Arsenio’s Business English Podcast | Season 6 | Investment | Tips for Saving Money

Here’s a pre-investment podcast — podcast — for all of you out there. I came across a very informational video that brought the spotlight on my money and finances, especially over the year.  As you probably know, shutdowns had begun early last year and the majority of the world was caught-off-guard, including me. So, instead of being proactive, I was reactive. I didn’t have an emergency fund of 3-6 months worth of rent saved up. I didn’t have travel expenses saved up, or even the stipend for a pretty expensive visa. So, I had to work in overdrive to cover expenses and that was three months of stress.

After watching this video and in the midst of the second shutdown, I’m very excited about the “how to” save for a rainy day. Tune into the podcast before we dive into the beginning stages of investing!


TOEFL iBT | Listening | Lecture | The Bronze Age

We’re back with a pretty good one today. I’ve always been intrigued by the Bronze Age, and today is going to be a lecture on it! Are you ready for some note-taking and answering of questions? Again, view the blog (if you’re reading this on Facebook) on page 2 (down below if you’re reading this on the blog) to check your answers!


Bronze popular item to trade

trade commerce, learned that 3k years ago between med sea was popular

other materials out of bronze, including glass

excavation in egypt on Nile, discovered ancient glass factory

importing unfinished, not true

Meso region consisting of middle Eastern countries

glass in Meso, oldest glass comes from

two productions: first stage — discs of raw glass

second, melted raw glass, discs, and created objects

Several processes involved, took corts, crushed it.

Then, mixed it with plant ash

ashes left after you burn plant material

low temperature in small containers like jars that were made out of clay

grassy material grounded into powder and die to color

dye *

Once cooled, broke the molds

inside were discs

Second stage

Discs were reheated

shaped into decorative objects

Most common: beads

Imitating precious stones

looked liek pearls and emeralds and difficult to distinguish

created vessels with narrow necks

probably valuable so not common to hold common food items

mostly red, used copper

any glass was popular, red bottles owned by thee wealthy

so difficult to make, mysterious, produced for royal family

beautiful objects made great gifts

strengthen political alliances

exporting glass, too

mutual trade with Meso because it was usually white or yellow

two white discs for two red discs


 What is the lecture mainly about

  • Different types of glass objects made by Egyptians
  • Whether Egyptians or Mesopotamians were the first to make glass
  • The history of glass production
  • New information about glass making and the use in ancient Egypt

2 What is the process for making glass disks? Put the steps below in the correct order

  • a. Glass-like material is ground up and dyed blue or red.
  • b. Powdered material is heated at very high temperatures
  • c. Crushed quartz and plant ash are heated at low temperatures.
  • d. Containers are broken to remove glass disks.

3 What is the importance of the archaeological evidence recently found in Egypt?

  • It supports the theory that ancient Mesopotamians imported glass from ancient Egypt.
  • It shows that ancient Mesopotamians were producing raw glass.
  • It proves that ancient Egyptians imported glass from Mesopotamia.
  • It shows that ancient Egyptians were able to produce raw glass.

4 Using raw glass and the glass disks, what were the Egyptians able to create?

  • Cooking utensils
  • Artwork
  • Paper
  • Decorative objects

5 What are two kinds of glass objects that were valued in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia?

  • Cooking utensils
  • Beads
  • Containers
  • Stones

6 According to the professor, what are two reasons why ancient Egyptians exported glass? Click on 2 answers

  • To acquire stones such as emeralds and pearls from other countries
  • To acquire colors of glass not made in Egypt
  • To get bronze tools from other countries
  • To build relationships with foreign leaders

TOEFL iBT | Listening | Discussion | Summer Trip

Welcome back to the first-ever edition of TOEFL iBT Lecture! I’ve obviously done the discussions before, but it’s time for the wondrous lectures…and in today’s lecture, we have a summer-trip. Two people discussing details of a trip…but how are you doing to be able to take notes throughout the lecture? Listen to my notes in the podcast (or notes on video) and let’s answer these questions!

Planning trip for children to New York

Concern – transportation — lodging figured out

How will the get there

Budget restrictions? — the less the better

Train, buses, or just flying

Flying most expensive but quickest

Rule that one out

Nervous parents because kids haven’t flown before

Buses are usual and they have taken them alot

train is exciting

parents won’t worry about trains

trains are faster

bus at mercy of traffic

Bus you can stop whenever you want

train won’t allow stopping

kids have to get up and run around a while

How many children — 60

Split them into two groups: choose or assign them. One group take bus, other take train


  1. Why does the student speak with the event director?
  • to get permission to host an event
  • to ask questions about working in the event direction division
  • to discuss a trip that she’s planning for children
  • to learn more about the various events that happen

2. Which of the following is NOT an option that the student lists for travel?

  • driving personal cars
  • taking the train
  • taking the bus
  • taking an airplane

3. Which of the following is an advantage of taking the bus?

  • the bus might get caught up in traffic
  • the bus can make stops whenever necessary
  • the bus is something exciting that kids are not accustomed to
  • the bus is free

4. What course of action does the student settle on thanks to the event director?

  • the student decides that they will all take the train
  • the student decides that they will all take the bus
  • the student decides that half of the students will take the bus and half will take the train
  • the student decides to cancel the trip and plan something else instead

5. Why does the student think that the option of flying should be ruled out?

  • she knows that many kids come from families that can’t afford expensive means of travel
  • she feels the parents might get anxious because many kids have no experience with flying
  • she believes there are better ways than flying to make use of the trip’s budget
  • she considers flying unnecessary since there’s no rush involved at any point during the trip


TOEFL iBT | Listening | Lecture | Urbanization in America

Welcome back to another TOEFL iBT Listening! Because the podcast on Beluga Whales has done extremely well, I decided to do another for you, follow by listening tips for success and a reading test! So we have an action-packed week of TOEFL coming up beginning today and going through the beginning of next week. In saying that, let’s get into it!

My Notes

Process of which rural to urban/industrial

more and more move, cities got bigger and bigger

Why did they want to live there?


No need for them before factories because most people just farmed

1800s — inventors came up with machines of mass production

transformed agriculture, less human activity

people flocked to factories

Foreign countries and largest boom in immigration

fair share of positives and negatives


To house them, cheap building thrown up overnight

crowded and unhealthy — proper access to water, clean air, sanitsation

sickness and disease

new form — rise in crime

strong anti-immigrant feelings -=- strong racial biases and hate crimes


More opportunities, pay is higher in cities

Improvements to roads and businesses, transportation, subways, public trains

mass expansion of museums, libraries and theatres

parks established

revelation that public health mattered

first-large scale hospitals

As a result of massive movement

some of americas greatest cities: hundreds of new cities were born, New York 1.5 million and doubled to 5 million

Chi town – 300k people to 3 million people

Why cities had a tough time keeping up with growth

Most people live in urban landscapes

cities are much different: hospitals, libraries, parks, after 100 years, now we have policies

In what ways do we wstill need to grow, making same mistakes as a hundred years ago


1. According to the lecture, what was the main cause of urbanization?

– a lack of farming jobs because of famine encouraged people to find work elsewhere

– the invention of new machines transformed cities and farming, encouraging movement

– the attractive benefits of city life encouraged many people to make the move

– overpopulation meant that there wasn’t enough space in rural areas for all people

2. What does the professor suggest caused higher numbers of people to grow sick in cities?

  • The lack of proper sanitation in people’s homes and neighborhoods
  • the housing options forced people to live in overcrowded neighborhoods
  • a lack of planning mean there was no trash or water services
  • all of the above

3. According to the lecture, what was the result of so many new immigrants moving to America?

  • The rise in population led to more communal sentiments and a strong country.
  • along with new people came a new perspective on cultural acceptance.
  • all the new people created racially divided communities discrimination and anger.
  • the new races of people didn’t interact often and established their own cities.

4. What does the professor mean by the term “infrastructure”?

  • The structures in a city that make life easier and enjoyable
  • the shape that the different structures in cities take on
  • the imagined potential for a city after planning is done
  • the parts of a city that constantly need improvement

5. Why does the professor suggest that it’s understandable to see why cities had so many problems at first?

  • he describes the lack of technology that was available for providing basic needs
  • he explains that the political structures were bad and didn’t work for the people
  • he illustrates that the population growth happened faster than the cities could keep up
  • he imagines that the problems are part of any city at any time in history

6. What was the main point of this lecture?

  • to provide questions for improving our modern cities
  • to explain the causes and effects of urbanization
  • to describe the poor living conditions of the early cities
  • to compare and contrast past cities with modern cities

The TOEFL Tournament

Who’s ready for this year’s tournament? You guys are going to LOVE this.

In the link down below, there are a series of question for you to sign up for this month’s TOEFL tournament.

In the tournament, you will immediately start off in the quarterfinal round and you’ll be writing against someone else. So, it could be someone from Brazil vs. someone from Denmark. Whoever writes the best Independent Essay, moves onto the next round (semifinals). In the semifinals, you will be given an integrated task. And like the quarterfinals, whoever writes the best integrated tasks moves onto the finals. In the finals you will submit a package of four speaking questions (all materials will be provided by me) and the winner gets a free, 4-hour package of coaching (valued at $160 USD)!

Loser of the quarterfinals gets 2 speaking question evaluations.

Loser of the semifinals gets 1 free hour of coaching and 1 independent essay/integrated essay review.

So, WHO’S UP FOR THE TASK? Sign up today!

For your information, I will be making videos to grade your essays, speaking tasks, etc. This is all part of the process, but your name won’t be used. If you don’t want your voice or essay being used on video/audio, this tournament won’t be for you. But remember, it’s just a voice/write-up…no one will know WHO YOU ARE! Ha! Let’s go!

Sign Up Sheet

TOEFL iBT | Reading | Techniques for Complete The Summary & Reference Questions

Welcome to the first-ever TOEFL iBT Reading section! If you guys are reading this on my blog, the podcast and video are down below. If you’re reading this on Spotify, thank you so much for supporting my podcast! If you’re reading this on Facebook, welcome to the live show! In today’s episode, we’re going to go over the 2 first types of reading questions on TOEFL iBT and how to navigate your way through them. I know quite a few of you have difficulty with specific ones, so I’ll cover all of them individually. Let’s kick this off.

Reference Questions

A Reference question is the type of reading question that will take you less than 30 seconds to read both the question and all the options. Also, this is probably the easiest TOEFL reading question type. Especially if you follow the strategies from this lesson, you will almost always get the question right! 

Let’s look at an example:

[2] Many millions of years after ferns evolved (but long before the Hawaiian Islands were born from the sea), another kind of flora evolved on Earth: the seed-bearing plants. This was a wonderful biological invention. The seed has an outer coating that surrounds the genetic material of the new plant, and inside this covering is a concentrated supply of nutrients. Thus the seed’s chances of survival are greatly enhanced over those of the naked spore.

The word “This” in paragraph 2 refers to: 

  1. the spread of ferns and mosses in Hawaii
  2. the creation of the Hawaiian Islands
  3. the evolution of ferns
  4. the development of plants that produce seeds

As you can see, in a reference question, you will see a word, usually a pronoun highlighted in the passage. You are asked what the highlighted word refers to. If it’s a pronoun then you need to identify what word the pronoun is replacing. 

Here are highlighted words you might be asked about:

  1. Subject pronoun: it, they
  2. Object pronoun: it, them
  3. Demonstrative pronoun: these, those, this, that
  4. Possessive adjectives: its, their
  5. Other reference words: the former, the latter, one, ones, another, other, others

Now, it is important to remember that you don’t need a full understanding of the passage in order to solve this question type. You just need to study the context surrounding the word. Usually, you just read the sentence where the highlighted word is mentioned, and then read a few sentences that come before it. 

Next, you need to analyze the sentence structure and find out the answer. 

Usually, you will see two structure types:

  1. Two sentences separated by a period
  2. One sentence separated by a comma

TOEFL iBT | Speaking | 1 on 1 Coaching | Question 4: Declining Frog Populations & How Eggs Stay Moist

Yay! We’re just shy of the New Year, and I just want to quickly update you guys that there’s a (buy 1 get 1 free) buddy deal from December 25th-31st. This means if you want online coaching, you can bring another friend — free of charge. Take advantage of this because price increases begin in January!

Now, onto the podcast. There’s a lot to cover, and because I’m uploading this in advance, I’m making a prediction of 96 for Paula’s TOEFL score on December 20th. I will edit and write the score down below. She wants just an 80, but I hate lowering expectations.

In addition to that, this podcast is about how you focus on the ramble instead of the substance. Very critical for a lot of you out there.

Update: She got a 24 in reading and 28 in listening, making that 52 out of the 80 points she needs. She’s currently waiting on her speaking and writing score.

TOEFL iBT | Independent Essay | Evaluating an Essay #4

Welcome to another Patreon special! For every essay my students submit, they get a video response. In this video, I talk about many parts of the essay and how she can improve her essay leading up to her TOEFL test in about 4 hours. Hear the breakdown!


TOEFL iBT | 1 on 1 Coaching | Speaking Question 3 | Target Marketing

In this episode, you’re going to hear me speak about her rhythm and how it sounded a bit unnatural at the beginning. In addition to that, she had spent 19 seconds on the reading/introduction before going into the talk. This is a big NO NO because you’re being graded based on what you hear and what you report, not the reading or introduction. Keep that in mind. On a positive note, her paraphrasing was good and linkers were spot on. She needs to allocate the right time for all phases of the talk because in the end it sounded a bit rushed.


TOEFL iBT | 1 on 1 Coaching | Speaking Question 2 | Campus Policy

In this speaking question, you’re going to hear her use some colloquial language, stumbles over multi-syllable words, and make other minor errors.  Keep in mind, this was her speaking test at the beginning of my course. I’ll have to upload the before-and-after later but listen to my feedback.