The Reading / Listening - Brain Implants - Level 1

A man who can't move his hands used thoughts to write on a computer screen. The man is paralyzed from the neck down after a spinal cord injury ten years ago. He wants to be anonymous, so scientists call him T5. Scientists put two small sensors into his brain. These allow him to use his mind to write. The scientists call this "mindwriting". T5 can write about 18 words per minute. This is five words slower than writing a text message on a smartphone.

Mindwriting is simple to do, but it uses a lot of technology and a special algorithm. Scientists asked T5 to imagine writing on a paper. The two sensors turned his brain activity into text on a computer screen. A researcher hopes mindwriting will help millions of paralyzed people to write again. It might also help people who cannot speak. In the future, this technology might help us to write at the speed of thought.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Brain Implants - Level 0 Brain Implants - Level 2   or  Brain Implants - Level 3

Sources
  • https://edition.cnn.com/2021/05/13/americas/paralyzed-handwriting-scn-scli-intl/index.html
  • https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/brain-computer-interface-user-types-90-characters-per-minute-with-mind-68762
  • https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00776-8


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice activities, drag and drop activities, sentence jumbles, which word activities, text reconstructions, spelling, gap fills and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)





Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. A man who can't
  2. write on a
  3. paralyzed from the neck
  4. after a spinal cord
  5. He wants to be
  6. These allow him to use his
  7. T5 can write about 18 words
  8. slower than writing
  1. anonymous
  2. down
  3. mind to write
  4. computer screen
  5. injury
  6. a text message
  7. move his hands
  8. per minute

Paragraph 2

  1. Mindwriting is simple
  2. it uses a lot of
  3. imagine writing on a
  4. turned his brain activity
  5. help millions of paralyzed
  6. help people who cannot
  7. this technology might
  8. write at the speed
  1. a paper
  2. speak
  3. of thought
  4. technology
  5. help us
  6. into text
  7. to do
  8. people

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

A man who can't (1) ___________________ used thoughts to write on a computer screen. The (2) ___________________ from the neck down after a (3) ___________________ ten years ago. He wants to be anonymous, so scientists call him T5. Scientists put (4) ___________________ into his brain. These allow him to use his mind to write. The scientists call this "mindwriting". T5 can write about 18 (5) ___________________. This is five words slower than writing (6) ___________________ on a smartphone.

Mindwriting is (7) ___________________, but it uses a lot of technology and a special algorithm. Scientists asked T5 to (8) ___________________ a paper. The two sensors turned his brain activity (9) ___________________ a computer screen. A researcher hopes mindwriting (10) ___________________ of paralyzed people to write again. It (11) ___________________ people who cannot speak. In the future, this technology might help us to write at the (12) ___________________.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Amanwhocan'tmovehishandsusedthoughtstowriteonacomputerscr
een.Themanisparalyzedfromtheneckdownafteraspinalcordinjuryte
nyearsago.Hewantstobeanonymous,soscientistscallhimT5.Scientis
tsputtwosmallsensorsintohisbrain.Theseallowhimtousehismindtow
rite.Thescientistscallthis"mindwriting".T5canwriteabout18wordspe
rminute.Thisisfivewordsslowerthanwritingatextmessageonasmartp
hone.Mindwritingissimpletodo,butitusesalotoftechnologyandaspeci
alalgorithm.ScientistsaskedT5toimaginewritingonapaper.Thetwose
nsorsturnedhisbrainactivityintotextonacomputerscreen.Aresearche
rhopesmindwritingwillhelpmillionsofparalyzedpeopletowriteagain.I
tmightalsohelppeoplewhocannotspeak.Inthefuture,thistechnology
mighthelpustowriteatthespeedofthought.

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________

Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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