Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 45 – Vocabulary Development – Comparing & Contrasting

Categorize the words in the box into the chart down below.

by the same token, despite, usually, in spite of, 
in the same way, on the contrary, similarly, whereas
Word and phrases that compareWords and phrases that contrast

2. Choose the correct word or phrase to complete the sentences.

  1. I’m a very left-brained person. My brother, in the same way/on the contrary, is more right brained.
  2. Despite/ Whereas everything we know about the brain, there is still a lot to discover.
  3. I know I can’t always trust my gut feelings. In spite of this/ By the same token, they play a big part in my decision-making.
  4. Love and empathy are considered positive emotions. Equally/Despite this, gratitude and joy enhance a person’s life.
  5. Empathy motivates people to help others. On the contrary / By the same token, guilt strengthens commitments in others.
  6. Anger makes it harder for people to change what they are already doing, similarly / whereas fear makes them give up too easily.
  7. A fearful person is less likely to take risks. Similarly / On the contrary happy people are not risk takers.
  8. I sometimes jump into situations without considering all my options. In the same way / In spite of this, I sometimes find it hard to slow down and make intellectual decisions.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 38 – Pronunciation Log – Thought Groups & Pausing

More thought groups, pronunciation logs, and practice for you guys.

What I want you to do is mark logical thought groups in the quotes and song lyrics down below.

  1. I never meant to lie to you but I needed me an easy way out.
  • Babyface

2. Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you.

  • Unknown

3. We will meet your physical force with soul force.

  • MLK Jr.

4. You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.

  • Abraham Lincoln

5. It’s necessary to get the losers out of your life if you want to live your dream.

  • Les Brown

6. I can resist everything except temptation.

  • Oscar Wilde

7. If you want to conquer fear don’t sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy.

  • Dale Carnegie

8. The earth does not belong to man. Man belongs to earth.

  • Chief Seattle

9. Float like a butterfly sting like a bee.

  • Muhammad Ali

10. A pessimist thinks the glass is half-empty; an optimist thinks the glass is half-full.


TOEIC – Reading Comprehension – Using Context to Answer Vocabulary Questions (1/2)

Welcome back to TOEIC, everyone! Here’s a two-part series! Next video will debut today! Get ready! Make sure you watch all the clues in the YouTube video down below.

Notice to all guests of the Glenvale Inn

The management of the Glenvale Inn would like to apologise to all its quests for any inconvenience caused by our remodelling efforts. We assure you that the greatest efforts are being made to ensure all public spaces are kept immaculately clean, that all guests are provided with courteous professionalism, and that noise is kept to a minimum.

During the remodelling, we are also offering all guests 10% off their bills and 10% off their next stay as well, when the remodelling is complete.

Our new and improved facilities

  • A 24 – hour coffee bar in the lobby with a menu that will feature all your favourite specialty beverages as well as home – made baked good.
  • An expanded exercise room with spa and sauna will be available to melt away any chill you get on the slopes, plus personal trainers on hand for workouts or lessons in skiing or snowboarding.
  • A massage salon will relieve any aches from your exercise in our gym or on the mountain.
  • 20 log cabins, each complete with antique furnishings and bay windows overlooking the scenic valley and the manhole building, will provide a little extra privacy but with all the amenities of one of our suites.

Once again, the magnificent thanks you for your patronage and patience.

1.      Why is the management apologizing?

         (A) There has been a lack of professionalism.

         (B) The exercise room is too small.

         (C) Some construction is underway.

         (D) Guests are being overbilled.

2.      What is being offered to current guests because of the problem?

         (A) A discount on their stay

         (B) Personal training

         (C) Free coffee

         (D) A massage

3.      The word “feature” in paragraph 3, line 1 is closest in meaning to

         (A) make

         (B) include

         (C) highlight

         (D) introduce

4.      What is stated about the log cabins?

         (A) They have a good view of the area.

         (B) They have ultra-modern furniture.

         (C) They are not as well equipment as the suites.

         (D) They are connected to the main hotel.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 15 – Pronunciation – Using Thought Groups

We’re finally bringing in THOUGHT GROUPS. Now, these will be explained in more detail in the coming months, but I wanted to introduce it to you today.

A thought group is a group of words in a sentence that are pronounced together as a unit by pausing briefly between them.

There are no fixed rules for thought groups. Thought groups are often based on grammatical units:

I made the swim team. (a short sentences = one thought group)

I made the swim team / at my school. (the prepositional phrase is a second thought group)

Listening in Podcast

Listen to the podcast and draw a line between the thought groups in the sentences down below.

  1. What do identification cards tell us about who someone is?
  2. An ID card from India will include about 16 personal details.
  3. I hope to be a skillful doctor some day.
  4. The lab used several samples before they got a good match.
  5. The patterns in the iris of the eye are unique to every individual.


We all have hopes and dreams. Part of achieving a dream, for example, becoming a civil engineer, is being able to envision your future self in that identity. One consideration is your skills and abilities. Evaluate what you can do now, what you know, and what skills and knowledge you still need to learn to attain your goal. Then make a plan for how to learn what you need to know. Your plan will help you feel in touch with your future identity.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 62 – Vocabulary – Adjective Suffixes

We’re back with some more suffixes! Hope you guys like this one, but it’s a bit difficult, so brace yourself!

Which of these words are noun and adjectives: Aristocracy, aristocratic, care, careful, careless, comfort, comfortable, fame, famous, luck, lucky, science, scientific, terrible, terror, uncomfortable.

Turn these words into adjectives and write them in a columns that look like this on a sheet of paper: Artist, danger, enjoy, help, hunger, mystery, nature, office, sense, use

-y -ic: artistic -able -ible
-ful -less -al -ous

Let me know what you think and be sure to follow my podcast and links down below!





Arsenio’s ESL Podcast Special: TOEIC – Part IV – Short Talks – Tactic Practice

Welcome back to another episode, everyone! This is the re-learning from the Facebook live I did a few days ago (Saturday mornings at 7am).  This is the first time I’ve done a Short talks episode, so I hope this provides as much value to you as possible. Now, let’s get into this!

Source: Tactics for TOEIC

If you guys have seen my talks and videos on YouTube before, I do recall doing a Short Talks in the past.  So, today I’m going to do six live questions with you guys and we’re going to break it down one by one.  We need to first look at what’s being said, of course.


What is the main purpose of this announcement?

  1. To discuss the history of Arabella.
  2. To outline ways to get to Arabella
  3. To make Arabella sound attractive to visitors
  4. To describe Arabella’s local music.


What was Arabella originally?

  1. A culture center
  2. A center for sailing events
  3. A resort island
  4. A trading center


When is the Caribbean Carnival held?

  1. In mid-October
  2. During the winter holidays
  3. During the March break
  4. At the end of April


Why was the meeting called?

  1. To announce a schedule change
  2. To move the deadline
  3. To discuss the image files
  4. To answer any questions


When does the project have to be finished?

  1. By tomorrow
  2. By Thursday
  3. In five days
  4. In a week


What are Beth and Howard asked to do?

  1. Finalize the image files
  2. Check for typos
  3. Ask questions
  4. Write the address labels

The explanation of these questions are in the podcast and YouTube video. If you want to tune into Facebook, you can (still and always will be available).


YouTube – Coming Wednesday