TOEFL iBT | Speaking Question 4 | Why Insects Make Sounds

Welcome back to another TOEFL iBT Speaking! In today’s podcast/video, we’re going to be discussing the note-taking (as usual), as well as constructing your body of work (introduction, body paragraphs, linkers, etc). This is one of the harder ones, so understand that if you do what’s hard, the test will be easy. If you do what’s easy, the test will be hard! Let’s go!


Insects make sounds that carry messages to other insects for different purposes

1) Alert

2) communicate for food resources

Pupil stage following larvae and adulthood – inactive and unable to move

Susceptible to attacks by predators

Make a sound to alert parents when predators are near

taking them to different place or fighting the predator

very common (alert

2) Communication during food searches

insects feed on leaves of trees

searching for new source of fresh new leaves

current resource old = sound to to look fo rnew leaves

once they find, they will make a sound to communicate its location

The lecture is about insects and the reasons behind why they make sounds and the different purposes behind this type of communication.

He gives two explanations to why they make sounds.

The first explanation is alert.

And the second is to communicate during food searches.

The reason behind why they need to alert one another is the simple fact that




When preparing questions for a Q&A session, consider asking questions from different angles.

Find out details

Who…..? What……? Where….? When…? How…?

Elicit Justifications

  • Why do you think…..?
  • Why should…..?

Ask for illustration of points made

  • Can you give an example of that?
  • What evidence is there for…..?

Explore time frames

  • What do you see happening next year?
  • What has been the biggest lesson learned so far?
  • When did this trend begin?

Avoid loaded questions and question that may be perceived as hostile. Make sure you interactions actually includes a question the speaker can answer. When you ask a question, consider your tone of voice, body language, and facial expression to ensure effective, open communication.

Read and listen to the way the questions were asked from listening.

  1. Identify the potential problems with each one of the vocabulary terms in the box down below.
hostile           loaded             no question
  1. ……but anyway, what can we actually change? Do we have any concrete ideas?
  2. ….but isn’t the technology a little bit clumsy?
  3. …..if I may ask a question. Sorry, Rashid,…..what you’re saying is really worrying me. I don’t see how we can be giving presentations about our campaigns online! It just isn’t feasible, at all. I hear what you’re saying, but I can’t see how it will actually work in practice.
  4. I’m completely lost for words. How can we do our work on a tablet?

ARSENIO’S ESL PODCAST | SEASON 5 EPISODE 134 | Presentation Skill | Slide Presentations

Effective slides provide valuable visual support for the information you are presenting in two ways: the slides help the audience to understand, and they help the speaker to give a stronger presentation. I’ve seen presentations that had too many words on their slides and the audience would become distracted within minutes. So, for maximum effect, keep the slides simply by doing the following (in the podcast).

  • Use large text (at least 28 point) and a clear font style.
  • Use bullets and short sentences.
  • Label visuals carefully — minimally but clearly.
  • Limit video to two minutes.
  • Limit the use of special effects (e.g., sounds and animation).
  • Have a uniform approach (e.g., all slides enter from the same side).

Remember, your spoken presentation is the focus — the slides are just the support.

  • Prepare the slides after establishing the main points of your presentation.
  • Include one slide for every two to three minutes of presentation only.

What would happen if a speaker/presenter did not follow each piece of advice? Tune into the podcast down below.

Staycation: Marriott Marquis, First Big Presentation

Wow! So many mixed feelings, so let’s dive into this — step-by-step.

I had my first ever big presentation today and it was life transforming. The amount of inspiration injected into younger generations, figuring out niche markets, developing podcasts/YouTube channels for the younger generation and doubling-down on what everyone is good at. On a scale 1-10, I give my presentation an 8, just because I knew I was repeating some words. Nonetheless, let’s go into this unbelievable stay in Bangkok…little by little.

Marriott Marquis Queens Park

This hotel is the best — period. What I love about major hotel brands is that they have people from all over the world working there. You had westerners, along with Taiwanese, Chinese, Singaporeans and Filipinos (and I’m sure a bunch more) working at this hotel. What I love so much was the service. The Filipino woman, although she was a bit oblivious to a few things, had magnificent service. Not only her, but the doormen, staff, cleaners, and just about everyone. SOLID. Suit-wearing gentlemen who are more than willing to help. The lobby was incredibly massive with well-dressed people everywhere. Seeing flight attendants come in was also just SO AMAZING. Keep in mind, this was a 200+ USD a night hotel, so you would and should expect the best. The room was extra cozy with a massive rainshower and tile placed throughout — also, USB outlets are now installed in most high-class hotels around the world, too. You don’t have to worry about having a “universal charge” or anything. Just solid all the way down.


What a beautiful thing. I shared it a day after the presentation on my social media and it blew up. 576 views in a couple days. I’m so excited about what’s to come. Before the presentation, I wasn’t too nervous. I was waiting for people to go in, then I saw that the size was very small, so I was pretty content, considering that shit was my first overseas presentation. After that, I took the stage and all the nervousness went away. It’s natural for me, and my ability to overcome stage-fright was a hairflip. Following that were handshakes, cards exchanged, an offering to collaborate and a few other things. All in all, this was a remarkable 24 hours and definitely the ultimate highlight of my year. What comes after? Oh, that’s when the FUN begins!

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Developing your Speaking with Katarina Gleisberg

She’s back — yet again! Here are some tips, guidelines and things you can use IMMEDIATELY to start immersing yourself into the English language. Some of this will scare you, but it is necessary to become the effective speaker you want to become.


1) Speak in Daily Interactions
Put yourself out there in natural speaking settings.

2) Conversation Partner
You can find a conversation partner in person OR online.

3) Integrate all 4 Domains of Language Learning: Reading, Writing, Speaking, & Listening
For example, watch TV and videos WITH SUBTITLES in the target language to hear how native speakers speak)

4) Sing Karaoke

It’s amazing how many of the Multiple Intelligences are incorporated into singing a song through karaoke!

5) Listen to a variety of different accents of the target language
Listening to Arsenio’s podcast, in which he interviews English speakers all over the world, is an exceptional way to hear English speakers of MANY accents– WHILE sharing language learning experiences and strategies!

6) Reflect after Conversations 
Make note of what was difficult, the words or phrases used that you could look up to make a similar conversation easier next time.

7) Collect useful phrases on notecards or your phone
Essentially, these are cheat sheets of phrases you’ll want to use at the grocery store, post office, bank, etc.

😎 Record Yourself Speaking
This is a valuable way to notice your speaking habits, including pace, pausing, accenting syllables, and pronunciation strengths and weaknesses.

9) Make Phone Calls
Also, leaving voice messages has the same benefit.

10) Ask native speakers to critique your speech
Most importantly, native speakers can point out pronunciation strengths and weaknesses that language learners may never notice on their own.


YouTube video with Katarina


Speaker 1: (00:00)
Guys, welcome back to Arsenio’s, ESL podcast, and yet again, I have my partner in crime with me and she goes by the name of Katrina Gleisberg, and you know what? She’s out there in Nebraska. If this is your first time tune it and guys, you’re going to be in for a special one. I’ve seen a lot of different things out there in terms of people saying, how can I develop my speaking? I’ve seen so many different things. How can I, you know, develop my listening, et Cetera, et cetera. So what we’re going to do, we’re going to narrow this down specifically to speaking and then we’ll branch out if we have time, if not, of course, Katrina, she comes on on a biweekly basis. Oh, I hate saying that, but she comes on on a two week basis or every other week, whatever you want to call it. And what that be a said. Who Cares about me? Let’s get it to this. Katrina, thank you so much for coming on.

Speaker 2: (00:56)
Okay. I am excited as always to be on your show and feed off of your amazing energy and get to respond to you’re very, very diverse international audience and all these great questions. So thanks so much for having me here.

Speaker 1: (01:13)
Absolutely, absolutely. And speaking of diversity, man, I’m just so grateful and I just want to give a shout out to just about everyone out there. I just never thought, I’m talking Europe, Africa, you name it, but to the littlest countries like Mozambique and we got Egypt just a lot of different places who listen. And you know, over the last 10 episodes there’s always up to nearly 50 countries that listen to this ESL podcast with over 140 cities around the world. So man, and that’s only in the last 10 episodes. So if I put it all together, oh my goodness. Yeah, yeah, for sure. It’s over 102 hundred in each category. But nonetheless, people developing, speaking what Katrina did today was put together, compile a wonderful list of things of how we can improve or how we can help you improve your speaking. So Katrina, let’s dive into this. Of course you have the experience out there in good old grease teaching out there at an international school going into Panama, t shit out there and whatnot when it comes to speak speaking. I want you to break us in.

Speaker 2: (02:24)
Okay. So a couple of these things are little tidbits that we have touched upon in some of our previous podcasts. I’m speaking about mindful communication and speaking about the balance of the language, learning domains, reading, writing, speaking, listening. But yes, we will primarily focus on speaking. So first of all, as we’ve shared before, I think the very obvious tip number one thing when students ask, how can I improve my speaking? Put yourself out there in daily interactions, these speaking opportunities, asking for help at the grocery store, talking to the person, taking your ticket on the bus. Um, just speaking to people in line, small talk, ordering at a restaurant, put yourself out there in these simple situations. Um, are the most important because the, this is what I hear from most students that they want, right? They want to know how to speak in real life situations. So I know it’s the hardest part, but the, it’s one of those things where the only way you get better is to practice, practice, practice.

Speaker 1: (03:40)
Right? And that’s it right there. Not being afraid of being judged. You know what? I have a story real quick, right when you said putting yourself out there, there’s a lady that I used to work at this company a while back. I still work for them, but not at that specific branch. And I told her, I said, you speak English very well. How did you do it? And so this, this notorious place here in Bangkok, right? It’s called calcine road, how sled road, this is where all these backpackers from around the world, they come together and it’s a great way for Thai people to emerge and to create those conversations. So she said she would go up to each and every individual and say, hey, how are you doing? Where are you from? She said, sometimes people will be like, what the hell? And other times people would be like, join us for a drink. You know what I mean? But it’s that rejection that’s needed also for the acceptance. So I love that you said putting yourself out there and just not being afraid of being judged. You know, I actually made an ESL podcast and turns that when you are no longer afraid of what other people might be thinking about you, that’s when you overcome everything you overcome yourself, you know? So that is an excellent appoint. How about your point number two?

Speaker 2: (04:57)
Yes. Okay. You were just talking about all your listeners and all these other places and this day and age with the Internet and all of these different platforms, there’s no excuse to be ignorant. I’ve heard that quote before. There’s no excuse to be ignorant when you have the resources. So research the platforms available that can help you learn and to match you with a conversation partner. There are so many platforms of places you can go, English speaking, Facebook groups and um, different websites where they will match you with a conversation buddy. And how Austin is that, that there’s English speakers all over the world with so many different accents. Which brings me to another point of converse with people of many different accents of the target language, right? Because even here, the United States, we have so many different accents and a lot of times we are able to read and comprehend from writing a lot faster then the speaking. Because when people are speaking, we don’t have the printed word in front of us. I know that from my own experience of being in Greece and listening to as people speak, and they might say a word and I, I know that vocabulary word, these are simple words, but sometimes people’s accents or how fast or how much slang they’re using, I don’t realize it’s a word that I already know. So the more accents we can listen to, the better our listening ability is going to be to pick out the words that we already know.

Speaker 1: (06:47)
That’s beautiful. And just, it’s amazing that you said that because I was just talking to you right before this and I told you that, hey, I’m gonna go into these English speaking groups. I want to see what they’re talking about. A lot of it’s ILS preparation, but you know what 90% of the questions are, can I have a buddy to practice speaking with? And it’s just all the time I see a bunch of them. And there are a lot of people out there who are messaging what go, you know, it brings me into the accent part. This is why a couple of months ago I said, you know what, I’m going to launch ESL worldwide conversations because if I could somehow get a virtual class, okay, and this is not through an organization, this is through the Arsenio buck show and have an accent from China, have an accident from a Madagascar, have an accent from Dubai, have an accent from France and have an accent from Uruguay or who do I, you know it all in one group.

Speaker 1: (07:49)
That’s going to enable you not only to pick up the different, various accents, but also just take away all the borders that actually exist out there. All the labels. You know what I mean? And this is why I presented you with the idea, it terms of, you know, um, if I had a bunch of students in South America and North America, I would like, you know, you know, you’d to have that side and then you know, I can deal with this side because of time zones and whatnot. So that’s brilliant. And that’s another way. That’s what people need to do. You need to start getting into these Facebook groups. If you type English, English speaking group or English Grammar, whatever it may be. Okay. But preferably English speaking, you type that in on Facebook. There are a number of groups there. Okay. You’re going to come across some creepers. You’re going to come across in crazies. You’re going to come across a lot of weird votes. But you know what if the weird, hey, there’s a block button on social media. Okay. So, uh, yeah, that was an excellent point. So let’s go on to the next one.

Speaker 2: (08:52)
Okay. So I had mentioned that a lot of times we know the words, but we can’t recognize them in speech because of accents or slang. What helps and I had done this too and other countries watch TV and movies with the subtitles. I love that and follow along because a lot of times you’ll realize, oh, I’ve seen this word before in print, but that’s really how you pronounce it. Or to realize things that native English speakers naturally drop off as part of slang. For example, you and I do this all the time and it’s not proper English but it’s totally normal. You can listen back to our conversations and when we are using verbs that end with ing, we don’t say the ing right. You might say walking instead of walking or talking a talking. Um, I might use the word Ghana instead of going to yes, but because TV and movies or youtube videos, all of these free things online because subtitles can be an option.

Speaker 2: (10:07)
You are going to see in print what these words are that people are speaking. That might seem foreign because I’m going to go to the beach is all blurred together. And l somebody listening to that who is just learning, they may not hear the separations between very fast language when all those words are blurred together. So, um, because this brings me to the next one because it’s seeing the words are so important. Seeing Karaoke, singing karaoke. Okay, this is going to be a one. Yes. Um, first of all, we know in the realm of multiple intelligences, we yet, there’s so many different ways to learn. So you put a visual in there. You also put in music for the Ontario learners. There’s, there’s a reason why it preschool, we learn all of these different nursery rhymes and all these different directions to wash your hands to the tune of a song or whatever it is. It’s because those songs stick. It’s the same thing when we’re an adult, listen to music, but don’t just listen to it, sing along with it. You’re seeing the words, those phrases. And you and I have talked about being anti grammar worksheets a lot. You’re going to pick up grammar of I am. He is whatever it needs. So much more memorable, fun way. Right. And that’s what it comes. Which a, we could treat a mentioned the representational system. Auditory. So there’s a, there are a lot of people there. Sometimes

Speaker 1: (11:54)
we are excellent at [inaudible] we’re a listener. Okay. Sometimes we’re a visual person, sometimes we like to hear a plan. Sometimes we like to see it written. And so with Karaoke you get to see it written, you get to hear the audio. And sometimes with Karaoke you see the video too. So you, you don’t really know. But one of your representational systems are end there and then it enables you to probably, you know, you do your best at that specific moment. Um, along with the subtitles. Subtitles are fantastic. See I’m going to give you guys an example. Netflix. Okay. I just, I just got up on Netflix. Oh my God. Like two months ago. Cause one of my friends, she had it on her phone and then I wanted to watch bird box buy a center Bullock. Eh, cause I’ve seen it all the time. I was like, oh my God, that’s such a good one.

Speaker 1: (12:45)
But then I saw all these other weird Zombie apocalypse movies. I love Zombie apocalypse because for two hours I could just burn my brain sales and just watch this, you know what I mean? And so, uh, it was just one after another. I was like, Hey, we’re going to come over and watch some Netflix. Yeah. You know what I mean? So, um, and there are the sub titles for her. Why? Because she’s tired. So she’s watching this. She’s like, oh, okay. And she understands everything. She’s listening and she’s reading at the same time. You know, I have another girl who’s from the northern part of Thailand who I’m going to teach this evening as a matter of fact. And I hope that doesn’t get too loud my alarm as a matter of fact, but I think it’s okay. Anyway, so yeah, after that, yeah, just completely went all over the place so she can speak English quite well.

Speaker 1: (13:34)
And I’m like, how do you speak English? She’s like, oh, well, you know what? It’s very, very easy for me. Um, just because I learn a lot of Netflix and she speaks a lot of French too. And I’m like, oh, she’s understanding it. And I’m like, how do you watch Netflix? Well, I read the subtitles and it’s funny because when I go to the next student on the left of her and I say, how do you learn English? She, her speaking capabilities are down. Everything’s just about down. And I say, do you watch Netflix? She was like, no. And now I’m not saying Netflix is the only thing, but you have to enable yourself to listen of visual and read at the same time. You’re getting all three or the three out of the four of the representational systems that actually exist. So good. Very, very good point. Country does. So

Speaker 2: (14:22)
yes. And if you w you know, watch simple movies and we’ve, we’ve discussed this before, but if I am watching a Disney movie and Spanish and I have the subtitles happening, it’s a story I’m already familiar with already. Content that’s made for children is going to have more simple language. So it’s a really, really great starting base. And generally kids not only have this more simple language, would they speak more slowly? So, so, oh a phenomenal, a phenomenal tool that just seems so simple. And this relates to a few others that I have. And um,

Speaker 1: (15:10)
there was a, there was an exhale. I don’t know, we’re getting into some [inaudible]

Speaker 2: (15:13)
he tries, this gets into something that can feel a little scary, but record yourself, record yourself. Essentially. K people love quoting movies, right? People love quoting movies. It’s so fun because you like to hear your friends put things back. But how often do we listen to ourselves recorded? So this next one, the reason why I had a really, really deep breath there is record yourself because this was a fear I had to get over about a year and a half ago before making all these videos is because some people are just so petrified to go back and watch a video or listen to a recording of them. But if you can record yourself and start with something fun, a book that you like, movie quotes, et Cetera, record yourself speaking and then go back and listen. And you will notice things that you can’t notice while you’re in the process of speaking.

Speaker 2: (16:11)
You might notice things such as when I’ve gone back and I’ve listened to episodes of podcasts, you and I have done, I’ve noticed those things such as, oh, we use a lot of, I’m not saying the IMG, I’m using the slang of stopping instead of stopping. Or I noticed that I use the word literally a lot in this particular podcast, but it’s such good feedback. So for someone learning a language, you will notice things such as your pronunciation. Are there particular words where you pause and you draw them out? And so you’ll, you can notice the pattern of, oh, maybe I need to practice these particular vowel sounds. Or it could be, um, an accent where you realize, Ooh, I should be accent accenting a different syllable. [inaudible] all of those things that make you easy to understand. You can notice that better if you listen to recording of yourself. So that, that takes a lot of guts. But it’s so worth it.

Speaker 1: (17:17)
Absolutely. Uh, I remember three years ago, and it’s funny if I go back and listen to this, uh, there is some cringey moments. It’s like, why do I keep saying that word? And it’s funny you said, I say literally a lot. And so one of my friends picked it up and he’s like, hey, or CDO a on your podcast. You say crazy a lot. He’s like, do you go back and listen to your podcast? I’m like, yeah, dad. Yeah, I listen. So yeah. Okay. And instant feedback. So also when I do my English language podcasts, I slowed down my speech and therefore I don’t recycle words. However, what my personal development, I have a tendency of speeding things up for whatever reason and then I stumble over my words and then the reuse scene of specific words happens, you know, just much more often. So that is an excellent technique.

Speaker 1: (18:19)
Um, there was another, oh my God, there was another story in terms of, Oh, like for listeners out there who study English online, and this is why I love these platforms because they enable us to do different things and utilize specific tools such as zoom. I’m able to record this, okay. Not only through audio but through video. So people who study with different teachers through zoom around the world, they could be, they’re able to actually record through audio or video their voice on let’s say, okay, July 23rd, I want to see how much better I’ve gotten September 23rd, two months from now. And they’re able to make a comparison and say, Oh my God, I’ve gotten so much better. So again, this technology, a lot of people say, oh, I like to learn face to face, but to be honest with you, this conversation right here, I’m able to record every it and bit of this to see how, what’s the, see what I’m saying wrong to see if I speed up my speech, what words I say constantly, you know what I mean? And routine over and over and over. So excellent point, Katrina. I love that.

Speaker 2: (19:29)
And that was another point that I had is reflect after your conversations, making note of what was difficult and the words or phrases that maybe you heard that you need to look up or maybe things that you wanted to say in the conversation, but you didn’t have the right words for. Um, and then that way those, the phrases, you have this more engaged, intense interest in knowing what it was because you know, you’ll actually use it. But a lot of us don’t reflect and a lot of times if we don’t reflect, then it’s almost like we’re not getting the complete value from our interactions. So if we reflect, and it doesn’t even have to be anything super lengthy and it doesn’t have to be anything judgemental, um, it’s literally about awareness. And of course as a person who’s really into mindfulness, we know that mindfulness is that awareness without the judgment.

Speaker 2: (20:29)
So I might listen to myself and realize I say the word literally really often or I’m not pausing as often as I should. And then that allows me to improve for next time. But in the case of language learning, I know that I’ve used this before, um, simple in Greece. I remember that one. Um, the first few times I went to the grocery store and they were asking me if I wanted to buy extra bags. I didn’t know what they were saying and it was somebody behind me in line who spoke both English and Greek, who was able to say to me, she wants to know if you want to buy a bag. And I was like, ah, okay. So I made note of that when I got home, looked up how the word for bag and I can therefore go back later on and the next time this happens, I know exactly what to say. And it helped me to know that, oh, I shouldn’t know the word for bag or whatever else.

Speaker 1: (21:28)
Right. And so [inaudible] you know, you’d say that I had the same issue out here in Thailand because so words, some fruitful words are very close to being derogatory words. Let me give you an example. Banana. Okay. It says, it said Cru Way, right? And you have to make that our sound or even an l sound, but the R is not necessarily in the Thai language, so you have to be more pronounced. You know? Annunciating the l sound. So me, I didn’t say crew way. I said coy now in the Thai language and for type people who are listening to me, they’re probably freaking out because coined means the male reproductive organ and very slang. So I go into the store and I’m like, excuse me, Koi Koi unih where can I get some coy? I need some Koi around here. So I’m literally say, where can I get some, you know what? And the ladies like, I like that. I like that she’s freaking out. Her eyes are getting big, she’s getting angry. And I’m like, Whoa, I’m asking for where the bananas. And she had negotiated it like very aggressively, no clue, a clue. I’m like, oh, okay, okay Jay, yet I’m telling her to calm down. You know what I mean? And so I’ve had the worst of it, so I can relate to that. So yeah. Um, oh, these are some important aspects. So thank you so much for sharing that, Katrina.

Speaker 2: (22:53)
Yes. Um, that’s a, that’s a great example. I had many of those as both, maybe not as embarrassing as thank you for your vulnerability in sharing that.

Speaker 1: (23:02)
Absolutely. I ain’t got no problem with that. That’s wonderful. You know, that’s all comedy to me because if I share that story with the majority of type people, they’re in there, they’re in tears laughing. So Hey, you know, I’ve said a lot of ridiculous things before, but it also see, but I can also make someone mad because I could inadvertently say that, but mean the other thing. No, no, I meant banana. Oh my God. It means that I’m so sorry. You know what I mean? If I’m a bad boy. Yeah. So yes.

Speaker 2: (23:37)
W W and see what a way to break the ice and start a conversation with people. Love it. Okay. So I only have a couple left cause a lot of the other ones just relate to these other categories. Awesome. He notes on your phone of the phrases that you’ll want to use that jazz asking, you know, in a grocery store, where do I find the blank? Um, I even, because I do learn a lot from writing and I love a color coding. When I was in Greece, I, and I was taking my Greek classes. I would make little flash cards and I have these little index cards and I’d keep them in Ziploc baggies and I’d go through them as I’m on the metro or the train or whatever. And first of all, people would see this and they would start talking to me because people are honored when you show effort and learning their language.

Speaker 2: (24:38)
So I agree. People who just started talking to me of like, oh, this is so great. Where are you from? Where are you learning? Um, what can I help you with? And the process of making these note cards, it was very valuable for me because I, you know, knew that I’m putting the verb and the color blue and I’m putting the adjective in the color red. And I’m constantly repeating these because I know if I’m about, if I’m on the metro and I’m about to go shopping, I’m gonna need to know how to ask these particular questions. So if you don’t want to carry around physical flashcards, I get it. Notes on your phone helps you so that when you do have those extra few minutes and you’re standing there waiting for the metro, you’re doing something great for your brain and you are just so prepared for when people ask you something or you’re in this difficult situation and you’re also prepared for things like my last bullet point, which is another seemingly scary thing, make phone calls.

Speaker 2: (25:49)
Phone calls can be scary because unlike being in person or a zoom conversation like this, you can’t see the person. You can’t see their gestures, you can’t see their facial features. Now granted, tone has a lot of nonverbal communication in there, but phone calls such as, you know, simply ordering food or making an appointment, they do take a lot of skill and it’s overcoming a fear, but it’s going to make things so much easier. If you can get over that fear of the phone conversation because those visuals are not there. And so that’s, that’s an example of a situation where you’re little notes on your phone or your little index cards of your phrases are going to come in handy. And just on that, I mean, if you’re not able to make phone calls because some people

Speaker 1: (26:44)
are, you know, busy throughout their life send voice notes. Yes. You know, and I’m one of those people who love to send voice notes. For example, today it’s going to be a little bit of a traveling day. So what I would do is instead of writing and talking, forget that I’m more of a, I mean I’m sorry, writing and looking at my phone while walking, I can actually look up and do the speaking and to be honest with you, in 20 seconds, I’m able to say probably three to four to five times the amount through a voice note than I do with writing anyways. So this is going to enable you to practice. Now are they going to be happy with your voice? Who knows? But if they are or regardless if they’re, they are, they’re not. This enables you to practice your accents and things that you have probably learned.

Speaker 1: (27:39)
So if you learned something in a book, a little bit of pronunciation stay. Instead of saying, I’m going to go to work, you could say, Hey, I’m going to go to work. And you can message five people in your little friends list to say, Hey, what’s going on John? Hey, you know what? I’m going to go to work right now. Speak to you later. Don’t say that fast, but it enables you to practice. You know the reduction of going to put it to, I’m going to go. You see what I mean? So a more natural way. So, Oh man, thank you so much Katrina. So that’s it.

Speaker 2: (28:15)
Yes. And if you’re really brave, bonus one, here we go. Here we go. Ask native speakers to critique you. So when you’ve made those recordings or you’ve made those phone calls, ask them, what do you think is the biggest part of my accent? Because I can tell you what in Greece, I thought I was repeating words back just as my Greek culture was telling me that, no, that Greek, that Greek up gamma, like the word for I, I still, I practice it so many times. And again it’s like a gutter, like the word for milk is gala. Well that’s what it looks like to English speakers.

Speaker 1: (29:03)

Speaker 2: (29:04)
Um, slash the, it’s also has like this [inaudible] sound. So that was a sound that I tried and I, I sometimes had friends who would say, try it again, try it again. And they would laugh as I’m trying. Like we were all joking about how that sound is very difficult for me. But maybe like one time out of 20, even after I’d been in Greece, after a year, maybe one time out of 20, they’re like, oh yeah, that’s good, that’s good. Other times they’re just laughing, but at least I was aware of where it, where it’s hard for others to understand me so that I know when I get to a word it has the gamma sound in it. I notice low down or to use gestures or to let them know non verbally that I’m aware that I am not pronouncing this correctly

Speaker 1: (29:56)
right. Oh, they’re beautiful man. That was perfection. That was a half hour of a beauty for all of you out there. As a matter of fact, we’re going to be putting these questions together. Uh, I normally do transcripts, um, and put other things together a for you guys to actually to read and whatnot. So like the Trina asked me just recently, Hey, do you transcribe your episodes in terms of episodes like this and other episodes that are very, very high up because there are a lot of people that listen to specific episodes. Absolutely. Now is it going to be word for word? Now I’m not going to spend like maybe two hours to go through it every little bit, but the topics and the number one, two, three, four, it will be there. So again, you guys will be able to look at the blog and read it through the transcription. Listen to us. Some things might not be, uh, you know, some things that you hear might not be on the transcription, but that’s okay. You’re still getting the best of both worlds, so. Oh, Katrina, thank you so much. Is there anything else that you would like to top it off with?

Speaker 2: (31:08)
Um, okay. The last few podcasts we’ve ended with like something totally random.

Speaker 1: (31:13)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m excited. I, I’m like, yeah, yeah,

Speaker 2: (31:20)
I see about what, you know, why do I have a random toy that you see in the background or whatever? Um, because I am in the process of moving and I’m, um, I’m getting, I’m getting rid of stuff and I have these, these ginormous Rubbermaid bins that my parents have given me when they moved a stuff that I didn’t even know they saved, I found another toy that kind of goes along with the curious George and the monkeys and all the other toys we’ve looked at prop me joy, so much joy when I found it. What the hell is that? Is that a Yeti? Is that a Yeti? It looks like a Yeti. It’s like, it’s so covered. You can’t see his face. The for has gone a little out of control since the early nineties. It’s a toy dog in case you cannot tell. Um, and it is, it was a delight. It was a delight for me. This was the early, it has a leash and there’s a button. Okay. So this was in the early days of remote controlled things. And so literally the remote only did stop and go. That’s all it did. It didn’t even change direction. So if I’m walking this little motorized dog on the sidewalk and it would start to veer towards the grass, I would literally have to pick it up and change directions. Um, but Gogo, my walking top was kind of a big deal for little six year olds like me in the early nineties.

Speaker 1: (32:48)
You saved all of that and you know what, just looking at something like that from the early nineties, I just go back to what I used to watch and what I used to play with in the, in the early nineties. You know what I made so habit, those types of toys. And that’s a Yeti that is a Yeti.

Speaker 2: (33:06)
No, it’s, it’s, it has been in a bin. Oh, I forgot. I even had it. And it’s had other stuff on it used to have like a brush and I used to maintain it so that the hair was kind of chained and you could actually see it was a face and you could see,

Speaker 1: (33:21)
see that it was a dog, not just the big first thing. Yeah. Right, right. Yeah. Yeah. And so the thing is for people who are like, what is a Yeti? A yeti is kind of like a snowman. Big Foot, right? Is that what that is? Like a snowy bigfoot?

Speaker 2: (33:37)
Yes. A bomb Annabelle Snowman. Um, some people think they’re real. Most of us think of them as these fictional, funny characters a joke about.

Speaker 1: (33:50)
Right, right, right. There’s so much, there’s so much conspiracies behind, you know, big foot and stuff like that and oh, they only exist in America. It’s a lot of funny, really, really funny stories and what not. But again, hey, if you seed something, I can’t take that away from you and say, Hey, no, you need to see that. It’s Kinda like the teachers who, um, who told me, you know, because of course we live in America. We lived in a home that I saw and heard a lot of different things and the, this British guy was like, you can not see anything. No, no. I’m like, you don’t even know where I’m from. You don’t even know who I am. Shut up. How is someone going to tell me what I didn’t see? Although I saw, Oh God. So anyways, for all the big footers and Yeti folks out there, man, I’m not taking away anything you guys. Okay. Uh, but so till I see it, I’m going to have to just say, I’m going to have to debunk it. Okay. So,

Speaker 2: (34:43)
well, I meant that I really love when you do a British accent, it’s always because it’s always someone who you’re mimicking who’s like very snooty and condescending.

Speaker 1: (34:54)
Yeah. Yeah, that’s exactly right. You know what I mean? The like, Gosh, the Pos British, you know, no offense to any of my folks in England. It’s only offense to the folks from England out here in Thailand because they’re the ones that always stick. They are magnificently bright, so they are perfect. Say with the Americans, say whatever you want. Who comes here? Oh my God, good times then. I have so much fun here. Anyways, Katrina, thank you so much for sharing the little Yeti and thank you so much for sharing all those wonderful, wonderful tips for everyone there. Bad. I’m going to be putting this into, well again, transcription list out the different, the number ones all the way, the bullet points which Katrina made so diligently for us. Thank you so much for that and guys where we got so much come in and you know what we need.

Speaker 1: (35:55)
We need your questions. Okay, so for everyone out there who’s listening, if you guys have any questions in regards to learning anything in general, we would love to do a Q and a podcast. Okay. Now, this one is more of developing speaking, but if you guys would like us to touch up and answer your questions and have your questions featured on the next one, please make sure you share away. And again, Katrina, thank you so much for tuning in. Thank you so much again for having me. It’s always a delight. Absolutely. And guys, with that being said, thank you for tuning in to another ESL podcast. I am your crazy host as usual. It’s time to Boogie Woogie you guys stay tuned for more. I’m your host as always over and out.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 86 – Reading & Speaking – Starting on The Path to Success (Patreon Exclusive

Super excited about this one. The extended podcast is in my Patreon. For those of you don’t know, I have a 10$ a month Patreon badge that provides exclusive content, videos, coaching and other things, so if you’re interested in enhancing your English language skills more, please inquire!

With that being said, let’s do a little talking and speaking about The Path to Success!

Teaser Paragraph

It once took a company a long time to be worth a billion dollars. Today dozens of tech start-ups are achieving this level of economic success within their first five years. While successful tech start-ups have the ability to change traditional industries, many are still not successful. Companies should focus on easy access, the use of free content, creating a product people need, and the time it takes to be so successful.

The rest of the story is on my patreon!

Skillful R/W 2
  1. Access
  2. Adapt
  3. Business model
  4. Entrepreneur
  5. Existing
  6. Make Decisions
  7. Start-up

a to change your ideas or behavior so that you can deal with a new situation

b someone who uses money to start businesses

c a small new company

d already present

e to choose options after thinking carefully

f the way a company is structured to operate

g the way people reach or buy a product


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Katarina on Mindful Speaking/Speech (Transcript Available

Welcome back to another ESL podcast, everyone! Today was a special day to debut not only the ESL podcast, but the transcript! Now, I must warn you, I didn’t go through the entire manuscript, but here it is, along with the YouTube video and podcast for you guys who are interested in listening and following the transcript at the same time!




Guys, welcome back to our studios Esl podcast with me today. I have the wondrous Katrina life. Yes. It’s funny because last time I didn’t pronounce your name, I just second Trina. Damn it. But anyways, cause Trina Iceberg, but I’ve had her on before to talk about quite a few things. This is our third time coming on already and today the topic is about mindfulness speech and of course speech within the English language classrooms. So Katrina again, thank you so much for coming back on.


Yes, thank you for having me. I love being on your show. So thank you again and I’m, it’s time to guide us. We need to figure out what mindful this talk is. So I want you to give us a nice broad definition of of what this is that we’re going to be talking about today.:

Speaker 2:

Yes. So mindfulness in general is paying attention on purpose to the present moment. Nonjudgmentally so at mindfulness definition can relate to any activity that you do. So including speech. So there’s a whole category of mindfulness that’s called mindful communication and it is doing just that. It’s being present while we speak. So there are several techniques that help us do that. It could literally just being aware of the body, um, like we feel more grounded when we feel a connection to the earth. It could literally be as simple as okay, feeling that my feet are planted on the ground, feeling that my hands are planted on my knees, the table, wherever, so that that physical sensation is part of it, but then also pay to pay attention to the present moment. Important components of that mindful communication is so paying attention to your, uh, pace of speech.:

Speaker 2:
So slowing down and being very aware of different things you’re saying. . I was actually just at a mindful communication retreat this past weekend and it was reiterated there that the most important thing that we can do for mindful communication is to pause. The most important thing because a lot of us, when we are feeling some kind of anxiety and any social situation, whether it is our native language or a foreign language, one of the first things that we do is we speed up or pace super, super, super, super fast because things feel uncomfortable and awkward. Whereas if we take a time to pause, we can first of all register with a person we’re speaking to, just said so that we can have a more thoughtful response instead of a response that we were thinking about while the person was speaking, when we should’ve been listening.:

Speaker 1:
Oh my God, I love that. I’m so happy you said that. And so listening first, that’s what I actually learned is Stephen Covey’s book, you know just recently and the thing is poor listeners, I forgot they were like four different things, but one thing is you have in our ready your idea in mind and how you’re going to reply and you’ve already tuned out to what the person was saying.:

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. And then the other person can tell if you’re not engaged, either person can tell. If you were to take, and I’m, I need to say we because I am so guilty of this too, when I get either really, really excited or like, oh, I’m not sure what to say. So instead I’m going to speak a mile a minute, but if we take the time, rice,:

Speaker 2:

Speaker 2:
Even if it’s literally a second or two, we can take in what the person says and then one of the most gracious things that we can do to show respect to the other person is literally just rephrase what that person said to say, oh, so if I understand you correctly what you were seeing or oh, so you mean blank or to ask a follow up question and then that shows respect and then we are forming that. We have all humans have this need for connection by simply asking a question where we are rephrasing what the other person said. It’s validating what they’re saying and showing that we care. We’re creating connection, which is going to make the entire rest of the conversation go way more smoothly.:

Speaker 1:
Wow. I’m so happy you said that man, because again that just right after listening first asking the follow-up questions to check for understanding. Honestly, if you’re on the speaking end and you hear someone asking you and reiterating that over, that means they’re very, very too, you know, they’re very tuned in and that will allow the speaker to possibly even open up even more. And then you will be more into you, you know. And that’s a good way to practice because let’s just say if people have labeled themselves a poor listener, you know, this is a technique that they could start using immediately.:

Speaker 2:

Speaker 1:
Okay, so when it comes to slow him down the speech and I’m so happy you mentioned that too because yesterday I was watching a video. Tom Bill you if you don’t know him, he’s like with him. Yes, I enjoy him. Yeah. Yeah. He brought someone on to talk about, I don’t know, speeding up, accelerating English, learning accelerated, whatever learning. Right. But this guy was speaking at, like you said, a mile a minute. And I saw some of the comments in some people were like, dude, this guy, they said something about his speaking and how fast he was speaking. And this also reminds me of Tony Robbins. This reminds me of Gary v Eh, they cannot be understood by non native English speakers. So, how important is it for you, you know, to teach or you, you know, you haven’t taught out there and Greece, Panama to slow down your speech and how do you see you, you know, you’re the respondents, right? Okay. So your students responding to that and saying, oh, okay, now I can understand you more because you know, you’re putting in content words and focus words in this and that. So, yeah. What do you think:

Speaker 2:
that, yeah, that case is so important because when I take the time to pause, not only am I showing respects to the other person in the conversation, but it’s allowing me so much time to process everything. I’m able to process nonverbal things. So if I’m teaching in a classroom, I, I can take the time to look around and faces and see, hmm, do I see any questioning looks, do I see people slumped over? Do I see low energy? Do I s um, it gives me all of that time for those nonverbal cues. And there have been times where I have gone on a long tangent and then someone will say, teacher slowed down, or teacher I don’t understand. And then it’s harder to go back. It is harder to go back and rephrase everything and it’s harder to remember what I’ve even just,:
Speaker 1:
exactly, yeah. So from a student standpoint, do you know your students saying teachers slowed down t shirt? I don’t understand. Um, some things that I do while teaching of course is if I say a big vocabulary term for whatever reason, I could pick it up while I’m speaking very quickly. And then I break it down into, it’s like micro form. So if I say, oh, this building is gargantuous, I can say, you know what that means very, very big. So then I just add a couple of, you know, whatever you call it. Yeah. So adverbs, whatever you call it, and um, to intensify. So they understand that I’m not using big language to make them feel uncomfortable because even, you know, from us, you know, going to school and whatnot and you know, sitting in front of those professors, they just have a tendency of using these very, very big words that no one really cares about.:
Speaker 1:
And I don’t know why. And you know what, that’s something that I want to address too, because there are a lot of foreigners that come to non native English speaking countries and they use language and they use these big words that not many people are gonna understand. And why is it that we’re so accustomed to doing that? I mean, I don’t know if you’ve seen that. I’ve seen it like on videos and I’m like, dude, you got to not dumb it down, but just make it more literal, make it very easy to understand. You want to seek to be understood. You don’t want to use big words to try to know. No one really cares about that unless you’re at a gala convention. You know what I mean? So,:
Speaker 2:
and I, I’ve heard, and I don’t know who I heard it from, um, but I’ve heard this multiple times that if you truly are a master at whatever your teaching or talking about, you can explain whatever concept at a fourth grade reading level. Yeah. And a fourth grade reading levels. So I, and I taught fourth grade for several years and like I said, this is something that’s easy for me to relate to. But for some people, if it is harder for them to simplify their language, just imagine that you’re speaking to students, um, or you or anyone that, you know, a neighbor, kid, a niece and nephew, and just simplify. If it’s harder for you to simplify the vocabulary, simply pause more or form smaller sentences. Because another thing we can do while we’re processing during the pause is think about, hm, what is the sentence I want to say next and how can I simplify that?:
Speaker 1:
And so that’s going into thought groups too, because I’ve realized, and, and it’s funny because I’ve been looking at this pronunciation, but for quite some time already, and it’s taught me so much in terms of a speaker because I understand what content words, our focus words put in emphasis and bad stress on different words to show, you know, how important it is. I’m like, oh my God, that was such a long flight. So I’m emphasizing that along was even longer than the long, you know what I mean? But again, it could be in WWE idioms, that could be a huge problem too. But anyways, um, I’ve implemented what I’ve learned from that and the pronunciation, the thought groups and everything get now I put that into, of course, my very own speech. So when it comes to being a learner of English, what are some, now let’s, let’s go, let’s dive a little bit more into mindfulness too, because we talked about that just a little bit briefly and whatnot.:
Speaker 1:
So mindfulness, it doesn’t necessarily relate to meditation and whatnot, but it’s just being, being in one. This is what, of course Michael Bernard Beckwith would say, you know, just being in tune with your breathing and being in tune with your thoughts, your feelings, everything. And so you do these yoga retreats and when it comes to yoga, a lot of people think yoga is more feminine than masculine. But a lot of people and students who aren’t like, you know, they don’t practice yoga. This get actually really, really, really helped them with their exams. I saw it on Twitter and I remember these students were so stressed that they were bad students. Next thing you know, they implemented yoga and change was on believable. And the thing is yoga also practice mindfulness. So tell me about that.:
Speaker 2:
You can practice mindfulness during any activity. So during yoga for example, um, and mindfulness is awareness of any one or more of the senses. So sometimes for me it’s just focusing on the sound of something. During Yoga, it might literally be focusing on how does my body feel as I’m stretching, what am I feeling in the body? And part of mindfulness is also doing it nonjudgmental. So if something hurts or if it’s difficult to hold a particular pas, I’m not judging myself of, Oh, I should be able to pull that pose longer or I should be able to lift my leg higher. It’s just noticing what is and just being with it. So yes, that does it makes sense then that people who practice yoga would show more success in other areas of life because they are practicing mindfulness and mindfulness studies have shown time and time again, benefits of increased focus, empowerment, less reactivity, all of these things that help us with our academic success.:
Speaker 1:
Wow. And so, I mean, would this, of course the anxiety, the stress, all of these feelings that directly, like they’re very complete, they’re completely opposite of what mindfulness is. If people say they get very nervous or they get nervous when they speak. So an ILS test, right? So for a lot of my ILS learners out there, you know, they say, oh, I get very nervous when I speak. I start stuttering. What is it that, what’s the, excuse me, a nice simple technique that they can use that they can do. You know, probably just before the talk may be five minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, something like that.:
Speaker 2:
That’s a great question. There are so many simple mindfulness exercises. So first of all, when you are speaking to someone, feel the body, pay attention to your body sensations so that that could be, like I said before, pay attention to the feeling of your feet on the floor or your hands or whatever. The body sensation. Notice what is my heart to doing. So sometimes when I’m starting to feel anxious or whatever the emotion is, I’ll put one hand on the heart, one hand on the belly and I’ll label it. Okay, I am anxious because I’m about to take a test. Okay? So literally you are, what happens when you take the time to do that is you are switching from to diff activating two different parts of the brain. So the Amygdala is the archaic part of the brain, the fight or flight brain that is literally this protecting us from, you know, freaking out that part of the brain.:
Speaker 2:
I’m like, oh my gosh, there was a creature chasing me. Yeah. But if we take the time to switch from that freak out mode to deeper, a deeper level thought of what is the emotion, I’m immediately switching from activating the Amygdala to the prefrontal Cortex, which is the deeper level thinking of critical thinking. Anything else of all? I’m just feeling anxious because in once you put a label on something, it makes it less scary. Yeah. So that is a technique, but as, oh, there’s so many breathing techniques. Um, so if someone is standing, there’s a way we start off many of our mindfulness classes where we call it, um, step, step, breath. This is something that you can do, um, where you literally, you’re standing in, nobody can even tell that you’re doing this. It’s literally shift your weight from one foot to the other slowly and then take an inhale and an exhale.:
Speaker 2:
Because at that moment of time, you are placing your focus on physical sensations. So it helps to relieve the anxiety. So it’s literally, okay, I’m shifting weight from one foot to the next and focusing on my breath. Simple one one that I do a lot right before something that I’m, that makes me nervous or if I notice my heart rate has increased, is I just do square breathing. Um, and it’s one of the most simple breathing techniques. And so it’s called square or box breathing because it has four equal parts like a square. So start with whatever number of seconds is easy for you. It should not stress you out. So that can literally start with inhale for four seconds, hold your breath at the top for 40 seconds, exhale for four seconds and hold the breath out for four seconds. And so I literally repeat that over and over and over until I feel a decrease.:
Speaker 2:
If you’re able to do more, more seconds, um, I usually do eight seconds a piece, but again, we don’t want anything that’s going to freak you out more because you’re holding your breath too long and you’re so, and if for you it’s two seconds or three seconds to do that. But one of the powerful things is is that most of us, when we are really anxious, we remember to inhale but we don’t remember to exhale. Exhaling lets out all of them. It cleanses us, right? It lets it gets rid of all of the bad stuff that we don’t want. So if anything, just try exhaling equally as long as you inhale or even longer for the axial.:
Speaker 1:
Thank you so much for sharing that. I love that because I mean people could use this when they fly like me, like what I go and planes and I know there’s a big cloud system that’s coming and doing, it starts shaking even just a little bit. My palms immediately get like sweaty, right? The moisture begins to come and I’m like okay, calm down, calm down, calm down. It’s, so that’s a technique that I could use to, you know what I think I’ve been practicing mindfulness for very, very long time because you know what I do when I actually go on the sky, you know the train out here and I have to stand up. I kind of sway side by side and I don’t know. Every time I do, I do. Sometimes I could notice myself doing it, but I do have that sense of calmness rather than just standing there just very stagnant. If I’d moved from like side to side, I feel so much better because I don’t, I don’t know, it’s like a sense of calm that comes over me. And I think I’ve been doing that for, I don’t know how many years, but then you just mentioned in that, you know, the foot on this side, this side, I’m like, oh my God, I try to do. And I think that’s brilliant.:
Speaker 2:
And as long as you’re focusing on a sense or more in this case, you’re focusing on that sense of touch, right? And feeling grounded. If you’re focusing on that, you’re being present. That’s mindfulness. So it’s, for some people it might be something else. I know of people who always, uh, you know, they might touch a stone or a coin that’s in their pocket. They’re focusing on the, the feeling of that texture, that texture. It’s not judgmental. It’s just something they’re doing in the present. That’s mindfulness. So you know, even something like that for, if you are nervous and you’re, you know, you’re paying attention to the physical sensation of a coin in your pocket, you can do that while still speaking. But it’s something that brings people that sense of calm because it’s that groundedness. It’s okay. Something that I know that’s there. And along the lines of that, you know, since we’re talking about speech, one of the techniques that I just learned about in this, um, retreat over the weekend was that:
Speaker 2:
a lot of times we think that it’s the other person controlling the conversation because we’re so stuck in our own self consciousness. And if we want to take a break, and maybe it’s the other person who’s talking a mile a minute, or maybe they’re just really emotional, or maybe my head is spinning because of what the other person is doing, we can be advocates for ourselves. And a simple way to do this is literally just put your finger apps stick out one finger, right? It’s a universal symbol for wait, pause, whatever. You can use that as your moment to politely interrupt and say, Ah, so if I understand you correctly, what you’re seeing is that allows the other person to pause and realize, oh my gosh, I was just speaking really fast or dominating the conversation or I was really emotional. Right? Cause they get caught up in that and it just gets worse and worse and worse.:
Speaker 2:
And then it gives them the time to think about the other person. Because if you say, if I understand you correctly, then it puts the idea in their head that, oh, maybe I’m not thinking as clearly or um, showing up as clearly as I think to the other person. And then that allows the balance between the two people to be respectful. Because a lot of times that a person may not realize that, um, cause they’re so emotional or so into whatever they’re speaking about that they’re forgetting about the balance. So being an advocate for yourself. So if, if I’m speaking to somebody in it, they’re speaking a different language and I want them to slow down, that’s a technique I can use. Literally just stick out the finger and say, oh, excuse me, I just want to make sure I understand. Do you mean,:
Speaker 1:
oh my God dominated the conversation. Can you enlighten me that cause I feel like I’ve walked. Yeah. You know what, enlighten me with dominated the conversation. Cause I think this could be good for not only me but for a lot of people out there too. What does the baby, my dominating the conversation we’re talking about. So like yesterday I was having a conversational students, then I caught myself and say, you know what? For two hours I want you to at least take the majority of the time to talk. It is up to me to ask the perfect follow up questions to ignite something in you where you can continue building up off the conversations. But I do catch myself talking too much and I’m like our city of shut up. And so then I say, what about you? So tell me about dominating the conversation. This can be very good,:
Speaker 2:
right? Well, like a lot of things in life, many times less is more. So even if I am a teacher and I have really great intentions on teaching my students about something, if I go off on a super long story, I might lose them. Whereas if I were to keep my explanation of a word or a certain piece of content, if I were to keep it to a sentence or two, that could be more powerful. So dominating the conversation can be well intentioned. Um, for some people they might just be so into talking about themselves that they don’t even realize, I haven’t given the person a chance to speak. And so sticking out your finger gently is a very polite way to bring that to someone’s attention. Or also, how many times have we been in socialist social situations? Like maybe I’m at a party and someone’s talking my ear off and I really want to get away.:
Speaker 2:
Okay. Or I, and they just won’t stop talking and I don’t know when are they ever going to take a breath so that, you know, we also, we need to take accountability for our own comfort and whatever we want and not let someone else monopolize our time. So that could be an opportunity to do that. Um, so dominating the conversation, like I said, and like you said, a lot of times we don’t realize it. We don’t realize it that we’re talking for a really long time. So it’s up to the everybody in the conversation to make sure that they are using both verbal and nonverbal communication to get whatever they want out of the conversation. And along the lines of getting out whatever somebody wants out of a conversation, the conversation, you could start with an intention. That’s why a lot of meetings start with an agenda or an objective. Just like a teacher might start with an objective of today we are going to learn about blank. So if at any point a student is getting lost during a lesson, they can bring it back to, ah, so what was the adjective that you started explaining? You know, it gives people more context to come full circle.:
Speaker 1:
So this actually gives students a little bit of a control. Even if the teacher goes off on a tangent and goes blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. They can kind of guide the teacher back to what is being explained. This could be very good for test prep courses. Yeah.:
Speaker 2:
Well then the same thing that a teacher might do is I might tell students if they’re, if we’re going around the room and sharing, I might say we each have two minutes and we need to be mindful of that. So don’t tell your entire weekend with every single task you completed. But Cher, you have two minutes to share about your favorite experience this weekends. So it’s, it’s giving each other boundaries. It creates regrets and that way it’s, especially if you’re in a classroom setting, the teacher is lighting those ground rules for respect so that instead of one student speaking 20 minutes of the class and other students not getting a turn there, letting people know the boundaries of this is what you were allowed to do. This is what is respectful for everyone to have a fair term.:
Speaker 1:
Wow. Just brilliant, mad. Oh, and I was, what I was going to do, I was going to guide this into another segment, but I believe that segment would be like at least another 45 minutes. So I was like, no, I’m not going to go into that. Well, we got plenty of episodes coming up. But to bring this all full circle, Katrina, for someone to summarize this in general, for the people who are looking to implement this in their working lives and their daily lives and in their lives where they have to communicate with foreigners on a regular basis, multinational companies, whatever you want to call it, give me a couple of techniques such as that one you gave right there. That is a brilliant technique. Are there any other like, you know, one to two techniques that someone can use in case, either they’re getting lost or they want to apply more close listening skills?:
Speaker 2:
Yeah. So don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t be afraid to ask for help because a conversation is going to be far more embarrassing if it goes longer without understanding than if you cut it short, ride away. Someone, now I’m having a hard time understanding your speaking candy. Please slow down. Okay, that’s good. Um, ad and expressing right away:
Speaker 2:
the fact of what is difficult for you. Right? So if for example, a lot of people understand more vocabulary and so the understanding the comprehension part of the conversation is way easier than producing the speech. So that might start off with early in the conversation. Maybe the English language, like I understand a lot of English, but it, it helps me when you speak slowly or if or let them know. If I don’t respond right away, it’s because I am processing. I’m trying to understand all of those things are supporting the speaker, right? The English language learner. But it’s also giving that to the other person to allow them to be mindful of the communication. So another thing is just show on your body language if you don’t understand. Um, so it might look like this where you tend to your head to the side and you’re, yeah, you’re touching your face even if you don’t want to express, um, the whole word of what does that mean? Literally just use a universal. Hmm. Huh.:
Speaker 2:
My favorite one is like, that’s my favorite one that I’ve heard. I’ve heard varying percentages, but they say that the majority of communication is nonverbal. It’s about 70% nonverbal. So by you nodding or by you turning your head to the side and tapping your face, you are able to express either yes, I understand. Or know. I don’t understand. So by all means, if you don’t understand, don’t keep nodding. Right, right, right, right. Oh I like that. I like that. Thank you. That was a really, really good one. Especially for a lot of people like in Japan, China, you know they keep saying they got that straight face, like that stuck phase, but at the same time to do with this and then I say, so what did I, and so people, they make that mistake, that nonverbal communication such as they are understanding what you’re saying right now, but in fact they don’t understand the speaking end sight, you know the speaking.:
Speaker 2:
Then you can say, so what do you think about that? Or add an end like a follow up questions for understanding. Right. Until a lot of other questions that might be good to ask is if you’re using inferencing skills and you think you understand, just follow up with, oh, is that the same as blank the person, the opportunity to explain yes or no and then relate it to something that you already know, right? So you are working on, you are activating that background knowledge building on top of something that you already know. You’re allowing the other person to do that when you bring up something that you do already know also. Um, it’s, it’s helpful for many people if they pause and they say, can you spell that word for me? Please? Lot of times hearing different accents. A person might be speaking a word that you already know, but with how they’re saying it in their accent and how it blends into the word next to it, it sounds like a completely foreign word. So just take the time because once you ask the simple question of how do you spell that, it allows the other person to share even more information about it. Like, if I’m asking about the name of a place, they might say, ah, this is how you spell the name of the place and it’s located on this corner next to this other business. Right. So by asking one question, you’re opening it up for the person to answer many questions,:
Speaker 1:
man, that is brilliant. Oh boy. I wish we could keep going because I get could treat them with the gems as all ways mad. Oh I want to continue. But boy, yeah, thanks to be like, but anyways, could treat a man. Thank you so much for sharing a lot of that. And the thing is a lot of people, you guys can begin to apply the majority of these techniques right away. I mean even with Katrina, you tell it to me, some of these things I’m like, well I could start doing that too. So all of this, both native and non native English speakers, both teachers and students, both the priest in the pastor, it doesn’t matter who it is. You can begin to apply this and again, interrupt and politely showing nonverbal communication signs such as you don’t understand particular things or what people are talking about.:
Speaker 1:
Um, these are great things that you could use. So again, Katrina, oh my God, we’re gonna have to, I’m going to have to wake up a little bit earlier just in case technology doesn’t work so we can extend this more. But, uh, there was a question that we have for one of my students, but we won’t be able to tackle that today because this is going to be at like a podcast on its own too, in terms of what happened with my previous students. You know, how not to learn English, all that great stuff. So we’re going to be diving into that, but good. Trita thank you so much for coming on. Again, it’s Arsenio’s Esl podcasts. Yes. Thank you for having me. Absolutely. Guys, if you have any questions, if you’re interested in what uh, Katrina has going on, I always put the links in the profile.:
Speaker 1:
You’ll see it on my Instagram. You’ll see it on the Facebook pages of both her and mine. Ell Teaching, you guys will see that everything is in the description. If you’re watching this on youtube, if I could somehow get it on you tube or if you’re watching this or listening to this in podcast form, whatever it may be. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for to dinette and Katrina have you back on? Probably, Ooh, it could be as little as a week sign because we lost about a month, so I tried to say every two weeks. I’m looking at Regan you back off to tackle the other question and the other questions we might have coming up soon from other students. I look forward to it. Awesome. Thank you so much. And guys, or with that being said, thank you so much for tuning into another ESL podcast gets Frieda.:
Speaker 1:
Thank you for taking the time. That is a cute little, uh, it’s that curious George. Oh Man. I used to have a haircut like him a long time ago. I swear I had a haircut like him a long time ago when people were like, you look like curious George. I was like, your mom looks like curious George. And so yeah, those are the good days. When I was young, oh my God. Who is curious? Judge tells them who curious. George is curious. George is the character of a beloved classic Children’s Book Person. Myself, I could resonate with him because he was a curious monkey owned by the man in the yellow hats. He often would escape because he was exploring his curiosity and it would get him into fun little adventures of mischief of this ship. And that’s why they call this the curious George. Curious George. But I haven’t seen you in a long time. I haven’t been called you in a long time either. That’s because I don’t have hair and I don’t get haircuts like you anymore. But he should take that as a compliment. I mean his, his cybers go all the way to go. But yeah.:
Speaker 1:
So anyways, thank you so much for giving that wonderful introduction stories, man, when I was young, this, those stories. Oh my God. Anyways, okay guys, I’m gonna close this bad boy out. Thanks for introducing this to curious over there. We’re going to get into the ape over there on your table next time, so you make sure he’s here. Next, stop. That one right over there. So we’ll, we’ll talk, we’ll talk about you next time is to AP. So, uh, again, thanks so much for tuning in and guys, I stay two for Katrina will be coming on as early as next week for, of course, the Q and A’s. So stay tuned for that. I’m your host stars. Savio as usual.:

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 20 – Midcourse Self-Evaluation

Midcourse Self – Evaluation

  1.   Now is a good time to evaluate your pronunciation progress. Read   the statements and circle your answers (1 = not at all… 5 = a lot)
Progress No Very little Yes, some Yes, a good amount Yes, a lot
1. My general awareness of
English speech patterns
has improved.
  1         2       3       4          5      
2. I have a better idea of why I am sometimes not
3. I am beginning to hear
problems in my own
4. My speech is beginning
to improve.

In your pronunciation log, record your answers to these questions.

         1.      In what ways has my speech improved?



        2.      What are three areas in which I want my speech to improve before the end of the pronunciation podcasts?



         3.      What will I have to dot achieve these changes?




         4.      What is one speaking situation in which I want my speech to improve?



Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 19 – Speaking Task – Your “Aha” Moment

How many “aha” moments have you had? I’ve had a plenty, and they’re always life-transforming and changes the trajectory of where I’m going in my life. Listen to my stories in the podcast down below then do the task in free-writing form!


Read the paragraph and the question below.

Our identity develops through the life experiences we have. One type of experience is an “Aha!” moment,, an instant when you suddenly understand something for the first time. It may be something simple, like a concept in a mathematics class, suddenly getting a clear idea about how to solve a bigger problem, such as what school to go to, or what career choice to make. In an “Aha!” moment, people suddenly feel they have learned something new about themselves that will change their life in some way.

Think about any “Aha!” moments you’ve had in class or doing your homework, during which you suddenly understood something clearly for the first time.

What are common big decisions people have to make at different points on their lives? Make a list.

What are some useful strategies for weighing the pros and cons of a situation in order to try to reach an “Aha!” moment and knowing what to decide?