B1+ / B2 New Year Resolutions


Happy New Year!! And if the year's not new when you're reading this, I hope you had a great start to 2021!! What resolutions have you made for this year? Resolutions? What are they?

Here's a definition of a New Year's Resolution from those nice people at Cambridge.org:

  • a promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year:

    "Have you made any New Year's resolutions?" "Yes, I'm going to eat more healthily and give up smoking."

Pre-video Watching

In the example above, the person decides to improve their diet, “eat more healthily” and cut out a bad habit, “give up smoking”. Make a list of other things people decide to do in the new year.

Video Watching

1. Watch the video.
Does the woman say any of the things on your list?
What other things does she say?

© SHOLLAND (Youtube channel opens on new page.)

2. Now look at the script below and decide which word goes in each space.
When you’ve finished, watch the video again and complete the spaces.

Read the text and decide what words could complete the spaces before you watch the video to check.

Language Focus: Discourse Markers

Discourse markers are words or phrases like ‘anyway’, ‘right’, ‘okay’, ‘as I say’, ‘to begin with’. We use them to connect, organise and manage what we say or write, or to express attitude:

    A: So, I’ve decided I’m going to go to the bank and ask for a car loan.
    B: That sounds like a good idea.
    C: Well, you need a car.
    B: Right.
    A: Anyway, I was wondering if either of you would teach me how to drive.

The discourse markers in blue above have a number of uses:

  • so marks the beginning of a new part of the conversation.
  • well marks a change in the focus (from getting a car loan to needing a car).
  • right marks a response (B is agreeing with C).
  • anyway marks a change in topic (from buying a new car to having driving lessons).
  • (source: dictionary.cambridge.org Link opens on new page)

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    2. What other discourse markers can you find in the video script?
      Ha, you know what rhymes with ‘mood’? ‘Food’! Oh, you like food, maybe a bit too much. Perhaps this year, you can eat healthier and clean up your diet.”
      Speaking of cleaning, you were supposed to clean out your closet last night.”
      “Maybe this is the year to finally get organized. Surely someone needs this stuff more than you do. So, you can donate your old stuff.”
      Perhaps you’d perform better if you read more books.”
      But you know what would be even better? If you could read books in Spanish! There’s an idea: Learn a new language this year.”
      Oh, forget it! New Year’s resolutions never last anyway.”

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