Topic Vocabulary >> Lesson 9: Books and Films
It’s quite possible that the examiner will ask you questions about your reading habits or ask you to say something about a book you’ve read or a film you’ve seen. Read the following IELTS-style questions and answers below and pay attention to the phrases in bold. Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom of the page to check the meaning of any phrases you don’t understand.
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 films … sci-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)
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