Theatre review: UNSPOKEN

Unspoken Spoken language. We use it every day. On the way to work, when we stop at the little café down the road for our morning espresso. At work, where we first catch up with our colleagues and then dive into numerous phone calls or meetings. At home, where we ask our family how everyone’s day was. Without spoken language, our everyday communication would be set up completely differently. And yet, there are many people who can’t easily take part in that. “Unspoken” is a play that aims to show the hurdles people face when their words don’t obey, and all that comes out at times is a stammer. When we learnt that one of our fellow teachers, Tobias, was going to be part of this theatre production, we went on a little field trip amongst colleagues. All we knew was that it was going to be a rather short play, followed by a Q&A session with experts on speech impediment.   The inspiration We were presented with an enthralling, inspiring and highly emotional glimpse into the life of Alex, who has had to deal with a stammer all his life. The battle going on in his head at all times was brilliantly visualised by a group of exceptional actors, each representing a different thread in the cloak that has been holding Alex’s words captive when he most needed them. Shadows of memories of what his mother and grandmother used to say, school teachers who wouldn’t accept that his struggle was a true one, bus drivers who would refuse to sell him a ticket, thinking he was too drunk to say where to. After this brutally honest and – according to experts – very authentic portrayal of what a life with a stammer can look like, some of the actors, … Read more

This week at EC: Can you listen to this?

This week we are excited to tell you about the social programme. The students have chosen for their favorite theme of the week: Can you listen to this? We have prepared new activities related to it, please feel free to join us! Monday Every Monday we have a breakfast with the new students at the lounge at 8:30 am with Iris and the students ambassadors, who will help you integrate quickly and do many friends! Afterwards at 2:35 pm everyone can join the welcome event where you will be able to find out about the new activities of the week. Tuesday On Tuesday come to the activity “Let’s get quizzical.” This is a pub quiz at school! Join Adam and the students ambassadors at 2:45 pm. The entrance cost £ 1, furthermore we will give a prize for the winners! Don’t lose your opportunity to win. Wednesday In addition this Wednesday we recommend you to participate in the “Workshop conversation” at 2:45 pm with Serge. We will talk about how to react to unexpected or exciting news. Thursday On Thursday feel free to join Serge at the activity “Listening to a phone call” at 2:45 pm. An ideal choice to improve your skills in pronunciation and learn new vocabulary. Friday At the end of the week you can join Cassandra at the breakfast club just like every Friday. Then at 2:45 pm come to our farewell event where you will be able to say goodbye to friends that are leaving this week and receive some information about what you can do at the weekend. Finally at 7:00 pm you can to go to the theater and watch a pantomime of Beauty and the Beast. The cost of the entrance is £ 15. You must book by Wednesday to secure spaces. … Read more

Chocolate

This week at EC: Mmm… Chocolate

As every week at EC Oxford students voted for their favourite topic, this week we will learn about chocolate! take advantage of the new activities of this week to make new friends and practice as much as you can your English.   Monday On Monday after the classes, you will have the opportunity to meet the new students and join a welcome presentation to know everything about the activities we have planned for you during the week. The welcome presentation will be held in the student lounge at 2:35 pm. You can then join Lorna for the Homework Club at 2:45 pm where she will help you do your homework and improve your English skills.   Tuesday On Tuesday you can meet with student ambassadors at Turl Street Kitchen at 3 p.m, where you can enjoy a good cup of hot chocolate with other students and spend a pleasant and cozy afternoon. In the lunch break you can buy some delicious chocolates bites from the school and share it with your friends.   Wednesday This Wednesday you can watch the film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Koki our student ambassador at 2:45 p.m in the student lounge, don’t miss the opportunity to have a great time and practice your English skills   Thursday On Thursday at the reception, there will be hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream during break time. We will also have the Workshop to learn how to take notes with a lecture on chocolate at 3 p.m. with Lucy, where you will be able to make better your listening recognising the keys words during a speech.   Friday At the end of the week on Friday, you can join Cassandra at the Breakfast Club that we have every Friday at 8:30 a.m. before classes at 2:35 … Read more

Visit the beautiful city of York

Visit the beautiful city of York   This month I would like to introduce you to the city of York. One of the reasons I love this city is because A) I was born there, and B) I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a recent birthday there. Too often when students come to England and we ask them where they plan to visit, the answer we usually receive is ‘London’. Now and again, more adventurous students may travel to Manchester, Birmingham or Liverpool. It always pleases me when students try to see more of our wonderful country than just the capital city. Great Britain has so much to offer and it is a shame to always head south of Oxford.   A Viking city So, what can I say about York? It is a city similar in size to Oxford with a population of just over 200,000. It is a very old city that was founded in 71 AD. It has a lot of history and is famous for being a major river port during the time of the Vikings who captured York in 866 AD and renamed it Jorvik. There is now an award-winning museum called ‘The Jorvik Viking Centre’ where you can go to find out much more about the city during the times of the Vikings. Little pods carry you around a Viking village where you can see people at work, cooking and doing business. I certainly recommend it as it is fascinating.   York Minster     Another thing to do in York is to walk around the ancient walls. There is also York Minster which is one of the largest and most splendid cathedrals of its kind in Northern Europe! It was first built in 627 AD. Over its history, it has … Read more

English outside the classroom

English outside the classroom   When you are learning English, one of the most important things to do is to use the language we learn in class in a real-life situation. English cannot be a language we only use in class! So I’m going to give you a few ideas to use English outside de classroom so you can practise a bit more. These ideas will cover all four skills: listening, writing, reading and speaking. Let’s go!   LISTENING One of the best ways to practise listening is to watch films and series. Choose your favourite film, something you’ve watched before, and watch it again in English. Did you hear any new words? Write them down and make sure you use them later! If you decide to watch a new film, use subtitles! They will help you understand the story, but this way you also see the spelling of the new words. Two for one!   WRITING Writing can only be improved by writing… That old saying “Practice makes perfect” is definitely true here! So, write, write, write. What can I write? Anything and everything, but just to give you an idea, keeping a diary will help you practise both past and future tenses: write about what you’ve done and about your plans and intentions. If you write regularly, you’ll notice an improvement soon: you’ll write more words as you get comfortable, and you’ll be able to spot mistakes.   READING I don’t enjoy reading books about war. Or about love. But I love a good crime story! When we choose what to read, we need to make sure we enjoy the story, we like what we’re reading, otherwise, we’ll get bored very quickly and never read again. Choose a book or a magazine you like and spend some time … Read more

photography

This week at EC Oxford: 1,2,3.. smile!

Our students voted again for their favorite theme and this week we are going to learn about photography. We have many fun activities planned for you. So read below what you would like to do and join us! During this week we have a special competition. You can send your best picture of Oxford to the reception. At the ed of the week we will announce the winner and they will get a special prize. The deadline is Thursday 15.00 pm so make sure you send in your picture in time! Monday On Monday we will start the week with the welcome presentation. We will give our new students a warm welcome and tell you more about what we are going to do this week. After you can join Lorna for homework club. You can ask her any questions you have and you can do your homework.   Tuesday Tuesday you can join our student ambassadors to the handlebar cafe. You can enjoy a nice coffee and practice your speaking skills with friends.   Wednesday This Wednesday we have a photography workshop at 2.45 with Serge. One of serge’s hobbies is photography so he can teach you a lot. If you want to join this extra lesson, you can sign up at reception. Thursday On Thursday we will take you to the botanical garden. Even in the winter there will be a lot to see, so write down your name at reception and join us. Friday Friday we will end the week with the farewell presentation. Today we will also announce the winner of our photography competition. In the evening you can join our student ambassadors to the white rabbit for diner club. They will meet you there at 6.30 pm.   If you to want to join these activities … Read more

inspiring

This week at EC Oxford: Inspiring people

This week our students voted for the theme of the week. Inspiring people won by a large majority against Games. So, this week we are going to talk about and learn about inspiring people within Oxford and around the world. Monday We start the week with our welcome presentation. We have 6 news students who we are going to give a big welcome. Join us to make them feel right at home on their first day. Afterward, you can join Lorna for Homework club. Here you can ask Lorna for help with your homework or any English problems you run into in your daily life. Tuesday On Tuesday at 3 pm we have board games activities in the Students’ Lounge. This is a good opportunity to practice your speaking skills and making new friends. There will be lots of fun games to play so make sure to join us. Wednesday On Wednesday at 2:45 we have an Inspiring People Workshop planned with Serge. If you want to discuss people who’ve inspired you, you can sign up at Reception. Thursday This Thursday at 3 pm Lucy will take you to the Museum of Oxford. This is a great opportunity to learn more about Oxford and the people that shaped the city. Please make sure to write down your name at Reception. Friday We will end our week with the farewell presentation in the Students’ Lounge. If you want to say goodbye to any of your friends leaving this week, come and join us at 2.35. At 3 pm, our student ambassador Malouke is holding a Film Club in the Students’ Lounge. This week you can choose to see Jumanji or Inside Out. Please make sure to vote for the movie you would like to watch at Reception.   If you want … Read more

altar day of the dead

Day of the Dead in Oxford

November 1st it was Dia de los muertos or Day of the Dead: a holiday celebrated in Mexico. Two of our Mexican students, Marlene and Pamela, made an altar in the school and played ‘loteria’ with the students. Marlene wrote something to explain to you what Day of the Dead is: “Hello everyone, As part of the school activity we learned about the meaning of an important Mexican tradition that takes place in Mexico annually on 2nd of November, “Day of the Dead”. As many may already know the Altar is an offering made at a table with food, toys and spiritual objects for those loved ones who have died, the reason to make an Altar is to be able to remember our loved ones in a cheerful and beautiful way. In this activity the students had the opportunity to take part in a tradition through photos and food offerings of their loved ones. The altars can have 3 to 7 levels, the higher levels represent the sky and the lower levels the earth. Additionally, the four natural elements are represented as the wind with punched paper, water with a glass of water, fire with candles and the earth with seeds, meals, breads or fruits. Furthermore the altar should include photos of those who are dedicated to the altar, sugar skulls since these represent the souls of loved ones, salt to purify the souls and flowers of Cempasuchil to mark the way to the altar. During the week we also had the great opportunity to play a Mexican game called “Loteria”. In this game you have to fill all the empty spaces on a piece of paper with drawings and words that are announced by the game leader. So that is a great opportunity to learn a little Spanish.”   … Read more