Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 149 | Study Skills | Checking your Reading Speed

Welcome back to another podcast and today we’re going to talk about reading speed. Now, I do think this is completely irrelevant because if you don’t pick up what you’re actually reading, the speed doesn’t matter. However, smart reading is more like it. So let’s go over some techniques that can help you.

  • Find something familiar to read.
  • Set the alarm for ten minutes.
  • Read for ten minutes at a speed that allows you to understand what you ready.
  • Count how many words you read.
  • Divide this number by ten, to find out how many words you read in one minute.
  • Do this using different texts. If you read fewer than 200-250 words per minute, even with material that is clear and interesting, it is worth trying to increase your speed.

Tips for improving your reading speed.

  • Keep your eyes moving forward to avoid re-reading parts of the text
  • Avoid moving your mouth or using your fingers to follow the lines.
  • Read with a clear purpose to keep you motivated and on track.
  • Practice reading academic material more often.
  • Actively improve your reading speed through practice.
  • Change your reading speed according to what you are reading. Slow down for sections with unknown technical words and speed up for sections with more familiar language.

Podcast

Study Skills – Reading Speed

ARSENIO’S ESL PODCAST | SEASON 5 EPISODE 107 | Reading | The Power of the Doodle

The power of the doodle! This is some ground-breaking news from an article I read recently. For those of you that don’t know doodling, it’s basically a wandering thought, untidy, uninhibited antic that we have. However, before it was just a waste of time, but neuroscientists have now realized the benefits it has for students in the classroom. The entire listening is within the podcast!

Listen to the article about doodling. Choose the correct headings (i-viii) for each paragraph you hear (which is A-F). This would be an IELTS reading, but I’m going to make it even more difficult for you.

i. The powerful cultural norm against doodling _____

ii. The link between art and intelligence

iii. Drawing as a natural instinct

iv. A way to boost creativity

v. A call for everyone to doodle

vi. the potential benefits for students

vii. Changing views about doodling

viii. Doodling throughout history

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Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 111 – Reading – Australian Survives Fall (Patreon Special)

Here’s a Patreon reading for all of you, and of course, we have to talk about the second half of the story (which will be found on my Patreon Silver Badge). So make sure you tune in!

Eric Langworth, a 22-year-old student from Australia, miraculously survived when her bungee cord snapped and she fell into a crocodile-infested river.

The thrill seeker from Perth had never done a bungee jump before, but decided to give it a go while traveling in Zambia. Having just finished university, she wanted a big adventure, so she’d set off for Africa. She was traveling alone but joined a tour group when she heard they were heading to Victoria Falls to go bungee jumping. Known as the adrenalin capital of Africa, Victoria Falls is the ultimate destination for extreme sports enthusiasts looking for mind-blowing experiences. The idea of jumping from 111 metre-high bridge over the gorge with the thunder of the falls behind sounded too good to miss.

She remembers the spectacular views as she looked out over the Zambezi River. Then she spread her arms and fell forward. ‘Everything sped by in a blue-green blue,’ she says. ‘The rush was amazing.’

On the platform above, Erin’s friend Rebecca Johnson filmed the heart-stopping moment. ‘She was supposed to come right back out and she never did,’ Rebecca said. ‘Everybody on the bridge just panicked.’

Feeling as though she had been slapped all over, and hardly able to breathe, Erin floated along with the south of the falls roaring in her ears. tied to her bungee cord and with her ankles still strapped together, she was pulled downriver and underwater into whirlpools. At one point, the cord got caught and she was dragged beneath the surface. Running out of air, and with her vision starting to fade, she managed to dive down and free the rope. Eventually, she was able to wedge her arm between two rocks on the side of the river. All she could think about was clinging on.

Although she’d jumped at 5.30 in the afternoon, Erin didn’t get to the hospital 11pm. The paramedics got lost on the way and she’d ended up on the Zimbabwean side of the river without a passport, so she was essentially an illegal immigrant.

Erin was visited in the hospital by the people from the bungee company, who were astounded that she was still alive. Friends she had met while traveling helped her to get her belongings and passport and she was then flown to South Africa for medical treatment. Two weeks later, she traveled home to Australia.

For the additional stories and what happened, tune into my Patreon down below!

Patreon

Podcast

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 44 – Reading + Pronunciation – Emotional Thinking

Welcome back to another ESL podcast, everyone! Boy, this is a good write-up from a book that I thought was pretty compelling. Listen to my podcast and thoughts about it, as well as my reading!

Emotional thinkingIs it better to think with your head or your heart? The real question may be – do you have a choice? Even people who pride themselves on being logical, rational thinkers may be more influenced by their emotions than they realise.

  • The reason for that is simple: Emotions are designed to influence behaviour. Emotions evaluate a situation and then tell us how to react. When your brain experiences an emotion, it sends a signal to your nervous system, which in turn sends signals to the rest of your body. This is why people refer to a “gut feeling.” Emotions give you this type of information more quickly and with a stronger impact than using your reasoning. They’re designed to help you make decisions quickly, especially in “high stakes’ situations, those that very important or carry some element of risk.
  • Emotional responses are often built on past experiences. Have you ever had an unpleasant experience with a bully in school, for example? If you later encounter someone in business meeting who reminds you of that person, perhaps because he looks similar or exhibits some of the same behaviour, you might feel the same emotions you felt as a child, such as fear and anxiety, and be reluctant to interact with that person.
  • Popular articles encourage people to “Listen to your guy” and to “Trust your instincts.” The problem is that these emotions won’t always be correct. The person in the business meeting might not be a bully at all, but only share the same hair and eye colour or tone of voice. Even though your emotions are telling you two people are similar, it might not be true.
  • Emotional thinking has an important impact on the workplace because it influences how people decide what to do. researchers have found that emotions carry out four key functions in decision – making:
  • They provide information. Emotions tell you whether an experience or encounter is likely to be positive or negative. Pleasure and displeasure are two emotions that serve this function.
  • They improve speed. Because emotions are felt more immediately than logical thought, they result in decisions being made faster. Fear, anger, and hunger are good examples of emotional that produce a rapid response.
  • They assess relevance. Emotions such as regret and disappointment that are based on someone’s personal history will influence how that person evaluates an event in the present.
  • They strengthen commitment to others. Community and personal connection are important in social groups, and emotions such as guilt, love, and empathy guide people to help others in their group.
  • All of these functions are important on the job; but how good are emotions at carrying them out?
  • Studies conducted about the implication of emotional thinking in the workplace have found some interesting – and sobering – results. For example, when people feel angry, they are more likely to assume a situation is less risky than it really is, and also to be less willing to admit they have made mistake. An angry manager might continue to support a failing project because he doesn’t want to admit that he was wrong.
  • When people experience fear, on the other hand, they tend to give up on projects too easily. While anger gives people too much confidence, fear takes too much confidence away.
  • People feeling sad or depressed were found to be more likely to set low prices for items they were asked to sell. However, they were also more generous towards others.
  • People who feel happy are less likely to take risks. but even happiness is not all good news. More than one study has found that happy people put more emphasis on the appearance of something than quality. There’s a reason why job interviews, when both people laugh and feel relaxed, are more likely to result in the candidate being offered the job.
  • If even positive feelings can lead to inappropriate decisions, what should a person do? While emotional thinking is inevitable, steps can be taken to add rational thinking as well. As emotional thoughts come more quickly, and yet might not be accurate, build extra time into your decision – making process. Give yourself enough time and opportunity to logically evaluate the situation. You can also               force your brain to react impartially, for example, by making a list of advantages and disadvantages of a discretion.
  • Understanding emotional thinking will help you better understand the way other people behave. If you can tell who is approaching a task with anger or fear, you will be better able to predict how they will act.
  • Nonetheless, the same event or circumstance can cause different emotions in different people. Almost everyone, for instance, feels anxiety or stress while working on projects with a deadline. But for some people, that anxiety begins as soon as the project is assigned. Other people only feel anxious when the deadline is very close. The first person will start working right away in order to get rid of or lessen the sense of anxiety. But the second won’t begin until the deadline is near because the anxiety hasn’t been triggered yet. For managers, knowing which type of person each of their employees is will help with time management and choosing which people could work  together on a team.
  • Ideally, you will never have to choose between emotional thinking and rational thinking. To maximise your ability to make good decisions, use both. Give your brain time to interpret the signals your emotions are giving you instead of relying solely on one type of input. Use every resources your body provides, in other words, instead of just some. It’s the logical thing to do, and it feels right too.

Questions in a reading text can fulfil a number of different functions.

Interest: Asking a question that makes readers interested. They want to know the answer, so they read further. sometimes a question is asked directly to the reader; this is common in introductions, for instance. The reader answers the question in his or her head, and then feels a connection to the subject.

Importance: Some questions will be directly answers in the text, and it’s important for the reader to learn the answer. A question then signals to the reader that this is essential information. If you see a question such as “What are four stages of culture shock?” then you know it’s important that you learn the four stages. Headings are sometimes phrased as questions for this purpose and exam tasks often refer to question in reading texts.

Skillful 3
  1. Is it better to think with your head or your heart?
  2. The real question may be — do you have a choice?
  3. Have you ever had an unpleasant experience with a bull in school, for example?
  4. All of these functions are important on the job; but how good are emotions at carrying them out?
  5. If even positive feelings can lead to inappropriate decisions, what should a person do?

Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 46 – Behavior #6 – Deliver RESULTS!

If you want to establish a relationship with a client, what is one thing you can do to build trust the fastest?

Stephen Covey

DELIVER THE RESULTS!

When I first started teaching at a language center and company, I would venture out to a part of town/street that I used to work on in my previous job. Get this, the new company was located just 1km down the street where I was fired — which lead to me quitting the job that had originally sent me there because of mistreatment.

Going down there was nostalgic, and I really didn’t want go down a road that had been closed in the previous 5 months, but because I did and delivered the results, the chirps happened.

What do I mean by that? Well, different institutions began contacting me around Bangkok saying, “we heard about you through _____________ and we heard you’re a great teacher.” That word-of-mouf happened and that took me to the next level because I DELIVERED RESULTS.

Results give you instant credibility and instant trust. They give you clout. They clearly demonstrate that you add value, that you can contribute, that you can perform.

In a separate story, when I got the results needed for my students to go to universities around the world, it created chatter amongst the toxic Gen B foreigner teachers at my previous job. They were scared: “does this mean he will get more IELTS test? But he can’t teach this…or that. So more pre-conceived notions came in and that’s when I began teaching outside because I knew what my capabilities were.

Results provide a powerful tool for building trust in your relationships with others.

Stephen Covey

I post all the results of specific tests online. Why? Because people then know if I can deliver. What’s a more reputable institution: Arsenio Buck, or The British Council? Well, I see Arsenio teaching on YouTube, podcasts, Facebook lives, and free live sessions on Facebook. He’s demonstrated that he knows what he’s talking about. British Council, on the other hand, doesn’t show her the teachers are, what they do, free coaching, and doesn’t provide services. It just provides a “check out” page on their website.

The opposite of Deliver Results is performing poorly or failing to deliver. The counterfeit is delivering activities instead of results.

It’s like the people who make fantastic presentations and exciting promises….but never come through.

A funny, but head-scratching example of this would be Ja Rule, an American Rapper who promised a Fyre Festival full of booze, resort villas, 5-star gourmet food, and more. He delivered refugee tents, food in styrofoam boxes, and out-houses. What’s more shocking is people were bamboozled not only once, but three times! They didn’t learn the first time; therefore, he did it again, and again….and now people finally know how scandalous he is.

Another example would be a place I worked for before. In short, my student got a 7 on a speaking test. She paid an ABSURD AMOUNT OF MONEY at a famous institution and it went down to a 6. She learned with me again and shot up to a 7.5 on her speaking test.

So, going forward, I can NEVER recommend that language institution because they didn’t deliver the results.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 21 – Pronunciation Log – Rhythms

Welcome back to another ESL podcast! It’s time to log your enunciations of the following recordings that I have down below in the podcast. Make sure to keep these and here yourself maybe quarterly and compare yourself. This is a great way to track your progress.

So, you’re going to create and record a voicemail message. If you want, choose all the situations down below.

  • You will be about two hours late to work/school today. Leave a message for your supervisor/friend explaining why.
  • Olga, a new friend from your English class, left you a message inviting you to a dinner party on Friday night. Leave her a message about why you can’t attend.
  • The director of your son’s preschool just left you a message because your son bit another child. The director wants to discuss an appropriate response. Ask the director to call you back and confirm a meeting time.
  1. Practice saying your message. Then record it.
  2. Listen to your recording and review your patterns.
  3. Then write down some phrases and patterns you liked/didn’t like.

Re-record the message, if you wish, and send it to my Instagram so I can grade you.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 6 – Speaking & Reading – Using The Idioms

This is a very interesting and long blog for you guys. I decided to implement someone speaking AND READING into this blog. The speaking obviously will be in the podcast, but the reading is an additional task for you down below. Let’s see how you guys respond to this!

Speaking Questions

From the previous day, you had idioms. Here they are.

  • Be under someone’s thumb
  • Do something behind someone’s back
  • Get something off your chest
  • Give someone the cold shoulder
  • Lend someone a hand
  • Pull someone’s leg
  • See eye-to-eye with someone
  • Stick your neck out for someone

Put them in the sentences down below.

  1. When was the last time you lent someone a _________? What did you do to help them?
  2. What would you do if your friend said something mean about you behind your __________?
  3. When was the last time you pulled someone’s ___________? What did you say or do?
  4. Is there anything that you and a friend don’t see __________to__________ about? What is it?
  5. Do you think you are under anyone’s ______________, or that anyone is under yours? Who?
  6. Who would be most likely to stick their ___________ out for you if you were in trouble?
  7. Who do you talk to when you need to get something off your __________? why?
  8. What would you do if a friend gave you the cold ____________?

Reading

Read the texts. For questions 1-12, choose the four texts (A-D). The texts may be chosen more than once.

Which text best describes a test that….

  • Involved listening to what people say? ______
  • Required people to change their normal behavior? _____
  • Gives a biological explanation for human relationships? _____
  • Required participants to do two separate activities? ______
  • Showed human relationships haven’t changed? ______
  • Took different personality types into account? ______
  • Proves our assumptions about human behavior are incorrect? ______
  • Suggests group activities make people kinder? ______
  • Confirmed what psychologists expected? _____
  • Required people to record what they did everyday? ______

Social interaction

 
A. ___ While most people agree that social interaction is important, we’re told to keep distance from strangers. But what if the advice is wrong?
The behavioural scientists, Nicholas Epley and Juliana Schroeder approached commuters in Chicago who were about to get on a train. They asked one group of commuters to talk to the person next train. They asked one group of commuters to talk to the person next to them while they were travelling to work. Other people behaved as normal and kept to themselves. At the end of the train ride, the commuters who had talked to a stranger reported having a more positive experience than those who had been sitting alone. In another study, psychologist Gillian Sandstorm asked people to carry two clickers, one red and one black, in their pockets all day.
The people clicked the red one when they interacted with someone close to them, and the black one when they interacted with someone they didn’t know well. She found that both introverts and extroverts felt happier on days when they had more social interactions. More surprisingly, interactions with strangers contributed as much to their happiness as those with family and friends.
It seems that all social interactions are important, not just with people we know well.
 
B. ____ Social media has revolutionised the way we relate to one another. It has allowed us to amass thousands of ‘friends’ online, but according to the evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar, certain things haven’t changed.
Just over ten years ago, Dunbar began a study of the English habit of sending Christmas cards. He discovered that the average household sent about 150 cards a year. This number came as no surprise. Dunbar claims that our mind are not designed to accommodate more than a certain number of relationships – around 150, to be precise.
Over the past two decades, he and like – minded researchers have discovered groupings of 150 everywhere they looked. the average size of communities from hunter – gatherer societies up to the present day is around 150. Once a group grows larger, its members begin to lose their sense of connection.
Most of us can follow the lives and interests of about 150 friends on social media. Meanwhile, our circle of actual friends remains small. Further interviews and analysis carried out by Dunbar showed that the number of real – life friends a person can handle is 50. Our closest support group is likely to be around three.
 
C. ___ Researchers have long observed that humans tend to synchronise their body movements. When we talk with a friend, we often find our footsteps are in sync. The applause of a large audience tends to fall into a rhythm. What is the reason for this phenomenon in human behaviour?
Stanford psychologists Scott Wiltermuth and Chip Heath carried out a pair of tests on synchronised movements. they asked two groups of volunteers to walk around the Stanford campus. The first group was asked to walk normally, the second to walk in step.
Later, both groups were given collaborative games to play. The games were devised so that the more the participants cooperated, the more they collectively won. As Wiltermuth and Heath anticipated, the group that had walked in step cooperated better in the games. Those who had moved at their own speed and tempo were more likely to look out only for themselves.
The psychologists concluded that when people move in harmony, it helps them to feel a stronger connection to their group. It may even encourage people to act in a way that is beneficial for the community as a whole.
 
D ____ Professor of psychology and neuroscience Robert Provine has been studying the roots of laughter for 20 years and has come to some surprising conclusions.
Over a ten – year period, Provine and his students recorded conversations in shopping centres and city pavements in order to discover what was happening just before people laughed. They studied 2,000 cases, and found that less than 20% of laughter followed jokes or humorous remarks. Most of the time people laughed after everyone comments such as ‘Here comes Mary’ or ‘How did you do on the test?’ Proving also found that the average speaker laughed 46% more often than the person they were speaking to.
In another experiment, 72 of Provine’s students kept a record of their laughter for one week. They noted if they laughed when they were in company, or in response to the radio, TV or a book. The results showed that the students laughed about 30 times more when they were with other people than when they were alone.
Contrary to popular belief, it seems that most laughter is not about humour. It’s mainly a way for people to bond with one another.
 

Gateway Upper Intermediate B2+

Podcast

Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 37 – Demonstrating Trust Part III – Tips

Think back to some of the researched. Why is it that only 29 percent of employees believe that management cares about them developing their skills? Why is it that only 42 percent believe that management cares about them at all? In too many cases, though management might talk about it, fundamentally, management does not behave in ways that demonstrate respect, and as a result, employees don’t trust management.

And what is the impact on speed and cost? When employees believe their managers really don’t care, how willing are they to give their best? To be innovative? To collaborate? On the other hand, how quick are employees to complain? Criticize? Strike?

Stories in Podcast

  • Present work story about director not caring
  • Employee getting a free pass for no-call, no-show

Trust Tips

Apply the “waiter” rule to yourself in terms of how you treat people at work and at home. Do you like what you see? If not, focus on improving your intent?

Think about specific things you can do to show others you care about them. Call people. Write thank-you notes. Give acknowledgement. Send emails of concern. Try to do something each day to put a smile on someone’s face–even if that someone is the janitor in the building where you work. Don’t let there be a gap between how you feel and what you do.

Never take relationships for granted — particularly relationships with loved ones, family, and friends. Avoid the common tendency to put more energy into new relationships and assume that people in existing relationships know you care. There is probably a greater need for demonstrations of concern in existing relationships than in new relationships.

The basis of this is to genuinely care for others. Show you care. Respect the dignity of every person and every role. Treat everyone with respect. Show kindness. Don’t fake caring. Don’t attempt to be “efficient” with people.

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 23 – The Final ‘S’ in Tasks

The biggest questions of a lifetime for business owners. You know, I was thinking about the time Jack Ma had to fire employees because of the problems he was having with Ali Baba. Through what Napoleon Hill has said, “Applied Faith,” he was able to see things through and work his way out of the rut, making a billion (and soon-to-be trillion) dollar empire. Here are your questions.

The biggest questions of a lifetime for business owners. You know, I was thinking about the time Jack Ma had to fire employees because of the problems he was having with Ali Baba. Through what Napoleon Hill has said, “Applied Faith,” he was able to see things through and work his way out of the rut, making a billion (and soon-to-be trillion) dollar empire. Here are your questions.

  • How effective is your current style in approaching problems and opportunities and interacting with others?
  • Does your approaching facilitate or get in the way of accomplishing what needs to be done?
  • What can you do to improve the way in which you go about doing things?

Lots of ideas came to mind about how well I handle situations. Room for improvement is wide-open, and I need to start feeling things gaps ASAP.

I can get considerably better when it comes to approaching problems. Example, there was an issue at an old job whereas a guy called me out in a number of ways. I shouldn’t have taken that lightly, and even more, I could’ve forwarded the emails and voice messages he had sent me to the owner. Regardless, because he’s white in a very pro-white country, he would’ve gotten a free-pass. But allowing people to get away with unruly behavior is even worse.

When it comes to interacting with others, I’m almost certain that I do an incredible job in that area because that’s one of my strongest points. I pick up energy signals very easily, and this is very important because if people come to me with jobs, I should be able to point them in the right direction of a good teacher, rather than one that would just tarnish my reputation.

An example would be a new employee (or new ones every week) at my job on the weekend. It’s none of my business, but because I’m good at picking up energy, there’s one specific new teacher that has “HORRIBLE” written all over him. If you guys listened/read my blogs from early last year, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. I don’t give a second look or anything to these teachers. I don’t introduce myself because they’ve been the bane of my existence here. If they’re not someone who has ideas or anything, why even bother? Most of them complain or say some very sick things that pertains to under-age girls (yeah, welcome to Thailand). So, OQP (Only Quality People).

That’s in the world of business.

When it comes to my entrepreneurial world, I can seriously learn to get better at appropriating time slots for when I should be on social media. I feel if I leave notifications on all day, I can lose maybe 1-1.5 hours. So, as of today, I’ve turned them off and they’ve helped me considerably. The only messages I receive are of importance from my graphic designer. Facebook messages in the morning while commuting (anytime while commuting) is enough. Other apps at the same time. No FB at home or during my core hours.

This is how you can identify what’s working and what isn’t….so I suggest all of you do the same with the questions above!

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