Understanding an explanation

Understanding an explanation

Listen to a professor's explanation to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.


Professor: OK, before we continue, does anybody have a question? Oh, lots of questions, I see. OK, we'll go one at a time. Yes?

Student: Thank you. You talked about Fibonacci numbers in the lecture. Sorry, I don't understand. Can you explain?

Professor: Of course. What do you want to know?

Student: OK … I hope this isn't a silly question, but what does Fibonacci actually mean?

Professor: No question is ever silly – it's always good to ask. OK, it's the name of a person. Fibonacci was a European mathematician in the Middle Ages.

Student: Ah, OK. Thanks. So, we know he was a person, but what are the Fibonacci numbers? I don't get it.

Professor: The Fibonacci numbers are a sequence of numbers. They go 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 and so on. Do you see the sequence? Do you see how it works?

Student: I'm not sure.

Professor: OK. This is how it works. The first number is 1, then 1 again, then 2. The third number is the first number plus the second number. The fourth number is the second number plus the third number: 1 plus 2 is 3. The fifth number is the third number, 2, plus the fourth number, 3. So the fifth number in a Fibonacci sequence is 5.

Student: Ah! I think I understand now. But what about their importance? You said these were very important.

Professor: Yes, let me explain. This sequence of numbers is important because we see it in many things. Fibonacci numbers are common in geometry, they are common in nature, for example in plants. We see the sequence everywhere.

Student: Could you give us some more examples?

Professor: OK ... well, we don't have time right now but I can bring more examples in for next class, OK?


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Average: 4.4 (20 votes)

Hello kbravoz,

The question asks about a particular sequence ('in this Fibonacci sequence'), so it is not intended to be complete.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Soe Thuya on Wed, 15/07/2020 - 16:02

I can't listen to all audio in these days.what happen to me?

Hello Soe Thuya,

I'm afraid our audio content is not working due to a temporary technical problem. We are working to resolve it as quickly as we can, and apologize for the inconvenience.

Please check again in a few hours or tomorrow.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Dastenova Firuza on Sat, 11/07/2020 - 20:06

The last lecture was on ecological problems delivered by prof. Hanns Moschamer from Austria where I was an interpreter. It was very clear, intersting and useful.
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Submitted by Hennadii on Sat, 11/07/2020 - 17:59

My last lecture at the university was over 15 years ago so it's quite difficult to remember what it was about )) Honestly, it's not difficult - it's impossible. But I think it was something special, you know. After those five long years with so many lectures, so many subjects to learn, so many exams to pass, and you finally got the very last lecture. I think we were happy and sad at the same time. Happy because no more lectures and sad because that was the end of our funny and careless students life.

Submitted by Suellen Esteves on Mon, 06/07/2020 - 20:13

The last lecture i went to was at the university, and there were professors who explained very well and also there were professors who did not explain well.

Submitted by LarisaAlp on Fri, 03/07/2020 - 18:36

I am a professor at the university. I hope my lectures are interesting and my explanations are clear. Maybe I am right. But I had to remove my few last lectures to next year due to coronavirus pandemic.

Submitted by abudo93 on Thu, 02/07/2020 - 11:43

The last lecture was about 5 years before when I was unversity student and the professor was good when he explained his lesson.

Submitted by Dr.Mohamed A. Zein on Mon, 29/06/2020 - 12:49

The last lecture that I had was online lecture with professor Mostafa elsaid from egypt about keeping safe against Co19 virus. he explained it clearly and the meeting was so helpful and informative for me.

Submitted by Dr Doaa Mahmoud on Mon, 29/06/2020 - 12:49

The last lecture that I went was on-line course about clinical Pharmacotherapy 2 months ago. The professor explained It cleverly and I enjoyed It so much.