Cue Card Sample

IELTS Cue Card Sample 366 - Describe an educational television program.

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

Describe an educational television program.

You should say:

  • what it was
  • on which channel it was telecasted
  • what you learned from it

and explain why you think it was a good educational program.

Model Answer 1:
I am incredibly lucky, because I live in the UK, and we have the BBC – British Broadcasting Company, which is funded by a licence fee payable by all British households, companies and organisations. As such, it has a particular public service broadcasting remit, it isn’t funded by advertising, and is expected to produce quality, unbiased factual and ‘public interest’ material. Amongst other things, it has an educational responsibility as part of its remit. Perhaps because of this, the BBC is renowned worldwide for the quality of some of its programmes. In particular, its wildlife broadcasting is breathtakingly good.

It happens, that only today I watched the most amazing wildlife documentary, I’m going to tell you all about. What it was on, what channel it was broadcast on and what I learned from it. I think it will be pretty obvious why it is so brilliant – not just in worthy educational terms, but as extraordinary visual entertainment too.

The programme was just one of a whole series called ‘The Hunt’. Each episode concentrates on a different part of the natural world, taking an intimate and detailed look at the remarkable strategies employed by hunters to catch their prey and what the hunted have to do to escape. Today’s episode was called, ‘Hunger at sea’ and was about the oceans. Amongst other things, the team had spent years trying to get footage of remarkable marine animals including blue whales – which are the heaviest animal ever to have existed on our planet (it’s 30 metres long, and they weigh appreciably more than even the largest of known dinosaurs), but can still be elusive in the vast expanse of the seas. However, the programme looked at lots of different creatures as well as the blue whales. There were films of sharks, sea lions, frigate birds, dolphins and albatrosses cleverly revealing the strategies they use to hunt for prey in the big blue waters of the oceans. I don’t live near the sea so whilst I know it’s beautiful and I worry a lot about pollution impacting on it, I don’t get to see if very often. This programme demonstrated that the open ocean is an immense wilderness that covers more than half the surface of our planet, yet for the most parts, it's a watery desert, largely devoid of life. It is a fragile ecosystem, and predators face an endless search to find and catch food, yet these great tracts of ocean are home to some of the most remarkable hunters on the planet.

The production values of the series were beyond your wildest imaginings. The film footage is remarkable. It took two years, but a team of scientists and underwater photographers eventually got footage not only of a blue whale – a rare enough achievement in itself, but a blue whale feeding on a massive ball of krill, gulping in water and the tiny zooplankton creatures all at once.  It was really extraordinary to see. The programme series is being narrated by Dir David Attenborough – he is a well-respected broadcaster and scientist who delivers interesting information with passion and clarity. The photography though is just amazing. Close up shots of these extraordinary creatures in their natural habitat, the tenacity and dedication of the production teams in obtaining such footage can only be imagined. The programme is currently on BBC1, but I’m sure it will end up being broadcast worldwide as well.

I learned so much about marine life, ecosystems and how so many animals survival is interconnected. It makes me sad that our oceans are being polluted and fish stocks over-fished, but I take hope that such extraordinary television programmes might help raise awareness about the complexity and fragility of life in the seas. The programme gave a glimpse of an underwater world that would be otherwise impossible to see, it not only increased my knowledge, but the footage obtained is of scientific importance too, because they were able to capture on film animal behaviour that has never been recorded before. That’s quite something. I think this programme series The Hunt, is well deserving of the accolade of a brilliant education TV programme on natural history. If you get the chance to see it, do so!

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


Sample Answer 2:
A few years ago, I was very fond of watching television programmes but I was a bit selective in that case. I saw only the highly educative programs on television. And in this case, Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey was the best one for me. Here, I will give a brief description of the television show.  By the way, these days I can hardly manage times to watch TV programmes and mostly watch BBC or CNN for global news and updates.

Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey began as a television show in 2014. This is a TV series that deals with the past, present and future of the space activities. Besides, the existing show was the follow up of another show that took place in the 1980s, which was named as Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. Days have been passed and the show started a new journey with newer topics. The earlier one has been considered as the milestone for scientific documentaries on television and has started a new era in the exploration of space. Even today, the show is as popular as it was in the past days.   

The first show was telecasted on the Public Broadcasting Service in the USA and now the later one is telecasted on the 10 channels of 21st Century Fox network. The channels broadcast the show in different times of the weeks and thus I could manage my convenient time to enjoy the show. To make the show, relevant people had to struggle a lot and preparation began a couple of years ago. Detailed plans were made and it also required a huge financial investment. Neil deGrasse Tyson currently hosts the show and he got inspiration to present the show from the previous one when he was a high school student in the 1980s. The show is made with different attractive stories. The impressive feature of the show is the updated use of graphics and special effects to make the events reliable than it was before.

I learnt various information about space from this television show. The narrative technique of the show is simple – it appears that the host is telling a story and showing evidence in favour of his story. Besides, the information and facts represented in the show are real and trustworthy. In fact, it does not exhibit some fictional facts to grab attention from the audience. The present show comes with the latest available information about the space and deals with the future events that may take place after many years. The extensive use of graphics and animation is a great feature of this program that has made learning easier. Due to its popularity, the series was available around the globe on numerous television channels until the end of the season.  

This is surely a great educational program. Before the broadcasting of this program, there were no such educative programs before. This program has gained a huge popularity. The second part of the series underwent several struggles and challenges. Many of the television channels turned reluctant to telecast the program. They were unable to analyse the educative value of the program. But later the program has won several awards for its educative contents. In fact, the contents of the program help us thinking about the outer space and other related matters. It creates a sensitivity among the viewers. So, I think this was really an educative series I have ever seen.


Similar Cue Card Topics:

Your ability to talk about this Cue Card would enable you to talk about the following Cue Cards as well:

  1. Describe a TV programme you often watch.
  2. Describe your favourite TV show.
  3. Describe something interesting you often do.
  4. Describe one of your leisure activities.
  5. Describe a TV programme you really like.
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