# Listen&Learn: Alan Turing

Jaksyn Peacock
Learn about the mathematician whose ideas led to the modern computer.

## Pre-listening vocabulary

• foundation: an idea that other ideas are built on
• hypothetical: potential, not currently real
• instruction: an explanation of what to do and how to do it
• decode: to find the hidden meaning of a coded message
• shun: to reject someone
• pardon: to forgive someone for a crime

## Gapfill exercise

Alan Turing was a British mathematician. He was born in 1912 in London, England. His ideas are considered to be the early foundations for modern . In 1936, he described a hypothetical device that could read and follow instructions. He also developed the Turing test, which was meant to determine if a could think like a human. During World War II, Turing built a machine that helped the Allied forces decode Nazi . His work helped Britain and the Allies win the war. However, the government later arrested and shunned him for being gay, which was at the time. Turing died in 1954, two years after his conviction. The Queen officially pardoned him in 2013.

## Comprehension questions

1. Turing was a
a. mathematician
b. physicist
2. The purpose of the Turing test is
a. to determine how fast a machine can work
b. to determine how well a machine can follow instructions
c. to determine if a machine can think like a human
3. During World War II, Turing helped the Allies by
a. inventing new technology for weapons
b. creating a machine that could break Nazi codes
c. analyzing Nazi military plans

## Discussion/essay questions

1. Alan Turing’s accomplishments were disregarded for many years. Do you know any other important historical figures who were dismissed in their time?
2. Do you think it is possible for a machine to think like a human?

## Transcript

Alan Turing was a British mathematician. He was born in 1912 in London, England. His ideas are considered to be the early foundations for modern computers. In 1936, he described a hypothetical device that could read and follow written instructions. He also developed the Turing test, which was meant to determine if a machine could think like a human. During World War II, Turing built a machine that helped the Allied forces decode Nazi messages. His work helped Britain and the Allies win the war. However, the government later arrested and shunned him for being gay, which was illegal at the time. Turing died in 1954, two years after his conviction. The Queen officially pardoned him in 2013.

1a 2c 3b

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub

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• The King Of Love From IRAN says:

Thank you for sharing it with us,

NO

• Nguyenkien says:

I know some people who has been dismissed in their time such as Galileo Galilei. Galilei has been called “the father” of modern science. He supported the heliocentric. He was tried by the Inquisition, found “vehemently suspect of heresy”, and forced to recant.

• Pavlina says:

Alan Turing and his invention are part of the “Life in the UK” test. He’s one of the British inventors of the 20th century.

• Christine PENNEC says:

great and interesting

• Ezzy Mansy says:

I love your consistency. thank you