IELTS Cue Card Sample 18 - Describe a teacher who has influenced you in your education

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

Describe a teacher who has influenced you in your education.

You should say:

   •  where you met him/her
   •  what subject s/he taught you
   •  what was special about him/her

and explain how this person/teacher has influenced you in your education so much.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]


Follow-up Questions:
How has education changed in your country in the last 10 years?
What changes do you foresee in the next 50 years?
How do the expectations of today’s school leavers compare with those of the previous generation?
What role do you think extracurricular activities play in education?

Model  Answer 1:
I consider myself exceptionally fortunate to have been taught and guided by some excellent teachers throughout my academic life. Among them, I'd like to talk about Mr Smith, who has been an extraordinary teacher, a really good mentor and who has a great influence on my studies.

I met Mr Smith for the first time when I was in fourth grade. He was our math teacher. Initially, we thought that he would be a tough teacher and we would have to be very polite in front of him. We got this impression mostly because of his serious face and tidy dress-up. But soon we found that he was a very friendly person and we did not have to be "very polite" with him. He never made things complicated and tried over and over again to explain something to us. He had a unique way of teaching and could explain complex topics very easily. Thus everything we learned from him was interesting and that's why we remember most of the theories and techniques of math he taught us.

I'd say he has a great influence on my education because he helped me build a strong foundation in mathematics. My major in college was science and mathematics was the most important subject at that level. I have always been good at math and that' mainly because of Mr Smith who had a major role in making the subject interesting to me. Before I learned math from Mr Smith, my impression on math was not good and I considered mathematics to be a complex and uninteresting subject. But his teaching and influences changed my way of thinking about math and later on, math became my one the most favourite subjects for which I admire him greatly. 


Sample Answer 2:

His name was Mr Malcolm Tyler and I met this great science teacher personally for the first time after one of my science classes about 10/11 years ago when I was just a 6th grade student. He asked me why I needed to see him, and I said that I was having a tough time understanding one of his physics lessons. Inspecting the “little me” with a great smile on his face, Mr Tyler told me to see him the next day as if he was expecting this kind of “trouble” at the end of his class!

Anyway, I had to oblige and saw him the next day as per the schedule. And, it took one of my favourite teachers, if not the most favourite, of all time only about 30 seconds to explain the entire lesson as clearly as the water of Lake Mashu in Japan. Having received an award for the “teacher of the year”, a couple of years ago, Mr Tyler wasn’t just good at teaching Physics, but also was equally adept at teaching Chemistry and Biology. In fact, very rarely have I seen a teacher explaining difficult lessons/things at such ease! My Tyler sir, indeed, was a special teacher not only because of his “depth of knowledge” in his subjects but also because of his great helping attitude.

I still remember how my favourite teacher encouraging us for “private lessons” to study and understand science so that we could take our country forward with our talents and hard works. In fact, it was because of the constant push and encouragement of my dear teacher that I got admission in one of the most prestigious engineering colleges in my country. Being a great mentor both inside and outside of my school, Mr Tyler never hesitated to admonish us if we ever failed to do things on time. Million thanks to him, for he has truly inspired me to be the better person that I am today!


Sample Answer 3:

I met Mr John Markus in my elementary school. Actually, I was the student of Agiou Georgiou Elementary School located in Larnaca in Cyprus. He was my mentor and with his direct supports and suggestions, I have crossed many of the barriers of my life - both academic and personal. So, I am really grateful to him and have been greatly inspired by his teaching techniques. If he did not guide me in my education, I think I would not be able to arrive in this position today. This is a delightful cue card topic and I would like to thank you for this topic.   

Mr John Markus was the teacher of general science in the school. He was really a great teacher and used to teach in some unconventional methods. He hardly used books or other teaching materials for teaching in the classroom. He also had some other techniques to impress the students. And most importantly, he knew all the names of his students which I had never seen before.

He was special in the sense that he knew how to teach the students. Mr Markus also supported his students in some other matters and mentored like his own children. The other most important thing about him is that he used to keep in touch with the parents of the children. He Regularly updated the parents with the latest information about their kids. As a result, he turned into a popular figure among the parent community.  

I and my education have been influenced by this person to a great extent. He had some special ways to complete things. He was straightforward and never turned biased to any of his students. He loved all the kids like his own children which attracted me most. Whenever I met him with some sort of troubles, he guided me the way out of them. So, I like him much.

Tips for answering this cue card question:

Talk about a teacher you remember and whom you liked. Say his/her name and the class/grade s/he taught you. Also, mention which subject she taught and what have you learned from him/her. Following are some of the reasons a teacher becomes substantial for a student that you can talk about:

» This teacher's way of teaching is very effective and interesting.
» He/she has a great personality and leads an exemplary life.
» He/she tells stories to make the subject and topic interesting.
» He/she is a famous teacher in your locality who also taught your elder brother, father etc.
» He/she has a great personality and because of that, students like him/her very much.
» He/she is successful in explaining difficult topics in an easy and intuitive way.
» He/she behaves very politely with all and never discriminates among students.
» He/she is brave and speaks the truth no matter how bitter it is.    
» He/she teaches moral values as well as inspires students to study properly.
» Apart from teaching, he/she does some social works, creative stuff which is beneficial for others.
» He/she is a great orator and has an exceptional personality.

Part 3: Details Discussion:

Q. How has education changed in your country in the last 10 years?
Answer: The truth is that ten years ago the educational system wasn't the same as it is now and many aspects have changes in our education system. In the past, teachers used to engage conventional methods of education to teach their students and the only means they utilised was blackboards and textbooks.

Furthermore, as far as I'm concerned, schoolmasters paid more attention to their student's weaknesses, problems and needs and the bonds between them were stronger than it is today. Moving to the present, the existing ties between teachers and children have become more impersonal and unfortunately, many teachers willingly keep a distance from students in the classroom. In addition, technological advances play a vital role in teaching and the methods used in the classrooms these days.

To conclude, I prefer the past educational system (as it was 10 years ago or so) than it is now. Education and teaching aren't only about the internet and technology. The internet does not make someone literate, but a strong bond between a teacher and a student does.

Q. What changes do you foresee in the next 50 years?
Answer: It seems to me that in the forthcoming future, the changes will be tremendous. First of all, it won't be necessary for teachers to be present in the classroom as everything is going to be accomplished by the use of technology. For example, students will become knowledgeable about different matters from the comfort of their home and they will correspond with their tutors online rather than having personal relationships. Of course, it still happens these days to a certain extent, but in the next 50 years, I believe that this will be the way of teaching exclusively.

Going further, I think that apart from some basic subjects such as literature and mathematics, other subjects will be optional and each child will have the opportunity to choose the subject they want to take even in primary schools. From my point of view, I cannot say for sure if this is the appropriate course of action, but one thing is clear, continuous education and learning will be accepted and embraced by all.

Q. How do the expectations of today’s school leavers compare with those of the previous generation?
Answer: In the past school graduates just hoped to find a job in order to earn a salary and cover their living expenses. Some of them did not even look for a job but continued their family business. They didn't have as high expectations as school leavers have these days.

In many cases, nowadays school-leavers don't have realistic expectation and they wish to have a higher position with a great remuneration, even without professional experience. Furthermore, these days knowledge isn't the only thing required for a good job as skills, experience, discipline and adaptability, to name but a few, are prerequisites in order for someone to enter the labour market. That, however, was not the case in the past.

Q. What role do you think extracurricular activities play in education?
Answer: It is commonly believed that extracurricular activities play an important role in education and have many benefits both in personal and professional life. I quite agree with that as such activities enhance our capability and improve our way of thinking. First of all, children with extracurricular activities learn how to collaborate and co-exist with other peers and learn about soft skills. In addition, a great opportunity is provided to them to interrelate with others and develop and evolve their interpersonal skills. Hence, these types of activities can create a feeling of contribution, as children are involved in different things and this will lead them to boost their self-esteem. Lastly, all these advantages will help children build a well-rounded personality and an exceptional character and will benefit the school and teachers by having well-mannered and conscious students.

[Part three answers are written by- Mary, Economist & Business Consultant, UK]

If you can answer this cue card topic, you should be able to answer the following topics as well:

1. Talk about a person from your childhood whom you still remember.
2. Describe a teacher from your school/college whom you want to meet.
3. Talk about your math/literature/history teacher from school.
4. Describe an old person whom you admire.
5. Describe a subject taught in your school.
6. Describe a teacher who has helped you in your education greatly.
7. Describe an exemplary person from your hometown.

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 4.51 (39 Votes)

Thanks. Very helpful for the people who want a high band score in IELTS. One suggestion--: Please add more topics in cue card section. It will be helpful to all.
Samariddin Abdullayev
Thanks, it's very helpful.