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Listen&Learn: Stephen Hawking

7th October 2020 by Jaksyn Peacock
Stephen Hawking

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • physicist: a scientist who studies physics
  • diagnose: to identify an illness by studying a person’s symptoms
  • condition: a medical issue
  • black hole: a region of space where gravity is so strong that nothing can escape
  • speech synthesizer: a machine used to produce human speech

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

Stephen Hawking was an English physicist. He was born in 1942 in Oxford, England. Growing up, Hawking was always very in math and science, and at age 17, he decided to pursue a degree. However, at age 21, Hawking was diagnosed with ALS, a serious condition that weakens nerves and muscles. His didn’t expect him to live more than two years after his diagnosis, but Hawking was determined to get his degree. He achieved his goal, and he is now well-known for his research on black holes. Throughout his life, he also published several books about the universe. His most book, titled A Brief History of Time, was written to help ordinary people complex scientific concepts. Hawking lived much longer than expected, but his condition worsened as his life went on. Eventually, he had to use a wheelchair to move around, and a speech synthesizer to communicate. Hawking died at the age of 76, after living a full and accomplished life.

Comprehension questions

1. After Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with ALS, his doctor told him that

Correct! Wrong!

After Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with ALS, his doctor told him that he would only have two years to live.

2. Hawking was known for his research on

Correct! Wrong!

Hawking was known for his research on black holes.

3. Hawking lived until the age of

Correct! Wrong!

Hawking lived until the age of 76.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Stephen Hawking once had a party for time travellers. He didn’t send the invitations out until the day after the party, so that only people from the future could show up. It was an experiment that was meant to show that time travel to the past was unlikely to be possible. Do you think that time travel could ever be possible? Why or why not?

Transcript

Stephen Hawking was an English physicist. He was born in 1942 in Oxford, England. Growing up, Hawking was always very interested in math and science, and at age 17, he decided to pursue a physics degree. However, at age 21, Hawking was diagnosed with ALS, a serious condition that weakens nerves and muscles. His doctor didn’t expect him to live more than two years after his diagnosis, but Hawking was determined to get his degree. He achieved his goal, and he is now well-known for his research on black holes. Throughout his life, he also published several books about the universe. His most famous book, titled A Brief History of Time, was written to help ordinary people understand complex scientific concepts. Hawking lived much longer than expected, but his condition worsened as his life went on. Eventually, he had to use a wheelchair to move around, and a speech synthesizer to communicate. Hawking died at the age of 76, after living a full and accomplished life.