Reading: Who goes to Oxford University?

Reading: Who goes to Oxford University?
Intermediate to advanced level (B1-C2)

This year just over 40% of undergraduate places at Oxford University went to UK students who attended independent schools. In 2005, the figure was 48% and in 1995 it was almost 52%, and if you go back to 1961, it was a little over 65%. Continue reading

Reading: Getting close to the EU referendum

Reading: the EU referendum
Intermediate to lower advanced level (B1-C1)

On 23 June this year, a referendum will take place in the UK. The question to be voted on is: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” Continue reading

Reading: The General Election

Reading: the General Election
Intermediate Level (B1/B2)

On Thursday May 7th there will be a General (national) Election in the UK. Nowadays this takes place every five years. The electorate can vote for one candidate in their constituency (local parliamentary area). The winner in each constituency will become the local MP (Member of Parliament). Continue reading

Reading: Margaret Thatcher

Reading
Very advanced level (C2)

Yesterday Margaret Thatcher died. Some people were sad but others celebrated her death by opening bottles of Champagne and dancing in the street. However most would probably agree that she was one of the most formidable politicians of the 20th century who changed the economic and political face of Britain. Continue reading

Reading and video: Special double-decker bus

Reading and video: exercising double-decker bus
Intermediate level (B1-B2)

A Czech artist has taken a classic British double-decker bus and made it do press-ups (you can also say ‘push-ups’) in time for the Olympics! Using hydraulics, huge red arms can lift up the bus. Continue reading

Reading: Queen Elizabeth – who and what is she?

Reading: Politics
Upper intermediate to advanced (B2-C2)

She is certainly well-known, or at least her image is. Her face is on stamps and the UK currency but most of the time she is only seen at royal visits or ceremonies. At the opening of Parliament the Queen reads a speech but this is written by the government. At Christmas she reads a message to the country but this is very formal and usually just a summary of some of the things that have happened in the year. Continue reading

Pronunciation: Linking English words – a Mini story

Pronunciation and listening: Word linking
Intermediate and higher level (B1-C2)

In normal conversation it is common for many words to be linked together. This can make listening to English a little difficult at the beginning. You can learn how to link words together. Practising linking English words will improve your listening and speaking.   Continue reading