Arsenio’s Business English Podcast | Season 6 | Sales | Investigating Complaints: Reporting to Customers

This is a LONG story in terms of how to deal with complaints, whether it’s in your professional life or personal life. There’s a fine line between constructive criticism, and there is just the ungrateful. Do you often continue doing work with people who have complained before? In my experience here in Thailand, I worked with companies in the outskirts of Bangkok before who had complained about me having a great personality — true story. These companies don’t deserve an amazing trainer like me, and going forward, I established a value system that helps me in choosing companies, clients, gigs.  In today’s podcast, we discuss just that.


TOEIC | Incomplete Sentences | Improving Your Knowledge of Prefixes & Suffixes: Tactic Practice

Welcome to another grammar edition of TOEIC! In today’s podcast/video, we’re going to do the full rundown of noun and verb suffixes, a tactic that is needed to get a fine score in Part 5. Also, some exercises and additional task (on my blog) before getting into a 6-question Tactic Practice. With that being said, let’s get into it!

This section will help you familiarize yourself with some of the most common suffix and prefix forms.

Test tactic: Noun & Verb Suffixes

The words below feature some of the most common suffixes use with nouns and verbs. Decide whether they’re a noun or a verb.

  • cooperation
  • criticize
  • partnership
  • department
  • simplify
  • quickness
  • activate
  • celebration
  • security
  • widen
  • assistance
  • realize

Now look at the list of suffixes and mark whether each is a noun or verb suffix.

  • tion/sion
  • en
  • ness
  • (i)fy
  • ship
  • ise/ize
  • ity
  • ate
  • ment
  • ance/ence

Now, for each sentence below, decide if it requires a noun or verb, then choose the best word of the correct type to fill in the blank.

investigation  identify   elevate  repetitiveness  criticize  document  internship   renovate  dependence  soften
  1. The stockholders have called for a(n) ______ to find out where the money went.
  2. Newspapers are starting to ______ the prime minister’s actions.
  3. Doing a (n) _______ is a good way for students to get work experience.
  4. Miller Manufacturing’s _____ on one supplier caused serious problems when that company went bankrupt.
  5. A consultant was hired to ______ the company’s main weaknesses and suggest solutions.
  6. Bill realized he had forgotten to bring a key ______ to the meeting.
  7. The company spent millions to ______ its main office in order to impress its customers.
  8. The sculptor intended to ______ the statue by placing it on a pedestal so that people could see it more easily.
  9. Many people dislike the ______ of working on a factory assembly line.
  10. Cyclists often use special pads to ______ the seat for long-distance rides.

Answers on Next Page

TOEIC | Grammar | Part V | Practice Test Questions 1-10

Welcome to a short podcast/video! Today I’m going to break down some grammar/vocabulary questions that you would see on a test — let alone this practice test! Again, if you’re interested in coaching or membership services, please reach out to me!

  1. Ms. Walters _______ to another branch, so your new financial advisor will be Mr. Merenda.
  • transfer
  • transferring
  • has transferred
  • transferable

2. The restaurant on Main Street offers a wide selection of gourmet desserts ____ several regions of the world.

  • with
  • by
  • from
  • until

3. ________ interested in viewing an apartment should contact the property manager to arrange an appointment.

  • these
  • those
  • this
  • that

4. A growing _____ in the cosmetics industry is the use of natural and organic ingredients.

  • product
  • scent
  • sale
  • trend

5. Because of its _____ melodies and upbeat rhythms, Toby Nathan’s music has broad appeal.

  • simple
  • patient
  • kind
  • blank

6. The park service asks visitors to behave _______ and show respect for wildlife.

  • responsibly
  • responsible
  • responsibility
  • responsibilities

7. It is not the company’s policy to grant sick leave ______ overtime pay to part-time employees.

  • yet
  • if
  • but
  • or

8. The ______ of the Board of Directors is scheduled for Monday.

  • election
  • elected
  • elects
  • electable

9. Last year, the number of new university-level textbooks _____ by American publishers dropped for the second year in a row.

  • priced
  • sold
  • marked
  • instructed

10. Traffic congestion is ______ than usual because of road construction, so it will take us at least an hour to get to the meeting.

  • badly
  • bad
  • worse
  • worst

Answers on next page

{Patreon Special} Elementary | Reading | Digital Download Day

Are you at a lower-level and you want to practice basic English? If you just started following and haven’t heard seasons 1-3 yet, then it could be a bit daunting to understand the rate at which I speak. So, to improve your reading, vocabulary, etc….here’s a template on my Business English Podcast badge! I’m covering elementary reading blogs in the world of business, so if you’re interested in exclusive content, $30 a month with a bunch of perks gets you in!


TOEFL iBT | Reading | Techniques for Inference & Complete the Table Questions

We’re back with another reading part. In today’s podcast/video/blog, we’re going to discuss another question type that was requested by some TOEFLtakers. Inference questions, which prove to be the most difficult, will be broken down, as well as a detailed “complete the table” section. So, it’s time to dive in!

Complete The Table

“Complete The Table” question requires you to read and understand the whole text. However, unlike the “Complete The Summary” question, instead of choosing major ideas and themes from the text, you need to pick out and categorize minor details. There is no limit on how many answers you can choose, but remember, not all the choices will be used. I will show you an easier way to saving more time in not having to read the entire text.

This question type defers from the “Complete The Summary” question type. You will be categorizing minor details instead of major ideas. 

Let’s look at an example….

[1] A tree is a perennial plant that consists of a long stem, trunk, branches and in most species, leaves. They have evolved their structure to compete for sunlight with other plants. Trees usually live for a long time, up to thousands of years old and they have existed on the planet for 370 million years. A tree has woody tissue and is surrounded by bark that protects the plant. The root of a tree anchors it in place and the branches carry leaves that capture light and process it into sugar by photosynthesis. 

[2] The function of trees in our environment is invaluable. They release oxygen into our atmosphere and remove carbon dioxide, storing carbon in their own tissues. Trees prevent soil erosion by soaking up water in areas with high rainfall. In tropical rainforests and various other regions of the world, trees provide a habitat for a vast number of animal and plant species. Other functions of trees are in the provision of wood for fuel, cooking, heating, construction, paper production and fruit. 

[3] The leaves of trees are formed for photosynthesis. The broad sizes and shapes of deciduous trees attract the light to be converted to energy. Coniferous trees sometime have needles which are adapted to environments with less water, such as frozen regions with a higher latitude and altitude. {B} The thin shape of the needles and position of evergreen branches allow the leaves to shed snow. Broad-leaved trees in temperate zones of the world shed their leaves as days get shorter in the autumn and winter seasons. This is because the leaves are no longer making new chlorophyll through photosynthesis due to less light. The red and yellow pigments of the leaves’ blades become visible, causing the bright orange, red and yellow-colored autumn leaves. The synthesis of auxin – a plant hormone – also stops. Once the production of auxin ceases, the cells at the junction of the twig and the petiole of the leaf weakens and the leaf breaks off and falls on the ground. In regions of the world with more sun exposure, trees may not shed their leaves. 

[4] There are several other reasons that trees shed leaves and twigs. During a drought season, trees often shed about ten percent of their leaves, thus losing less water. Another reason for leaf-fall is when vigorous trees shed excessive leaves to adjust to the summer heat. Moreover, leaves near the base of the tree are more likely to drop off due to lack of sunlight. Another cause is insect-tunnelling of leaf stalks, leaving short, fragile petioles which leads to more leaf-fall. Disease, such as Dutch elm disease or root rot, or injuries to the tree, is another source of leaf-fall. Fungus, such as leaf-spot disease, also causes increased shedding of leaves. Fungi such as anthracene and apple scab defoliate crab apple trees, sycamore, ash, white oak and maple. 

[5] Squirrel activity or twig- girdling insects can also cause clusters of fallen leaves that are attached to short twigs. There are specific tree species, such as poplars, that shed twigs during moisture stress period. The end of the twig will be like a smooth curve. The metallic wood boring beetle prefers red oak and other oak trees. They lay eggs onto twigs. Once hatched, the larvae bore into twigs in a spiral fashion until there are clusters of dead leaves. The longhorn beetle is gray-brown in color. The adult beetles appear at the end of the summer. The female beetle chews the twig, girdling it and laying eggs on it. The twig then withers and dies. The new larvae thrive in the dead twig. The behaviour of these two insects could be another explanation of excessive twig fall.

Complete the table by matching the phrases below

Directions: Select the appropriate phrases from the answer choices and match them to the Radiocarbon Dating and Faunal Analysis to which they relate. Some of the answer choices will NOT be used. 

This question is worth 4 points.
Coniferous treesDeciduous trees
  • A. Needles are shaped upward to prevent leaf-fall.
  • B. Needles are shaped specifically to allow the shed of snow.
  • C. Broad leaves help to cause a faster rate of photosynthesis.
  • D. Leaves become orange and red due to the increase of the hormone auxin.
  • E. Adapted to regions with higher altitudes due to the then shape of the needles.
  • F. Autumn-colored trees are caused by the increase in yellow, red and orange pigments as chlorophyll drops.
  • G. Leaves are shed in autumn and winter seasons due to less light.

Arsenio, before showing me the answer, can you show me the techniques to answer this question?

Sure! But before we begin, please keep in mind that there is no logical order of steps or any real techniques to help you solve this question. 

Arsenio’s Business English Podcast | Season 6 | Sales | Clarifying Needs

When you go into meetings with potential customers, remember that it’s what the customer needs, not you boasting about your companies accomplishments. The customer really doesn’t care about your accomplishments and they may already know about you since they’re inquiring.

I say this with vigilance because I’ve been in a situation where I had to save a potential client by asking them the correct follow-up questions. So, how do I do it in my ESL business? Thailand? Tune in!

{Patreon Special} TOEFL iTP | Grammar | Incomplete or Missing Comparisons

Welcome back to another TOEFL iTP special. In this episode, we’re going to talk about errors that contain comparisons. In both the structure and written expression, you will see these (once or twice) and if you can identify them, that’s +1 score!

You need to understand how sentences compare similar things or concepts and how if they compare two dissimilar things, “those of” is used in place of it. Also, like/alike, unlike/not alike will be discussed.

This episode will debut the 20th of January, but on my TOEFL iTP badge and Early Access (down below), you will get it a month early! Tune in!


TOEIC | Reading | New Muscles Gym Opening in Collingwood

We have a special today! I had a wonderful Tunisian student reach out to me recently and said she was having difficulty with reading. She said “I read the passage,” so in this podcast/video, I teach you guys to STOP reading questions and how to locate the answers! This will be very useful for most of you out there who have these problems.

{Patreon Special} TOEFL iTP | Grammar | Incomplete or Missing Infinitive and Gerund Phrases

A big one today! This one is going to be the breakdown of both the infinitive and gerund, but also a number of different sentence variations, passive infinitives, gerund phrases, and more. If you’re listening to this for the first time, know that you don’t have to wait anymore. For $65 dollars a month (beginning January 1st of next year), you get two free coaching hours, all templates, podcasts, exclusive videos, audiocasts, Q&A’s, worksheets and more on my membership site, so make sure you reach out to me for more information! This is available on the TOEFL iTP Badge and Early Access! This episode debuts to the public on January 13th.


TOEIC | Listening | Part III | Paraphrasing & Context

Boom! I do believe this could be the first PART III TOEIC Listening on my podcast. If it is, welcome to the party. In today’s podcast/video, we’re going to discuss how to paraphrase and predict in context so that you have an idea of what to listen for. Now, this technique may not work for everyone, but that’s why we’re going to try it and either thumb it up or down.

Language Building

Match the statements 1-4 with those with a similar meaning a-d. (1-7 is in the video/podcast down below)

  1. You can run it with an AC adapter
  2. Look to see if they have the item
  3. The part wasn’t included
  4. Purchase an adapter

a. The adapter is missing

b. buy the part

c. check the parts stock

d. you can plug it into a socket

e. provide a replacement

f. the label is incorrect

g. it’s an expensive model

Follow up: now listen to three more statements in my podcast down below (5-7), and match them with the remaining three phrases with a similar meaning in e-g. Try underlining the words beforehand so that it could be a guide for you.

Test tactic: Pick out key words to predict the context

  1. What does the woman want to do?
  • buy batteries for her CD player
  • Purchase an adapter
  • have a missing part replaced
  • check the part is in stock

2. What does the man tell her?

  • it doesn’t run on batteries
  • the label is incorrect
  • the adapter isn’t included
  • she should buy another model

3. What does the man offer to do?

  • order the item
  • check the box label
  • give her a new model
  • include the adapter