Dec 28, 2014

News quiz 2014

Traditional lexically-enriched end-of-year news quiz for the first lesson of the new year
By Anthony Quintano via Flickr [CC BY 2.0]

In keeping with the tradition started when this blog was born (4 years ago today), here is my end-of-year news quiz.  As usual, it's available in two levels (advanced and intermediate) and comes complete with a 9-page teachers guide with ideas on how the quiz can be used in class. A word of reminder: the quiz is not meant to test your students' general knowledge but to expand their vocabulary.

Over the years I've begun to feel that every year my quiz contains the same language such as cause controversy, got into hot water, battle with drug addiction, came to an abrupt end to describe politicians' faux pas and celebrity deaths that occur with unwavering regularity every year. So this year, a slew of new lexical chunks make their debut in the quiz: quirky sense of humour, eligible bachelor and ruffle feathers to name but a fewSee for yourself.

Activities for reviewing lexis will be published, as usual, in about a week.
Update: click HERE for language review activities


Scroll down for downloads: 
quiz in 2 levels and detailed teachers' notes
  1. Citizens of which European country went to the polls in September 2014 for a referendum on independence and voted against separation? 
  2. Despite violent riots on the streets, the World Cup went ahead as planned last summer in Brazil. The host nation, however, lost 7-1 in the semi-final. Which country inflicted a humiliating defeat on Brazil? 
  3. With the death toll exceeding 4,500, the Ebola virus continued to spread through West Africa. In what country did the outbreak of the deadly virus start? 
  4. It was a turbulent year for the airline industry. Which airline suffered two major incidents within a matter of months, both involving the state-of-the art Boeing 777? 
  5. Legendary Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher was left in a coma after a serious head injury in February 2014. What was he doing when he sustained the injury? 
  6. One of the most viral videos of the year, which clocked up more than four million Youtube views, featured a cat and a toddler. What did the cat do to capture the attention of the worldwide audience? 
  7. After a lengthy trial Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to five years in jail in October 2014. What crime was he convicted of? 
  8. Europe and the US imposed economic sanctions on Russia after it seized control of a Ukrainian peninsula with a predominantly Russian-speaking population. What’s the name of the peninsula? 
  9. After 10 years in space, the space probe Rosetta accomplished its mission in November 2014 when it reached its destination. What celestial body did it touch down on? 
  10. Brutal beheadings and summary executions carried out by the militant group ISIS sparked worldwide outrage in 2014. What does ISIS stand for? 
  11.  Hollywood celebrities, fans and President Obama himself paid tribute to the actor Robin Williams, who took his own life in August 2014. Famous for a quirky sense of humour in his comic roles, Williams’s serious performances also earned him wide acclaim and an Oscar. For which film was he awarded the Oscar? 
  12.  More than 40 people were taken hostage in December 2014 at a Sydney café. Which famous chocolate brand does the café belong to? 
  13. Russia spared no expense on the Winter Olympics, which will go down in history as the costliest Olympic Games ever. Which country won most gold medals at the Winter Olympics? 
  14. Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor finally tied the knot in an intimate wedding in Venice in 2014 and said that marriage “feels pretty damn great”. What’s his name? 
  15.  Throughout the summer of 2014, millions of people uploaded to Youtube videos of themselves dumping ice water on their heads in the name of charity. What charitable cause did the online campaign aim to raise money for? 
  16.  Novak Djokovic won the Wimbledon 2014 Men’s Final for a second time since 2011. Just like him, the winner of the 2014 Women’s Final first tasted victory at Wimbledon in 2011. What’s her name? 
  17. Cross-dresser Conchita Wurst raised eyebrows and ruffled feathers in some European countries when (s)he won the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 while sporting a full beard. What country did the bearded lady represent?
Happy New Year!

Advanced level: click HERE to download Word doc or preview below:

Intermediate level: click HERE to download Word doc or preview below:

Click HERE to download the Teachers Notes or preview below:


  1. Thank you very much Leo for your wonderful tradition!!!

  2. Absolutely brill!! Thank you Leo.
    I'm gonna do this with my yud bet tomorrow.
    Sara Vatik

    1. Hi Sara,
      Glad you liked it. Let me know how it went.

  3. Hi Leo
    There's a problem with downloading the quiz. Could you, please, check it ?
    Thanks, Anat

    1. Hi again Anat
      Hmm everything seems to be ok my end. I've checked and all the links are active and working... What exactly are you having a problem with?

    2. I click to download and I get a white page saying "this page cannot be found". BTW part of this page appears on the main screen, as well, under the "click" message.

    3. Hi again Leo,
      I mailed your message to my other mailbox and it worked!!!
      Thanks for caring and have a great civilian year!

  4. Thank you Leo, I like this for my students and myself too!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...