Oxford Scene 1

In this episode, Stephen and Ashlie visit the ancient city of Oxford.

Do the Preparation task first. Then watch the video. Next go to Task and do the activity. If you need help, you can read the Transcript at any time.


Before you watch

In this episode, Stephen and Ashlie visit the ancient city of Oxford.

  • Have you ever heard of Oxford?
  • What do you think they are going to do there?

Now, watch Ashlie and Stephen on their trip to Oxford.



Stephen: Ice on the road, bridge ahead, look out for wild animals. What’s this one, Ash? 

Ashlie: That one means ‘danger, river bank’ or something. It’s obvious, look at it.

Stephen: I’m studying for my driving test. You have to do a test in the car when you’re learning to drive and you have to do a written test as well – so I have to learn all these signs.

Ashlie: And I’m studying for my Business Studies course. I have to go to Oxford this afternoon to do an exam so I’m doing some last minute revision. 

Stephen: Hey, Ash.

Ashlie: What?

Stephen: Did you say your exam’s in Oxford?

Ashlie: Yeah, so?

Stephen: So, why don’t I drive us there? And you can give me a driving lesson on the way. I really need the practice.

Ashlie: OK, then. Sounds good.

Stephen: Great! When do we need to go?

Ashlie: Well, with you driving? Now! 

Stephen: I’ll go and get a map.

Ashlie: Oh, you don’t need to - we’ve got the GPS. 

Stephen: Excellent, shall we go?

Ashlie: Yep.


Stephen: OK. Ready to go!

GPS: Seatbelt on.

Stephen: Oops. Seatbelt on.

Ashlie: Right. Look in the mirrors. Get into gear. Signal. Just check the mirrors again. And off we go.

Stephen: This is easy!

Ashlie: You’re doing OK, just take it easy, the GPS knows where we’re going. 

GPS: Turn right in 100 metres.

Stephen: Turn right in 100 metres.

GPS: Continue driving around the roundabout for five kilometres. Turn left in 200 metres.

Stephen: Left?! That can’t be right. We’re going round in circles.

Ashlie: I think we should go right.

GPS: Keep left. Approaching destination in 5 metres.

Ashlie: Stephen!

Stephen: Let’s turn that thing off and turn around. 

Ashlie: Oh, come on. I’m going to be late. It’s almost two o’clock now.

Stephen: Which way do I go Ash?

Ashlie: Oh, look, just stop here. Over there.

Ashlie: OK – remember to lock the car and don't forget to take the GPS with you. I’ll give you a ring after my exam. Bye! 

Ashlie: Taxi! 

Ashlie: Excuse me, can you take me to Oriel College, please?

Taxi Driver: OK.

Ashlie: Thanks. 

GPS: You have arrived at your destination.

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Language level

Submitted by nikoslado on Thu, 10/10/2019 - 20:36

Dear Team, there are two strange things in this episode : a)How can someone drive a car,(like Steven does), especially in England,, in a route to Oxford- without having the legal licence.( as he says he is still learning ).I thought such a thing it could only happen in my country Greece, for example. b)Τhe gps gives these directions:''Continue driving around the roundabout for five kilometres.'' What does it mean, why has someone to drive around a rounabout for five kilometres....In my opinion this is clearly a logical error, and in non way a ''wrong direction''. What your opinion is. Ever grateful, nikoslado.

Hello nikoslado,

In the UK a person can have a provisional licence before they pass their test. This allows them to drive the car provided there is a qualified driver with them. There are certain limitations such as not being allowed to drive on motorways.

Many people learn to drive like this and are able to gain a lot of experience before they take the test.

The sentence from the GPS is illogical if you analyse it strictly. This is really due to the GPS voice system itself, which builds sentences by putting together whole phrases without too much attention to grammar and syntax.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Wasiu Giwa on Sat, 21/09/2019 - 16:28

Hi Kirk, I am trying to comment on an article Learn English magazine-nigeria-sound.mp3 The comment: Then I saw Michael Jackson's concert at the stadium in Hamburg, while I attended six form college called Gymnasium Jenischgymnasium/Hermanneum.

Submitted by Leonel Costa on Thu, 04/10/2018 - 22:19

I loved that video and story. It's very common in my life.

Submitted by Leonel Costa on Thu, 04/10/2018 - 22:18

I liked the video. Very funny. That situation keep happening with me. I think gps is not a good idea when we know the way we go. Mainly TomTom is not a such good device.

Submitted by xu711 on Wed, 19/09/2018 - 16:20

I thought that they would have died already! Phew!

Submitted by Armandito on Mon, 27/08/2018 - 19:23

OMG, the GPS was totally wrong. They nearly died.

Submitted by ariina on Mon, 25/06/2018 - 08:58

Hi....very suddenly i found this part and you have no idea how much i love "words on the street" they speak really normal and slowly,i can understand 99% of their words...thanks for your wonderful website :)

Submitted by ali ajrme on Sun, 03/06/2018 - 12:56

hello british council team. i have problem, when i have listened to the movie, there are many words I did not get it . i think the problem is. they are taking quickly. is that right

Hi ali ajrme,

Yes, they speak at a fairly natural speed in this video. You could watch the video while reading the transcript to understand more. I'd also suggest trying materials at an easier level. Our Starting Out series, for example, might be a good place to start.

Please let us know if you need any more help.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by safirasafirasafira on Fri, 04/05/2018 - 15:15

hello teacher.I don't understand "let's turn that thing off and turn around." and "over there". please explain me.Thank you very much.

Hello safirasafirasafira,

When Stephen says Let's turn that thing off he means that the GPS is not helping them and so they should stop using it.

The phrase over there is a general phrase which we use when we want to indicate a place not too far away - typically a location which you can see or can easily reach.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by agoussim on Tue, 18/07/2017 - 11:44

Good morning, I'm going to watch this good video but i don't understand very well because there is not the subtitles thank's

Hello agoussim,

The videos do not have subtitles, as you say, but you can use the transcript to help you if you wish. You can see it by clicking on the word 'Transcript' below the tasks/above the comments.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Adriancatanescu on Fri, 23/06/2017 - 18:14

Good afternoon everyone, how are you today? I heard about Oxford University before but I don't know what kind of University it is to be honest I just know that is of the best in the world and I saw some movies that they're connected with this University. But I'm just curious and I'll have to have a look on the internet to learn more about this place. And if I'll faund some interesting then who knows in the future I might going to visit this place. I don't know if I have visited a place like this one, because I don't know what kind of place it is. I'm sure is a big university and in my life I didn't visit much universities even the universities that we have in our city I didn't visit all of them just a few. I wasn't so curious to see what's happened there but I'm looking forward to it to see what's going to be here.

Submitted by caqi29 on Sun, 18/06/2017 - 04:57

why ı can't watch the videos?

Hello caqi29,

I'm sorry to hear that you're having problems with the video. I've checked the page and the video is working correctly so the problem must be a local one. It may be a compatibility issue so the first thing to do is to try accessing the site via a different device. Some devices may have problems showing certain file types, particularly mobile devices, so trying to access the page with a laptop or desktop computer is a good first step. You may also try using a different browser and checking your security settings, which may be blocking certain content.

I hope those suggestions are helpful.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Dayax on Sun, 04/06/2017 - 00:27

I appreciate the British council ho has provided this program. My comment is the way they teach them is amazing, but some times is very difficult to understand, because the are speaking quickly.

Submitted by Akmal Rofiqi on Tue, 16/05/2017 - 10:50

This video is not fluent enough. This video is funny.

Submitted by vugar.hasanov on Fri, 12/05/2017 - 10:56

Hi Unfortunately the video is not available for watching and it shows "connection problem", however the speed of internet is sufficient. Could it be website failure?

Submitted by Kirk on Fri, 12/05/2017 - 13:04

In reply to by vugar.hasanov


Hello vugar.hasanov,

I'm sorry to hear that!

Yes, this error is usually due to a poor internect connection or a temporary server problem. Are you able to see the video now? If not, you might want to try changing web browsers -- sometimes this can help. After that, if you still can't see it, please let us know what browser and browser version you've tried.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team


Submitted by AminulHaq on Mon, 08/05/2017 - 03:49

Could anyone say if it is possible to download the video and transcript.If possible then how?

Hello AminulHaq,

I'm afraid that our videos are not available for download for legal reasons. There is, however a transcript available to you on the page under the Tasks, or you can download a PDF and see it there as well (under Download).

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Vartica Singh on Mon, 23/01/2017 - 07:43

what does it mean by 'off we go'?

Submitted by nicky62 on Sat, 14/01/2017 - 18:48

first of all I would like to thank all staffs making this learning programs for all English learners.. some sentences or words are saying so fast that cant be understood even hearing it several times if don't look it in the transcription. how can I solve my problem in this part? thanks

Hello nicky62,

It's very hard to answer such a question as it really depends on you and your individual strengths and weaknesses. It may be just a question of become more familiar with English spoken at speed, or it may be a question of pronunciation, including become more familiar with sentence stress or intonation patterns.

In general, I would say the key is practice: the more you listen, the more familiar you will become with how spoken English works and the easier it will be for you to understand it.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

I will do my best on listening , as you advise me. thanks
Hi Nicky, I think it's OK to look at the transcription while you are learning. I suggest you do the following: 1. Listen to the recording and try to understand as much as possible 2. Listen again while you read the transcription 3. Look up any words you don't know in the dictionary 4. Listen a third time without the transcription The more you practise, the easier it will be! Good luck!

Submitted by STEPHANE ROTH on Thu, 05/01/2017 - 19:59

I recently watched a report about Stephen Hawking who is a famous scientist working at the University of Oxford. I know there's a well-known rowing competition between Oxford and Cambridge teams. I suppose Ash and Steven are going to visit the place.

Submitted by badrI241 on Wed, 04/01/2017 - 17:35

it's my dream to study in this university. May, be one day