Источник статьи: Информативная динамика текста в коммуникации // Сборник научных трудов. Саранск 1999. Сс. 35-37.
Не подлежит сомнению тот факт, что развитие коммуникативных навыков при обучении иностранному языку наиболее целесообразно осуществлять на базе учебного материала, самым тесным образом смыкающегося с информацией страноведческого характера. Именно в данном случае речь обучаемых обретает коммуникативную привязку к реальной ситуации общения и становится вполне естественной как по используемым языковым структурам, так и по чисто прагматической направленности. Наибольший интерес для студентов высших учебных заведений России представляют материалы, не только содержащие факты из жизни их зарубежных сверстников, но и переданные ими самими. Приводимый ниже текст, автором которого является студент Оксфорда, может послужить прекрасной основой для разработки целого ряда методических упражнений и рекомендаций по развитию навыков устной речи. Наиболее ценным при их составлении явится учет особенностей непосредственной живой речи монологического характера, типичной для современной молодежи, обучающейся в британских университетах.
Oxford University is split up into roughly 30 undergraduate colleges: nowadays only one of these is single-sex, St. Hilda’s, an all-female college, and one of them only accepts mature students, Harris Manchester. The size of the colleges varies quite dramatically: the smaller may only have about 30 students while the biggest may take up to 450. The elder colleges were founded in the 13th and 14th centuries, and as a result the city has built up around the university, with almost all of the colleges being situated on the main roads in the very centre of Oxford.
In Oxford the majority of courses lasts for three years: the exceptions to this rule are languages, geology, engineering and biochemistry, all of which last for 4 years. Each year is divided into 3 terms, all of which have traditional names: Michaelmas (in the autumn / winter), Hilary (in the Spring) and Trinity (in the Summer). Each term lasts for just 8 weeks, and students are expected to consoli-date each term’s work and prepare for the next one in the holidays. Because of this exams are often set the start of a term, and these are known as collections.
For Arts students, the timetable tends to be quite light: at most 10 hours per week of scheduled lectures and classes. The most important part of an Ox-ford education is the tutorial, and on average students have one of these a week. For this an essay must normally be written, consisting of six or seven sides of A4, and the student will read this out and then discuss it for an hour with his tutor. Due to the fairly undemanding timetable, it is expected that students will do a consid-erable amount of work in their free time: in the case of languages this means reading literature and literary criticism and doing translations.
The opposite is true for Scientists: on the whole they have a heavy schedule of lectures, practicals and coursework which means they spend much of the day in the faculty, but tend to have more free time in the evenings.
Some colleges in Oxford are rich enough and big enough to be able to of-fer every student his own room for every year of his course, but most have an-nexes in the suburbs to house some of the undergraduates. In a few of the poorer, smaller colleges some students have to rent accommodation for a year or maybe even two: others choose to because they prefer to share a house or a flat with their friends.
Entry to Oxford costs nothing. Any student wishing to go to the Universi-ty has at first to fill in an application form and send in some relevant pieces of work; for example if a student wishes to read languages, he should send in an es-say on a piece of literature and a translation from English into the foreign lan-guage. If the professor is impressed and thinks that the applicant may be a po-tential Oxford student he will be invited to Oxford to sit some written tests and a series of interviews. On the basis of these the University rejects the applicants it does not want and makes offers to the rest: an offer simply sets a target for the student by telling him what the University wants him to get in his A-levels. If the student achieves those grades, he goes to the University.
Although entry to Oxford costs nothing, going to University in England is quite expensive nowadays. The Government has recently introduced tuition fees, i.e. money which goes towards the wages of teachers and professors at the Univer-sity and the other costs of the student’s education, and the level of these fees is currently set at Ł1500 per year.
These used to be a grant system in England, whereby the Government would offer up to Ł1800 per year towards the cost of rent, books, food and gen-eral living expresses. The amount received depended on the income of the stu-dent’s parents, but the Government has recently decided to abolish this .
As a result all the financial help that is now left is the student loan. Each year a student can borrow up to Ł1785 to help pay for their living expenses: these loans have to be paid back over a five-year period when the student leaves Uni-versity and begins to work. Almost all students also have an overdraft with their bank, interest-free, and these overdrafts can be as large as Ł1500 or Ł20 00.