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The history of Morse Code: Intermediate / Advanced English lesson.

Morse code was invented by an American called Samuel Finley Breese Morse, (1791-1872). He was not only an inventor but also a famous painter.

Essas aulas de inglês são para alunos intermediários e avançados de inglês como segunda língua. Eles incluem “Ler”, “Ouvir” e “Escrever”. Basta seguir a lição respondendo às perguntas à medida que as encontra.

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Todas as vagas em negrito devem ser traduzidas para seu próprio idioma para ajudar na compreensão do novo vocabulário.

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The History Of Morse Code



Morse code was invented by an American called Samuel Finley Breese Morse, (1791-1872). He was not only an inventor but also a famous painter.

New Vocabulary: invented, a famous painter

Audio 1: To study listed to the audio and read at the same time.

Section One

Before the invention of the telegraph, most messages that had to be sent over long distances were carried by messengers who memorised them or carried them in writing. These messages could be delivered no faster than the fastest horse. Messages could also be sent visually, using flags and later, mechanical systems called semaphore telegraphs, but these systems required the receiver to be close enough to see the sender, and could not be used at night. 

New Vocabulary: The Telegraph, long distances, memorised, delivered, the fastest horse
visually, flags, mechanical systems, semaphore, telegraphs, receiver, sender

Audio 2: To study listed to the audio and read at the same time.

Section One:

The telegraph allowed messages to be sent very fast over long distances using electricity. The first commercial telegraph was developed by William Forthergill Cooke and Charles Wheatstone in 1837. They developed a device which could send messages using electrical signals to line up compass needles on a grid containing letters of the alphabet. Then, in 1838, Samuel Morse and his assistant, Alfred Vail, demonstrated an even more successful telegraph device which sent messages using a special code – Morse code.

New Vocabulary: allowed, electricity, commercial, developed by, a device, electrical,
signals, compass, compass needle, alphabet, his assistant, a special code

Audio 3: To study listed to the audio and read at the same time.

Section Two:

Telegraph messages were sent by tapping out the code for each letter in the form of long and short signals. Short signals are referred to as dits (represented as dots). Long signals are referred to as dahs (represented as dashes). The code was converted into electrical impulses and sent over converted into electrical impulses. A telegraph receiver on the other end of the wire converted the impulses back into to dots and dashes, and decoded the message. In 1844, Morse demonstrated the telegraph to the United States Congress using a now famous message “What hath God wrought”.

New Vocabulary:  by tapping out the code,  long and short signals, dits, dahs, dashes, converted into electrical impulses, converted into electrical impulses
dots and dashes, United States Congress, "What hath God wrought".

Audio 4: To study listed to the audio and read at the same time.

Video Listening Section:  Watch the video and then answer the six questions below.

        1. When was Morse cade invented?
        2.  What could this system of communication detect?
        3.  In the vide the boys says, ” Morse code could either be ‘sped-up’ or slowed down.” What does ‘sped-up’ mean?
        4. When did Samuel Morse send his first message by Morse code?
        5. After Samuel Morse, who invented the ‘wireless’ telegraph and where was the first wireless message sent from?
        6. In Morse code, what is the international distress code?

What does this code say? Use the Morse Code chart above to calculate the message. 

..  /  .-..,   —, …-,  .  /  …, -, ., …-, .,  ….  /  .-.., ., …, …, —, -., …


Section Three:

One of Morse’s aims was to keep the code as short as possible, which meant the commonest letters should have the shortest codes. Morse came up with a marvellous idea. He went to his local newspaper. In those days printers made their papers by putting together individual letters (type) into a block, then covering the block with ink and pressing paper on the top. The printers kept the letters (type) in cases with each letter kept in a separate compartment. Of course, they had many more of some letters than others because they knew they needed more when they created a page of print. Morse simply counted the number of pieces of type for each letter. He found that there were more e’s than any other letter and so he gave ‘e’ the shortest code, ‘dit’. This explains why there appears to be no obvious relationship between alphabetical order and the symbols use. 

New Vocabulary: aims, meant,  commonest,  marvellous, a block, ink, printers,  a separate compartment,  appears to be, relationship,
alphabetical order, symbols 

Audio 5: To study listed to the audio and read at the same time.

Writing Section:

Write a short message to your teacher about wanting to change your time for the next lesson first in Portuguese, then in English and finally in Morse cade.


In your writing in the English section include two examples of the present perfect and three transition words. See the link below to help you:  TRANSITION WORDS LINK

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1 Comment
  1. Hello. Bon article. Cependant je ne suis pas d’accord sur le fait que la drague de rue c’est mort car les femmes ont peur. Suffit de voir road to Conor, les phlyogines ou les vieilles vidéos de dolteau pour voir que c’est faux. Et pratiquant moi même mon expérience me donne raison. Il faut juste gagner en expérience et en intelligence sociale pour ne pas les faire flipper. Après, une fois que tu as le numéro, c’est comme si t’avais un match tinder, mais en mieux. Et encore je ne parle pas des instant date et de l’intérêt largement supérieur aux applis pour le développement personnel.

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