Book Club English
Our book club courses are based on classic English stories, so they give you lots to talk about during your classes. Follow the characters and plot as you improve your comprehension and conversation skills lesson by lesson.
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (A2) 14 units
As a young boy from a poor family, Pip spends most of his time playing by himself in the countryside. He thinks the scariest person in his life is his mean older sister, until one day he meets someone even more frightening. As Pip starts to grow up, he falls in love with Estella, the daughter of a rich lady. He dreams of becoming a gentleman and marrying her. Amazingly, Pip receives news that his dream may come true, but is everything as it seems...?
On one hand, Charles Dickens' 1861 story, ‘Great Expectations,’ is a novel about class – that great British obsession - but it is also a universal tale with enduring themes, such as; love in all its manifestations, crime and punishment, revenge and, ultimately, forgiveness.
Pip, the hero of the story, is obsessed with becoming a gentleman and moving up in the world, yet in doing so he risks losing what is really most precious to him.
As Pip’s story progresses, he uncovers some shocking secrets about the past. Eventually, he comes to learn the true meaning of the word “gentleman.”
‘Great Expectations’ is as good an introduction as you will find to the complex class system that, over 150 years later, continues to affect the British way of life.
This 14-unit course, suitable for elementary-level students, will help you with your vocabulary, pronunciation, and fluency.
A Christmas Carol (A2) 10 units
Nobody likes Scrooge. He is feared, hated, and avoided by everyone, especially at Christmas. Stingy and mean, Scrooge has become rich, but keeps all his money for himself, without any care for his poor assistant, Bob Cratchit, or his ever-loving nephew, Fred.
As Christmas approaches, Scrooge is more miserable than ever, but a visit from his long-dead friend, warning of three more ghostly meetings, begins a chain of events that will show Scrooge and the world that nobody is beyond saving.
Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol was written in 1843 and gave us the immortal character of Ebenezer Scrooge, who has become a synonym in English for greed and selfishness. The word "Scrooge" has even entered everyday English usage, which testifies to the enduring relevance of A Christmas Carol and its message of generosity and redemption.
The story is often funny, sometimes tragic, and occasionally scary - in fact, our Book Club; A Christmas Carol course is everything except repetitive.
A Christmas Carol has been dramatized for TV and the cinema more than 20 times, with popular versions starring Bill Murray, Patrick Stewart, Jim Carrey, and even the Muppets.
With themes of poverty and riches, life and death, material versus spiritual wealth, and - above all - the spirit of Christmas, this course will never leave you short of topics for discussion.
This 10-unit course, suitable for elementary-level students, will help you with your vocabulary, pronunciation, and fluency.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (B1) 12 units
In the countryside of early 19th Century England, Mrs Bennet worries for her five daughters. Each must find a husband or face a life of poverty. Without money or high social status, the young women may struggle to find good husbands. However, when news arrives that a wealthy single gentleman has moved into the area, Mrs Bennet’s mood lifts. She will do everything she can to help her daughters marry rich men, whether they want her help or not…
In 2003, Jane Austen’s classic love story, Pride and Prejudice, was voted the UK’s second most popular novel, despite being published over 200 years ago in 1813.
It has been made into TV series and movies, including a 2005 Hollywood film starring Keira Knightley.
With themes of love, marriage, family, first impressions, scandal, money, social class, manners, arrogance, pride, and forgiveness, this course will never leave you short of topics for discussion.
This 12-unit course, suitable for intermediate-level students, will help you with your vocabulary, pronunciation, and fluency.
At the end of the course, try taking our quiz to test your understanding.
Around The World in 80 Days by Jules Verne (B1) 16 units
A French servant called Passepartout was looking for a routine job. He was tired of travelling, so he wanted to find a new boss – a simple man whose habits never changed. Thinking he had found the perfect person; a man called Phileas Fogg. Passepartout relaxed in his new job until his new boss entered a bet that would change both their lives.
“I will bet £20,000 that I can travel around the world and return to London in 80 days,” said Mr Fogg.
“Come on,” said Mr Fogg to Passepartout. “We will leave immediately.”
Around the World in 80 Days is a classic adventure story, which was written by the French writer, Jules Verne in 1872.
The story follows Phileas Fogg, a mysterious London gentleman, on a trip around the world in the days before aeroplanes, cars and high-speed trains.
All the way he is followed by Detective Fix, a police officer who believes that Phileas Fogg is actually a criminal in disguise.
The group pass through Europe, the Middle East, India, Hong Kong, Japan and the United States on their travels – facing adventure and danger on the way.
This ‘Book Club’ lesson contains useful vocabulary and interesting discussion topics, plus a fun story to improve your comprehension skill and keep you motivated.
There are 16 units in total. The lesson is suitable for pre-intermediate and intermediate students, plus anyone else who would like to give it a try!
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (B1) 16 units
Victor Frankenstein is a brilliant young scientist. When his mother dies, Victor dreams of finding a way to put an end to death. He plans to create a new human being, which will be beautiful and perfect in every way. This creation becomes his only purpose in life, until one day a human body is laying in his laboratory, waiting to be born. As Victor watches its dark, yellow eyes slowly open, he realizes that his dream is about to become a nightmare...
The impact of Mary Shelley’s gothic novel, “Frankenstein,” which was first published in 1818, is difficult to overstate. It has been made into countless movies, stage plays, graphic novels, TV shows, and works of art. Its influence on contemporary culture is also reflected in modern expressions like “Frankenstein foods,” which describe the genetically modified crops and animals that are now being used in agriculture.
However, despite its influence, there have been so many spin-offs, sequels, and parodies that it is easy to lose track of the genius of the original novel.
“Frankenstein” is the story of a brilliant scientist and the terrifying consequences of his efforts to bring a new human being to life.
Its fascinating themes, such as the importance of nature vs. nurture, the dangers of “playing God,” and the possibility of eternal life, make “Frankenstein” the ideal story on which to base lively conversational English lessons.
This 16-unit course, suitable for intermediate-level students, will help you with your vocabulary, pronunciation, and fluency.
Be warned, however, that this horror story is not suitable for the faint-hearted!
The Picture of Dorian Gray
If you are unsure what level you are, please book a free trial lesson and ask your teacher. Alternatively, you can consult the