How I created a skillset before covid19 shattered jobs

The language school where I have been teaching since May last year had to close on the 18th March. I am owed three weeks pay, which should have arrived by 11th April at the latest. There are 8 other teachers in the same boat and we have all been unable to contact the owner. He isn’t answering his phone, e-mails or Line messages (but the messages are being read) I need my money!

Anonymous Teacher in Thailand

I’m fortunate enough to have built up my skillsets over the course of 5 years. However, the comment above, which I found on a website, shows a plead from an individual who works at a language center (like me) that sadly fell into the grim reality of a corrupted owner. He was supposed to get paid but the owner has literally went AWOL, or so it seems (because line messages are being read). I have empathy for these teachers, including the rest around the world, who have had their jobs completely slashed away. 36 million English speakers in America have lost their jobs and that toll will continue climbing because the spread of the virus will amplify.

In the past here in Thailand, there have been floods that wiped up a large portion of the country, inundating homes and districts for up to a half-a-year, coups that ran rampantly on the streets of Thailand, disrupting an entire nation. Riots between two political parties that saw dozens of lives lost, but this certainly trumps them all, doesn’t it?

The company that hires and sends us to teach in Thai public schools refuses to tell the teachers when our contracts will officially begin. Meaning we don’t know if they will begin in May or July. If our contracts don’t begin until July, it means we will have gone from March to the end of July with little or no pay. The fact the company refuses to be upfront with teachers, only highlights the poor character of this Thai-run company. 

They assume that they can string the foreign teachers along and we will be there when school starts. But they assume wrong. When the school term starts again, I suspect the companies and schools that have ignored and not looked after the foreign teachers will be left with giant holes to fill. Loyalty is a two way street.

Anonymous Teacher

I think you guys get the point. Because this gentleman is a 1 in 2,000 foreigner teachers (give or take a couple thousand) here in Thailand, he can be disposed of, just like most Americans who have lost their jobs to COVID.

However, because I’m a podcaster, online trainer, teacher, have proven my capabilities and have gotten results, I’m probably a 1 in 3 here in Thailand, putting me in a category that’s hard to get into.

“Arsenio, do you have a lot of work here in Thailand?” Absolutely NOT. There are forces beyond my power that play a pivotal role in this white-ocracy, but because I’m well-known online because the videos, and worldwide because my podcast….there are people inquiring from all corners of the world for my services. How did I do this?

  • Become an asset; not a number
  • Learn skills that others don’t know
  • Build an online persona
  • Strengthen your four cores of credibility
  • Content creation

Whether you’re at home and stuck — or wondering what you can do with all the free time, this is the best way you can start strengthening skills that can provide you with extra income…not waiting on others to open their doors.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 53 – Vocabulary Skills – Suffixes -ful & -less

Welcome back to another ESL podcast! I’m back with some more vocabulary today, and of course, your favorite type of skill….

SUFFIXES!

Two common suffixes you can add to words to make adjectives are -ful and -less. The suffix -ful means “full of” (fearful = full of fear, cheerful = full of cheer) and -less means “without” (fearless = without fear). For some words, either suffix can be added. For others, you can use on suffix but not the other.

-ful -ful and -less -less
successful painful/painless priceless
beautiful hopeful/hopeless sleepless
stressful thoughtful/thoughtless jobless
  useful/useless homeless

Task

Look at these word roots. which can take -ful and which can take -less? Which can take either? Make a diagram like the one above.

Words: harm, truth, power, point, beauty, care, help, worth

-ful -ful and less -less

2. Match the root word and correct suffix -ful or -less to complete these sentences.

Words: stress, home, fear, harm, wonder, point, success, power

  1. It’s _____________ to have come here. I’m so glad you invited me to come to this speaking engagement.
  2. A phobia is more than merely being _______________of something, like heights.
  3. You probably fear failure because it may be ____________ to your image.
  4. You feel ____________ when you’re in situations that you cannot control.
  5. Traveling can be very _____________ for a lot of us.
  6. After a lot of hard work, he was ___________in finally establishing himself as the CEO of the company.
  7. Her friends tried to reason with her, but it was _____________. She wouldn’t listen.
  8. In America, 1 million government workers are fearful that they may become _______________.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 50 – Developing Vocabulary – Phrasal Verbs Connected with Sports

We’re back with some more phrasal verbs! Because these particular blogs and podcasts are very popular, I love to debut them weekly. Here we go!

  1. She took up a new sport because she was bored during the winter.
  2. You should always warm up before going for a run so that you can reduce the chances of cramping.
  3. The Baltimore Ravens knocked Pittsburgh Steelers out of the playoffs in Week 17, so the Steelers won’t be participating in the postseason.
  4. Hey! Are you from around here? Want to join in?
  5. I gave in while playing Danny in ping-pong during college; it was impossible to beat him!
  6. They really want to win so they’re going to go for the two-point conversion.
  7. She’s really fit because she works out at the gym everyday.

Definitions

  1. Prepare for a sport or another activity by doing gentle exercises.
  2. Stop competing and accept you can’t win.
  3. Try very hard to win or get something.
  4. Start participating in an activity with other people who are already doing it.
  5. Start a sport or hobby.
  6. Do physical exercise.
  7. Eliminate somebody from a competition by beating them/make somebody unconscious.

Complete the sentences with the correct form of the phrasal verbs.

  1. I’m going to _______________ badminton. Tomorrow I’m going to buy a racket.
  2. Yesterday we played in the Final Four. We aren’t in the final because the other team _____________ us ______________.
  3. Why don’t you __________?
  4. She’s got the right conviction to become a champion. When she’s losing, she never ________________.
  5. It’ll be a hard race but she’s going to ______________ the championship.
  6. He pulled his hamstring because he didn’t _________________ before running.
  7. They’re really strong. They _________________in the gym, doing weightlifting.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 49 – Developing Vocabulary – Collocations Related to Work

This is a two-episode week of developing vocabulary, which I think a lot of you may be looking forward to. Today we’re going over some regular collations with work.

So, to break it down, some verbs and nouns naturally go together. There are verb/noun collocations that are related to work, such as solve a problem, earn money, and schedule a meeting.

  1. Complete the sentences down below with the following words: earn money, go to a meeting, meet a client, schedule a meeting, send an e-mail, wear a uniform.

A. I’m going to _____________ at dinnertime. His name is Andrew.

B. Can you ____________ for 12.00 pm? I have great news for the coordinators.

C. Nurses in Thailand have to _______________; they’re an off blue.

D. I have to _________ in the afternoon at the United Center.

E. I need to _________________ to my client. Do you have his email?

F. We work because we need to _______________, but we like our jobs.

 

Cross out the word that doesn’t form a collocation.

  1. Ask for: Time off, fire, 
  2. Get: a meeting, paid, promoted
  3. Make: a phone call, a colleague, money
  4. Take: a day off, notes, a meeting
  5. Work: overtime, from home, boss
  6. Write: a vacation, report, an email

Coaching Session 003: Being Creative

So, I was asked this fascinating question just recently by one of my content writers.  She asked me how to be creative and how we can continue being creative.  Well, we’re living in a world that’s changing literally every year, month, week, day.  The YouTube’s and Apple’s of the world can ultimately fall apart just as Toys R Us and other massive chains in different countries plummeted.  Well, if we take a look at my ESL podcast and how I’ve been teaching in Thailand, this is probably the only way I can relate to this post.

The Initiation

When I first moved to Thailand, I was making a sloppy $600 USD a month.  Now, the teacher told me I would get paid $66 dollars less because I was black, too.  What was I doing at this school? Teaching younger kids — which required a lot of creativity.  That’s basically it. For five months I didn’t have any personal development and didn’t try learning useful skills that will make me a hot commodity.

Second Job

I moved up to $1000 dollars a month, which is an 80% increase, teaching technical college students.  Did I learn anything while I was there? Absolutely not…but with 5 months experience, this gave me a significant pay raise that I never thought I would get.

The Reality

When I finally moved outside of Bangkok, not only did I make 2k USD a month, but I first taught TOEIC (a test preparation course to enable the student to apply for higher paying jobs based on their English language literacy).  I learned to teach 4-skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening), academic writing, IELTS, business English and other facets.  When they saw I was an excellent speaker, they wanted me to create a new course that catered to conversation, which was a success beyond a success.  I got gigs teaching at the top-5 companies within these borders (email writing, business English and other areas), and when this happened, jealousy began growing.

Then I knew I was on the right path. The more I learned, the more I earn.

In 2015, I created a YouTube video that now has over 9k views…..never did I think that would happen.  It wasn’t until earlier this year that I had the idea, “hey, if there are lots of people viewing my videos YouTube, how about I make a podcast and see where it goes? Bingo! From there, my podcast soared over the last couple of months.  I began creating 1-minute videos on Instagram and my Facebook page — resulting in BIG HITS.  I turned that into online coaching, which I do live on the weekends and set up the refreshment course via YouTube.

And Then

A coach for Toyota, who has traveled the world and who I’ve been teaching the past three weeks (TOEFL) spoke to me for twenty minutes at the end of class saying, “you have e-test, e-learning, coaching, and refreshing).  While he was talking to me, I realized that I was unconsciously doing two of them already (coaching and refreshing) and it has been STELLAR since beginning two weeks ago.

The Creative

If I can create an e-test for my students and provide specialized courses in the different sectors of English, this could be the new-age part of learning.  If you haven’t already heard, universities are 1 trillion in debt and now people are realizing that university, is indeed, a scam.  In ten years time, we could be learning in virtual reality.  The language centers here in Thailand and all over the world, which are my competitors, can no longer provide a book and a “teacher” to teach from a book (super easy to do). They’ll have to become more creative.

So, how do I stay relevant? Integration of sophisticated lessons that will capture the imaginations of my students, making them better members of society while focusing on their core genius.  Professors around the world teach what’s only in books, and that will all be gone once AI is implemented and we no longer need to memorize information that’s useless.

Being creative is doing exactly what the big companies, which have failed, didn’t do.  Continue evolving and providing your customers with more things and innovate your technology to make life easier.  Jack Ma says “find a need and fill it.”

If you had known about Buzzsprout in the beginning of the year, you would know how garbage it was.  This platform, which podcasters can use to host, was completely useless compared to SoundCloud (a now “pay for plays” platform).  I didn’t know the metrics, who was listening, the last x amount of plays, or ANYTHING.  It was generic as hell compared to sites like Spreaker — a site I can see all the sources on.  However, I’m able to schedule my ESL podcasts now, transcript for little to no money (compared to hosting sites which charge 10x more), and I can put chapter markers in my podcast — a feature that has been invented on any other platform.

Buzzsprout knows in order for it to stay afloat, it has to continue evolving. The moment it began to grow complacent (at the beginning of the year), that was beginning of its downfall.

Always continue making life easier for your customers. Period.

Podcast

 

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 19 – Vocabulary – Phrasal Verbs Connected with Travel

Here we go! Some phrasal verbs you can understand and use IMMEDIATELY! Traveling, especially for my Thais, is tough because of the language barriers.  To take that further, I remember when I met a Japanese girl on a bus in Hawaii and she couldn’t speak ANY ENGLISH! Imagine traveling the world without knowing English! Well, do not fear! I’ve got a pocket book for you today.

Task – Look at these sentences.  Match the phrasal verbs in bold with the letters down below.

  1. We got on the first flight but we got off due to a mechanical issue.
  2. When all the passengers were in their seats, the plane finally took off.
  3. She got into the car and drove down the street.  When she arrived at her location, she got out of the car, only to realize that she forgot some important documents back home.
  4. This bus is really old.  I think it’s going to break down any minute. *breaks down*
  5. Excuse me, sir.  Could you please tell me what time the flight from Paris gets in? I’m meeting someone on it.
  6. They checked in their bags at Changi airport before going through the very easy passport control lanes.
  7. I took a long journey last year.  I set off from Bangkok around 10pm and arrived in America about 30 hours later.
  8. Because I have such a flexible schedule, I love to get away every two months and travel to neighboring countries.

a. start a journey

b. enter/leave (a train, bus, boat, plane)

c. go somewhere different to have a rest or holiday.

d. arrive

e. show your ticket/give your bags to someone

f. stop working (any form of transportation)

g. enter/leave (a car)

h. start flying.

Answers in podcast down below.

Task 2 – Complete the text with these following words: away, down, in, into, off (x2), on, out of

Last week my sister and I decided to get ___________ for the weekend because of the long holidays.  We decided to go to Kanchanaburi.  We set __________ early, at around 8am.  We got _____________ my friend’s car, which is a Ford Focus because it’s the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the market today.  The only problem was that her car had a tendency of breaking _________. 10 minutes later, it did.  We got __________ the car, grabbed our belongings, and went to a nearby minivan station.  After 30 minutes, a van pulled up and we got ________ and sat down.  The van arrived at Kanchanaburi on time — we got ___________ around 5pm.  We took our luggage and got ________ the minivan. The only problem we had with everything that entire weekend was a broken Ford Focus!

Transcribed Season 3 – Episode 19

Podcast

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: International Guest Speaker – Marwa of Egypt!

I’ve been wanting to get someone on from Egypt, and I finally have!  Introducing Marwa, someone who speaks three languages (two of the most difficult in the world) as she talks about wondrous Egypt, things to do, places to go, climate, and a few other things.  She was inspired to learn English by the TV. series — “Friends.” Podcast down below!

 

Things we discussed:

  • Introduction.
  • Guest speaker and learning German.
  • Reasons for why she enjoyed learning German.
  • Talked about learning the Arabic language.
  • Differences in Arabic dialect in Egypt, Tunisian, Moroccan and standard arabic.
  • How she developed her English.
  • American TV series.
  • How she developed her American accent.
  • Egypt in general.
  • How to travel in Egypt?
  • Weather in Egypt.
  • Egyptian sandstorms.
  • Shared her thoughts on English learning and English communication in Egypt compared to native speakers.

Podcast

 

Thank you for listening!

Thank you so much for joining me for this podcast. Please do write down some feedbacks and comments. Please do share this podcast to your social media.

Links:

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – TOEIC Reading – Part II – Speed Reading

Welcome back, everyone! This is a continuation of what I did last week on my TOEIC video.  Because it gained a lot of subs, traction, and love, I decided to continue what’s hot.  So, here’s the second part of the video I did last week!

I’m posting last weeks’ blog down below so you can see the chart and answer the questions I have at the bottom.

A. The main focus of the chart/table/form

B. Details of how information in the chart/table/form is meant to be used.

C. Information about who the text is from or intended for.

D. Extra details that indicate changes/differences to information in the chart/table/form

E. Background information that relates to the chart/table/form or the people who use it.

F. Details/facts/numbers/dates/names

 

**I’ve put the answers next to the numbers for you guys to understand how it works!

 

1) C

From: johnsmith@gmail.com

To: arseniobuck@icloud.com

Date: October 27th

Subject: November Visit

 

2) A

Dear Arsenio,

 

After my visit last month, I would like to talk about some of the different approaches for improving sales that were discussed at last year’s sales conference.  I would appreciate it if you would set aside the whole day on the 25th of November.

 

(3) B

so that I can meet with you and your sales team.  I am including, in the attachment, the most recent sales figures from last year for you and your team to review before we meet.

See you next month.

 

John

 

4) F Sales of Cars

5)  D                                    Jan-Mar                     April-June              July-August

Toyota                             1521                              655                            *232

Mitsubishi                       756                               943                            1100

Honda                             1873                              800                             422

6) E  * model discontinued in December

 

Questions

 

  1. What does the chart show?

A) The number of vehicles sold by one manufacturer

B) Sales figures for four years.

 

     2. Who sent this email?

A) John Smith

B) Arsenio Buck

 

3. Which model sold the greatest number overall?

A) Honda

B) Mitsubishi

 

     4. Which was the most successful period for sales of the Toyota?

A) July-August

B) January-March

 

     5. What will happen in December?

A) There was a sales conference.

B) The Toyota model was discontinued.

 

 6. How many Mitsubishi’s were sold in December?

A) 465

B) 1100

 

Podcast

YouTube – Coming Soon

 

Podcast – Last week

YouTube – Last Week

 

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 4 – Speaking Skill – Offering Advice and Suggestions

Use some of these phrases below when offering advice to others.  Some are followed by the -ing form of the verb.

  • I suggest going to Siam Paragon.
  • How about getting a new dog to take care of?
  • I’d recommend reading Paulo Coehlo’s The Alchemist.

Others are followed by an infinitive.

One idea is to volunteer at a daycare center.

It might be a good idea to eat things that will help you emotionally everyday.

Task: Correct mistakes in these sentences.

  1. One idea is to eating more junk food.
  2. I’d recommend to eat more apples.
  3. How about to buy more vegetables in outdoor markets?
  4. It might be a good idea for improve yourself.
  5. I suggest have a healthy snack before going to work.
  6. One way is get a pet.

Task 2: Complete the dialogues with suitable advice.

  1. I really need to find a better place to live.

I suggest __________________________________________________.

2. I don’t know what subject to major in.

How about ________________________________________________.

3. It’s very difficult for me to sleep.

It might be a good idea to ________________________________________.

4. I want to improve my diet.

I’d recommend ___________________________________________.

Podcast

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 3 – Discussion Questions/Critical Thinking

As promised, I wanted to implement some more developing thinking for my ESL learners around the globe (and for my native English speakers who aren’t asked these questions at school).

Nourishment is the topic today.  It means the things that we need to stay alive, healthy and grow strong.

What are some of the best ways to find physical and mental nourishment?

Freewriting – 15 minutes

In the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, I started meditating before going to work everyday.  It was a money affirmation by Bob Proctor.  I would do it in stillness, laying down with the blinds open.  This would really relax me, my spirit, and all the outside noise that would’ve been going on at the time.  So, this is called meditation/visualization.

Physical nourishment involves me doing strength, core, power, and conditioning training every morning.  After I’m done working out, I feel that I can conquer anything.  David Goggins says, “do the things that suck,” but that “suck” can become a passion.

What are some brain foods that you eat? Do you eat blueberries? Chocolate? Fish? Pasta?

What are some of the differences you feel when you consume brain food compared to when you don’t?

If I eat anything high in sodium, fat, carbs, or fast-food in general (primarily in the afternoon), I feel very lethargic, tired and fatigue.  I often get drowsy, too.  However, if I eat good fat like avocado, blueberries, nuts, or things high in B vitamins, I’m often awake.

What do you feed yourself emotionally? How does it make you feel?

Podcast