Listen to the text about Oxford.
Tick off the topics which were covered in the text.
- famous people
- free time activities
- the royal family
Rewrite the following sentences in the passive voice.
1. The Norman Robert d'Oilly conquered Oxford in 1066.
2. The priests held the first lecture at Oxford University in 1100.
3. In 1974, only five of the originally boys-only colleges admitted girls.
4. Oxford offers a lot of jobs.
5. One may find all the shops, both big and small, around High Street.
Which tense is the right one? Fill in the blanks using the appropriate forms of the verbs in brackets.
1. Jack ___________ (to graduate) from Oxford University in 2015.
2. Ben has just told me that he ___________ (to propose) to Mary next week. Isn't that great?
3. I ___________ never __________ (to see) a city more beautiful than Oxford.
4. Mary _____________ (to have) a nap before doing her homework.
5. Jenny __________ currently ___________ (to read) a book about a girl who wanted to study at Oxford in 1990.
6. _________ you already __________ (to finish) writing the letter to your grandparents?
7. If the weather ______________(to be) good, we _____________ (to go) on a day trip to London.
8. A lot of people _________(to work) and _______________(to live) in Oxford.
9. Before moving to Manchester, Kevin _______________(to live) in London for a few years.
10. It ____________(to rain) any minute now. I can already see the dark clouds.
Read the text about Oxford.
If you follow the River Thames from London to the west of the country, after approximately 60 miles you will reach one of the most beautiful old towns in England: Oxford. The Norman Robert d'Oilly conquered Oxford in 1066, but it was only a little village at that time. Its name is even older than the town itself. For centuries, the Saxon farmers and their oxen had crossed the river here at the ford, a shallow place where it was possible to walk across the Thames. That's where the name comes from: Oxen-ford. Robert quickly reinforced the town wall and built a stone bridge across the River Thames, as well as a castle with a chapel.
The priests of the chapel, the canons, were soon known for their knowledge, and in 1100 the first lecture was held. This was the start of Oxford University. In the year 1216, the university already counted more than 1000 masters and students.
A student started his studies at the age of sixteen in those days. Only boys were allowed to study. For seven years, they had to learn everything about grammar, logic, rhetoric – to be able to speak and think clearly – arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, music, and philosophy. After these seven years, the student had an examination in which he had to prove his knowledge before he could leave the university as a master himself.
The number of students grew quickly, and they all needed a place to live and to be taught. Many new buildings were erected. Each master had to take care of the students in his hall, as the houses were called. This is why even today there is not really just one university in Oxford. Oxford University is more a collection of many small colleges, which still form the centre of the town.
Though girls were finally allowed to study at a special girls' college in 1878, they couldn’t get a degree until 1921. Since 1979, nearly every college in Oxford has had to let girls in, though in 1974, only five of the originally boys-only colleges admitted girls.
The 22 colleges are still the main source of income. Not only jobs as teachers are offered in Oxford, you also need lots of people to look after the houses, gardens, more than 11,000 students, plus shops, pubs, cinemas, libraries, and so on.
There are also lots of jobs in the William Morris car factory, founded in the 1920s, which is located on the outskirts of the town.
Nowadays, Oxford is a great place for shopping, too. You will find all the shops, both big and small, around the High Street. You can also visit one of the many museums or tour the College buildings. And you shouldn't miss going on a tour on the river in one of the famous boats, the punts, or in rowing boat.
Answer the following questions in complete sentences.
1. Where does the name of Oxford come from?
2. Who turned Oxford village into Oxford town, and how?
3. When was Oxford University founded, and which subjects were taught there in those days?
4. Have girls always been allowed to study at Oxford University?
5. What are the main attractions of Oxford nowadays?
Imagine that you are planning to spend your summer holidays in Oxford. You want to go to summer school, a programme for foreign students who want to learn English and see what living in the UK is like. For that, you need to find out more about the programme (e.g., tuition fees, application deadline, accommodation). You would also like to know about the things you can do in your free time in Oxford. Write a formal letter (about 100-150 words) to Mr Jones, the head of the international relations office at one of the Oxford colleges. Introduce yourself, state the purpose of the letter, and ask about the things you want to know.