THE FCE BLOG by Claudia Ceraso

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Background Reading Texts

Background Reading Texts

In option 5 of the writing paper, you will find a question to be answered based on the reading of a set text. You are expected to provide evidence of this not by retelling the story, but by description and discussion. Your mark will depend more on how much control of the language you show than on the ideas or interpretation conveyed.

The Cambridge ESOL set books for 2006 are:

  • 1984 –George Orwell (Penguin Readers or any edition)
  • The Prisoner of Zenda –Anthony Hope (Penguin Readers or any edition)

  • Pride and Prejudice –Jane Austen (Penguin Readers or any edition)
  • The Citadel –A.J. Cronin (Penguin Readers or any edition)
  • Three Adventures of Sherlock Holmes—Arthur Conan Doyle (Penguin Readers)

All five readers are optional, but it is advisable for students to read at least two of them. The publishers are all suggested by Cambridge ESOL.

One of the books will be chosen by AACI to be discussed in class. Some of the listed books are available online in full form with interesting summaries and comments. Browsing before buying might be a good idea. Here are some sites to read either the full text or critical comments on them:


Full text
About George Orwell
Study guide

The Prisoner of Zenda

Full text
Online reading and downloadable book

Pride and Prejudice

Full text
Online reading and downloadable book
Study guide

The Citadel

Book review

Sherlock Holmes

Collections of short stories

More Sherlock Holmes links here.

Related post
: Paper 2 - SET BOOK

Where to get the books
Some specialised bookstores in Buenos Aires

Used books. Good opportunities to buy dictionaries

Fairly complete listing of booksellers in Buenos Aires with their addresses and telephone numbers:

Dear Student,

Welcome to your FCE site on the Web. This space has been conceived as a means of enlarging your knowledge base of every aspect of the FCE exam as well as a complement to our class work. I hope you find this a useful companion in your study time and look forward to your contributions to it!

In this site you will find different sections to help you in different aspects of learning English at an advanced level. You may use this page throughout the course to find what you need to succeed in your exam. After classwork this may be your starting point to link you to the best the web has to offer you as well as a path to become a more autonomous language learner.

Some of the highlights in this site will include answers to the following:

About the FCE
  • What is the Cambridge First Certificate Exam?
  • When can I sit for the exam?
  • How do I know if I am prepared for it?
About your course
  • Where to get extra practice: AACI's libraries and Learning Land.
  • Which dictionaries are the most useful?
  • What if you miss a class?
About you
  • Students samples of classroom work and homework
  • Progress assessment
  • Your questions and suggestions for this site
I will be updating these pages regularly and your comments are more than welcome. Hope you enjoy this site and come back often.

Till next time!

Claudia Ceraso

FCE Teacher at AACI
Buenos Aires