Learn To Listen - The New Year


                                                                                                                                          Written by Debbie Mertiris

                                                                                                                                             Transcript here / Video here




Pre-Listening Activites


I. Lead-In  


1. Describe the pictures and then say what they all have in common.

2. Do you believe traditions are important for a country? Why? Why not?



II. Useful Vocabulary

     Instructions: Match the following words/phrases etc, with their synonyms/meanings. Use the Glossary as well.



1. opportunity (n)                                                                                a. favourable; promising

2. massive (adj)                                                                                  b. Asian plant that produces starchy seeds what are milled into flour

3. sink (v)                                                                                            c. irreligious; faithless; worhsippers of idols

4. do away with (phrasal verb)                                                            d. of the moon

5. pagan (n)                                                                                         e. revise; update; restructure

6. overhaul (v)                                                                                      f. time / set of circumstances making it possible to do sth

7. restore (v)                                                                                        g. huge; enormous; gigantic 

8. lunar (adj)                                                                                        h. connect; integrate 

9. auspicious (adj)                                                                                i. bring back; re-establish

10.buckwheat (n)                                                                                  j. put an end to; abolish




Listening ( 00.00 - 2.24 )



While Listening Activities


IV. Listening For Main Ideas  ( 00.00 - 00.15 secs )

      Instructions: Listen to part of the task and choose the correct answer. What is the video about? 



1. January 1st and New Year Resolutions.

2. How New Year's is celebrated around the world.

3. The fact that New Year's wasn't always celebrated on January 1st.



V. Listening For Details ( 00.16 - 00.58 secs )

   Instructions:Read over the following questions. Then, listen/watch the video/audio track once. If you need to,please listen a second time to find the answers.


1. What was the name of the Babylonian religious festival?

2. When was a new calendar introduced, and who introduced it? 

3. What did the Christian Church abolish in the Middle Ages? Why? 

4. When did Pope Gregory XIII change the calendar sytem? 

5. What system do we use today? 



VI. Gapfill  ( 00.59 - 1.21 mins )

     Instructions: Fill in the blanks as you listen. If needed, you can listen a second time. Watch your spelling.


  1. Even today, some countries and cultures follow a ......., not solar calendar and hold their New Year celebrations at .......... times of the year.

  2. Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, and the first day of Muharam the start of the Islamic calendar year, are both .......... in the fall.

  3. And the Chinese New Year, which lasts for a ......... month, begins in ....... January or early February. 




VII. Multiple Choice Questions (1.22 - 1.47 mins. )

       Instructions: Listen and choose the correct answer from the four possible choices. Be prepared to support your choice.


1. What is a Spanish New Year tradition?

   a. Eat 12 grapes at once at midnight. 

   b. Eat 12 grapes on New Year's Day.

   c. Eat 12 grapes in the seconds before midnight.

   d. Eat 12 grapes before their New Year lunch.


2. What is a Greek New Year tradition?

   a. Eat a whole cake before midnight.

   b. Eat a cake in the shape of a ring at midnight.

   c. Eat some ring-shaped cake with a gold or silver coin in it.

   d. Give gold and silver coins as gifts while eting cake.


3. In China, what does a dumpling represent?

   a. It represents hope for the New Year.

   b. It represents a favourable New Year.

   c. It represents a New Year full of doing favours.

   d. It represents a sweet New Year.


4. In Japan why do they eat long buckwheat noodles?

   a. They represent the length of the New Year.

   b. They symbolise a long life.

   c. They symbolise the length of the day.

   d. They represent the length of the New Year's dinner.



VII. True or False ( 1.48 - 2.19 mins. )

       Instructions: Listen and choose the correct answer to the following sentences.

1. One of the most famous New Year's traditions is the dropping of the ball in Red Square. True / False 

2. At midnight, hundreds of people watch the mesmerising sight of the ball dropping. True / False

3. Resolutions and new beginnings are a part of New Year traditions. True / False



Post - Listening Activities 


VIII. Final Discussion 

      Instructions: Answer the following questions based on the listening task. Discuss your views with your teacher.


1. What surprised you most in the video? What did you already know?

2. What are some of the New Year Resolutions you have made and have never stuck to? 

3. How will you celebrate the New Year? 

4. D you know the New Year's Eve Song ' Auld Lang Syne'? I'm sure you've heard it in a lot of films. Read the lyrics and listen here .  



IX. Homework

         Instructions: Choose one of the two tasks below,and present it to your teacher next lesson. 


Task 1: Write about a New Year tradition from your country. Why do you like it? 

Task 2: Find some information about New Year traditions from other countries. Why did you choose them? 




1. pack (v) - cram many things / people into 

2. mersmerise (v) - capture the complete attention of; transfix; dazzle

3. kaleidoscope (n) - a constantly changing pattern / Image result for kaleidoscope  Image result for kaleidoscope

4. vivid (adj) - intensely deep / bright

5. resolution (n) - a frim decision to do / not do sth eg New Year's Resolutions

6. fresh start (n) - the beginning of a new period 




X. Possible Lessons For Next Class


1. Title: Pure Conversation Topics _ Christmas 

    Skill area: Conversation

     Click here for the lesson.


2. Title: How To Be a Santa

    Skill area: Conjunctions

    Click here for the lesson.


Photo Credits 

1. here

2. here

3. here

4. here




Grammar Point: