Chatterbox #111 – Canadian inventions

If you ask a friend to name a famous Canadian, you might not be able to think of any. Here’s an episode about famous Canadians throughout history who have invented something that is now used all over the world. In this episode, we’re talking about epilepsy, the telephone, and radio waves. Do you think we can actually count Marconi’san Italian citizen’s inventions as Canadian? Check it out and tell us your opinion. 


Expressions included in the learning materialsinvent

  • Super
  • To be geared toward
  • James Naismith
  • Alexander Graham Bell
  • To the best of our knowledge
  • Marconi
  • Morse code
  • To pave the way
  • Dr. Wilder Penfield
  • To showcase something
  • To be ahead of his/her time
  • Radical

Sample transcript

Harp:              Yes. So let’s get started. Today we’re doing a Chatterbox episode.

Andrew:         Yeah. And the topic for today’s episode is Canadian inventions.

Harp:              Yes. Canadian inventions.

Andrew:         Canadian inventions and Canadian inventors.

Harp:              Yeah. ‘Cause a lot of you ask about specific things about Canada, so we’re trying to tell you more about Canadian history.

Andrew:         Right. If you’re interested in Canadian history, you’re in the right spot ‘cause that’s what we’re talking about today. So today’s topic is Canadian inventions, and it’s about Canadian history in a way too. And a lot of people find, well a lot of Canadians especially, find Canadian history to be a little bit boring and not super interesting compared to other countries.

Harp:              I know. So, I think that we should talk about it because I think there are a lot of interesting things about it.

Andrew:         There are some interesting things about Canadian history. And one of the ways that the Canadian government tried to promote Canadian history and make people interested in Canadian history was to produce these little television commercials called Heritage Minutes.

Harp:              I remember these from when we were young.

Andrew:         Yeah. They started in maybe the early 1990s. I think they started broadcasting these commercials on the air, and they are just 60 second little documentaries. And each commercial focused on a unique aspect of Canadian history.

Harp:              Yeah. So 60 seconds, and they told a little story, a little clip of Canadian history.

Andrew:         And this was a great way to promote history especially among children ‘cause these commercials, I think, I remember coming home from school and turning on the TV and watching these commercials in between my favourite cartoons. So I think they’re especially geared towards younger viewers.

Harp:              I definitely think so. And I think they were really well done back then ‘cause I was really proud every time I watched one of them.

Andrew:         Yeah. They were really elaborate productions, lots of great costumes, they were almost just like miniature movies: a whole movie squashed into 60 seconds.

Harp:              Yup. We’re definitely going to post a couple of them online, so you can see what we’re talking about.

Andrew:         Yeah. And today we’re going to talk about three specific areas of Canadian history and inventions, specifically that have been the feature of a Heritage Minutes commercial.

Harp:              Yup. But before we get started, you know an interesting thing I’ve realized since living in Montreal?

Andrew:         What’s that?

Harp:              That they didn’t have these in French.

Andrew:         Yeah. This was unique to English Canada.

Harp:              And if I talk to anyone from English Canada who grew up at the same time as me, they all remember them.

Andrew:         Yeah. And in talking with our friends that are French Canadians, they don’t know about these. And I don’t know if that’s true for everybody or just our friends, so if you’re a listener and you’re French Canadian and we’re wrong let us know, but to the best of our knowledge these were just in English Canada.

english PodcastAudio/Learning Materials: Culips