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.


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

Arsenio's ESL Podcast
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 3 – Episode 42 – Speaking – Agreeing/Disagreeing (Intermediate)

Arsenio's ESL Podcast
Arsenio's ESL Podcast
Arsenio's ESL Podcast: Season 3 - Episode 42 - Speaking - Agreeing/Disagreeing (Intermediate)


Welcome back to another episode and welcome back to my first played audio in a WHILE! The last time I did this, it was in season 1. So, with that being said, we’re going to be talking about famous cities and discussing whether or not they are good vacation destinations.

Vocabulary Words

  • Air quality
  • Cost of living
  • Crime rate
  • Things to see and do
  • Value for money
  • Weather

Agreeing and Disagreeing

When discussing ideas in seminars, normally you have to use formal language. Here are some phrases in terms of agreeing.

Formal: I agree. I like that idea. You have a point.

Informal: That’s what I think. That’s a great idea.

The key to disagreeing is to be polite. You can do this by using a nice tone or adding words to make your statements sound better.

I disagree.

I’m sorry, but I disagree.

That’s not always true (not one of my favorites and can produce an argument).

I don’t think that’s always true.

I’m not sure about that.

Listening exercise

Listen to the students discussing vacation destination and complete the chart down below.

Viktor Jung-Su


Points mentioned



An Easy Way To Become A Good Conversationalist

Have you ever sat down with somebody and allowed them to talk for hours and hours? Ok, maybe not hours, but up to an hour at best.  They would probably label you as an active listener.  They would probably say that you’re one of the best conversationalists they have ever come across.  But did you speak?

Maybe a bit.  Maybe not at all.

However, listening with intent and genuine interest wins people.

A story one of my Australian sidekicks gave me resonated with me and probably with everyone else whom I will tell.  At the time, back in the early 1990’s, she was applying for jobs in Tokyo, Japan.  Without a degree, it’s virtually impossible to land a job….and heading into a particular interview, she knew she would have to win the potential employer before he asked her about her credentials.

In saying that, when the day came, she sat down in his office and realized that he had pictures on the wall, which all pertained to one another.  Visualize these pictures at motels.  She immediately got an idea and said, “so, you want to own your own motel?”  He retorted, “absolutely.  How did you know?” For the next hour, this man talked about himself and only himself….because people are more interested in themselves when another listener is around.  Because of her solid follow-up question technique, he hired her on the spot without even asking about the obvious – the credentials.

Some of my executive auditing students recently asked me intriguing and compelling questions that had me talking about myself and my life; and at that time in the morning, I went from feeling sleepy, to fully alert.  Granted….these particular students are at a low-level in terms of spoken English, but how are they able to ask such in-depth follow-up questions about topics?  That’s my goal as a life teacher.  Get yourself thinking about other individuals and have that genuine interest in their life.

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