Dec 30, 2012

Traditional end-of-year news quiz 2012

Photo by Sandy Millin via eltpics
A bit less heavy on political news this year and featuring more sports, showbiz and gossip items, here is my traditional annual news quiz. As in the previous years, it is available in two levels: upper-intermediate/advanced and lower intermediate, and comes complete with 7-page teachers notes (scroll all the way down). The notes contain ideas on how to use the quiz in class and, no less importantly, how to explore the language. Check back in the first days of the New Year for vocabulary review activities (update - click here)

  1. The London Olympics kicked off with a spectacular and at times peculiar Opening Ceremony directed by the acclaimed British director Danny Boyle. Who jumped from a helicopter as part of the Opening Ceremony? 
  2. In October 2012 the New York Stock Exchange was closed for two consecutive days for the first time in over a hundred years. What caused the shutdown?
  3. The music video for "Gangnam Style" by the Korean singer PSY went viral in 2012 and became the most watched video of all time on Youtube. What does the word "Gangnam" mean?
  4. NASA scientists were "over the moon" in August 2012 when the huge robot, Curiosity, reached its destination. Which planet did it touch down?
  5. What American superstar, who, for the last 10 or so years, has been in the spotlight mainly for her addiction problems and turbulent personal life, died the night before the prestigious Grammy awards?
  6. Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner made history as the first man to break the speed of sound in a free-fall from over 35 km above Earth – don't try that at home! What soft drink company sponsored his jump?
  7. Two Australian radio DJs faced public a backlash in December 2012 when their prank call turned into a tragedy. Who did they play a prank on?
  8. One of the greatest cyclists of all time, Lance Armstrong fell from grace after accusations of doping and was consequently stripped of his Tour de France titles and banned from cycling for life. How many Tour de France competitions has he won?
  9. The World didn't end on December 21 as some suspected. The calendar of which ancient civilization predicted the end of the world?
  10. Who is Usain Bolt and why was he in the news in 2012? 
  11. The James Bond series celebrated its 50th anniversary with the release of the eagerly anticipated Skyfall starring Daniel Craig. How many actors have portrayed James Bond in the series?
  12. UEFA promised to crack down on racism after allegations of racism in the Euro 2012 host nations. Which two Eastern European countries played host to the tournament?
  13. A 15-year-old girl, Malala, from a remote village in north-west Pakistan was shot in the head by the Taliban. The incident caused a public outcry in the country. Why was she targeted? 
  14. As if your life didn't revolve enough around Google products, Google unveiled Project Glass in April 2012 showing the world that the promised sci-fi future is here. What does the new product do?
  15. Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open final after a gruelling 5 hour 53 minute match, the longest Grand Slam final in tennis history. Who was his opponent?
  16. Three members of the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in prison sparking global protests from leading figures in the art world. What were they accused of?
  17. 2012 marked the 200th birthday of one of the most prolific British authors. Which one?
Happy New Year!

A Power Point version of the quiz thanks to Adele Raemer
Click here to download


  1. Love this Leo - great stuff! Let me know if you want to include a little video round next year and I'll be happy to put some clips together.

    1. Thanks, Vicki.
      Sure. We can do something with video.
      Happy New year!

  2. This will be great for my return to class on Wednesday. Have a great new year, Leo.

    1. Hi Adam
      Hope it goes well.
      Have a great 2013 too!

  3. I will use it tomorrow (Jan 2nd). Thank you very much, and have a wonderful 2013.

  4. In fact it is awesome labor by the blogger. I do like this writings as I got few helps from here. Also I will remain for more like this. To study more concerning news quiz 2012, please click here. Thanks a lot………


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