EC Oxford students had a tour of University College, Oxford

Tour of University College, Oxford – by Kevin and Haeun

When you learn English in Oxford with us at EC, you also have a fantastic opportunity to get to know a fascinating university town. Here, Kevin and Haeun describe the tour of one of the oldest colleges of Oxford University.  On 25th October 2018, twelve EC-students were guided by Robert Law, our Assistant Director of Studies, through University College of Oxford, the oldest in the city. Although only ten students were allowed to be guided through the College as we had to keep quiet, we all were allowed to go there as an exception. Firstly, we saw the main quad where Rob informed us that around us were the dormitories for the University students. Rob used to live here too when he was an undergraduate. His most memorable story of this courtyard is the charity project they did there. The goal was to jump on a trampoline for 24 hours. Obviously, people could share this job! Nevertheless, they had to do this without any break. Rob and his friends signed up at this event at 3 a.m. for an hour. The last five minutes were done by a 70 year old professor! All the people were worried about him. In the end, everything went well, and the charity project was completed. Percy Bysshe Shelly is a famous British poet. He was born 4th August 1792 and died early 8th July 1822. He lived during the Romantic period of English literature in which everyone talked about nature. At this time the college was strictly Anglican. Mr. Shelley, however, wrote an Atheist publication. This was not tolerated. Therefore, he was expelled from the college. He drowned in a sudden storm in the Mediterranean Sea. When they found him, people couldn’t recognise him at first. The only indicator for his identity were his … Read more

Rob, our ADOS at EC Oxford English Centre

Student ideas for our Social Programme – competition time!

AY Support Group Meetings happen every 2 to 4 weeks and they’re a great opportunity for our long-term students to meet each other and give feedback on how our school could be even better. The AY Programme is one of our Oxford English courses here at EC. Here Rob outlines their latest ideas.  AY Students are part of our Academic Year programme, which means they are here for six months or more. In our AY Support Group Meetings, students come up with ideas about how to improve our school and tell us what they’re really enjoying. This week, our AY Students were coming up with ways to improve our Social Programme. There were around twenty students at the meeting and they all had some great ideas. The most popular idea was a Speaking Lesson, which will be coming up as a free clinic in our Social Programme in the coming weeks. A similarly popular idea was a competition between our different classes. We’ve already planned the EC Big Grammar Quiz at the end of our inaugural Grammar Week next week, but we’ll be sure to include more opportunities for our students to go head to head! Watch out for these ideas and more in the run up to Christmas. And don’t forget our incredible Staff Christmas Party is coming up on the horizon!

Check out our November Tour Highlights.

UK Study Tours Highlights This November   There are some fantastic tours on offer this winter with EC Oxford English language school through UK Study Tours, whether you just want to have a day trip or go away for the whole weekend there is a trip for everyone! Here are our top 3 recommendations:   1. Warwick Castle and Stratford Upon Avon             Situated just an hours drive away from Oxford is the magnificent Warwick Castle situated on the River Avon in the historical town of Warwick. Dubbed as ‘Britain’s Ultimate Castle’, this medieval fortress is brought to life with actors playing scullery maids, knights, princesses and soldiers. The castle also boasts beautiful gardens with peacocks roaming free, and a fantastic collection of Birds of Prey which you can see in action. The dungeons are not to be missed – but they are also not for the faint-hearted! You can also see the Knights fight one another in the medieval sport of Jousting (fighting on horseback with lances!) and the flaming trebuchet. After visiting the castle, the tour will take you to Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of Shakespeare and home to many boutique shops and nice restaurants. You can visit Shakespeare’s home and The Royal Shakespeare Theatre which is situated by the river, and enjoy a drink in one of the many traditional pubs Stratford-Upon-Avon has to offer.   2. Bath and Stonehenge   The stunning spa town of Bath is a wonderful place to spend the day, do not miss the Royal Crescent and the Circus which are great examples of Regency architecture and extremely ‘instagram-able’! Stonehenge is one of the worlds most famous prehistoric monuments which is surrounded in mystery. No one knows exactly who built it, or what purpose it served but records state that it was … Read more

EC Oxford makes English come alive through class trips

Pre-Advanced reviews Modern Art Oxford – a ‘must-see’!

Go to Modern Art Oxford! It is an absolute must-see when you are at EC to learn English in Oxford. The best time to go is in the early morning when the museum just opens its doors. For people who like to escape from the overwhelming city – especially at the weekend – Modern Art Oxford is the right place. Although the museum is located near to the large shopping centre, the gallery is a hidden gem. Don’t expect a huge building like the other museums in Oxford. This gallery is breathtaking due to its relaxing and inviting atmosphere. It’s a pretty nice, small museum with different modern art exhibitions. As soon as you come in to the gallery, you can appreciate an absolutely beautiful piece of art that can generate many types of imaginings. It must be said that the museum tends to change the exhibition programme to make it more interesting for the visitors. They usually show some contemporary exhibitions. The current exhibition is called “Future Knowledge”. The main purpose of this show is to make people aware of environmental issues and how our actions affect the ecosystem. The art suggests the powerful influence of climate change on the Earth over time and focuses on the concept of time related with living things. In one of the works, Eve Mutso, a ballet dancer, presents her aerial performance. Called “Loop”, it shows deliberate physical movements in a period of time in order to show the impact when she draws with her feet on the ground. Her movements are obviously admired by all visitors. Not only is the above worth mentioning, but also the huge range of the different kinds of art. You can find sculptures, several paintings as well as videos about environmental pollution. There is even a whole … Read more

One of the big attractions in Oxford: Christchurch College

A place you can’t miss out on – by Nathalie and MK

When you learn English in Oxford at EC, we often link the beautiful city we’re studying in with your learning.  Nathalie and MK visited Christchurch College Cathedral with Tobias’ class last week. ‘Colourful, stunning, rewarding’ – find out why this is such a must-see attraction here in Oxford in their evocative description of their class visit.  In the stunning cathedral there is a little area called ‘Latin Chapel.’ We can see three interesting objects there. Firstly, in the North East corner of this area. There’s the shrine of Saint Frideswide. It’s the oldest monument in the cathedral. It’s covered in beautiful fine carvings of plants and faces. The green and white fine carvings or plants gives the ancient cathedral a contrast of nature and life. Once, it held the relics of St Frideswide, but it was smashed by the orders of King Henry VIII when he destroyed the monasteries in the 1530s. Three hundred and fifty years later, the fragments of the shrine were found in really good condition. If you stand in front of the chapel, you can see a very bright colourful impressive window, which explains the story of St Frideswide. This window is called the ‘East Window’ of the cathedral. The shapes and the colour harmonizing together – it’s a pleasure for your eyes! Right of the window, there is a fascinating ‘Watching Loft’ from the 1500s. Today it’s not clear if it’s either a chantry chapel or a Watching Loft, but nevertheless it’s an exquisite example of stunning medieval woodwork. It costs around eight pounds, but it’s totally worth it because you’ll get a rewarding experience. Take the opportunity to go to Christchurch College if you’re in Oxford!

Rob, our ADOS at EC Oxford English Centre

How can I get better at speaking English? – The big question answered!

I want to get better at speaking but I don’t know how! Here EC Oxford English school teacher Rob helps you to boost your spoken English by helping you think about what you need to target. ‘Speaking’ is a big topic! You need to think about what you need to improve in a bit more detail if you only know vaguely you want to improve ‘speaking’. Fluency vs Accuracy: the big question It’s like playing a musical instrument. You might want to learn to play piano but to learn this instrument you focus on one thing at a time, until you can do everything together. For example, perhaps you’re really good at fluency but you need to work on accuracy. Fluency is speaking without stopping and accuracy is speaking without mistakes. Improving accuracy  If you can speak fluently but you make lots of mistakes, slow down! Think through what you want to say. The person listening to you will 99% of the time be happy to wait for you to think about the right words and the right grammar. In fact they will probably be happier if you speak slower and more accurately because they will understand you much more! Think about that story of the tortoise and the hare (like a rabbit). The hare starts quickly but loses but the tortoise goes slowly and wins! Sometimes you need to rush, but sometimes ‘Slow and steady wins the race’, as the saying goes. You can also write down the five mistakes you make all the time and make sure you avoid these as much as possible. Maybe it’s things like ‘People is’ in stead of ‘People are’, or a word you often mix up. If you don’t know what your most common mistakes are, just ask your teacher!! Improving fluency … Read more

Candice Gregory, Centre Manager at EC Oxford English Centre

Candice’s Welcome to October

  Happy October Everyone! Yes, autumn has finally arrived and while many of you aren’t happy, I truly believe this is a wonderful season! The leaves start changing colour and we can spend cosy evenings at home watching great films, eating nice food and staying warm. October is also of course the month of Halloween! There’s so much to get stuck into when you decide to learn English in Oxford with us to enhance your experience here, and October’s no exception. At EC Oxford we always celebrate Halloween with our students by decorating the school and hosting fancy dress and pumpkin carving competitions. I have to admit I have never before carved a pumpkin, but I have seen some amazing creations over the years by our EC students who work hard to produce something unique. If right now you are imagining pumpkins with smiling faces and sharp teeth, think again! We have had students producing intricate moon-lit scenes of graveyards with ghostly apparitions lurking behind trees. I have been staggered by the imagination and creativity some teams have displayed when set this task. We judge the finished products and the winning team wins a prize. It is all great fun and I hope you will take part in all we offer as part of the social programme in the week of the 29th October. Happy October Candice


Welcome to our new Student Services Intern, Laura!

We Welcome our new Students Service Intern Laura from Austria at our Oxford English School.   Q: What did you do before you came to EC Oxford? Before coming to Oxford I went to school in Austria. Q: What is your role here in EC Oxford? I am a Student Services Intern. Q: What have you enjoyed about working at EC Oxford so far? I enjoyed that everybody has made me feel very welcome. It is wonderful that everybody – from the staff to the students – is really friendly and nice. The job is varied and it is exciting for me to meet many people from all over the world! I am looking forward to the next weeks. Q: What do you like about Oxford as a city? Oxford is one of the most beautiful cities I`ve ever been to! I really love the style and architecture of Oxford. What I also like is that the city is a melting pot of cultures and you can experience so many different things! Q: What’s your hometown? Can you describe it to us? I was born in Vienna the capital city of Austria and grew up in Klosterneuburg. It is a city full of nature and history. We are very proud of the over 900 year-old baroque Monastery which is also home to one of the oldest and biggest wine estates in Austria. What I like is that it is a city surrounded by forests, mountains, rivers and nature but still is near to Vienna and has a beautiful city centre. Q: Our school is all about helping people who are learning English, but have you learned any other languages? How did you learn them? Yes, in school I learned Spanish. We had to practice a lot but what helped me was … Read more