The Reading / Listening - 2018 - Level 3

The year 2018 is coming to an end. For some people it was a great year, and for other people it wasn't so great. In Japan, an organization conducted a survey to ask people for the word they thought best described 2018. The winner of this survey was the word "disaster". The kanji (Chinese character) that Japanese people chose means "disaster or misfortune". The organization said people chose the kanji for disaster because of the many natural disasters to hit Japan in 2018. Japan was hit by deadly typhoons, earthquakes, heavy rains that caused widespread destruction, and a killer heatwave. Hundreds of people lost their lives in these disasters and many roads and homes were destroyed.



The organization is called the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation. It has conducted a "word of the year" survey annually since 1995. This year, it received suggestions from 193,214 people. The second most popular kanji was the character for "peace". Last year, "north" was the winner. This was because of increasing tensions over North Korea's nuclear tests. The rest of the world was also hit by devastating natural disasters, including wildfires, hurricanes and tsunami. Wars also raged across the world, especially in Syria and Yemen. There was also a lot of suffering because of immigration - people trying to move to other countries to find a new life. People hope the next kanji will be "happiness".

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    2018 - Level 0 2018 - Level 1   or  2018 - Level 2

Sources
  • https://japantoday.com/category/national/(disaster)-chosen-as-kanji-character-best-representing-2018
  • https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/12/12/national/kanji-year-meaning-disaster-symbolizes-2018-amid-natural-human-calamities/
  • https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6495315/Japan-selects-Chinese-disaster-character-symbol-2018-following-natural-disasters.html


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Warm-ups

1. DISASTER: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about disaster. Change partners often and share your findings.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?
       year / 2018 / great / organization / winner / disaster / natural disasters / typhoons /
       survey / annually / suggestion / peace / nuclear test / hurricane / tsunami / happiness
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. WHICH YEAR?: Students A strongly believe 2019 will be better than 2018; Students B strongly believe 2019 will be worse. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. 2018: How was it for you? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

Good

Bad

Studying

 

 

Shopping

 

 

Family

 

 

Friends

 

 

Love

 

 

Hobbies

 

 

MY e-BOOK
ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

5. SURVEY: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "survey". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. 2019: Rank these with your partner. Put the things you most want to change in 2019 at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • your weight
  • your friends
  • your health
  • your hobbies
  • your English level
  • your hairstyle
  • money
  • your job

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. coming to an end a. Questions on the opinions or experience of a group of people, based on a series of questions.
      2. conducted b. A natural event such as a flood, earthquake, or hurricane that causes great damage or loss of life.
      3. survey c. Almost at a finish.
      4. described d. Carried out; did.
      5. character e. Give an account of something or talk about something in words.
      6. natural disaster f. A printed or written letter or symbol.
      7. destruction g. The action or process of causing so much damage to something that it no longer exists or cannot be repaired.

    Paragraph 2

      8. organization h. Continued with great force.
      9. annually i. A group of people with a particular purpose, especially a business, society, association, etc.
      10. suggestion j. Bad, difficult or stressful relations between people or countries.
      11. tension k. The action of coming to live permanently in a foreign country.
      12. raged l. Once a year; every year.
      13. immigration m. A feeling of wanting something to happen and desire for a certain thing to happen.
      14. hope n. An idea or plan put forward for consideration.

 

Before reading / listening

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if 1-8 below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. The article said 2018 was a bad year for everyone.     T / F
  2. An organization asked people what was the best kanji to describe 2018.  T / F
  3. The character people chose means "disaster and misfortune".     T / F
  4. The article says there was a killer heatwave in Japan in 2018.     T / F
  5. The organization is a kanji altitude testing group.     T / F
  6. The organization has been asking for the kanji of the year since 1995.     T / F
  7. The winning kanji for 2017 was "south".     T / F
  8. People hope the winning kanji next year will be "money".     T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

  1. end
  2. conducted
  3. survey
  4. widespread
  5. destroyed
  6. annually
  7. received
  8. tensions
  9. suffering
  10. hope
  1. stress
  2. extensive
  3. wish
  4. carried out
  5. got
  6. questionnaire
  7. hurting
  8. finish
  9. every year
  10. demolished

3. PHRASE MATCH: (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

  1. The year 2018 is coming
  2. the word they thought best
  3. Chinese
  4. Japan was hit
  5. Hundreds of people lost their
  6. annually
  7. received suggestions from
  8. increasing tensions over North Korea's
  9. Wars also raged
  10. a lot of suffering because
  1. character
  2. across the world
  3. lives in these disasters
  4. 193,214 people
  5. nuclear tests
  6. by deadly typhoons
  7. of immigration
  8. to an end
  9. since 1995
  10. described 2018

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
character
end
lost
great
homes
because
word
rains

The year 2018 is coming to an (1) ____________. For some people it was a great year, and for other people it wasn't so (2) ____________. In Japan, an organization conducted a survey to ask people for the (3) ____________ they thought best described 2018. The winner of this survey was the word "disaster". The kanji (Chinese (4) ____________) that Japanese people chose means "disaster or misfortune". The organization said people chose the kanji for disaster (5) ____________ of the many natural disasters to hit Japan in 2018. Japan was hit by deadly typhoons, earthquakes, heavy (6) ____________ that caused widespread destruction, and a killer heatwave. Hundreds of people (7) ____________ their lives in these disasters and many roads and (8) ____________ were destroyed.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
including
winner
other
survey
happiness
especially
second
tensions

The organization is called the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation. It has conducted a "word of the year" (9) ____________ annually since 1995. This year, it received suggestions from 193,214 people. The (10) ____________ most popular kanji was the character for "peace". Last year, "north" was the (11) ____________. This was because of increasing (12) ____________ over North Korea's nuclear tests. The rest of the world was also hit by devastating natural disasters, (13) ____________ wildfires, hurricanes and tsunami. Wars also raged across the world, (14) ____________ in Syria and Yemen. There was also a lot of suffering because of immigration - people trying to move to (15) ____________ countries to find a new life. People hope the next kanji will be "(16) ____________ ".

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  The year 2018 is coming to an end. For some people it was a ______
     a.  great year
     b.  grate year
     c.  greet year
     d.  greatly year
2)  conducted a survey to ask people for the word they thought ______ 2018
     a.  best describe it
     b.  best described
     c.  bested described
     d.  bested describe
3)  The kanji (Chinese character) that Japanese people chose means "disaster ______"
     a.  or miss fortune
     b.  or misfortune
     c.  or miss fortunate
     d.  or missed fortune
4)  people chose the kanji for disaster because of the many natural ______ Japan
     a.  disasters too hit
     b.  disasters two hit
     c.  disasters to hit
     d.  disasters though hit
5)  people lost their lives in these disasters and many roads and homes ______
     a.  were destroys
     b.  were destroying
     c.  were destroy it
     d.  were destroyed

6)  It has conducted a "word of the year" survey ______ 1995
     a.  annually since
     b.  annually for
     c.  annually past
     d.  annually over
7)  The rest of the world was also hit by ______ disasters
     a.  devastating naturalize
     b.  devastating naturals
     c.  devastating naturally
     d.  devastating natural
8)  Wars also raged across the world, ______ Syria
     a.  especial in
     b.  special in
     c.  especial lying
     d.  especially in
9)  a lot of suffering because of immigration - people trying to move ______ countries
     a.  to another
     b.  to other
     c.  to others
     d.  to the others
10)  People hope the next kanji will ______
     a.  been "happiness"
     b.  being "happiness"
     c.  be "happiness"
     d.  bee "happiness"

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

The year 2018 is coming (1) ___________________. For some people it was a great year, and for other people it (2) ___________________. In Japan, an organization conducted a survey to ask people for the word they thought best described 2018. The (3) ___________________ survey was the word "disaster". The kanji (Chinese character) that Japanese people chose means "disaster or misfortune". The organization (4) ___________________ the kanji for disaster because of the many natural disasters to hit Japan in 2018. Japan (5) ___________________ deadly typhoons, earthquakes, heavy rains that caused widespread destruction, and a killer heatwave. Hundreds of people (6) ___________________ in these disasters and many roads and homes were destroyed.

The organization is called the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation. It has conducted a "word of the year" (7) ___________________ 1995. This year, it received suggestions from 193,214 people. The second most popular kanji (8) ___________________ for "peace". Last year, "north" was the winner. This was because of increasing tensions over North Korea's nuclear tests. The (9) ___________________ world was also hit by devastating natural disasters, including wildfires, hurricanes and tsunami. Wars (10) ___________________ the world, especially in Syria and Yemen. There was also (11) ___________________ suffering because of immigration - people trying to move to other countries to find a new life. People hope the next kanji (12) ___________________.

Comprehension questions

  1. What did the article say 2018 is coming to?
  2. Who did an organization ask what the word for 2018 was?
  3. What did the winning kanji mean besides "disaster"?
  4. What did the article say caused widespread destruction in Japan?
  5. What did the article say were destroyed by natural disasters?
  6. Since when has the organization been asking for a kanji of the year?
  7. What was the second most popular kanji for this year?
  8. What was the winning kanji for 2017?
  9. What did the article say was raging around the world?
  10. What do people hope next year's kanji will be?




Multiple choice quiz

1) What did the article say 2018 is coming to?
a) a grand finale
b) an end
c) the 21st century
d) a road
2) Who did an organization ask what the word for 2018 was?
a) English students
b) children
c) Chinese people
d) people
3) What did the winning kanji mean besides "disaster"?
a) misfortune
b) terrible
c) destruction
d) doom
4) What did the article say caused widespread destruction in Japan?
a) a volcano
b) earthquakes
c) heavy rains
d) landslides
5) What did the article say were destroyed by natural disasters?
a) towns and villages
b) roads and homes
c) roads and bridges
d) homes and shops

6) Since when has the organization been asking for a kanji of the year?
a) 1995
b) 1996
c) 1997
d) 1998
7) What was the second most popular kanji for this year?
a) hope
b) love
c) peace
d) money
8) What was the winning kanji for 2017?
a) north
b) south
c) east
d) west
9) What did the article say was raging around the world?
a) wars
b) fires
c) anger
d) poverty
10) What do people hope next year's kanji will be?
a) health
b) wealth
c) success
d) happiness

Role play

Role  A –English Level
You think English level is the most important thing to change for 2019. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these things to change (and why): hairstyle, friends or hobbies.

Role  B –Hairstyle
You think hairstyle is the most important thing to change for 2019. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these things to change (and why): English level, friends or hobbies.

Role  C – Friends
You think friends are the most important thing to change for 2019. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these things to change (and why): hairstyle, English level or hobbies.

Role  D – Hobbies
You think hobbies the most important thing to change for 2019. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these things to change (and why): hairstyle, friends or English level.

After reading / listening

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words...

'disaster'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and '2018'.

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • • Share your findings with your partners.

    • Make questions using the words you found.

    • Ask your partner / group your questions.

    2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

    •Share your questions with other classmates / groups. •Ask your partner / group your questions.

    3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

    4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

    5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

    • called
    • since
    • second
    • north
    • also
    • hope
    • end
    • ask
    • character
    • deadly
    • killer
    • homes




    Student survey

    Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

    (Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

    Discussion - Japan chooses 'disaster' to describe 2018

    STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

    1. What did you think when you read the headline?
    2. What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'disaster'?
    3. How was 2018 for you?
    4. What was the best thing about 2018?
    5. What was the worst thing about 2018?
    6. What changed in your life in 2018?
    7. What word would you choose to describe 2018?
    8. Have there been any disasters to hit your country?
    9. How prepared are you if a disaster hit?
    10. What would you do if there was a natural disaster?

    STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

    1. Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
    2. What do you think of when you hear the word '2018'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What were the biggest world events of 2018?
    5. Where are the biggest tensions in the world?
    6. What would you like to happen next year?
    7. Will there be fewer wars next year?
    8. How has your English improved this year?
    9. What do you think 2019 will be like?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the people who made the survey?

    Discussion — Write your own questions

    STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

    (a) ________________

    (b) ________________

    (c) ________________

    (d) ________________

    (e) ________________

    STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

    (f) ________________

    (g) ________________

    (h) ________________

    (i) ________________

    (j) ________________





    Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

    The year 2018 is coming to an (1) ____. For some people it was a great year, and for other people it wasn't so great. In Japan, an organization (2) ____ a survey to ask people for the word they thought (3) ____ described 2018. The winner of this survey was the word "disaster". The kanji (Chinese character) that Japanese people (4) ____ means "disaster or misfortune". The organization said people chose the kanji for disaster because of the (5) ____ natural disasters to hit Japan in 2018. Japan was hit by deadly typhoons, earthquakes, heavy rains that caused widespread destruction, and a killer heatwave. Hundreds of people (6) ____ their lives in these disasters and many roads and homes were destroyed.

    The organization is called the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation. It has conducted a "word of the year" survey (7) ____ since 1995. This year, it received (8) ____ from 193,214 people. The second most popular kanji was the character for "peace". Last year, "north" was the winner. This was because of increasing tensions (9) ____ North Korea's nuclear tests. The rest of the world was also hit by devastating natural disasters, including wildfires, hurricanes and tsunami. Wars also (10) ____ across the world, especially in Syria and Yemen. There was also a lot of (11) ____ because of immigration - people trying to move to other countries to find a new life. People (12) ____ the next kanji will be "happiness".

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     finished     (b)     finishing     (c)     ended     (d)     end    
    2. (a)     conduction     (b)     conducting     (c)     conducts     (d)     conducted    
    3. (a)     good     (b)     best     (c)     well     (d)     nice    
    4. (a)     selection     (b)     choosing     (c)     chose     (d)     decision    
    5. (a)     many     (b)     some     (c)     more     (d)     much    
    6. (a)     lost     (b)     losing     (c)     loses     (d)     losses    
    7. (a)     annuity     (b)     annul     (c)     annual     (d)     annually    
    8. (a)     suggestions     (b)     suggestive     (c)     suggests     (d)     suggesting    
    9. (a)     under     (b)     over     (c)     through     (d)     as    
    10. (a)     rated     (b)     raked     (c)     raged     (d)     razed    
    11. (a)     suffer     (b)     suffers     (c)     suffering     (d)     suffered    
    12. (a)     hopping     (b)     hope     (c)     hop     (d)     hops

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. neucodctd a survey
    2. Chinese ertrhacac
    3. disaster or mrtniofseu
    4. Japan was hit by deadly nopsothy
    5. a killer eveatahw
    6. roads and homes were deeydsort

    Paragraph 2

    1. lnuaanly since 1995
    2. it received etsgongsuis
    3. because of increasing sennotsi
    4. wildfires, scarnheriu and tsunami
    5. yspclieale in Syria
    6. a lot of nsefugrif

    Put the text back together

    1  ) The year 2018 is coming to an end. For some people it was a great year, and for other people it wasn't so
    (...)  and tsunami. Wars also raged across the world, especially in Syria and Yemen. There was
    (...)  character) that Japanese people chose means "disaster or misfortune". The organization said people chose the kanji
    (...)  The organization is called the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation. It has conducted a "word of
    (...)  typhoons, earthquakes, heavy rains that caused widespread destruction, and a killer heatwave. Hundreds
    (...)  North Korea's nuclear tests. The rest of the world was also hit by devastating natural disasters, including wildfires, hurricanes
    (...)  described 2018. The winner of this survey was the word "disaster". The kanji (Chinese
    (...)  the year" survey annually since 1995. This year, it received suggestions from 193,214 people.  The second most popular kanji was the
    (...)  of people lost their lives in these disasters and many roads and homes were destroyed.
    (...)  great. In Japan, an organization conducted a survey to ask people for the word they thought best
    (...)  for disaster because of the many natural disasters to hit Japan in 2018. Japan was hit by deadly
    (...)  to find a new life. People hope the next kanji will be "happiness".
    (...)  also a lot of suffering because of immigration - people trying to move to other countries
    (...)  character for "peace". Last year, "north" was the winner. This was because of increasing tensions over

    Put the words in the right order

    1. was   some   a   people   great   year   .   it   For
    2. survey   a   ask   An   to   people   .   conducted   organization
    3. winner   "disaster"   .   survey   of   this   The   was
    4. deadly   by   2018,   hit   was   Japan   In   typhoons   .
    5. lost   of   lives   their   people   Hundreds   disasters   .   in
    6. 193,214   This   from   received   suggestions   people   .   year,   it
    7. kanji   The   popular   for   was   second   most   "peace"   .
    8. world,   raged   the   across   Syria   .   Wars   especially   also
    9. for   countries   Move   a   other   life   .   new   to
    10. kanji   People   will   be   the   hope   next   "happiness"   .

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    The year 2018 is coming to an end / finish. For some people it was a great year, and for other people it wasn't so grate / great. In Japan, an organization conducted a survey to / for ask people for the word they thought best description / described 2018. The winner of this survey were / was the word "disaster". The kanji (Chinese character) that Japanese people chose means "disaster or misfortune / fortune". The organization said people chose the kanji for disaster because of the many naturally / natural disasters to hit Japan in 2018. Japan was hit by / at deadly typhoons, earthquakes, heavy rains that cause / caused widespread destruction, and a killer heatwave. Hundreds of people lost their lives in them / these disasters and many roads and homes were destroyed.

    The organization is calling / called the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation. It has conducted / conducting a "word of the year" survey annual / annually since 1995. This year, it received suggestive / suggestions from 193,214 people.  The second most popularly / popular kanji was the character for "peace". Last year, "north" was the winner / winning. This was because of increasing tensions over North Korea's nuclear tests. The rest of the world was also hit off / by devastating natural disasters, including wildfires, hurricanes and tsunami. Wars also raged / enraged across the world, especially in Syria and Yemen. There was also a lot of suffering because of immigration - people trying to movement / move to other countries to find a new life. People hope the next kanji will being / be "happiness".

    Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

    Insert the vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

    T h_ y__ r 2 0 1 8 _s c_m_n g t_ _n _n d . F_r s_m_ p__ p l_ _t w_s _ g r__ t y__ r , _n d f_r _t h_r p__ p l_ _t w_s n ' t s_ g r__ t . I n J_p_n , _n _r g_n_z_t__ n c_n d_c t_d _ s_r v_y t_ _s k p__ p l_ f_r t h_ w_r d t h_y t h__ g h t b_s t d_s c r_b_d 2 0 1 8 . T h_ w_n n_r _f t h_s s_r v_y w_s t h_ w_r d " d_s_s t_r " . T h_ k_n j_ ( C h_n_s_ c h_r_c t_r ) t h_t J_p_n_s_ p__ p l_ c h_s_ m__ n s " d_s_s t_r _r m_s f_r t_n_" . T h_ _r g_n_z_t__ n s__ d p__ p l_ c h_s_ t h_ k_n j_ f_r d_s_s t_r b_c__ s_ _f t h_ m_n y n_t_r_l d_s_s t_r s t_ h_t J_p_n _n 2 0 1 8 . J_p_n w_s h_t b y d__ d l y t y p h__ n s , __ r t h q__ k_s , h__ v y r__ n s t h_t c__ s_d w_d_s p r__ d d_s t r_c t__ n , _n d _ k_l l_r h__ t w_v_. H_n d r_d s _f p__ p l_ l_s t t h__ r l_v_s _n t h_s_ d_s_s t_r s _n d m_n y r__ d s _n d h_m_s w_r_ d_s t r_y_d .

    T h_ _r g_n_z_t__ n _s c_l l_d t h_ J_p_n K_n j_ A p t_t_d_ T_s t_n g F__ n d_t__ n . I t h_s c_n d_c t_d _ " w_r d _f t h_ y__ r " s_r v_y _n n__ l l y s_n c_ 1 9 9 5 . T h_s y__ r , _t r_c__ v_d s_g g_s t__ n s f r_m 1 9 3 , 2 1 4 p__ p l_. T h_ s_c_n d m_s t p_p_l_r k_n j_ w_s t h_ c h_r_c t_r f_r " p__ c_" . L_s t y__ r , " n_r t h " w_s t h_ w_n n_r . T h_s w_s b_c__ s_ _f _n c r__ s_n g t_n s__ n s _v_r N_r t h K_r__ ' s n_c l__ r t_s t s . T h_ r_s t _f t h_ w_r l d w_s _l s_ h_t b y d_v_s t_t_n g n_t_r_l d_s_s t_r s , _n c l_d_n g w_l d f_r_s , h_r r_c_n_s _n d t s_n_m_. W_r s _l s_ r_g_d _c r_s s t h_ w_r l d , _s p_c__ l l y _n S y r__ _n d Y_m_n . T h_r_ w_s _l s_ _ l_t _f s_f f_r_n g b_c__ s_ _f _m m_g r_t__ n - p__ p l_ t r y_n g t_ m_v_ t_ _t h_r c__ n t r__ s t_ f_n d _ n_w l_f_. P__ p l_ h_p_ t h_ n_x t k_n j_ w_l l b_ " h_p p_n_s s " .

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    the year 2018 is coming to an end. for some people it was a great year, and for other people it wasn't so great. in japan, an organization conducted a survey to ask people for the word they thought best described 2018. the winner of this survey was the word "disaster". the kanji (chinese character) that japanese people chose means "disaster or misfortune". the organization said people chose the kanji for disaster because of the many natural disasters to hit japan in 2018. japan was hit by deadly typhoons, earthquakes, heavy rains that caused widespread destruction, and a killer heatwave. hundreds of people lost their lives in these disasters and many roads and homes were destroyed.

    the organization is called the japan kanji aptitude testing foundation. it has conducted a "word of the year" survey annually since 1995. this year, it received suggestions from 193,214 people.  the second most popular kanji was the character for "peace". last year, "north" was the winner. this was because of increasing tensions over north korea's nuclear tests. the rest of the world was also hit by devastating natural disasters, including wildfires, hurricanes and tsunami. wars also raged across the world, especially in syria and yemen. there was also a lot of suffering because of immigration - people trying to move to other countries to find a new life. people hope the next kanji will be "happiness".

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Theyear2018iscomingtoanend.Forsomepeopleitwasagreatyear,and
    forotherpeopleitwasn'tsogreat.InJapan,anorganizationconducteda
    surveytoaskpeopleforthewordtheythoughtbestdescribed2018.The
    winnerofthissurveywastheword"disaster".Thekanji(Chinesecharact
    er)thatJapanesepeoplechosemeans"disasterormisfortune".Theorga
    nizationsaidpeoplechosethekanjifordisasterbecauseofthemanynatu
    raldisasterstohitJapanin2018.Japanwashitbydeadlytyphoons,earth
    quakes,heavyrainsthatcausedwidespreaddestruction,andakillerhea
    twave.Hundredsofpeoplelosttheirlivesinthesedisastersandmanyroa
    dsandhomesweredestroyed.TheorganizationiscalledtheJapanKanji
    AptitudeTestingFoundation.Ithasconducteda"wordoftheyear"surve
    yannuallysince1995.Thisyear,itreceivedsuggestionsfrom193,214p
    eople.Thesecondmostpopularkanjiwasthecharacterfor"peace".Last
    year,"north"wasthewinner.Thiswasbecauseofincreasingtensionsov
    erNorthKorea'snucleartests.Therestoftheworldwasalsohitbydevast
    atingnaturaldisasters,includingwildfires,hurricanesandtsunami.Wa
    rsalsoragedacrosstheworld,especiallyinSyriaandYemen.Therewasal
    soalotofsufferingbecauseofimmigration-peopletryingtomovetoothe
    rcountriestofindanewlife.Peoplehopethenextkanjiwillbe"happiness"
    .

    Free writing

    Write about disaster for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    The world in 2018 was a disaster. Discuss.

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    Homework

    1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google's search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.
    2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about this news story. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
    3. DISASTER: Make a poster about disaster. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. 2018: Write a magazine article about disaster being the best word to describe 2018. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against this.
    Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).
    5. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.
    6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on disaster. Ask him/her three questions about it. Give him/her three of your opinions on the year 2018. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

    Answers

    (Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

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