Posted in Reading Classes

Reading List for Post Proficiency

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One of my post-proficiency students asked me for a list of books he could read. He’s going to Glasgow on Erasmus so the list I wrote him has a Scottish flavour to it. I thought it might also be useful for other high-level students.

Here are some books to read, most of them are just ones I like so maybe we have a different taste in books but try them out and se what you think:
My favourite author is Cormac McCarthy so read anything by him:
The Road (Post apocalyptic horror)
The Border Triology
Blood Meridian
No Country for Old Men (they made it into an excellent film)
Child of God
They’re all pretty dark but very well written.
Another favourite of mine is Graham Greene, here are some of his books that I recommend:
Brighton Rock
The Quiet American
Our Man in Havana
The Third Man
The Power and the Glory
The Heart of the Matter
Another of my favourite books is:
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Seeing as you’re going to Scotland you should read some Irvine Welsh, although it might be tough because he uses a lot of Scottish slang, but you can always ask the locals if you need something translated into “English”. Here are some of his books:
The Acid House
Another book by a Scottish author that I liked was:
How late it was, how late by James Kelman
Another great author is Roddy Doyle, he’s Irish and he has written lots of great ones:
A Star called Henry
The Commitments
Paddy Clarke ha ha ha
The Woman who walked into doors
Or you could try some Ian Banks, he’s also Scottish, he writes science fiction as Ian. M. Banks and dark dramatic fiction as just Ian Banks. I haven’t read any of his sci-fi but I’ve heard it is good. Here are some of his dramatic fiction books, as I said, most of them are quite dark.
The Wasp Factory
The Crow Road
Espedair Street
Dead Air
That should be plenty for you to be going on with,
Let me know how it goes!
What other books would you recommend to high-level learners?
Posted in Writing Classes

Informal letter to practice to be used to and to get used to.

The aim of this composition is to practice the following structures:

  1. To be used to + a noun / the gerund (being accustomed to something)

At first it was difficult but now I am used to living in a big city.

  1. To get used to + a noun / the gerund (the process of becoming accustomed to something)

It took me a while to get used to the cold weather / living in such a cold country.


You are an Erasmus student. You have been living in Edinburgh in Scotland for 3 months. Your best friend has written you a letter. He / She is also interested in doing an Erasmus in the UK. Write her a letter containing the following:

  • A brief description of your course.
  • Different things you have had to adapt to.
  • Would you recommend an Erasmus in the UK or not? Explain why / why not.

Write 150 – 180 words.