meeting.

  1. Complete the sentences down below with the following words: earn money, go to a meeting, meet a client, schedule a meeting, send an e-mail, wear a uniform.

A. I’m going to _____________ at dinnertime. His name is Andrew.

B. Can you ____________ for 12.00 pm? I have great news for the coordinators.

C. Nurses in Thailand have to _______________; they’re an off blue.

D. I have to _________ in the afternoon at the United Center.

E. I need to _________________ to my client. Do you have his email?

F. We work because we need to _______________, but we like our jobs.


Cross out the word that doesn’t form a collocation.

  1. Ask for: Time off, fire, 
  2. Get: a meeting, paid, promoted
  3. Make: a phone call, a colleague, money
  4. Take: a day off, notes, a meeting
  5. Work: overtime, from home, boss
  6. Write: a vacation, report, an email

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 46 – Developing Vocabulary – Prep Phrases with Adjectives

Welcome back, everyone! Today I want to go over some prepositional phrases that have adjectives conjoined with them. It’s always great to increase your overall vocabulary skill.

What prepositions do we usually use after these adjectives: aware, interested, ready

2. Match the adjectives with the prepositions. Check that you understand the meaning.

Adjective                                Preposition

  1. Good of
  2. Bored for
  3. Worried to
  4. Tired at
  5. Afraid with
  6. Responsible about
  7. Similar from
  8. Different
  9. Pleased

Complete the questions with the correct prepositions.

  1. Are you good ___________presentations?
  2. Are you interested ______________ going to Nepal?
  3. Are you aware ______________ the latest trends on YouTube?
  4. Are you tired _______________ taking the bus to work?
  5. Are you pleased ______________ your progress in life compared to last year?
  6. Are you ready _____________ your next holiday?
  7. Are you afraid ______________ snakes?
  8. Are you similar _________________ anyone in your family, or are you very different _______________ them all?
  9. Are you worried ______________ the game later?
  10. Are you responsible for looking after your brother?
  11. Are you bored _______________ Thai drama?

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – TOEIC – Listening Part IV – Mini-Test

Now practice what you have learnt at actual test speed with question 1- 12.

1.      Where is the announcement taking place?

(A) In a college classroom.

(B) At a company board meeting.

(C) At a computer conference.

(D) In a department store.


2.      What is the main purpose of the announcement?

(A) To summarize sales volumes.

(B) To suggest areas for research.

(C) To advertise a product.

(D) To outline a business plan.


3.      What is suggested about the EL401 standard desktop computer?

(A) It has become less popular.

(B) It has risen in price.

(C) It is popular with college students.

(D) It is exceptionally reliable


4.      According to the announcement, why should discarded items be put          in bags?

(A) To keep city streets clean

(B) To reduce waste collection costs

(C) To make materials safe to handle

(D) To avoid attracting hungry animals


5.      On what day are leaves and grass collected?

(A) On Tuesday

(B) On Wednesday

(C) On Thursday

(D) On Friday


6.      By what time should bags be placed outside?

(A) By 7.00

(B) By 7.30

(C) By 8.00

(D) By 8.30


7.      Who most likely is making this announcement?

(A) An automobile salesperson

(B) A police officer

(C) A weather reporter

(D) An insurance company representative


8.      According to the announcement, what should drivers do in poor                weather conditions?

(A) Adjust their driving to road conditions

(B) Listen to the weather report

(C) Plan the shortest possible route

(D) Pull into the side of the road


9.      When are listeners invited an Auto and Marine agent?

(A) When roads are blocked

(B) When safety tips are unclear

(C) When a vehicle needs maintenance

(D) When a mobile telephone is not working


10.    What is the purpose of this announcement?

(A) To announce some important computer improvements

(B) To apologize for some incorrect information

(C) To explain the cause of a computer system failure

(D) To describe how to send company e-mail


11.    What has caused a problem?

(A) The installation of computer games

(B) The opening of an infected file

(C) The failure to install company software

(D) The sharing of computer passwords


12.    What are computer users reminded to do?

(A) Keep a record of all passwords

(B) Open attachments only from familiar senders

(C) Install a better security system

(D) Purchase new computers

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Special – TOEFL Idioms – Part IV

Arsenio's ESL Podcast
Arsenio's ESL Podcast: Season 3 - Special - TOEFL Idioms - Part IV


Hello, everyone! Because TOEFL idioms last week was a huge success, I’ve brought it back AGAIN for all of you out there. So, here’s the podcast and chart for you guys, and be sure to tune in next week for more!

Hang in there Be patient. I know it’s hard waiting for the exam results, but you just need to hang in there.
Hard up Lack money. Ellie knew I was hard up, so she paid for my coffee.
Have a bone to pick Have something to argue about. I have a bone to pick with the girl who stole my boyfriend from me.
Jump on the bandwagon To join something that’s popular. I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon and listen to that new band everyone is talking about.
Let’s get this show on the road! Let’s get started! We have everything packed for the road trip, so let’s get this show on the road!
Let the cat out of the bag To tell a secret. The surprise party was ruined when my little brother let the cat out of the bag and told our mom about it.
Lose your marbles To be crazy. (Often said as a joke.) Mrs. Thompson wants all this homework finished tomorrow? She must have lost her marbles!