Introducing Page d'Or

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Founded in 2019, Page d’Or is a publishing imprint dedicated to historical fiction and nonfiction. 

Our debut publication, The Burning Zone, a thriller set in eighteenth-century Lichfield, England, published in September 2019. It is the first instalment of The Apothecary Greene Trilogy, of which volumes 2 and 3 are to publish in 2020. Author Michael Anson is an artist, academic and sometime Bluesman who lives in Norfolk. 

Introducing the Cambridge Use of English and Listening practice books

Replica exam-practice papers for home study and classroom exercises.

We are proud to reveal the first four practice books in our Cambridge exams series, available to buy from Amazon and selected retailers.

These editions of sample tests have been written to closely replicate the Cambridge-exam experience and have undergone rigorous expert and peer review.

The content has been selected from the critically acclaimed FCE Academy, FCE Academy Listening and CAE Academy apps.

Use of English: Ten practice tests for the Cambridge B2 First and C1 Advanced

Each of these three volumes comprises ten tests, 40 texts, 300 individual assessments with answer keys, write-in answer sheets and a marking scheme, providing a large bank of high-quality practice material for students preparing for their Cambridge exams. Each print-ready test covers:

  • Part 1: Multiple choice cloze

  • Part 2: Open cloze

  • Part 3: Word formation

  • Part 4: Key word transformations

Listening First: Ten practice tests for the Cambridge B2 First

This volume comprises ten B2 First Listening tests, 300 individual assessments with answer keys, audio transcripts, write-in answer sheets and a marking scheme. Each book comprises:

  • Downloadable audio (170 minutes)

  • Complete audio transcripts

  • Answer keys

  • Exam-styled tests

About the author

Michael Macdonald qualified as a teacher in Cambridge and currently lives in Madrid, where he is Director of Studies for Prosperity English, an English-language teaching academy focused on preparing candidates for Cambridge examinations, such as the B2 First (FCE), C1 Advanced (CAE) and the Cambridge English C2 Proficiency (CPE).

For more information, visit our books webpage.

The Great App Giveaway


As we approach our 100,000th download, we will be giving away 100 apps. 

The rules are very simple:

1. Like and follow us on Facebook at @prosperity education

Over the next few weeks, we will randomly select 100 followers and will private message each person to ask which Academy app they’d like to receive. 

By following us on Facebook you will have access to regular English-language tips, free Cambridge exam Use of English and Listening resources, and occasional English-language learning articles of interest. 

You can read more about the Cambridge-exam materials we publish here.

Good luck!

Prosperity Education is recruiting authors for 2019


Are you an ELT teacher with a passion for creating new resources? Do you think you’ve got a book in you? Then get in touch. Prosperity Education is recruiting authors for 2019.

What’s in it for you?

  • Your book will be reviewed and edited by a professional team (45 years’ of combined publishing and teaching experience).

  • We will design the text, create a compelling cover, and write blurbs.

  • We will get your book onto Amazon as a print-on-demand title and (if it suits the format) an ebook for Kindle.

  • We will advertise the book within Amazon and, if appropriate, Google Ads and Facebook.

  • You will be able to buy author copies from us at cost (usually around €1.90) and sell them yourself at the price you choose.

  • A whopping 50% net royalty rate, which we think is probably the best in the industry. For example, your book retails for €20 on Amazon. Amazon takes a royalty of 40% (€8) and maybe €3 to cover printing. Of the remainder, we pay you €4.50. We cover advertising costs out of our share.

Most of all, you could be seeing your name on the cover of a book by the end of 2019.

This is not vanity publishing. We don’t want any money from you - it’s your words that interest us. At the same time, we’re selective: we will only invest our time in a project we believe in.

What’s in it for us?

After three years in business, we have reached the point where we need to expand the range of titles we publish. This is where you come in!

What we’re looking for:

  • Revision guides

  • Exam practice

  • Lesson planning

  • IELTS, Cambridge, Michigan or other exams

  • Professional English qualifications

  • Experienced teachers with good ideas and (preferably) a good online presence

  • Completed books, or

  • Just an idea, combined with the commitment and drive to deliver a manuscript

What we’re not looking for:

  • Coursebooks

  • Fiction or readers

  • Anything requiring complex permissions (texts or photos/artworks which you do not own)

Interested? Fill in this short form…

As featured in El Pais ...


Luis Porras Wadley, director of the established KSE Academy in Granada, Spain, was recently interviewed by the Spanish newspaper El Pais and spoke most favourably about our B2 First app FCE Academy.

In the article entitled ‘Is it possible to pass the FCE without going to class?’ (the answer is ‘no’, in case you were wondering), Luis, an experienced tutor of Cambridge-exam candidates, suggested three important ways in which you can improve your English language skills:

  1. “You have to dedicate at least 5 hours per week, preferably spread out over several days.

  2. Ensure you can avail of all possible stimulations: read listen and speak in all situations.

  3. Have an active attitude: practise constantly, analyse what you do and keep track of your progress.”

You can read the full El Pais article here.

Luis goes on, when discussing how best to prepare for the Use of English section of the Cambridge B2 First exam, to recommend the FCE Academy app.

We’re enormously proud of this endorsement in a reputable newspaper such as El Pais, as it means the word is spreading. With 60,000 downloads made of our Academy apps to date, and great interest in our recently published, first print book, Cambridge B2 First: Use of English practice tests, we are feeling good about ourselves and all that we do.

Visit our website to learn more about this.

To infinity and beyond!

The new names for the Cambridge English Qualifications

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The team over at Cambridge Assessment English has unveiled the new titles for their range of exams. As you can see from the list below, the main difference is that they have added the CEFR level.

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is a way of describing language ability in six steps, from A1 for complete beginners to C2, which describes someone who has mastered the language.

Cambridge English Qualifications Schools

New style name

Pre A1 Starters
A1 Movers
A2 Flyers
A2 Key for Schools
B1 Preliminary for Schools
B2 First for Schools
C1 Advanced
C2 Proficiency

Old style name

Starters (YLE Starters) 
Movers (YLE Movers) 
Flyers (YLE Flyers) 
Key for Schools
Preliminary for Schools
First for Schools
Advanced (CAE) 
Proficiency (CPE) 

Cambridge English Qualifications General and higher education

New style name

A2 Key
B1 Preliminary
B2 First
C1 Advanced
C2 Proficiency

Old style name

Key (KET) 
Preliminary (PET) 
First (FCE) 
Advanced (CAE) 
Proficiency (CPE) 

So what does this mean for our apps FCE Academy and CAE Academy? Do we rebrand straight away, or do we keep the old name for the time being because this is what people will be searching for?

The jury is still out...

Interview with the Academy author

Michael Macdonald qualified as a teacher in Cambridge and currently lives in Madrid, where he is Director of Studies for Prosperity English, an English language-teaching academy focused on preparing candidates for Cambridge examinations. He is the head of content at Prosperity Education and lead author of the Academy suite of apps.

How long have you been an English language teacher and why did you become one?

I would consider myself to have a vocation for teaching. Originally, I trained in Cambridge as a Music teacher, working in the classroom at secondary level and also as a peripatetic. Moving to Spain and teaching English seemed like a great adventure and when I started learning more about English language teaching and realised how transferable my formal training could be, I knew it was for me. I gained as much experience as possible working for schools and academies in Madrid and soon found my teaching skills and method in demand. I set up my own academy, Prosperity English, teaching corporate English in companies and also teaching other language teachers how to improve both their English language and teaching skills.


How did you become involved with the Prosperity Education apps?

I approached Tom O´Reilly, an educational publisher based in Cambridge, with the idea of putting the Use of English section of the Cambridge ESOL exams into a simple app format. I wanted to create an intuitive teaching tool that users could learn from as they practised. Tom had the experience and technical knowhow to bring this to market in a mobile app format. In less than three months we had our first release, FCE Academy for Android.  


Why Cambridge exams?

There is just not enough good quality material out there, and the material that is available is very costly. But you need lots of practice material to really get to grips with the exam format and language contained in the Cambridge exams. One Cambridge book of past papers costs anywhere from €25–€60. Given how many exam texts are contained in these apps, we have managed to create something that, in content terms, would cost around €500 to buy!


Is there a part of the Cambridge exam that students find particularly difficult?

The Use of English part is always considered the most difficult, but that´s because students can´t find enough practice material! Of the four parts covered in the apps, Part 4, ‘Key word transformation’, is probably the hardest for candidates. Repetitive practice is the key to mastering this section of the exam, and for this students need lots of exam-quality tests.


Can you describe the FCE and CAE Academy writing process?

From the outset, we decided that the quality of the apps would have to be very high, both in the design and the content. We agreed that the user experience should be as close to the Cambridge exam as possible, both in the format of the assessment and the quality of the texts themselves. FCE Academy and CAE Academy feature 108 and 112 exam texts respectively, which means more than 1,000 individual assessments in total per app. This was the golden number we agreed on. We decided to triplicate the texts so that the user will see the same texts in parts 1–3 but with different items assessed in each. The pedagogical model is based on users’ ability to recognise lexico-grammatical elements of the text because, as they work through the app, they are actually becoming familiar with them, and therefore they actively and passively learn structure and grammar, collocation and general vocabulary. Working through so many texts you realise that many of the patterns in such tests repeat and this is the key to answering Use of English questions well in these exams.

Once we had decided upon our approach to teaching in this simplistic, yet effective way, writing the draft texts was a straightforward, albeit lengthy, process. I wrote short, interesting articles and then analysed them to ensure I was including appropriate language points for each assessment level. This was where the hard work came in. Many books and databases had to be cross-referenced to ensure we were including elements that the user would encounter in the exam, and then the draft articles had to be revised to accommodate this. The next stage was to have the texts reviewed independently by Cambridge writers and examiners and to implement their feedback. We then tested the texts using real-life classes in which we knew there were students of certain levels who had either already passed a Cambridge exam or who were just about to sit one. We looked at how they performed while using the new material and took on board their feedback to fine-tune each text. At this point we finalised the list of texts we’d include in the final app before starting the development stage. A final review of the texts was made during development by a selection of teacher and student testers working with beta versions of the apps. Again, feedback was taken in and some minor revisions made to the content prior to publication.  


What have been the biggest difficulties of the writing process?

Without a doubt, this would be ensuring the question content was appropriate for the Cambridge exam as the content required at each exam level is very specific. Thankfully, I had lots of help with this, through the independent, student and peer reviews, as well as excellent editorial support from the publisher.

One thing that I hadn´t really thought much about before writing the texts was the need for cultural sensitivity. Because Cambridge ESOL is worldwide we need to be careful not to include polemic subjects, or items that might offend a particular faith. For example, historical pieces, conspiracy theories or even articles that reference alcohol could cause offence and so cannot feature in the exam.


What advice would you give to someone about to sit the FCE or CAE?

Buy the app! Complete it all and try to get in the head of the people writing the exam questions. You should start to see patterns and this will really help you when it comes to your own exam.


Are you writing anything else at the moment?

We have just finished the CAE Academy app, which has been pretty intense. The plan is to produce Academy apps for other Cambridge exams, for example, Proficiency (PET), and also a version of FCE for schools. Longer term, we will publish for other English exams, such as IELTS.

I am always working on new courses for Prosperity English, my language academy in Madrid. We do specialist-training courses for businesses and for teacher training classroom assistant training. I will be preparing over the summer for the next round of those classes starting in September 2017.


What advice would you give to an English Language teacher who has an idea for a learning resource?

Teachers always spend a lot of energy on resources and many of these are shared in our community as a matter of course. However, if you really think you have a great idea, write it down, think it through, and refine and improve it. Speak to like-minded people and get an objective feel for its worth. My best advice would be to go for it, which is so easily said, I know. But if you think you have something that fits and fills a need, then do it. Be aware of how much work is involved, though, and realise that, if you really want to get a Class A product, you will come in for some stiff criticism along the way.





See an FCE teacher walking through our app - live!


One of the first members of our Partner Programme, Andrew Girardin of the excellent blogs FCE Exam Tips and CAE Exam Tips has been kind enough to record a review of FCE Academy and share it on his YouTube channel. Thanks Andrew :-)

Click here for more info and a special discount on the full version: In this video I review a great new app for Cambridge English: First students.