Google Maps is playing an unexpected role in modern-day disputes over borders, or so called border wars. In 2010 Nicaragua claimed the Costa Rican island of Isla Calero and defended its actions by pointing out that Google Maps showed the island as Nicaraguan. A year later, the Netherlands complained that Google Maps gave land claimed by the Netherlands around the Ems River to Germany. Google says its Maps tool is only for “entertainment purposes”, and should not be used to make “territorial, political, or military decisions.” This public radio story explores how satellite mapping has changed border disputes.
Story Length: 1:39
Carniege Council, distributed by PRX
Time zones have reflected a changing world of politics, commerce and technology. This public radio story explores the history of time zones and the transition from local time to a global, coordinated standard time, which wasn’t always an easy transition.
The United States is a nation of immigrants. European immigrants in the late 1800s populated our nation and were granted citizenship upon entry. The immigration system has changed dramatically since and America’s borders are no longer open to all. Hostility towards immigrants has led to a crackdown on illegal immigration in various states. Arizona’s “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhood Acts” commonly known as SB 1070 was passed in 2010 and became the strictest anti-immigration measure in recent history. Listen to learn how this law has impacted Arizona and its immigrants.
The roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict trace back centuries. Israelis and Palestinians have cultural, religious, and social differences, but have shared space for a long time. In 1948, Israel became an independent state, creating a refugee population of Palestinians as Israel expanded its borders. Certain areas in Israel, including the West Bank and Gaza, are occupied by Palestinians, while some areas like Jerusalem have both Israelis and Palestinians living among each other. The result has been segregation between the groups within Israel and a lack of empathy for others. This public radio story explores opinions among Israelis and Palestinians and its roots in segregation in the West Bank and Gaza.
There are two types of gorillas living in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; mountain gorillas and warfare guerillas! The park is home to two hundred mountain gorillas as well as the rebel group M23, which occupies the park. While the rebels continue to make money off the park by selling “gorilla treks” to tourists, Virunga is officially closed due to the crossfire between M23 and Congolese troops. Listen to learn more about Virungas gorillas and the danger they face.
The rivalry between India and Pakistan dates back to the partition of the former British colony in 1947. Lines were drawn along religious lines - Pakistan a region for Muslims and India for Hindus. More than 60 years later the relationship remains tense. Listen to hear a story about partition from the perspective of India and learn about recent events in India that have intensified the rivalry. This piece, told from the viewpoint of India, is a companion piece to the audio story at the heart of the lesson Trouble between India and Pakistan Dates Back to Partition which focuses on partition and the Pakistani perspective.
These levels of listening complexity can help teachers choose stories for their students. The levels do not relate to the content of the story, but to the complexity of the vocabulary, sentence structure and language in the audio story.
These stories are easier to understand and are a good starting point for elementary students or English learners.
These stories have an average language challenge for middle and high school students, and can be scaffolded for English learners.
These stories have challenging vocabulary and language and students may need to have some background knowledge to understand the story.