Dec 29, 2019

News Quiz 2019

Traditional end-of-year news quiz for the first lesson of the new year
Photo by Katherine Cheng
[CC BY-ND 2.0] via Flickr 

Just as I finished working on this, a thought crossed my mind: perhaps it should have been an end-of-decade news quiz this time? Ah well... Anyhow, in keeping with the tradition, here's an end-of-year quiz based on the hottest news stories of the past year.

It's a usual mix of politics, sports and entertainment - but no mention of Brexit whatsoever!

And as usual, it's packed with lots of lexical chunks and other vocabulary items for your students to explore.

The quiz is available in two levels:

- Intermediate (B1+/B2-) including a multiple choice version
- Advanced (B2/C1 or higher)

Both versions can be downloaded in Word format if you wish to adapt them.

Some questions are adapted from News Quiz: 2019 in review in The New York Times

The Intermediate level quiz has been checked using English Vocabulary Profile (EVP) and VocabProfiler on LexTutor. The majority of the words in the quiz (93%) are K1 and K2 words, i.e. in the top 2000 most frequent words in English. There are only 29 words (tokens) that fall outside the K1-K2 frequency bands, for example: bankrupt (K4 according to VocabProfiler / C1 according to EVP), prestigious (K4 / C1), clash (K4 / C2), dispute (K3 / C2). The usual disclaimer applies: neither of the above tools takes into account lexical chunks, such as a force to be reckoned with (Advanced) and opened fire (Intermediate), set foot (both versions), whose meaning is opaque.

Scroll down to see the accompanying 10-page teachers' guide full of ideas on how to use the quiz in class and exploit the language.

As usual, in a few days I will be posting follow-up activities for language review.

UPDATE (5 January 2020): click HERE for follow up activities

Happy New Year!

Advanced level with answers

or download as Word doc  

Intermediate level with answers (+ Multiple choice version)

Teachers' notes


  1. Looks awesome! Can be used as a research project as well.

    1. Thank you for the comment. One of the suggested activities is, in fact, a webquest (mini-research)

  2. thanks Leo, I will use it in my lessons.

  3. Thank you so much. It's really great

  4. Always love your end of year quiz, Leo - which I often turn into a kahoot. I would add as a bonus question - Which country won the cricket world cup in 2019? Partly because I am a cricket fan, and, above all, because England won it!! Thanks again!

    1. Thank you, Jacquie. Comments like this is what makes me keep up the tradition!
      I admit that the questions invariably reveal my interests: tennis, space exploration and Eurovision - that's why these are recurring themes :)
      Do share you Kahoot version!
      Have a great year!

  5. Dear Leo, Thanx for your fantabulous trivia 2019 quiz which I converted to a Jeopardy game and which the kids simply loved. I am attaching the link here:
    Wishing you a wonderful 2020 Marlene :-)

  6. These materials have really inspired my lesson planning at the beginning of a new year and helped me get my spring semester classes off to a great start. I really appreciate your dedication and generosity in compiling and sharing these terrific materials with teachers like me. Wishing you the best.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Sylvia.


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