Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 28 – Pronunciation – Thought Groups – Chunking

Welcome back to another pronunciation podcast, everyone! Today I’m featuring “chunking,” which is how you can separate your speaking structures into logical thought groups. Let’s go over some.

  • Short Sentences: I have to study. Where did I put my book?
  • Clauses: “If you speak in thought groups, / it’ll be easier to understand.
  • Phrases: Steve Jobs / dropped out of college / after six months.
  • Transitions: IN fact, thought groups make you sound more fluent.
  • Common Single Word Expressions: Well, I heard from Jake.
  • Common Multi Word Combinations: What I’m trying to say is, combating global warming will have to be a global effort.

Additional Practice

  1. Bill Gates, who started a software company, is one of the richest people in the world.
  2. Arsenio, who’s a teacher in Thailand, is from America. In fact, he’s been living in Thailand for six years!
  3. Jennifer, who used to work in a law office before becoming a superstar, is Puerto Rican.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 22 – Pronunciation: Introduction to Thought Groups

Welcome back, everyone! It’s time to dig deeper into Thought Groups!


  • How to divide your speech into Thought Groups.
  • How Thought Groups help listeners process what is being said.

Fluent speakers don’t often organize their speeches into Thought Groups in English. If you look at Tony Robbins, for instance, he RARELY uses Thought Groups and that’s why it becomes very difficult for people to understand him.

However, other people like Vishen Lakhiani, Jim Quick, Tom Bilyeu and other entrepreneurs do……

Thought Groups Writing

“Hello/ This is Arsenio / he’s from America and teaches English here. / If you have any questions, / please feel free to ask.

That’s how thought groups are divided.


In my podcast, practice the thought groups you see down below.

  1. 7-week-long vacations /// 7/ week-long vacations.
  2. 3-hour-long exams /////// 3 / hour-long exams.
  3. 49-cent stamps ////// 40 / 9-cent stamps
  4. Please call me Ben. /////// Please call me, Ben.
  5. Who’s hiring Julia? //////// Who’s hiring, / Julia?
  6. Slow men working. ////// Slow/ men working.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3: The ‘How To’ Guide – How To Start Conversations

So, a very interesting conversation came up last Sunday morning with a student in my Sunday class and she said, “teacher, how do I speak with foreigners?”

It’s one of the most difficult questions to answer, but in becoming a good conversationalist over the past decade, I know what people want to talk about: themselves!

That’s right.  The first thing someone wants to talk about is their personal life, where they’re from, or their passions.

The situation went like this. One of my students approached a man in line at a coffee shop and she told him where to stand.  After that, she kindly asked him where he was from.  Now, men can have preconceived notions, so the first thing she was afraid of was “what if he thinks I’m hitting on him?” Well, you would tell rather quickly.  If he’s interested, his body language can change.  There are so many different things that can be said and learned in conversing with foreigners, and it calls comes down to the learning experiences.

So, the guy, who she was talking to, said that he came to Thailand with his girlfriend.  My student should’ve immediately said, “oh, nice! Well enjoy your stay!” Just to avoid any friction.  Don’t pursue the conversation because in some cultures, that could be extremely offensive.

My conversation technique? Oh, it’s the best! And it’s ONLY in the podcast.