The Reading / Listening - Borders - Level 2

Governments spend months, years or even decades making borders between countries. A farmer in Belgium did not need so long. He took just a few minutes to change the border between Belgium and France. He made Belgium about 1,000 square meters bigger and France about 1,000 square meters smaller. He moved a 150-kilogram border stone 2.29 metres inside France. A border stone shows where the border is between two countries. The stone the farmer moved was put there in 1819. The farmer moved it to make it easier to drive his tractor around his field.



Moving a border between two countries can lead to war. Luckily, diplomats in Belgium and France saw the funny side of this. They avoided a crisis in a friendly way. The mayor of the Belgian town said: "The stone was placed there in 1819 following the defeat of Napoleon....We will find the person who moved the stone so we can avoid any troubles. I still have to verify who [he] is." The mayor added: "We know exactly where the stone was before. It was right next to a tree." The mayor of the border town in France said: "I fully trust the Belgian mayor, who did what was necessary."

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Borders - Level 0 Borders - Level 1   or  Borders - Level 3

Sources
  • https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/belgium-farmer-moves-french-border/index.html
  • https://www.euronews.com/2021/05/04/belgium-gains-territory-after-farmer-moves-french-border
  • https://www.brusselstimes.com/belgium/167925/belgian-farmer-moves-accidentally-french-border-erquelinnes-napoleon-boundary-marker-aurelie-welonek-mayor-bousignies-sur-roc-david-lavaux/


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. months, years or
  2. making borders
  3. He took just a
  4. about 1,000 square
  5. He moved a 150-kilogram
  6. where the
  7. make it easier to drive
  8. around his
  1. field
  2. few minutes
  3. border is
  4. his tractor
  5. even decades
  6. border stone
  7. between countries
  8. meters

Paragraph 2

  1. Moving a border
  2. lead to
  3. saw the funny
  4. They avoided a crisis in
  5. The stone was placed
  6. We will find the person who
  7. We know exactly where
  8. I fully trust the Belgian
  1. moved the stone
  2. a friendly way
  3. mayor
  4. side of this
  5. between two countries
  6. the stone was
  7. war
  8. there in 1819

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Governments spend months, years (1) ___________________ making borders between countries. A farmer in Belgium did not (2) ___________________. He took just a few minutes to change the border between Belgium and France. He made Belgium about 1,000 (3) ___________________ and France about 1,000 square meters smaller. He moved a 150-(4) ___________________ 2.29 metres inside France. A border stone shows where the border is between two countries. The stone the farmer moved (5) ___________________ in 1819. The farmer moved it to make it (6) ___________________ his tractor around his field.

Moving a border between two countries can (7) ___________________. Luckily, diplomats in Belgium and France saw the funny side of this. They (8) ___________________ in a friendly way. The mayor of the Belgian town said: "The stone was placed there in 1819 (9) ___________________ of Napoleon....We will find the person who moved the stone so we can avoid any troubles. I still have (10) ___________________ [he] is." The mayor added: "We know exactly where the stone was before. It was right next (11) ___________________." The mayor of the border town in France said: "(12) ___________________ the Belgian mayor, who did what was necessary."

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Governmentsspendmonths,yearsorevendecadesmakingbordersbet
weencountries.AfarmerinBelgiumdidnotneedsolong.Hetookjustafe
wminutestochangetheborderbetweenBelgiumandFrance.HemadeB
elgiumabout1,000squaremetersbiggerandFranceabout1,000squar
emeterssmaller.Hemoveda150-kilogramborderstone2.29metresin
sideFrance.Aborderstoneshowswheretheborderisbetweentwocount
ries.Thestonethefarmermovedwasputtherein1819.Thefarmermove
dittomakeiteasiertodrivehistractoraroundhisfield.Movingaborderbe
tweentwocountriescanleadtowar.Luckily,diplomatsinBelgiumandFr
ancesawthefunnysideofthis.Theyavoidedacrisisinafriendlyway.The
mayoroftheBelgiantownsaid:"Thestonewasplacedtherein1819follo
wingthedefeatofNapoleon....Wewillfindthepersonwhomovedthesto
nesowecanavoidanytroubles.Istillhavetoverifywho[he]is."Themayo
radded:"Weknowexactlywherethestonewasbefore.Itwasrightnextt
oatree."ThemayorofthebordertowninFrancesaid:"IfullytrusttheBelg
ianmayor,whodidwhatwasnecessary."

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.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

Help Support This Web Site

  • Please consider helping Breaking News English.com

Sean Banville's Book

Thank You