New Year Listening, Reading & Grammar

Number 64 of 75 in C1/2 - ADVANCED+

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In today’s class we are going to practise our listening and reading, and then move onto some grammar practice, with some gap-fill questions.

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This is a short poem from Philip Larkin, one of Britain’s (and my) favourite poets. Before you listen, read the poem and try to guess where each word might go:





‘The Trees’ Philip Larkin

The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being 1)____________;
The recent buds relax and 2)____________
Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die 3)____________,
Their yearly trick of looking 4)____________
Is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In full-grown thickness every 5)__________.
Last year is dead, they seem to 6)____________,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh……


Now read these quesions and fill in the gaps. When you finish, write your answers in the comments box below, and I will correct you!


1. How are you thinking __________ __________ this Christmas and New Year’s?

2. What _________ ___________ the best moment of the year, for you?

3. If you ___________ asked to choose your best book, film or cultural event from this year, what ______ ______ ________?

4. Is there anything that you did this year that you ___________ ________ done differently?

5. Have you _________ able _______ _______ all that you _______ ________ to do this time last year?

6. If you __________ to make a list of things to do _________ this time next year, which 3 would you include?

7. Do you ___________ next year to be better, or worse, than this?

8. What _____ we ______ saying this time next year? What _______ ________ happened in the meantime?



1. of spending
2. has been (assuming that you are at the end of the old year, not the beginning of the new)
3. were / would you choose
4. would have
5. been / to do / had wanted (or hoped, expected…)
6. had / by
7. expect (‘hope’ is not possible. ‘Do you hope that next year will be better…)
8. will / be / will have