The Reading / Listening - Borders - Level 3

Governments, army leaders and diplomats spend months, years or even decades creating borders between countries. A farmer in Belgium did not need so long. It took him 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. How? He moved a 150-kilogram boundary stone 2.29 metres inside France. A boundary stone shows where the border between two countries or areas lies. The stone the farmer relocated was laid down in 1819 to mark the French-Belgian border. The farmer did not move the stone for political reasons. He did it to make it easier to drive his tractor around his field.



Moving the border between two countries could easily create a major diplomatic incident or even lead to war. Luckily, diplomats in Belgium and France saw the funny side of this. They avoided an international crisis in a friendly manner. The mayor of the Belgian town said: "The stone was placed there in 1819 following the defeat of Napoleon. The situation should be resolved tomorrow. We will find the person who moved the stone so we can avoid any troubles. I still have to verify who the landowner is." The mayor added: "We know exactly where the stone was before. It was right next to a tree." The mayor of the town across the border in France said: "I fully trust my Belgian counterpart, who did what was necessary."

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Borders - Level 0 Borders - Level 1   or  Borders - Level 2

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 :-)



Warm-ups

1. BORDERS: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about borders. Change partners often and share your findings.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?
       governments / diplomats / decades / change / minutes / stone / border / countries /
       major / incident / funny / defeat / tomorrow / troubles / mayor / verify / counterpart
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. BORDERLESS: Students A strongly believe a borderless world is better than a world with borders; Students B strongly believe the opposite. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. BORDERS: What do you know about these borders? Are there any problems? What are the solutions? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

What I Know

Problems?

Solutions

US-Mexico

 

 

 

India-China

 

 

 

North Korea-South Korea

 

 

 

Ireland-Northern Ireland

 

 

 

Golan Heights

 

 

 

East China Sea

 

 

 

MY e-BOOK
ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

5. CRISIS: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "crisis". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. KIND OF BORDER: Rank these with your partner. Put the best borders at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • River
  • Mountain range
  • Desert
  • Wall / fence
  • Road
  • Military zone
  • Sea
  • Hedge

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. diplomat a. A powerful farm vehicle (usually red in colour) with very big wheels at the back.
      2. decade b. The area of somewhere in m2.
      3. square meters c. Moved to a new place and establish one's home or business there.
      4. boundary d. Someone who represents his/her country in a different country.
      5. relocated e. Relating to the government or the public affairs of a country.
      6. political f. A period of ten years.
      7. tractor g. A line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line.

    Paragraph 2

      8. create h. Firmly determined to do something.
      9. major i. Prevent (stop) from happening.
      10. incident j. Believe in the reliability, truth, ability of someone.
      11. resolved k. Important, serious, or significant.
      12. avoid l. Make sure or demonstrate that something is true.
      13. verify m. An event or occurrence.
      14. trust n. Make; bring something into existence.

 

Before reading / listening

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if 1-8 below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. The article says people can spend decades creating borders.     T / F
  2. The farmer made Belgium 1,000 square kilometres bigger.     T / F
  3. The border stone the farmer moved was put there in 1918.     T / F
  4. The farmer moved the border so he could drive his tractor.     T / F
  5. The farmer moving the stone sparked a major diplomatic incident.     T / F
  6. A mayor in Belgium said the situation would take months to put right.     T / F
  7. The Belgian mayor knows who the farmer is.     T / F
  8. The French mayor trusts the Belgian mayor.     T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

  1. creating
  2. just
  3. moved
  4. mark
  5. reasons
  6. incident
  7. luckily
  8. following
  9. verify
  10. trust
  1. drama
  2. indicate
  3. after
  4. purposes
  5. believe in
  6. only
  7. confirm
  8. making
  9. fortunately
  10. relocated

3. PHRASE MATCH: (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

  1. Governments, army leaders
  2. It took him just
  3. He made Belgium about 1,000
  4. The stone the farmer
  5. drive his tractor
  6. Moving the border
  7. create a major diplomatic
  8. They avoided an international
  9. I still have to verify who
  10. I fully trust my Belgian
  1. between two countries
  2. square meters bigger
  3. counterpart
  4. incident
  5. relocated
  6. and diplomats
  7. the landowner is
  8. around his field
  9. crisis
  10. a few minutes

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
areas
long
drive
decades
square
army
mark
border

Governments, (1) _____________________ leaders and diplomats spend months, years or even (2) _____________________ creating borders between countries. A farmer in Belgium did not need so (3) _____________________. It took him just a few minutes to change the (4) _____________________ between Belgium and France. He made Belgium about 1,000 square meters bigger and France about 1,000 (5) _____________________ meters smaller. How? He moved a 150-kilogram boundary stone 2.29 metres inside France. A boundary stone shows where the border between two countries or (6) _____________________ lies. The stone the farmer relocated was laid down in 1819 to (7) _____________________ the French-Belgian border. The farmer did not move the stone for political reasons. He did it to make it easier to (8) _____________________ his tractor around his field.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
manner
right
avoid
easily
funny
war
defeat
fully

Moving the border between two countries could (9) _____________________ create a major diplomatic incident or even lead to (10) _____________________. Luckily, diplomats in Belgium and France saw the (11) _____________________ side of this. They avoided an international crisis in a friendly (12) _____________________. The mayor of the Belgian town said: "The stone was placed there in 1819 following the (13) _____________________ of Napoleon. The situation should be resolved tomorrow. We will find the person who moved the stone so we can (14) _____________________ any troubles. I still have to verify who the landowner is." The mayor added: "We know exactly where the stone was before. It was (15) _____________________ next to a tree." The mayor of the town across the border in France said: "I (16) _____________________ trust my Belgian counterpart, who did what was necessary."

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1) Governments, army leaders and diplomats spend months, years ______
     a.  or evens decades
     b.  or event decades
     c.  or ever decades
     d.  or even decades
2)  How? He moved a 150-kilogram ______
     a.  boundary stone
     b.  bound dairy stone
     c.  bound try stone
     d.  bound tree stone
3)  The farmer did not move the stone ______
     a.  four political reasons
     b.  for political reasons
     c.  afore political reasons
     d.  fore political reasons
4)  The stone the farmer relocated ______
     a.  was layered down
     b.  was late down
     c.  was lei down
     d.  was laid down
5)  He did it to make it easier to drive his tractor ______
     a.  around his fjord
     b.  around his field
     c.  around his feared
     d.  around his fired

6)  Moving the border between two countries could easily create a ______
     a.  majors diplomatic incident
     b.  majorly diplomatic incident
     c.  majored diplomatic incident
     d.  major diplomatic incident
7)  Luckily, diplomats in Belgium and France saw the funny ______
     a.  aside of this
     b.  side of this
     c.  slide of this
     d.  said of this
8)  The stone was placed there in 1819 following ______ Napoleon
     a.  the defeat of
     b.  the two feet of
     c.  the different of
     d.  the differed of
9)  We will find the person who moved the stone so we can ______
     a.  avoidance any troubles
     b.  avoid any troubled
     c.  avoid any troubles
     d.  avoid many troubled
10)  I fully trust my Belgian counterpart, who did ______
     a.  what was necessary
     b.  what was messy scary
     c.  what was messy
     d.  what was necessarily

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Governments, army leaders and diplomats spend months, years (1) ____________________ creating borders between countries. A farmer in Belgium did not need so long. It took him (2) ____________________ minutes to change the border between Belgium and France. He made Belgium about 1,000 (3) ____________________ and France about 1,000 square meters smaller. How? He moved a 150-kilogram boundary stone 2.29 metres inside France. A boundary (4) ____________________ the border between two countries or areas lies. The stone the farmer relocated was (5) ____________________ 1819 to mark the French-Belgian border. The farmer did not move the stone for political reasons. He did it to make it easier to (6) ____________________ around his field.

Moving the border between two countries (7) ____________________ a major diplomatic incident or even lead to war. Luckily, diplomats in Belgium and France saw the (8) ____________________ this. They avoided an international crisis in a friendly manner. The mayor of the Belgian town said: "The stone was placed there in 1819 following (9) ____________________ Napoleon. The situation should be resolved tomorrow. We will find the person who moved the stone so we can (10) ____________________. I still have to verify who the landowner is." The mayor added: "We know exactly where the stone was before. It was (11) ____________________ a tree." The mayor of the town across the border in France said: "I (12) ____________________ Belgian counterpart, who did what was necessary."

Comprehension questions

  1. Who does the article say makes borders besides army leaders?
  2. How long did a farmer take to change the Belgium-France border?
  3. How much bigger did the farmer make Belgium?
  4. When was the boundary stone initially placed on the border?
  5. What did the farmer want to drive around his field?
  6. What does the article say moving borders can lead to?
  7. What did French and Belgian diplomats see?
  8. What does the article say was avoided?
  9. Who was defeated before the boundary stone was put in place?
  10. Who does the French mayor trust?




Multiple choice quiz

1) Who does the article say makes borders besides army leaders?
a) local people
b) governments and diplomats
c) mapmakers
d) foreign ministers
2) How long did a farmer take to change the Belgium-France border?
a) several seconds
b) 28 minutes
c) hours
d) just a few minutes
3) How much bigger did the farmer make Belgium?
a) 2,000 square metres
b) 1,000 square kilometres
c) 1,000 square metres
d)  2,000 square kilometres
4) When was the boundary stone initially placed on the border?
a) 1819
b) 1918
c) 1181
d) 1191

5) What did the farmer want to drive around his field?
a) his car
b) his tractor
c) his combine harvester
d) his quad bike

6) What does the article say moving borders can lead to?
a) war
b) better relations
c) fairness
d) much discussion
7) What did French and Belgian diplomats see?
a) nothing
b) a field
c) the funny side
d) a stone
8) What does the article say was avoided?
a) an international crisis
b) days of talks
c) endless talks
d) a war
9) Who was defeated before the boundary stone was put in place?
a) two mayors
b) a mayor
c) a soccer team
d) Napoleon
10) Who does the French mayor trust?
a) the farmer
b) the French people
c) the Belgian mayor
d) the Belgian people

Role play

Role  A – Wall
You think a wall is the best kind of border. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their borders. Also, tell the others which is the least effective of these (and why): a militarized zone, a hedge or a mountain range.

Role  B – Militarized Zone
You think a militarized zone is the best kind of border. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their borders. Also, tell the others which is the least effective of these (and why): a wall, a hedge or a mountain range.

Role  C – Hedge
You think a hedge is the best kind of border. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their borders. Also, tell the others which is the least effective of these (and why): a militarized zone, a wall or a mountain range.

Role  D – Mountain Range
You think a mountain range is the best kind of border. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their borders. Also, tell the others which is the least effective of these (and why): a militarized zone, a hedge or a wall.

After reading / listening

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words...

'farmer'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'border'.

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • • Share your findings with your partners.

    • Make questions using the words you found.

    • Ask your partner / group your questions.

    2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

    •Share your questions with other classmates / groups. •Ask your partner / group your questions.

    3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

    4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

    5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

    • army
    • long
    • change
    • smaller
    • 2.29
    • mark
    • major
    • funny
    • manner
    • defeat
    • avoid
    • tree




    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 - Borders

    STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

    1. What did you think when you read the headline?
    2. What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'farmer'?
    3. What borders does your country have?
    4. Are borders a good idea?
    5. How did people draw borders in the past?
    6. What are the world's most problematic borders?
    7. What do you think of the farmer moving the border?
    8. How secure are your country's borders?
    9. What do you think of border walls?
    10. Would the world be better without borders?

    STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

    1. Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
    2. What do you think of when you hear the word 'border'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. Why do countries have borders?
    5. How do you feel when you cross a border into another country?
    6. What international crises are there now because of border disputes?
    7. What is the most problematic border dispute today?
    8. Would you like to change your country's borders?
    9. Would you like to be a border guard?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the farmer?

    Discussion — Write your own questions

    STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

    (a) ________________

    (b) ________________

    (c) ________________

    (d) ________________

    (e) ________________

    STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

    (f) ________________

    (g) ________________

    (h) ________________

    (i) ________________

    (j) ________________





    Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

    Governments, army (1) ____ and diplomats spend months, years or even (2) ____ creating borders between countries. A farmer in Belgium did not need so long. It took him just (3) ____ 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 (4) ____. How? He moved a 150-kilogram boundary stone 2.29 metres inside France. A boundary stone shows where the border between two countries or areas (5) ____. The stone the farmer relocated was laid down in 1819 to mark the French-Belgian border. The farmer did not move the stone for (6) ____ reasons. He did it to make it easier to drive his tractor around his field.

    Moving the border between two countries could (7) ____ create a major diplomatic incident or even lead to war. Luckily, diplomats in Belgium and France saw the funny (8) ____ of this. They avoided an international crisis in a friendly (9) ____. The mayor of the Belgian town said: "The stone was placed there in 1819 following the (10) ____ of Napoleon. The situation should be resolved tomorrow. We will find the person who moved the stone so we can avoid any troubles. I still have to (11) ____ who the landowner is." The mayor added: "We know exactly where the stone was before. It was right next to a tree." The mayor of the town across the border in France said: "I (12) ____ trust my Belgian counterpart, who did what was necessary."

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    (a)     leadership     (b)     leaders     (c)     leader     (d)     ladders    
    (a)     arcades     (b)     decades     (c)     escapes     (d)     spades    
    (a)     some     (b)     the     (c)     only     (d)     a    
    (a)     smallest     (b)     smaller     (c)     smalls     (d)     small    
    (a)     liars     (b)     lice     (c)     lines     (d)     lies    
    (a)     politically     (b)     politics     (c)     political     (d)     politician    
    (a)     easily     (b)     do     (c)     crazy     (d)     danger    
    (a)     top     (b)     bottom     (c)     side     (d)     inside    
    (a)     behave     (b)     etiquette     (c)     polite     (d)     manner    
    (a)     defeat     (b)     beat     (c)     winner     (d)     victorious    
    (a)     verify     (b)     Spotify     (c)     nifty     (d)     terrify    
    (a)     fully     (b)     full     (c)     fullest     (d)     full up

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. army leaders and atmlsdiop
    2. months, years or even eescadd
    3. He moved a 150-kilogram rbayodnu stone
    4. The stone the farmer teocerald
    5. move the stone for iocapltil reasons
    6. drive his tcoatrr around his field

    Paragraph 2

    1. They idodeva an international crisis
    2. in a friendly rneamn
    3. following the eedfat of Napoleon
    4. I still have to reyifv who the landowner is
    5. The yamor of the town across the border
    6. did what was cearenyss

    Put the text back together

    (...)  troubles. I still have to verify who the landowner is." The mayor added: "We know exactly where the stone was
    (...)  border between Belgium and France. He made Belgium about 1,000 square meters
    (...)  laid down in 1819 to mark the French-Belgian border. The farmer did not move the stone for political
    1  ) Governments, army leaders and diplomats spend months, years or even decades creating borders between
    (...)  bigger and France about 1,000 square meters smaller. How? He moved a 150-kilogram boundary stone 2.29 metres inside France. A boundary
    (...)  countries. A farmer in Belgium did not need so long. It took him just a few minutes to change the
    (...)  Moving the border between two countries could easily create a major diplomatic incident or even lead
    (...)  manner. The mayor of the Belgian town said: "The stone was placed there in 1819 following the defeat
    (...)  reasons. He did it to make it easier to drive his tractor around his field.
    (...)  of Napoleon. The situation should be resolved tomorrow. We will find the person who moved the stone so we can avoid any
    (...)  in France said: "I fully trust my Belgian counterpart, who did what was necessary."
    (...)  stone shows where the border between two countries or areas lies. The stone the farmer relocated was
    (...)  to war. Luckily, diplomats in Belgium and France saw the funny side of this. They avoided an international crisis in a friendly
    (...)  before. It was right next to a tree." The mayor of the town across the border

    Put the words in the right order

    1. years   spend   borders   .   or   even   creating   Diplomats   decades
    2. farmer   A   need   Belgium   so   didn't   in   long   .
    3. took   a   change   .   It   him   few   minutes   to
    4. for   didn't   the   move   He   political   reasons   .   stone
    5. to   his   made   tractor   .   easier   drive   He   it
    6. in   a   a   friendly   They   manner   .   crisis   avoided
    7. person   the   who   the   moved   We'll   find   stone   .
    8. the   verify   who   is   .   I   have   to   landowner
    9. stone   know   before   .   the   where   We   was   exactly
    10. across   border   .   of   the   town   the   The   mayor

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Governments, army leader / leaders and diplomats spend months, years or even decades creating borders between countries. A farmer on / in Belgium did not need so long. It took him just a / the few minutes to change the border between Belgium and France. He did / made Belgium about 1,000 square meters bigger and France about 1,000 square meters small / smaller. How? He moved / amassed a 150-kilogram boundary stone 2.29 metres inside / inner France. A boundary stone shows where the border between two countries or areas liars / lies. The stone the farmer relocated was laid down in 1819 to / for mark the French-Belgian border. The farmer did not move the stone for political reasons. He did it to make it easier to drive his tractor around his kingdom / field.

    Moving the border between two countries could easily unzip / create a major diplomatic incident or even steel / lead to war. Luckily, diplomats in Belgium and France saw the ha-ha / funny side of this. They avoided an international crisis in a friendly polite / manner. The mayor of / off the Belgian town said: "The stone was placed there in 1819 following the defeat / beat of Napoleon. The situation should be / being resolved tomorrow. We will find the person who moved the stone so we can avoid any troubles. I still have to verify who the landowner be / is." The mayor added: "We know exactly where the stone was before. It was right / left next to a tree." The mayor of the town across the border in France said: "I full / fully trust my Belgian counterpart, who did what was necessary."

    Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

    Insert the vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

    G_v_rnm_nts,  _rmy  l__d_rs  _nd  d_pl_m_ts  sp_nd  m_nths,  y__rs  _r  _v_n  d_c_d_s  cr__t_ng  b_rd_rs  b_tw__n  c__ntr__s.  _  f_rm_r  _n  B_lg__m  d_d  n_t  n__d  s_  l_ng.  _t  t__k  h_m  j_st  _  f_w  m_n_t_s  t_  ch_ng_  th_  b_rd_r  b_tw__n  B_lg__m  _nd  Fr_nc_.  H_  m_d_  B_lg__m  _b__t  1,000  sq__r_  m_t_rs  b_gg_r  _nd  Fr_nc_  _b__t  1,000  sq__r_  m_t_rs  sm_ll_r.  H_w?  H_  m_v_d  _  150-k_l_gr_m  b__nd_ry  st_n_  2.29  m_tr_s  _ns_d_  Fr_nc_.  _  b__nd_ry  st_n_  sh_ws  wh_r_  th_  b_rd_r  b_tw__n  tw_  c__ntr__s  _r  _r__s  l__s.  Th_  st_n_  th_  f_rm_r  r_l_c_t_d  w_s  l__d  d_wn  _n  1819  t_  m_rk  th_  Fr_nch-B_lg__n  b_rd_r.  Th_  f_rm_r  d_d  n_t  m_v_  th_  st_n_  f_r  p_l_t_c_l  r__s_ns.  H_  d_d  _t  t_  m_k_  _t  __s__r  t_  dr_v_  h_s  tr_ct_r  _r__nd  h_s  f__ld. 

    M_v_ng  th_  b_rd_r  b_tw__n  tw_  c__ntr__s  c__ld  __s_ly  cr__t_  _  m_j_r  d_pl_m_t_c  _nc_d_nt  _r  _v_n  l__d  t_  w_r.  L_ck_ly,  d_pl_m_ts  _n  B_lg__m  _nd  Fr_nc_  s_w  th_  f_nny  s_d_  _f  th_s.  Th_y  _v__d_d  _n  _nt_rn_t__n_l  cr_s_s  _n  _  fr__ndly  m_nn_r.  Th_  m_y_r  _f  th_  B_lg__n  t_wn  s__d:  "Th_  st_n_  w_s  pl_c_d  th_r_  _n  1819  f_ll_w_ng  th_  d_f__t  _f  N_p_l__n.  Th_  s_t__t__n  sh__ld  b_  r_s_lv_d  t_m_rr_w.  W_  w_ll  f_nd  th_  p_rs_n  wh_  m_v_d  th_  st_n_  s_  w_  c_n  _v__d  _ny  tr__bl_s.  _  st_ll  h_v_  t_  v_r_fy  wh_  th_  l_nd_wn_r  _s."  Th_  m_y_r  _dd_d:  "W_  kn_w  _x_ctly  wh_r_  th_  st_n_  w_s  b_f_r_.  _t  w_s  r_ght  n_xt  t_  _  tr__."  Th_  m_y_r  _f  th_  t_wn  _cr_ss  th_  b_rd_r  _n  Fr_nc_  s__d:  "_  f_lly  tr_st  my  B_lg__n  c__nt_rp_rt,  wh_  d_d  wh_t  w_s  n_c_ss_ry."

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    governments army leaders and diplomats spend months years or even decades creating borders between countries a farmer in belgium did not need so long it took him just a few minutes to change the border between belgium and france he made belgium about 1000 square meters bigger and france about 1000 square meters smaller how he moved a 150kilogram boundary stone 229 metres inside france a boundary stone shows where the border between two countries or areas lies the stone the farmer relocated was laid down in 1819 to mark the frenchbelgian border the farmer did not move the stone for political reasons he did it to make it easier to drive his tractor around his field

    moving the border between two countries could easily create a major diplomatic incident or even lead to war luckily diplomats in belgium and france saw the funny side of this they avoided an international crisis in a friendly manner the mayor of the belgian town said the stone was placed there in 1819 following the defeat of napoleon the situation should be resolved tomorrow we will find the person who moved the stone so we can avoid any troubles i still have to verify who the landowner is the mayor added we know exactly where the stone was before it was right next to a tree the mayor of the town across the border in france said i fully trust my belgian counterpart who did what was necessary

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Governments,armyleadersanddiplomatsspendmonths,yearsoreven
    decadescreatingbordersbetweencountries.AfarmerinBelgiumdidnot
    needsolong.Ittookhimjustafewminutestochangetheborderbetween
    BelgiumandFrance.HemadeBelgiumabout1,000squaremetersbigge
    randFranceabout1,000squaremeterssmaller.How?Hemoveda150-
    kilogramboundarystone2.29metresinsideFrance.Aboundarystones
    howswheretheborderbetweentwocountriesorareaslies.Thestonethe
    farmerrelocatedwaslaiddownin1819tomarktheFrench-Belgianbor
    der.Thefarmerdidnotmovethestoneforpoliticalreasons.Hedidittoma
    keiteasiertodrivehistractoraroundhisfield.Movingtheborderbetween
    twocountriescouldeasilycreateamajordiplomaticincidentorevenlead
    towar.Luckily,diplomatsinBelgiumandFrancesawthefunnysideofthis
    .Theyavoidedaninternationalcrisisinafriendlymanner.Themayorofth
    eBelgiantownsaid:"Thestonewasplacedtherein1819followingthedef
    eatofNapoleon.Thesituationshouldberesolvedtomorrow.Wewillfindt
    hepersonwhomovedthestonesowecanavoidanytroubles.Istillhaveto
    verifywhothelandowneris."Themayoradded:"Weknowexactlywhere
    thestonewasbefore.Itwasrightnexttoatree."Themayorofthetownacr
    osstheborderinFrancesaid:"IfullytrustmyBelgiancounterpart,whodi
    dwhatwasnecessary."

    Free writing

    Write about borders for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    The world would be a better place without borders. Discuss.

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    Homework

    1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google's search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.
    2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about this news story. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
    3. BORDERS: Make a poster about borders. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. NO BORDERS: Write a magazine article about erasing all borders between countries. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against this.
    Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).
    5. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.
    6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on borders. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three of your opinions on them. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

    Answers

    (Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

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