ARSENIO’S ESL PODCAST | SEASON 5 EPISODE 154 | SPEAKING SKILL | PREPARING & ASKING QUESTIONS

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: 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.

Tips

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.

Podcast

YouTube video with Katarina

Transcript

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)
Right?

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 77 – Speaking & Listening – Teen Tracking Apps

Here’s a great listening and speaking podcast for you guys out there who are looking to improve your speaking. Teen tracking apps. Controversial? Let’s dive into some questions and then the audio.

  1. Do you have apps on your phone? How many? What do they do?
  2. What are some advantages and disadvantages of apps?
  3. What do you know about tracking apps?

Listening

Listen to a radio programme about teen tracking apps. Answer the questions using a maximum of four words for each one. Listen as many times as you need.

Podcast

  1. In location apps, what do the dots represent?
  2. How can these apps analyze behavior?
  3. Why do the app companies license the technology?
  4. According to the psychologist, what do these apps suggest to teenagers?
  5. What does she say teenagers need to do?
  6. When Steve has to pick his children up, what does the app do?
  7. What is the general reason Steve installed the apps?
  8. How do Steve’s children feel about the apps?
  9. Which two groups of people can use the data form apps?
  10. What should you do to protect your privacy?

Speaking

  1. What ideas support the use of tracking apps?
  2. What arguments are there against the apps?
  3. On balance, are you in favor or against them? Why?
  4. What predictions can you make about the use of tracking apps in the future?

Podcast

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
understood.
                         
3. I am beginning to hear
problems in my own
speech.
                     
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!

Brainstorm

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?

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 18 – Speaking Skill – Expressing Interest in Ideas you Hear

Ahhh! This is one of my FAVORITES! This is critical in the world of conversation and just listening to people. Because we’re in such a hurry everyday, we really don’t use close listening techniques. When that happens, people end up saying, “you’re a very bad listener.” Don’t be on the receiving end of that message and learn from my techniques down below!

During a conversation or informal discussion, it’s important to let other people know that you are paying attention and that you are interested in what they are saying.

Making comments

Wow! Really? Hmmm, You’re kidding! That’s/That sounds interesting.

I can’t believe it! That’s incredible/fantastic!

Repeating part of what you heard

You said “Don’t do that”?

Asking follow – up questions

When a person pauses, you can ask questions to get more detail, e.g.,

How did you that?

Why did you go there?

When was that?

Who taught you that?1.04

Listen to four people speaking. Cross out the response that would not be appropriate.

1.      Why did you stop? / That’s a shame. / You’re kidding!

2.      What was it about? / Really? / I can’t believe it.

3.      Wow! What a coincidence! / It was a guy you didn’t recognize? / How did you     know who it was?

4.      You lost it? / Oh no! / That sounds interesting.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 7 – Life Skills – Social Skills – Representational Systems

I’m injecting a bit of personal development into this lesson! Boy, what I learned over the weekend at a seminar was unbelievably amazing. I learned so much about how human beings communicate, and since then, I’ve applied it to my life and it has worked miracles! Here are the systems.

I’m injecting a bit of personal development into this lesson! Boy, what I learned over the weekend at a seminar was unbelievably amazing. I learned so much about how human beings communicate, and since then, I’ve applied it to my life and it has worked miracles! Here are the systems.

Here are the systems….

Visual (V)

People who are visual often stand or sit with their heads and/or bodies erect, with their eyes up. They will be breathing from the top of their lungs. They often sit forward in their chair and tend to be organised, neat, well – groomed and orderly. They are often thin and wiry. They memorise by seeing pictures and are less distracted by noise. They often have trouble remembering verbal instructions because their minds tend to wander. A visual person will be interested in how something LOOKS. Appearance are important to them.

Auditory (A)

People who are auditory will often move their eyes sideways. They breathe from the middle of their chest. They typically talk to themselves and can be easily distracted by noise (some even move their lips when they talk to themselves). They can repeat things back to you easily, they learn by listening and usually like music and talking on the phone. They memorise by steps, procedures and sequences (sequentially). The auditory person likes to be TOLD how they’re doing and responds to a certain tone of voice or set of words. They will be interested in what you have to say.

Kinesthetic (K)

People who are kinesthetic (K) will typically be breathing from the bottom of their lungs, so you’ll see their stomach go in and out when they breathe. They often move and talk very slowly. They respond to physical rewards and touching. They also stand closer to people than a visual person. They memorise by doing or walking through something. They will be interested in something if it “feels right or if you can give them something they can grasp.

Auditory Digital (AD)

This person will spend a fair amount of time talking to themselves. They will want to know if something “makes sense”. The auditory digital person can exhibit characteristics of the other major representational system.

Now, let’s read the text and see if using these systems can help?

How to get your point across

 
Imagine this situation. You’re at your very first job interview. The interviewer asks you to talk about yourself. You look down, you don’t know where to start and you can’t think what to say. There’s an awkward silence and you start to panic. Now imagine another situation. A friend makes a comment that upsets you. In the first instance you say nothing. But then you feel yourself getting angry and you explode and tell them what you really think!
 
Sounds familiar? Well, you;re not alone. We all have difficulty in expressing ourselves sometimes – we struggle to find the right words or our emotions get in the way. Yet effective communication is perhaps the most important life skills, particularly at work. Employers are often looking to hire people with strong interpersonal skills; they want people who will work well in a team and be able to communicate effectively with colleagues, customers and clients. And interpersonal skills are not just important in the workplace. Our personal and social lives can also benefit. People will good interpersonal skills are usually perceived as optimistic, calm and confident – qualities that are often appealing to others.
 
If we are more aware of how we interact with others, and remember to practise, we can all improve our ability to communicate. Here are our top four tips.
 
Tip 1 Think it through It’s often difficult to come up with the right words on the spur of the moment, so give some thought to what you want say. For instance, before an interview, think of answers to possible questions or say them out loud. Even better, try rehearsing with a friend. If you have to give an opinion, pause to organise your thoughts before you start to speak.
 
Tip 2 Be assertive Being assertive means expressing your ideas in a way that doesn’t offend others. At the same time, it means speaking your mind without being afraid of what people might think. If you feel yourself getting angry or upset, take a deep breath and calm yourself. if necessary, take a short break from the conversation and come back to it when your head is clearer.
 
Tip 3 Remember to listen Too often we’re so busy trying to get across our opinions that we forget to listen to what others have to say. Communications is a two – way process, which means trying to see the other person’s point of view. Ask questions to help you understand or summaries what they’ve just said. If you show you’re prepared to listen to others, they’re much more likely to listen to you.
 
Tip 4 Watch your body language A lot of communication is non – verbal – more than 50% in fact. If someone has their arms folded, they probably feel defensive or aggressive. Facial expressions can tell us what a person is thinking, too. It’s important to interpret these signals, and to be aware of your own body language. Sit calmly, keep eye contact – and remember to smile while you speak.

Gateway B2+

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

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Developing Speaking – Negotiating & Collaborating

I’m bringing negotiating and speaking back for one week! Maybe two. Just for these last couple of weeks. Upper Intermediate will surely have it, so stay tuned for that! Here’s a speaking bank and talking about different jobs in the world.

1. What do you think?

2. What do you think about…..

3. What about you?

4. Do you agree?

5. Don’t you think so?

 

Yes, I agree.

Yes, you’re right.

Sure.

Ok.

I think you’re right.

That’s true.

I agree with you.

I see what you mean.

That’s a good idea.

 

I see what you mean, but…

I suppose so, but….

I’m not sure.

Maybe, but…

I agree up to a point, but…..

Here are some jobs. I want you to grab a friend and talk to each other about how these jobs POSSIBLY improve/not help society.

Scientist

Journalist

Architech

Entrepreneur (career)

Firefighters