Dec 28, 2010

A tried-and-tested idea for the first lesson(s) of the New Year

Hello and welcome to my blog!

As some of you may know, I've been doing an end-of-year news round-up for quite a few years now. However this year it has got an upgrade. I am releasing it into the blogosphere, hoping to reach many more EFL teachers.

This activity, suitable for adult or secondary school learners, is a quiz based on the hottest news stories of 2010. Click on the links below for worksheets, teachers tips on how to use the quiz and additional resources. Don't be put off by the fact that some questions may seem difficult. The idea is not to test your students' general knowledge. Therefore it should be done as a collaborative task or as a webquest (see T notes)

Please let me know if you have used it with your students and how it went. I look forward to hearing your comments. Happy New Year 2011!


POST VOCAB (UPPER INT) - this can be used for review the following week


News quiz 2010
  1. A major earthquake hit Haiti in January 2010 causing massive loss of life and devastation on the island. What other Caribbean nation does Haiti share the island with?
  2. The eagerly-anticipated ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ became the last film based on the best-selling Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. How many books about Harry Potter has she written?
  3. The Khalifa Tower, tallest man-made structure ever built was inaugurated in January 2010. Where is the 828-metre skyscraper situated?
  4. Where is Eyjafjallajökull and why did it make headlines last year?
  5. In November 2010, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was released from a lengthy house arrest in Myanmar. What name did this Asian country have before the military junta changed it in 1989?
  6. One of the popular sporting events in the world, the World Cup, kicked off on 11 June 2010 in South Africa. Which country lost in the tournament's final game, which was won by Spain?
  7. The future of the Euro was brought into question as several European countries stood on the brink of bankruptcy in 2010. When did Europe adopt the common currency?
  8. Thirty three Chilean miners got trapped in a mine, 700 metres below ground. How long did they spend underground before they were rescued in October 2010?
  9. What country lost its president and several high-ranking officials when their plane came down in western Russia last spring?
  10. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico got worldwide media coverage last summer. What company was responsible for the disaster which caused extensive environmental damage?
  11. The 2010 Winter Olympics were held in Vancouver, Canada. How many times has Canada hosted the Winter Olympics?
  12. What car manufacturer had to withdraw more than 3 million vehicles from the market in 2010 due to faulty accelerator pedals?
  13. Great Britain’s Conservative Party returned to Number 10 Downing Street after they won the election by a narrow margin. Who became Britain’s new Prime Minister?
  14. Luckily the H1N1 virus did not turn out to be as deadly as many experts had feared and in August 2010 the World Health Organisation announced the end of the H1N1 pandemic. What other name was this virus commonly known by?
  15. One of the Hamas leaders was found dead in a hotel room in Dubai in early 2010. The Israeli agents, involved in the plot, allegedly used forged passports from two European countries. What countries were the passports from?
  16. What independent media website sparked a lot of controversy last year after it published secret government documents and other sensitive material?
  17. Fans around the world gathered in December 2010 to mark the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s death. Where was the former Beatle killed?
  18. What is the name of the 2010 hit movie which tells the story of Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg?
  19. A sports match, which lasted more than 11 hours last summer, will go down in history as the longest match ever. What sport was it?


  1. Great teaching activity Leo. I used the activity last year with some of my students and they really liked it.

  2. Great activity Leo, and some nice questions in there too. I too enjoy the end of year quiz with students. I'll be sure to pass this on!


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