Theme 9: Books and Films

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: Do you like to read books?
Marie: Yes … I love reading … I like nothing more than to be engrossed in a good book … I regularly take out books from the library and usually read them from cover to cover in no time … and I can’t go to sleep at night without some good bedtime reading

Examiner: How often do you go to the cinema?
Jemma: Unfortunately we don’t have a cinema near us so we have to go into the nearest town to catch the latest movie … I usually avoid seeing popular box-office hits which I’m not always keen on seeing … I prefer low-budget filmssci-fi especially … and there’s a great cinema I go to that has frequent showings of films like these …

Examiner: Do you prefer reading books or watching films?
Louisa: I’m not really a big reader … I find books quite heavy-going … so I much prefer to see a film … perhaps it’s the special effects or the soundtrack … I don’t know … I just prefer a film …

Part 2-style task

Describe a book you have read or a film you have seen. You should say:

·        what this book or film was

·        when you read or saw it

·        why you decided to see the film or read the book

and say if you enjoyed it and why.

Pauline  I like reading … especially English novels … it’s a great way to improve your vocabulary and there are so many fantastic authors to choose from … one book that came highly recommended by my teacher was The Mayor of Casterbridge … I was studying at a school in The UK at the time and she said it would give me a picture of what life was like years ago in the area I was living … well I have to say I absolutely loved it  … it was a real page-turner … it’s a historical novel and the setting was a fictional town called Casterbridge … but actually it was based on a town near where I was studying called Dorchester … it had such a great plot … to cut a long story short it tells the story of the downfall of a man called Henchard the central character who lives during a period of great social change around the time of the industrial revolution … the reason I enjoyed it so much … apart from the great story … it gave me a picture of what life had been like in the place I was studying at the time … I really couldn’t put it down … a fantastic story …

Part 3-style questions

Examiner: Is reading as pleasurable in digital format?
Alise: Personally I prefer reading a paperback or hardback … especially if I’m reading a classic which I don’t think feels right as an e-book … but I can see it can be good for others … my grandmother has an e-reader and she loves the way you can enlarge the text …

Examiner: Do you think bookshops will survive the digital revolution?
Thomas: I think so … at least I hope so … I love flicking through books in a bookshop … online shopping is useful … finding out on Amazon if a book you want has got a good review … maybe getting one that is difficult to find … but I still love the experience of being in a bookshop  …

Examiner: Statistics show that visits to the cinema are up despite the availability of DVDs and online downloads. Why do you think this might be?
Jamie: I think it’s the whole experience that the cinema offers … going out to see a film when it goes on general release … and seeing it on the big screen is more exciting than watching the film at home on TV … especially if it’s an action movie … and watching it with others makes it even more special …


·        an action movie: a film with fast moving scenes, often containing violence

·        to be engrossed in: to be completely focused on one thing

·        bedtime reading: something to read in bed before you go to sleep

·        to be a big reader: someone who reads a lot

·        to be based on: to use as a modal

·        a box office hit: a financially successful film

·        to be heavy-going: difficult to read

·        a blockbuster: a film that is a big commercial success

·        to catch the latest movie: to see a film that has just come out

·        the central character: the main person in a film or book

·        a classic: of the highest quality

·        to come highly recommended: to be praised by another person

·        couldn’t put it down: wasn’t able to stop reading a book

·        an e-book: a digital book

·        an e-reader: a device for reading e-books

·        to flick through: to look quickly through a book

·        to get a good/bad review: to receive positive or negative feedback

·        to go on general release: when a film can be seen by the general public

·        hardback: a book with a rigid cover (see ‘paperback’ below)

·        a historical novel: a story set in the past

·        a low budget film: a film made with a small amount of money

·        on the big screen: at the cinema

·        a page turner: a book that you want to keep reading

·        paperback: a book with a flexible cover (see ‘hardback’ above)

·        plot: the main events in a film or book

·        to read something from cover to cover: to read a book from the first page to the last

·        sci-fi: science fiction

·        to see a film: to see a film at the cinema (see ‘watch a film’ below)

·        the setting: where the action takes place

·        showings: performances of a film

·        soundtrack: the music that accompanies a film

·        special effects: the visuals or sounds that are added to a film which are difficult to produce naturally

·        to take out (a book from the library): to borrow a book from the library

·        to tell the story of: to outline the details of someone’s life or an event

·        to watch a film: to watch a film on TV (see ‘to see a film’ above)