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I Heart English - The Year-End Issue

I Heart English


Posted: 11 Dec 2014 05:35 AM PST
Discussion & Reading Activity
Vocabulary & Listening Activity
  
Auld Lang Syne
Listening Activity, Song & Video
  
Idioms & common expressions with the word “END” 
   
The End of the Year Crossword 
Vocabulary & Game Activity
Posted: 11 Dec 2014 05:33 AM PST

Discussion & Reading Activity

Discussion

  • What traditional ways of welcoming the New Year do you have?
  • Are there any special meals or activities for New Year's eve?
  • Was this year good for you? In what way or why not?
  • Can you think of a few things you will remember from this year?
  • What are you looking forward to the next year?
  • Have you ever made any New Year's resolutions?

Pre-reading questions: Choose the option that you think is true and then read the text to find out if you were right.

1. What "drops" at midnight in Times Square?
    a. a ball
    b. a clock
   
2.Where in The USA is the biggest New Year's Eve party?
    a. New York
    b. Los Angeles
   
3.Where do temple bells ring 108 times?
    a. China
    b. Japan
   
4.Countries around the world celebrate New Year's Eve
    a. In the same way
    b. In different ways

5.Where is there a famous celebration with fireworks on the beach?
    a. In Cuba
    b. In Brazil

6. Where is the celebration called Réveillon?
    a. In France
    b. In Australia

7.What are New Year’s resolutions?
    a.Reflections on the year that is ending.
    b.Goals to carry out in the following twelve months

8.What food is associated with money and eaten in many countries on this day to bring good luck?
    a.Beans
    b.Cherries



Reading


New Year's Eve, also called Old Year's Night, is celebrated on December 31st, the final day of the year. It is celebrated all over the world with parties and social gathering with usually a lot of fireworks and noise.

In the United States of America, New York is the place where this celebration is associated with. People gather in the Times Square just before midnight in the last minute of the countdown to see the "ball dropping".

The celebration is also associated with parties in other parts of the world. In France, for instance, the celebration is called le Réveillon. People also to the Eiffel Tower in Paris to see fireworks display. In Japan, people traditionally clean their home. Buddhist temple bells are rung 108 times at midnight. In Brazil, the beach of Copacabana is considered by many to be the place of the most beautiful fireworks show in the world.

Certain foods are eaten on this day in different parts of the world. However a common practice is to eat beans to bring good luck and good fortune for the upcoming year. They are considered lucky, because of the similar shape with coins.

December is also the month when we look back at the year that was and reflect. On New Year's Eve, some people commit themselves with resolutions or goals to carry out in the following twelve months. Such as eat more healthily, do more exercise, or learn something new.

How are you wrapping up this 2014?


 
Source: some information taken from Wikipedia
Posted: 11 Dec 2014 05:31 AM PST

Listening Activity, Song & Video

Voice Of America  5.34 min

 Listen to the first part of the audio clip and find the 5 mistakes in the text below.   







This New Year’s Eve millions of people in English speaking countries will sing and hear a song called “Auld Lang Syne.”  It is the traditional music played during New Year’s day.  Auld Lang Syne is an old Scottish poem.  It tells about the need to remember family and loved ones.  The words “auld lang syne” mean “old long since”  and more roughly it means "yesterday".
Auld Lang Syne is a Scottish poem, composed by Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns in 1878.



Here is the complete English version of the lyrics, although usually people only sing the first two stanzas :

Listen to the second part of the audio clip and follow the first part of the lyrics.

Or Watch a video clip of Rod Stewart’s version of Auld Lang Syne, live at Stirling Castle, Scotland.





 Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
in the days of old lang syne ?

CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take/ drink a cup of kindness yet,
for (the sake of ) auld lang syne.

And surely you'll buy your cup !
and surely I'll buy mine !
And we'll take/ drink a cup o' kindness yet,

for auld lang syne.

We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine ;
But we've wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.

We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine† ;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.

And there's a hand my trusty friend !
And give us a hand o' thine !
And we'll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.





Posted: 11 Dec 2014 05:24 AM PST

Vocabulary & Listening Activity

NPR 4.22 min
The New Year's celebration in Times Square in New York is well known around the globe. What do the preparations involve? What are the details of this emblematic event?

A.Pre-watching: Match the terms and pictures. Which do you expect to find at the event in Times Square?  Listen to the audio report from National Public Radio and find out which ones are mentioned.

Fireworks - Confetti   -  LED  - Party hat  - Cheerleaders  - Baloons  Sparkling wine  - Porta-Potties   - Party props  - Snacks







B.QUIZ : Listen again and answer the questions below.

1.How long does it take to plan The New Year's celebration in Times Square in New York?

2.Who watches the event on TV?

3.How many people show up each year for the New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square?

4.How many LED lights does the ball have?

5.What does the confetti test involve? Why?

6.What other tradition involves confetti?

7.What is popular with tourists?

8.When did this ball dropping tradition originate and why?

9.What will create a sea of blue at the event?

10.Why did the organizers think of having thousands of red Chinese scarves?

11.What there isn’t in Times Square on New Year's Eve?

12.How has the celebration changed over the years in terms of safety?

Posted: 11 Dec 2014 05:23 AM PST


Idioms & common expressions 

Read the idioms and explanation in the chart and then try the exercise that follows.



To be a dead end/ be at a dead end: To be in a situation in which no progress can be made.
 
A means to an end: Something that one is not interested in but do because it will help get something else

To be at the end of the/one’s rope: To be at the limits of one's capacity, tolerance or endurance.

To burn the candle at both ends:  Work or study very hard during the day and stay up very late at night.
 
Can't see beyond the end of nose:  To think about oneself and what affects ones situation so much that one does not see what is important.

End of Story: A phrase meaning that you will say no more.

To get the short end of the stick: To suffer the bad effects of a situation

To end in tears: A phrase meaning that something will end badly.

Light at the end of the tunnel: Something that makes you think that a difficult or unpleasant situation will end

Loose ends/ Tie loose ends: The final details for something to be complete

To make ends meet: To earn and spend equal amounts of money. To have little  money after one pays basic expenses.

Never hear the end of it: A phrase you can say meaning that another person will continue talking about something, which is annoying.

Not the end of the world: Not the worst thing that could happen.

Odds and ends: Miscellaneous things.

The end justifies the means: Phrase meaning that you can use bad or immoral methods as long as you get something good by using them.



Exercise: Fill in the blank spaces with a suitable idiom.

  1. We had lots of ..................................... we didn’t want to keep so we orgnized a garage sale.
  1. The party decorations are nearly done. I'm just tying up one or two ................................... at the moment.
  1. I'm ............................................ today my boss is driving me out of my mind.
  1. Sarah lost her job after the company downsized. She got ................................................. this time. 
  1. There is no solution for our store. Unfortunately we  are ...................................
  1. This movie star is so busy thinking about himself that he can't  ................................................. 
  1. Sean is so self-centered that if he wins, you know we'll ...................................................
  1. For me at this moment working as a waitress is only .........................................  while I finish my studies. 
  1. The candidate believed that ................................................ In order to get elected, he used all kinds of lies and tricks.
  1. We're almost finished cleaning the apartment, finally we can see ............................................... 
  1. Getting married after only two months of meeting can only .................................................
  1. I didn’t say anything about my trip because I didn’t want people to know. .................................................! 
  1. I need to get another job soon to .......................................
  1. If I don't get the job, it won't be ........................................ 
  1. You’ll get ill if you keep on burning ............................................. You need to rest too.
Posted: 11 Dec 2014 05:21 AM PST

Vocabulary & Game Activity

Use the clues below to complete the crossword puzzle.

  
Across
4. Two words at the end of every movie. 
5. According to an old saying "It's not over until the fat .... sings".
8. According to William Shakespeare in Troilus and Cressida "The end crowns all;And that old common arbitrator, ...., Will one Day end it. 
9. Whoever laughs last, laughs ....
13. Last month of the year. 
15. Small pieces of brightly colored paper that people often throw at celebrations. 
17. An imaginary fat man with a white beard and a red suit who gives toys to children near the end of December (2 words). 
18. An eight-day Jewish holiday that is celebrated in the end of the year. 
19. A small device that explodes to make a display of light and noise. 
20. To count backwards to an event that will start when zero is reached.
 
Down
1. An interjection to emphasize the finality of something. Also a punctuation mark. 
2. December 31st (3 words). 
3. To engage in festivities or rejoice. 
4. An act of proposing or drinking in honor of somebody or something. 
6. The start of the New Year is at the .... of midnight. 
7. The site of the annual New Year's Eve ball drop in New York City (2 words). 
10. When the year is ending and a new one is starting, many people make these goals. 
11. Food that people around the world traditionally eat for luck to ring in the New Year, and that symbolizes coins. 
12. A Christian holiday celebrated at the end of the year. 
14. "Auld Lang Syne" is the traditional .... for ringing in the New Year in almost every English speaking country. 
16. A message in video games which signals that the game has ended, commonly due to a negative outcome (2 words). 

Posted: 11 Dec 2014 05:23 AM PST


New Year's Eve

Pre-reading questions

1.a 2.a 3.b  4.b  5.b  6.a  7.b 8.a


New Year In Times Square

Part A:  1.Porta-Potties 2. Party props  3.Fireworks  4 Party hat   5.Sparkling wine     6. Confetti  7.Snacks 8.LED  9.Baloons 10. Cheerleaders

Mentioned in the report: 1, 4, 6, 8, and 9.


Part B
1.It takes a year of planning.    2. more than a billion people around the world. 3.Close to a million people.  4. 32,000 LED lights.  5.Confetti is dropped from seven buildings and from an eighth floor window onto Times Square, over and over to check that it floats and is fluffy.  6.People write their wishes on pieces of confetti.  7.Tourists get their pictures taken in front of a replica of The Time Square Ball.    8.The first ball drop took place in 1907, after fireworks were banned. It's also an old nautical tradition.   9.About 30,000 Nivea hats that will be given.  10.To celebrate the Year of the Snake and because the previous year half a billion Chinese tuned in to the event.  11.Porta-Potties or portable restrooms.  12.In the 70’s there were horses, people worried. Now security is better. There is no alcohol. Police divide up the crowd surrounded by safety lanes. In 2002, there were still one or two retail stores that put up plywood over their windows since they were smashed.


Auld Lang Syne


Find the 5 mistakes.
1.during the New Year’s celebration
2.to remember old friends
3.it means "long, long ago" or "days gone by."
4.The poem is thought to be composed by Robert Burns
5.in 1788


Idioms With The Word END

1. odds and ends   2. loose ends   3.at the end of my rope  4. the short end of the stick     5. at a dead end. 6.see beyond the end of his nose.  7.never hear the end of it.  8.a means to an end   9.the end justifies the means  10. light at the end of the tunnel .  11.end in tears. 12.End of story! 13.make ends meet. 14.the end of the world.  15.the candle at both ends



The End of the Year Crossword

Across:  4. The End   5.  Lady  8. Time  9.  Best  13.December  15. Confetti  17. Santa Claus  18. Hanukkah  19. Firework  20. Countdown
 
Down:  1. Period  2. New Year's Eve  3.Celebrate  4. Toast  6. Stroke  7. Times Square  10. Resolutions  11. Beans  12. Christmas  14. Song  16. Game over