By choosing an Oxford English language school, you will be opening up yourself to an amazing English-learning experience! In this post I would like to tell you about 3 things that make learning English in Oxford interesting, fun and exciting.
An Oxford English Language School and Harry Potter
When learning English at Oxford English Academy, we always recommend that students take part in our social programme. It showcases many of the wonders of Oxford. In Oxford you can actually walk in the footsteps of the world’s favourite wizard. Did you know that many of the scenes in the Harry Potter films were shot in various locations of Christ Church College? And as you walk around the cloisters and quadrangles it is easy to see why. They say that by walking through the corridors you can experience the atmosphere of Hogwarts.
You should watch a couple of the Harry Potter movies again before your visit. You will then be able to spot the parts of Christ Church used in the various scenes. Watch them in English so that you will learn the correct pronunciation of English vocabulary used to describe the places.
Visit the Great Hall in Christ Church
As you enter Christ Church you walk through the beautiful and intricately vaulted cloisters built 1000 years ago. These cloisters were the setting for various scenes in the Harry Potter movies. It is here that Harry sees the trophy his father won as a seeker in Quidditch.
Once inside you will have to stand in line with hundreds of other people trying to get a glimpse of the famous Great Hall of Christ Church, which was used as the famous dining hall in the movies.
Before reaching the hall you will walk up the beautiful 16th century staircase. It is here that Harry and the new first-years at Hogwarts are greeted by Professor McGonagall.
The Great Hall was replicated in the film studios to create Hogwart’s Hall. It is here that students eat their meals, receive daily owl post and have certain special events. The Hall is definitely not big enough to be used in the movie but you can see why they would create a Hall very similar to this one for a magical world! It naturally has a fantastic feeling of wonder, magic and mystery.
An Oxford English Language School and Punting on the River
One of the activities you just have to try out in Oxford, while learning English at Oxford English Academy, is going punting! You will have to visit Oxford’s Magdalen Bridge Boathouse to hire a traditional Oxford punt with which you will enjoy cruising along Oxford’s stunning River Cherwell.
Magdalen Bridge House is underneath Magdalen College Tower, at the lower end of Oxford’s world famous high street. You will find it easily. You don’t use paddles but a long pole to guide you along the river, which is what makes punting quite difficult. Here are some tips if you are going to try and punt yourself:
The first step in learning to punt is to find a reasonably quiet place in which to do it. If you try and take off straight from the mooring place on your first try, you’ll not only have less room to maneuver, but you will also have loads of people watching you trying to steer your punt. This can be very embarrassing!
Now, here are some tips on how to steer your punt. Stand at the back of the punt, half-facing to the side. Hold the pole vertically against the side of the punt touching the riverbed. Push the pole downwards and backwards, gently at first, then more forcefully towards the end of the stroke. They say that for extra speed you need to bend your knees into the down stroke of the pole, so that you can get more push out of each stroke.It is quite difficult to stop your punt from swerving wildly and trying to stay upright in the punt is also a tricky situation.
We ended up not being able to make our punt turn in a circle and after about 20 minutes we were still at the beginning of the course. Luckily you can take a chauffeur option which I would definitely recommend for less experienced punters. The chauffeur will even tell you a bit about all the buildings you pass and it is more fun than struggling with a pole.
An Oxford English Language School and a Chocolate Tour
Each city in the world has its unique sweet treats that attract people from all over. Oxford in England is no different and even has a chocolate walking tour that you can take. This is the ideal way to practice your English. Firstly by meeting new people and secondly by getting a taste of English culture. If you are in Oxford learning English at Oxford English Academy, then I highly recommend that you partake in this fun activity.
This walking tour lasts about two and a half hours and you will discover Oxford’s finest chocolatiers, confectioners and cafes. The tour is in English, so is a great way for you to practice your English listening and understanding. You will also get the chance to ask some questions and might actually make some new mutually sweet-toothed friends.
You will explore the streets around the city centre with your guide. You’ll learn all about chocolate and even get the chance to taste up to seven samples along the way. They don’t always visit the same venues. But most of the time the tour includes Hotel Chocolat, Hardy’s Sweet Shop and The Fudge Kitchen.
Visit All the Sweet Shops in the City
You will meet your guide in central Oxford. And this time you will not be learning about the beautiful buildings or architecture but about the city’s sugar-coated delights. As you follow your guide around the streets to learn about chocolate you will be hearing little-known facts about its health benefits and stress-relieving properties. This will give you the ideal excuse to indulge in this sweet treat every now and again.
Hardy’s Sweet Shop is a great example of a traditional British candy shop. The shelves are sagging beneath the weight of jars filled with strange English sweets. You will get the chance to try some of these strange and traditional British treats. From here you will visit Patisserie Valerie where continental patisseries, chocolates, macaroons and cakes are aplenty.
At Hotel Chocolat you will love the amount of gourmet chocolates they have available. You will learn about cake design in The Cake Shop which makes speciality cakes. And you’ll taste some of the city’s finest fudge at the Fudge Kitchen. Here, the fudge is still hand made on large marble slabs and they say the recipes date back centuries. This sweet tour ends at the city’s covered market. This is the ideal place to shop for some sugary souvenirs to take home
An Oxford English Language School is Best
As you can see, an Oxford English Language School can offer you so much in terms of extramural activities. These are just three of the great things your can do. And don’t forget the most important thing! An Oxford English language school gives you the chance of learning English in one of the best English cities in the world!