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Text 1. A T e a c h e r o f D e a f C h i l d r e n


The story of the important step from the telegraph to the telephone is connected with the name of Alexander Graham Bell, the man who invented the telephone. He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1847. His father was a teacher, who was famous as the inventor of a way to teach deaf people to pronounce words that they could not hear. Alexander studied how to improve his father’s method when he was very young, not yet twenty. But he did not work very long: he fell seriously ill.

Alexander’s parents decided that only a better climate could save him, and they took him abroad to Canada. There he rested for a whole year, and at the end of that time he felt well again. Now he could return to his work as a school-teacher of deaf children. The school principal heard about Alexander’s father’s work in England, and he gave the young man work as a teacher.

Two days later, Alexander Bell stood in front of his class of deaf children. The work was not easy; he had to teach the children to pronounce words that they could not hear. Alexander loved the children and he wanted to do everything possible to help them. He began to think and dream about one great idea – sending music and words by telegraph.

“What is a speech?” he asked himself. “It is a kind of vibration, a movement of the air: if I can change this vibration into electricity, I can send it over telegraph wires.” He began to study all the literature he could find on electricity and sound. When Bell began his own experiments, everything was difficult. Alexander was a teacher and he knew very little about scientific experiments. Together with his friend and helper, Watson, he worked day and night.

At last one day he tried his new apparatus; that was the telephone – the invention of the school-teacher, Alexander Graham Bell, the idea that was the dream of his whole life.


Q u e s t i o n s :


1) What thing is connected with the name of Alexander Graham Bell?

2) What were his relations with deaf children?

3) What was his father famous for?

4) How did Alexander Bell invent telephone apparatus?


Text 2. S e e i n g F i n g e r s


Little Louis was often told never to touch “Papa’s” tools. But one day, when he was only three years old, he wanted to work with a knife in his father’s workshop. The knife was too heavy for the little boy, it slipped out of his hand and hit his eye. Within a few weeks Louis Braille was totally blind.

At the village school nobody taught the poor blind child to read. Louis’s father devised a method of teaching his son. He drove some nails into a wooden board in the form of the letters of the alphabet and taught him to read. Thus Louis learnt to read.

At the end of the 18th century a Frenchman, Valentin Haug began to teach the blind boy. He made some wooden letters to teach the boy the alphabet. One day when the boy was dusting the master’s desk he felt some papers and discovered that the fingers could feel hard pressure of the master’s pen and he could read the paper. Thus the discovery was made that the fingers of blind people could be taught “to see".

By the time that Louis was ten, Valentin Haug’s school had turned into the National Institute for Blind Children in Paris. That is how the first school for the blind was opened in the world. The children were taught by means of raised letters made with cardboard sheets pressed upon lead type.

When Louis was fifteen he improved on a new method of writing known as “sonography”. It was a brilliant achievement. The boy showed that with only 6 dots he could make 63 combinations which covered not only the 26 letters of the alphabet but also mathematical symbols, musical notations and the normal punctuation marks. When Louis was twenty, his system of writing was officially published.


Q u e s t i o n s :


1) What was happened with Louis when he was 3 years old?

2) How did the blind child learn to read?

3) How did the first school for blind children appear?

4) What was the name of Braille’s brilliant achievement in writing?


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