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 – Vocabulary – Work Conditions & Responsibilities

Welcome to the specials, people! I told you that I would be unleashing a tirade of podcasts/blogs this weekend because I’m a bit backlogged, and so let’s kick it off with some vocabulary and a nice excerpt from one of my favorite books about jobs in general.

You don’t need special qualifications to do my job, except for a driving licence. I deal with the public. I’m responsible for getting them where they want to go. It’s a stressful job because of the traffic and because my passengers are often in a hurry. I work outdoors, but because I’m inside my car I work in quite good conditions. I’m self-employed, not an employee in a company. I don’t earn an enormous salary.

Who am I?

I work in dangerous conditions. One day I’d just like to work indoors in an office and do paperwork, or maybe even manual work. I’m not very well paid considering the amount of work I do. It’s a skilled job because you need special training to do it. For example, you need to learn to control a big crowd of people. But really, it’s experience that teaches you to deal with criminals.

Who am I?

I would like some of you to create your own paragraphs with some of the vocabulary down below.

  • Architect
  • Bank manager
  • Construction worker
  • Head teacher
  • Office worker
  • Personal assistant
  • Physiotherapist
  • School caretaker
  • Software engineer
  • Vet

Working Life

  1. You have flexible working hours.
  2. You sometimes work during the day and sometimes at night.
  3. You work extra hours.
  4. You spend a long time working.
  5. You don’t work all day.

a. Work long hours

b. Do shift work

c. Work from nine to five

d. Work full-time

e. Be on flexitime

f. Work part-time

g. work overtime

TOEIC Reading: Agendas and Letters + YouTube

Welcome back to another TOEIC, everyone! So the target today is to go over this on the YouTube down below. So, what you can do is of course figure out what the answers are first and then watch my YouTube video, or you can go straight to the YouTube. The choice is yours.

Question 10 -12 refer to the following agenda and letter.

Walken Student Empowerment Conference

Schedule of Events

Thursday, November 10

2.00 P.M.    Open Registration – Walken University Park

3.30 P.M.    Welcome and Introduction by Dean Alison Murret – Griffen Hall

4.15 P.M.    First speaker: Harry Lothian – St. Exupery Auditorium

                  Chair of Economics, Senior Student Advisor

                  “Transition from lecture hall to boardroom”

5.00 P.M.    Main speaker: horst Van Buren – St. Exupery Auditorium

                  Chairman of Alliance Department Stores

                  “Making your way in the real world – struggles and successes”

6.00 P.M.    Reception with Horst Van Burren – Vimy Atrium

7.00 P.M.    Dinner at the Brownsville Inn

 

Dear Mr. Van Buren,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the very interesting and motivational talk at our conference last Thursday. I am sure the students found it particularly inspirational as they prepare to make their way in the working world.

Thank you also for the generous award donation that you made and for agreeing to present the grand price during the reception after your talk.

I am sure I speak for the rest of the faculty and the student council when I say we would be honored if you would consider speaking at future conferences.

With sincerest appreciation and best wishes.

Yours,

Alison Murrett

Alison Murrett

10.     For whom was the conference probably intended?

         (A) High school students applying for university

         (B) Students who will soon graduate from university

         (C) Former university students who are now working

         (D) Company workers taking university night school courses

11.     What is suggested about Mr Van Burren?

         (A) He has spoken at the university before.

         (B) He is a teacher of economics.

         (C) He attended Walken University as a student.

         (D) He has given some money to the university.

12.     In the letter, the word ‘rest’ in paragraph 3, line 1 is closest in meaning to

         (A) relaxation

         (B) gathering

         (C) remainder

         (D) excess

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Additional Relative Clauses Exercise

Hello, everyone! As promised, here’s the second installment of the podcast/blog I did WAYYYY earlier today. I wanted to go more in-depth with clauses because I know a few of you may have not understood.

Extreme ironing is an unusual sport which was invented in 1997 by an Englishman whose name is Phil Shaw. He had to do ironing at home, but he preferred to go rock climbing. So he decided to combine the two things. Of course, ironing and climbing are two activities that don’t have a lot in common. but now people do it all over the world. When Phil was in New Zealand, he started an organization called Extreme Ironing International. Diving, skiing, skating, and parachuting are some of the other sports which people have combined with ironing. Underwater, in the air and on top of the mountains are just some of the strange places where people have done this sport. Ben Gibbons and John Roberts are two Englishmen whose adventure with extreme ironing became a short film, Extreme Ironing to Mount Everest.

Gateway

Second Task

Use the following relative pronouns to complete the sentences: who, which, whose, when, where, that

  1. The winner of the 100m dash in the olympics is the person ________ finishes first.
  2. A referee is the person ___________ job is the control the game.
  3. 2016 is the year ___________ Euro was played.
  4. A Tatami is the place __________ you do Judo.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 52 – Grammar – Defining Relative Clauses

Defining relative clauses are finally here! These types of sentence variations are my absolute favorite, so I wanted to take some time uploading it to ensure you understand fully.

Read the sentences. The words in bold are relative pronouns. Use them to complete the rules 1-5.

A. He’s the player who has the world record for scoring the most goals.

B. He needed the lucky shirt which he had given away.

C. There are players whose egos have stopped them from winning a championship.

D. 2002 was the year when South Korea and Japan hosted the World Cup.

E. That wasn’t the only superstition (that) my parents had.

F. Arsenio is the teacher that is better known as AJ.

G. That’s the place where we had our first date.

 

  1. We use who and that with people.
  2. We use which and that with things.
  3. We use whose to talk about possessions.
  4. We use where with places.
  5. We use when with times.

Choose the correct alternative. If you think both are correct, choose both.

  1. American Football is a game which/- many people play.
  2. A stadium is a place that/where you can watch sports like rugby and baseball.
  3. The people who/- do sports are called athletes.
  4. She is the person who/- walked across the street.
  5. January is the month when/which pollution is very high in Bangkok.
  6. A Quarterback is a person who/that throws the football.
  7. Brazil is a country where/which beaches are very popular.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 51 – Pronunciation/Speaking Skills – Content Words

“Content” words carry the most meaning in a sentence so receive more stress. They include questions words, nouns, most verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and negative auxiliary verbs (don’t, won’t, hasn’t, etc).

“Function” words give a sentence its grammatically correct form. They carry little meaning so are unstressed. They include articles, pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, the verb be, and affirmative auxiliary verbs (do, can, did, etc).

Listen to the audio in the podcast down below to understand what words are stressed.

  1. Doctors can help people with phobias.
  2. Alice saw the little snake and screamed loudly.
  3. I am helping my friend with his fear of water.
  4. I didn’t know you were afraid of flying.
  5. Phobias are powerful but very treatable.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – TOEIC – Part III (Listening) Mini-Test

Welcome back to some live coaching, everyone! I’m Arsenio, as always, and I’m bringing to you today another mini-test — this time from Part III.

Now practice what you have learnt at the actual test speed

1.      What does the man want the woman to do?

(A) Visit some customers

(B) Send some packages

(C) Attend a meeting

(D) Give him some names

 

2.      What is the man’s problem?

(A) He cannot find the post office.

(B) He has to buy a present.

(C) He does not know the woman’s address.

(D) He is late for a meeting.

 

3.      What does the woman request?

(A) A list of addresses

(B) The time of a delivery

(C) The location of a meeting

(D) A map of the city

 

4.      What does the woman want?

(A) To share a ride

(B) To go shopping

(C) To borrow Eric’s car

(D) To look at new cars

 

5.      What is the woman’s problem?

(A) She has missed the bus.

(B) Her car is broken.

(C) She is late for work.

(D) She does not know the area well.

 

6.      What will the man do?

(A) Visit the woman’s company

(B) Show the woman to the bus stop

(C) Repair the woman’s car

(D) Drive the woman to the central office

 

7.      What does the man suggest the woman should do?

(A) Visit the theatre

(B) Move her vehicle

(C) Lock her car

(D) Enter the building

 

8.      What does the woman ask?

(A) Directions to a city park

(B) Assistance reading a sign

(C) Information about a theatre

(D) The location of available parking

 

9.      Why was the sign not visible?

(A) It was around a corner.

(B) It has fallen over.

(C) It was hidden by a tree.

(D) It was behind a van.

 

10.    What is the problem with the man’s watch?

(A) It needs a new battery

(B) The glass is broken

(C) It does not keep time correctly

(D) It is expensive to repair

 

11.    What will cause a delay?

(A) There is a problem with the battery.

(B) A strap must be ordered.

(C) New watches have not yet arrived.

(D) The watch must be sent out of town.

 

12.    When will the watch finally be ready?

(A) On Monday

(B) On Tuesday

(C) On Wednesday

(D) On Thursday

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 46 – Developing Vocabulary – Prep Phrases with Adjectives

Welcome back, everyone! Today I want to go over some prepositional phrases that have adjectives conjoined with them. It’s always great to increase your overall vocabulary skill.

What prepositions do we usually use after these adjectives: aware, interested, ready

2. Match the adjectives with the prepositions. Check that you understand the meaning.

Adjective                                Preposition

  1. Good of
  2. Bored for
  3. Worried to
  4. Tired at
  5. Afraid with
  6. Responsible about
  7. Similar from
  8. Different
  9. Pleased

Complete the questions with the correct prepositions.

  1. Are you good ___________presentations?
  2. Are you interested ______________ going to Nepal?
  3. Are you aware ______________ the latest trends on YouTube?
  4. Are you tired _______________ taking the bus to work?
  5. Are you pleased ______________ your progress in life compared to last year?
  6. Are you ready _____________ your next holiday?
  7. Are you afraid ______________ snakes?
  8. Are you similar _________________ anyone in your family, or are you very different _______________ them all?
  9. Are you worried ______________ the game later?
  10. Are you responsible for looking after your brother?
  11. Are you bored _______________ Thai drama?

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 45 – Passive Voice (Intermediate)

We have a difficult ESL podcast/blog in store for today, so I want you guys to brace yourself because we’re going back over the passive voice!

Listen/read the sentences. Which sentence is not in the passive?

  1. The prizes are given to the athletes.
  2. The Nobel Peace prize was won by Barack Obama.
  3. Nelson Mandela won the Nobel Peace prize back in the 80’s.
  4. These inventions won’t be used much.
  5. Lots of interesting research is being done at the moment.
  6. Her phone has been taken.

Rules

We use the passive when we are interested mainly in the action.

We use the passive when it isn’t obvious who does or did the action.

When we use the passive we don’t always know the person who does the action.

Add one word in each sentence to make a correct passive sentence. After that, write which tense each sentence is in.

  1. The radio was invented by Marconi. Past simple.
  2. Many new phones ___________ been invented in the 21st century. ______________.
  3. Many jobs ___________ be done by robots in 2045. _________________.
  4. Velcro, penicillin and the microwave oven ____________ invented by accident. _________________.
  5. Millions of dollars ____________ spent on war every year.________________.
  6. Football is _________________ by millions of people on TV each weekend.
  7. The novel The Bourne Identity ___________ written by Robert Ludlum in 1980. _________________.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 42 – Speaking – Agreeing/Disagreeing (Intermediate)

Welcome back to another episode and welcome back to my first played audio in a WHILE! The last time I did this, it was in season 1. So, with that being said, we’re going to be talking about famous cities and discussing whether or not they are good vacation destinations.

Vocabulary Words

  • Air quality
  • Cost of living
  • Crime rate
  • Things to see and do
  • Value for money
  • Weather

Agreeing and Disagreeing

When discussing ideas in seminars, normally you have to use formal language. Here are some phrases in terms of agreeing.

Formal: I agree. I like that idea. You have a point.

Informal: That’s what I think. That’s a great idea.

The key to disagreeing is to be polite. You can do this by using a nice tone or adding words to make your statements sound better.

I disagree.

I’m sorry, but I disagree.

That’s not always true (not one of my favorites and can produce an argument).

I don’t think that’s always true.

I’m not sure about that.

Listening exercise

Listen to the students discussing vacation destination and complete the chart down below.

Viktor Jung-Su

City

Points mentioned

Agree/disagree

Podcast