Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 64 – Vocabulary – Compound Nouns & Adjectives

Welcome back to another podcast, everyone! These compound nouns and adjectives could be a bit difficult, but I’m here to break them down for you. This is in relations to movies and arts.

Match the compound nouns 1-8 with their definitions a-h

  1. Screenplay
  2. Blockbuster
  3. Box office
  4. Drawback
  5. Feedback
  6. Turnout
  7. Outcome
  8. Page-turner

a. a book that is very interesting or exciting.

b. a film or show that is very successful

c. a story that someone writes for a film

d. the final result of a process or a meeting

e. the number of people who come to an event

f. comments about how well or badly someone is doing something

g. the place in a theatre where you buy tickets, or the number of tickets a film sells

h. a disadvantage

Tune into the podcast for my explanations.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Developing Vocabulary – Phrasal Verbs Connected with Money & Shopping

Welcome back to another ESL podcast! I’m here to bring you some Phrasal Verbs. Yes! We’re back with Phrasals!

Look at the phrasal verbs used in these sentences and match them with the definitions.

  1. If you want to buy a tablet, you should set some money aside each month.
  2. People are saying the airlines should cut back costs.
  3. He forgot to pay it back, so that’s why he got the notice in the mail.
  4. The bill comes to 17.99.
  5. He doesn’t earny much, but he gets enough to get by.
  6. I picked up some amazing shoes earlier today.
  7. I couldn’t buy the new game because they had already sold out.
  8. She’s going to splash out and buy that designer jacket.

A. Give someone the same amount of money they lent you.

B. Save money from a larger amount to use it later.

C. Reduce the amount of money you spend.

D. Buy

E. Buy something expensive

F. Have just enough money so that you can do what you need to.

G. Reach a total when you add all the parts together.

H. Stop selling a product because there are no more available.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – TOEFL Idioms Part V

Welcome back, everyone! I’m bringing to you today another special — TOEFL IDIOMS! I haven’t done this in some time, but here’s the next round!

To do
something badly or to savesome time
The architect cut corners on the bridge’s construction, which is why it eventually collapsed.
To go easy on
I heard Rachel’s dad is sick, so we should
cut her some slack on this group project.
Feeling sad or depressed. Erika’s been feeling blue every since her
boyfriend broke up with her.
Finding needle in ahaystack Virtually
impossible to
These days, finding a job that doesn’t
require experience is like trying to find aneedle in a haystack.
Get some
shut eye
Sleep. I have a big exam tomorrow, so I need toget some shut eye.
Go the
Put in extra
Kelsey has the highest grades in our class since she always goes the extra mile with homework assignments.
Hang in
Be patient. I know it’s hard waiting for the exam
results, but you just need to hang in
Hard up Lack money. Ellie knew I was hard up, so she paid for
my coffee.



Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – IELTS – Understanding Writing Task 2 Questions

Welcome back to another episode, everyone! This is going to be great for you guys to do some freewriting, but more importantly, understand the question.

Learn to analyze task 2 questions.  They contain a subject and often include a general noun or nouns to help you organize your essay. The world is changing rapidly (noun). What are the causes (general noun to help you organize your answer) of this?

  1. In each group a-d below, which general noun has a different meaning from the other two?

a. Advantages, drawbacks, benefits

b. Measures, steps, reasons

C. causes, effects, consequences,

D. disadvantages, drawbacks, solutions.

2. Complete each task 2 question below with the general nouns and verbs from down below.

Agree or disagree, advantages, disadvantages, causes, solutions, measures, views, benefits

a. What are the benefits of learning skills in the modern world?

b. Any attempts to preserve the natural world will always hinder economic development.  However the benefits of helping the environment will always far outweigh the ____________.  Do you ___________?

c. Some young people take a year off between school and university.  What are the ________________ and ______________ of taking such time off?

d. Students should be trained on how to cope with changes in the modern world.  How far do you _______________?

e. Volunteer work with disadvantaged groups like underprivileged children is the best way for young people to learn about the real world.  To what extent do you ____________________? What other _________________could be effective?

f. Every day, animals are becoming extinct throughout the world.  What do you think the _____________ of this are? What _______________ can you suggest to deal with this?

g. Some people think overcrowding in large cities can be reduced by building skyscrapers, while others think the problem can be solved be encouraging people to move to the countryside.  Discuss both these _____________ and give your opinion.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – TOEIC – Be Aware of Comparative & Superlative Forms

We’re back again with the Facebook live!  For those of you who have tuned in last weekend, here’s the podcast and video form of what I’ve talked about.  Also, I now have the transcription available, so for those of you who want rough shownotes of what I talk about, hit the link and read everything I say!

Source: Tactics for TOEIC

Let’s first look at some examples of common comparative and superlative forms.

  • as high as the market will support.
  • more difficult than we first expected.
  • faster than the competition.
  • the cheapest product.
  • his/their/my greatest problem.
  • the most important thing.

Given the examples above, use them to complete the following sentences.

  1. The ____________(good/better/best) thing they have is the food.
  2. This system uses the ___________(advanced/more advanced/ most advanced) technology on the market.
  3. This department may not be as __________(big/bigger/biggest) as some of the others, but its budget is much ___________(large/larger/largest).
  4. They are our ____________ (important/more important/most important) customers.
  5. The old distributor’s delivery was much ______________ (fast/faster/fastest) than the new one.
  6. Most attendees felt the first presenter was ______________(informative/most informative/ more informative) than the second one.


Task – Make comparative and superlative sentences about the transportation below.

Car, train, ship, airplane, motorcycle.


This practice is from the book, and it’s time to break this down.  On my podcast, I will not give the answers.  However, on YouTube — I will.  So be sure to tune into that!  Type your answers in the comments section and be sure to tune in Tuesday for the answers when the YouTube video makes its debut.


High among the many triumphs of man’s courage and spirit is Walter Drake’s and Olivier Vogel’s _______________ climb to the summit of Mount Everest without oxygen tanks in 1967.

Although several attempts to climb Everest without additional oxygen had been made in the past, none had been successful.  Drake and Vogel began moving cautiously up the south ridge towards the summit, which the reached after a grueling climb at 10:30.  They lingered ____________ on the summit and then began the tiring climb down the mountain.  They said it was the _______________ test of endurance they had ever experienced.

TOEIC Live Coaching Ep 2



Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 5 – Vocabulary – Phrasal Verbs Part III

We’re back with some more phrasals! One of my students from a long time ago told me that I should do more of these blogs/podcasts because it could be very difficult to follow.  Well, I have some more on board today!

Talk + about = discuss.

Let’s discuss the repercussions of a warming ocean.

Let’s talk about the repercussions……….

Be prepared to use phrasal in discussions and conversations.  Using phrasals correctly can make you sound more natural.

Discuss, as I’ve written before, is formal.  Talk about is informal.

Talk + into = convince.

Hey, let’s try to talk her into going to Kazakhstan next spring!

1. Match the phrasal with their synonyms.

  1. Get up
  2. Point out
  3. Give up
  4. Turn into
  5. Get together
  • Quit
  • Meet socially
  • Show
  • Rise from bed after sleeping
  • Become

Complete the sentences with the phrasals from above. 

  1. What time do you ______________ on the weekends?
  2. What task would you ______________ if you were too busy?
  3. If you could _______________ any animal, what would it be?
  4. What would you _______________ if someone was visiting your country for the first time? Positives or negatives?
  5. What do you like to do when you ___________________ with your associates and partners?





Arsenio’s ESL Task: Reported Situations

Write what the people actually said in each situation. 


  1. The lady asked the man if he was walking to the store at the moment. He said that he wasn’t but that he was going to walk there soon.

Woman: Are you walking to the store at the moment?

Man: No, I’m not, but I am going to walk there soon.


Over to you….

2. The writer asked the man if he had enjoyed her booked.  He said that he thought it was the most beautiful thing he’d ever read.


3. The reported asked the singer why she wouldn’t answer any of his questions.  She told him that she only wanted to talk about her new album and that she wasn’t going to talk about anything else.


4. The teacher asked the class whether they could write an essay for the next day, but they replied that they couldn’t because they had to study for an exam and they wouldn’t have enough time.


5. Julie wanted to know how many times I’d read my personal develop book and I told her that I’d read it three times.


Put them into active voice and post your answers on my blog on my facebook page!

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: International Guest Speaker – Maria of Uruguay!

I had a very special privilege to chat with my first ever South American on my podcast; bringing Maria Fernanda on, who’s a teacher, was so much fun!

In this episode I want to allow everyone around the world to really get used to the Uruguayan accent.  Here in Thailand, if you don’t sound Thai or speak Thailish, they often don’t understand foreigners.  This could be a growing problem around the globe.  If we can focus on the Indian accent — another difficult one to understand.  In addition to that, people from Liverpool and Newcastle (yes, in England!), can hardly be understood because they don’t open their mouths.

The more you listen to different accents, the better.  If you have plans of traveling to South America, listening to this podcast and her accent over and over, could be of great help.

Nonetheless, Maria and I only talked about a little, so there is a good chance I’ll bring her on again to talk about weather, climate (which is extraordinary, given the fact that apparently it’s WINTER there), and so many other things. Because we had so much fun, a Round II will be coming up later on this month, so be prepared!