The Atlantic recently published a series of 120 images representing some of the highlights and lowlights of 2011. Each of the images has a short caption that could refresh your students' memory about the story related to each image. Some of the images may not be suitable for students under the high school level. Those images are labeled with a viewer discretion label by The Atlantic.
After reviewing some of the news stories representing by The Atlantic's collection, take a look at The Economist's World in 2012 features. The World in 2012 includes articles and videos of predictions on a number of issues like the Republican primaries that are sure to be important in 2012. The Economist also has a reader poll about issues for 2012. The current poll question is, "should the world pay more attention to adapting to climate change than efforts to mitigate it?"
You can use these two resources and activities for general current events awareness in your classes, or to stimulate discussion and production in the target language.
For the links to these resources, go to http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2011/12/2011-in-120-images-predictions-for-2012.html
For more year in review articles, go to http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2011/12/more-year-in-review-videos-and-articles.html
For an interactive map of the biggest stories around the world in 2011, see http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2011/12/remember-2011-map-of-2011s-biggest-news.html
For more links to end-of-the-year image collections, try Larry Ferlazzo’s recent blog post at http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/2011/12/30/more-year-end-image-collections-2