The Reading / Listening - Potato Shortage - Level 2

Europe's poor potato harvest this summer could mean French fries are three centimeters shorter than usual. The poor harvest is because of the very hot summer. Europe had record temperatures. This heatwave caused a lack of rain, so farmers produced a lot fewer potatoes than normal. A spokesman from a potato growers' association in Belgium said farmers grew 25 per cent fewer potatoes this summer. This increased potato prices and made the average size of potatoes smaller. Smaller potatoes will mean French fries are shorter.



The potato shortage is a big talking point in Belgium. Fries are the national dish there. The country has over 5,000 shops that specialize in fries. Belgians love their fries. There is a campaign to rename them "Belgian fries" because Belgians say the fry was invented in Belgium. Belgium is one of the largest exporters of frozen fries in the world. The spokesman explained why fries would be shorter. He said: "To have long fries, we work with potatoes with a diameter of more than 50mm. Then you get fries of 8 to 9 cm. This time, as the potatoes are smaller, the fries will be shorter."

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Potato Shortage - Level 0 Potato Shortage - Level 1   or  Potato Shortage - Level 3

Sources
  • https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/experience/2018/09/23/french-fries-likely-lose-inch-europe/1406665002/
  • https://potatonewstoday.com/2018/09/21/british-chips-to-become-much-shorter/
  • https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/18/british-chips-3cm-shorter-usual-belgian-potatoes-hit-dry-hot/


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. Europe's poor potato
  2. French fries are three
  3. Europe had record
  4. This heatwave caused a lack
  5. a lot fewer potatoes
  6. a potato growers'
  7. This increased potato
  8. the average size
  1. association
  2. temperatures
  3. of potatoes
  4. harvest
  5. prices
  6. of rain
  7. centimeters shorter
  8. than normal

Paragraph 2

  1. Fries are the national
  2. There is a campaign
  3. Belgians say the fry was
  4. Belgium is one of the largest
  5. frozen
  6. a diameter of
  7. you get fries
  8. the potatoes are
  1. fries
  2. of 8 to 9 cm
  3. to rename them
  4. smaller
  5. invented in Belgium
  6. exporters
  7. dish
  8. more than 50mm

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Europe's (1) ___________________ this summer could mean French fries are three centimeters (2) ___________________. The poor harvest is because of the (3) ___________________. Europe had record temperatures. This heatwave caused a lack of rain, so farmers produced (4) ___________________ potatoes than normal. A spokesman from (5) ___________________ association in Belgium said farmers grew 25 per cent fewer potatoes this summer. This increased potato prices and made (6) ___________________ of potatoes smaller. Smaller potatoes will mean French fries are shorter.

The potato shortage is a (7) ___________________ in Belgium. Fries are the national dish there. The country has over 5,000 shops that (8) ___________________. Belgians love their fries. There is a campaign to rename them "Belgian fries" because Belgians say the fry (9) ___________________ Belgium. Belgium is one of the largest (10) ___________________ fries in the world. The spokesman explained why fries would be shorter. He said: "To have long fries, we work with potatoes with (11) ___________________ more than 50mm. Then you (12) ___________________ 8 to 9 cm. This time, as the potatoes are smaller, the fries will be shorter."

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Europe'spoorpotatoharvestthissummercouldmeanFrenchfriesareth
reecentimetersshorterthanusual.Thepoorharvestisbecauseofthever
yhotsummer.Europehadrecordtemperatures.Thisheatwavecauseda
lackofrain,sofarmersproducedalotfewerpotatoesthannormal.Aspok
esmanfromapotatogrowers'associationinBelgiumsaidfarmersgrew2
5percentfewerpotatoesthissummer.Thisincreasedpotatopricesand
madetheaveragesizeofpotatoessmaller.SmallerpotatoeswillmeanFr
enchfriesareshorter.ThepotatoshortageisabigtalkingpointinBelgium
.Friesarethenationaldishthere.Thecountryhasover5,000shopsthats
pecializeinfries.Belgianslovetheirfries.Thereisacampaigntorenamet
hem"Belgianfries"becauseBelgianssaythefrywasinventedinBelgium
.Belgiumisoneofthelargestexportersoffrozenfriesintheworld.Thespo
kesmanexplainedwhyfrieswouldbeshorter.Hesaid:"Tohavelongfries
,weworkwithpotatoeswithadiameterofmorethan50mm.Thenyouget
friesof8to9cm.Thistime,asthepotatoesaresmaller,thefrieswillbesho
rter."

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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