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“Happy New Year – Interview “



Pre-Listening Activities and Discussion Questions

Although these activities are related to classroom instruction, independent learners can reflect on the ideas to prepare for the listening portion of the lesson.

  1. Vocabulary Preview:

    • Provide students with a list of key vocabulary from the interview. Include words like “resolutions,” “self-improvement,” and “significant other.” Ask students to predict the context of these words and discuss their meanings.
  2. Discussion Warm-up:

    • Start a class discussion about New Year’s celebrations. Ask students about their own traditions, whether they make resolutions, and if they have experienced the common themes mentioned in the interview (e.g., partying on New Year’s Eve, setting resolutions).
  3. Prediction Activity:

    • Before playing the interview, have students predict the content based on the title and any information they may have about New Year’s Day. Encourage them to make guesses about the types of resolutions people might discuss.
  4. Brainstorming Resolutions:

    • In pairs or small groups, ask students to brainstorm common New Year’s resolutions. Have them share their ideas with the class and discuss which resolutions they think are most popular or challenging to maintain.
  5. Reflect on Personal Resolutions:

    • Ask students to individually reflect on whether they have made New Year’s resolutions in the past and if they were successful in keeping them. Have a brief class discussion about their experiences.
  6. Cultural Perspectives:

    • Discuss cultural variations in New Year’s celebrations and resolutions. Are there specific customs or traditions related to the New Year in different cultures? How do people in other countries approach the idea of making resolutions?

Vocabulary and Expressions

Here are some words and expressions that appear in the video:

anticlimactic (adjective): causing disappointment or a letdown, especially after a buildup of excitement.
– The movie’s ending was surprisingly anticlimactic, leaving the audience unsatisfied after the intense buildup.

resolutions (noun): firm decisions to do or not to do something, often made at the beginning of a new year.
– Many people make New Year’s resolutions, but sticking to them throughout the year can be challenging.

journaling (verb): the act of regularly recording thoughts, experiences, or reflections in a journal.
– She found satisfaction in journaling as she documented her daily thoughts and emotions for self-reflection.

budgeting (noun): the process of planning and managing one’s finances, including income and expenses.
– Effective budgeting is crucial for achieving financial goals and maintaining a healthy financial status.

significant other (noun phrase): a person’s romantic partner, typically used to refer to a spouse or long-term companion.
On Valentine’s Day, people often express their love and appreciation for their significant other.

Listening Comprehension Questions

Now, watch the interview and answer the comprehension questions. You can also turn on the automatically-generated captions for the video once you start it.


Randall: In this video, Aubrey, let’s talk about New Year’s Day. Often people talk about New Year’s Eve, but when you think of New Year’s Day, what does that mean for many people and how does it begin– a new year– for many people as well?

Aubrey: I guess New Year’s Day is pretty anticlimactic, usually. New Year’s Eve is where all the partying happens. I mean, depending on how heavy you party, you might be very . . . unhappy the next day. Um, um, I mean, it’s a time for new beginnings, for resolutions, for bettering yourself. You know, this is when you’re going to take up that new diet or do the exercising, and then you won’t do it.

Randall: So, you said a new diet, exercising. Can you think of perhaps some other New Year’s resolutions?

Aubrey: Um, journaling, budgeting, you know, all sorts of like self-improvement stuff is pretty common.

Randall: Yeah. Fixing up, you know, the house or something like that, getting that job you’ve been promising your significant other for months. [Yeah.] It can be something as well. And then, you know, you think about it. How long do these resolutions actually last?

Aubrey: Depends. I remember hearing, though, that if you’re in the market for exercise equipment, you should wait until like February or March. When it goes on, you know you’ve got all the returns coming in so you can get a good price.

Randall: And I know when I used to go to the gym, I exercise outdoors now, I used to go to the gym around the new year, and all of the exercise equipment was being used. Tons of people. But just wait a couple of months, and it seems to . . .  the interest . . . the resolutions just seemed to die away.

Aubrey: Yeah, exactly.

Randall: Alright, well thank you, Aubrey, for talking about New Year’s Day and resolutions.

Conversation Questions

Easy (Recall and Comprehension):

  1. Recall: What are some common activities and resolutions mentioned by Aubrey and Randall in relation to New Year’s Day?

  2. Comprehension: According to Aubrey, why does she describe New Year’s Day in the way she does?

Intermediate (Interpret and Analyze):

  1. Interpretation: How does Randall’s mention of the popularity of exercise equipment in January connect to the discussion on New Year’s resolutions?

  2. Analysis: Aubrey suggests waiting to buy exercise equipment. What does this reveal about people’s commitment to New Year’s resolutions, and how does it relate to consumer behavior?

Advanced (Interpret and Analyze):

  1. Interpretation: Randall mentions the interest in exercise equipment at the gym dropping a few months after New Year’s. What broader social or psychological factors might contribute to this decline in commitment to resolutions?

  2. Analysis: Discuss the societal emphasis on New Year’s resolutions and the pressure individuals may feel to make significant changes. How does this cultural expectation influence the success or failure of resolutions, as indicated in the interview?

Related Language Activities on Randall’s Web Site

The following activities deal with related topics to give you additional language practice.

Try More Free Listening at