IELTS Cue Card Sample 396 - Describe a team you have been part of

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe a team you have been part of.

You should say:

  • when it was
  • who was on the team
  • what you did together

and explain why you became part of the team.

Model Answer:
Nothing is better than being in a really strong team.  By that, I mean one where everyone achieves more together than would have been possible as individuals.  You have trust in each other and support each other too.  Sadly, not all team work is like this, I’m sure it can’t just be me that has had some bad experiences of working with others when the communication has been terrible, workload inequitable, the experience miserable and outcomes disappointing.  However, when everything is right, a good team can make you feel invincible, and that is the sort of example I’m going to use today!

I’ll tell you all about the team, when we got together, who was on it, what we did (I don’t think you’ll guess) and why I came to be part of the group in the first place.

So this team came together just a couple of months ago.  We were a group of about ten mismatched and unlikely individuals.  We were mixed men and women, different ethnic backgrounds, different ages, different levels of fitness and experience – which is relevant to what we were trying to do!  We came together almost entirely by chance.  Near to where I live, there was a 10km obstacle race. This involves running round a course, and negotiating various physical challenges en route.  To take part, you need to be in a team, because some of the obstacles are impossible without help.  So for example, you might all have to get over a 10 foot wall, or swim across a river.  Sometimes it’s a simple question of bravado – with the river you just have to be brave enough to jump into the freezing cold water, but other challenges – like the wall - can’t be done unless you trust your teammates to push you up and heave you over.  Think army assault course, and you may have some idea of what I mean!  A friend of mine had heard about a group that was happy to adopt the approach of ‘the more the merrier’ so we all signed up separately and met each other for the first time on the morning of the race!

When we met up, at first we were all a bit apprehensive about what to expect.  We decided to put on face paint so we had a united identity, and then when the cry went off for the start, we all sped away together.  Fortunately, we very quickly got into a routine of helping each other out.  It turns out that doing a physical obstacle course together not only requires trust, but creates trust too. You have to clamber over each other, stand on someone’s back to get over an obstacle, or haul on someone’s hand or arm to help them over in return.  If you go first over an obstacle, then you have to help others behind you.  We got covered in mud, we nearly lost our shoes on the uneven terrain, and we all had many bruises on the way round.  However, we laughed almost the whole time, we supported and encouraged one another, and even though it took us nearly two hours to negotiate the whole course, the time flew by.  We can’t wait to do it all again next year!

I just signed up for the challenge on a whim really, but I was so glad I did.  The people I met were fantastic, and we all achieved more than I’d have thought possible.  There is no way on earth I’d have got round that course on my own, but together every single one of us completed every obstacle, there were no tears or tantrums, and when we got our medal for finishing at the end, we were almost exploding with pride at our achievement.  Why did I become part of the team?  That was a question I asked myself as I drove towards the venue wondering what on earth I’d done as the enormity of the challenge hit me!  Afterwards, I was so pleased I had.  It was a happy accident, and proof that some of the best teams come from working together for a common goal with an open mind, an open heart and a sense of humour.  I think that would carry you through most challenges, you just have to keep positive and keep faith in the creativity and kindness of your fellow human beings!

[ Written by - Lucy Marris: Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam) ]

Part 3: Details Discussion:

Q. Do you like to work alone or with a partner

Q. What do you think of teamwork and team spirit?

Q. What kind of people are good to work with?

Q. Do you like group work or group learning?

Q. What is your opinion on efficiency?

Q. What are the advantages of studying by yourself?


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