Cue Card Sample
A teacher who has influenced you in your education - Cue Card # 18
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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 he/she taught
• what was special about him/her
and explain why this person/teacher has influenced you 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.]
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, an exceptional mentor, and a great influence in my education.
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 and formal with him. We got this impression because of his serious look and tidy dress-up. But soon after we found that he was a very friendly person, and we did not have to be "very polite" to 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 would say he has had 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's mainly because of Mr Smith - who had a major role in making the subject interesting to me. Before I learned math from Mr Smith, math was even intimidating to me, and I considered mathematics to be a complex and uninteresting subject. But his teaching and influences changed my perspective of math, and later on, math became one of my favourite subjects for which I admire this teacher greatly.
Sample Answer 2:
Education is an essential aspect of an individual's life, and I believe that teachers play a crucial role in shaping the minds of students. I have been fortunate enough to have many teachers in my life who have influenced me positively, but the one teacher who stands out the most is my high school math teacher, Mr. Johnson.
Where you met him/her:
I met Mr. Johnson during my junior year of high school. He was my math teacher for that year.
What subject he/she taught:
Mr. Johnson taught us Algebra and Trigonometry, which were two challenging subjects for me.
What was special about him/her:
Mr. Johnson was an exceptional teacher who went above and beyond to ensure that every student in his class understood the subject matter. He had a unique way of explaining complex concepts and formulas, which made it easier for us to grasp. He was patient, kind, and approachable, and he encouraged us to ask questions if we were unsure about anything. Mr. Johnson also made the effort to get to know each of his students personally and provided us with individual attention whenever needed.
And explain why this person/teacher has influenced you so much:
Mr. Johnson's teaching style and dedication to his students had a significant impact on me. I had always found math challenging, but he made it fun and engaging. He instilled in me a love for the subject that I never knew existed. He helped me gain confidence in my abilities and inspired me to work harder and push myself further. Mr. Johnson's influence went beyond the classroom, and his lessons have stayed with me even after graduating from high school. He was not only an excellent teacher but also a mentor and a role model, and I am grateful for the impact he has had on my life.
Model Answer 3:
When I was growing up as a young boy, especially during my high school day, I was more like a below-average student. On top of that, I was also not as energetic as the other boys of my age. So, it is fair to assume that I wasn’t really enjoying going to school as much as I should have. But, then came a teacher in my life who I would never forget. His name was Mr Mukit Kumar. Mr Kumar, teaching Geography, wasn’t like other teachers at my high school because he seemed more friendly with his students than his colleagues.
Anyway, I still vividly remember the first day when he asked the names of each and every student in his class. Then, he asked all of his students one by one to tell positive things about themselves. But, when it was my turn to answer that awkward question, I simply put my head down and kept quiet because I just didn’t know what to say. I guess, he understood my situation, so he told the whole class in my defence that I had a lot of positive things to tell about myself, but I just didn’t know where to start. After saying that, Mr Kumar looked at me with a smiling face as if to tell me that I was just fine. And, that was when I felt for the first time that I could be just as good as other students.
Anyway, Mr Kumar has influenced my academic life immensely with his very easy and laid-back approach to teaching. Besides, he always used to remind his students, especially me, not to think in terms of what we couldn’t do, but what we could do, even if it was a very little thing. Finally, it was because of his continuous encouragement to act and feel strong, no matter how physically weak I really was, that I developed very high self-esteem. And, needless to say, it was that high self-esteem in me that helped me excel academically at a later time.
Sample Answer 4:
Mr Malcolm Tyler is one of the best teachers in my life, and I met this great science teacher for the first time about 10 or 11 years ago when I was just a 6th grader. One day in a teacher-student meeting, I said that I was having a tough time understanding physics lessons, and he told me to visit him the next day. Little did I know that he would have such a profound impact on my studies and become one of my favourite teachers of all time.
Inspecting the “little me”, the next day, with a friendly smile on his face, Mr Tyler asked me why I liked physics. I was wondering where the conversation was going and why he was not asking me what chapters I was having trouble understanding! The next question he asked me was what I wanted to be in life. Thus the conversation was getting more and more interesting but totally off-topic. After a while, he asked me about my problems with physics subject.
And, it took him only about 30 minutes to explain a tough chapter as clearly as the water of Lake Mashu in Japan making me wonder why I did not understand it before! I think he had a unique way of explaining things that have had a lasting impact on our minds and that makes him a really talented and influential teacher.
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 and things with such ease! Mr Tyler, indeed, was a special teacher not only because of his “depth of knowledge” in the subjects he taught but also because of his great helping attitude.
In fact, it was because of the constant push and encouragement of my dear teacher that I got admission to 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 become the person that I am today!
Sample Answer 5:
I met Mr John Markus, a great teacher and mentor, in my elementary school when I was a student at Agiou Georgiou School. With his support and suggestions, I have crossed many barriers in my life - both academic and personal. So, I am really grateful to him. Without his guidance, I would not have been able to arrive in this position today.
Mr John Markus was our general science teacher in the school. He was a great teacher and had some unconventional yet effective teaching methods. He hardly used textbooks and other teaching materials for teaching in the classroom but explained the lessons with such command and ease that we all understood them. Interestingly, he knew the names of every single one of us, which has always been a great mystery to me.
He was a special teacher in the sense that he knew how to teach the students so that they could understand the subject. Mr Markus also supported his students with personal matters and offered mentorship. Moreover, he used to remain in touch with the parents of the children. As a result, he turned into a popular figure among the parent community as well.
This teacher has influenced my education to a great extent. He inspired me to study hard and taught me the importance of education not only for a career but also for enlightenment in life. Whenever I met him with some sort of trouble, he guided me with a way out. So, I have always admired him and I still do.
Sample Answer 6:
I have met and liked several teachers in different stages of my academic life, but among them, Mr./Mrs. (...say the name of the teacher...) is someone I will always remember for his/her invaluable contribution to my academic success. He/she used to teach us "History" subjects at our higher secondary level. For this topic, I will describe this teacher.
He/she was well-mannered and eloquent, to begin with. We all believed that he/she was a great teacher, and we all liked his/her style of teaching. It was surprising that he/she did not believe in homework, so he/she always gave us tasks which we had to finish before our classes end. This helped us a lot when it came to learning as it was quite engaging. Because of him/her, I did quite well in the board exam in History. Besides his/her great teaching styles, he/she also taught us about morality, the importance of education and how we should value our "morality" and "time" in life.
He/she influenced us to read books outside our syllabus which turned out to be very useful later in our lives. He/she also inspired us to read English newspapers and journals, watch history-related channels, technology and history-related magazines and so on. No doubt, he/she was talented and very friendly to the students. He/she never turned down anyone whenever someone asked for his/her help and advice.
In short, he/she was an exemplary person and an ideal teacher whom most of the students liked and respected. I have been greatly influenced by his/her punctuality, honesty, talent and good behaviour. I still remember him/her and the advice he/she gave me.
Tips for answering this cue card/ candidate task card question:
First, talk about a teacher you remember and whom you liked a lot. Then, say his/her name and the class/grade he/she taught you. Also, mention which subject she taught and what you have learned from him/her. Following are some of the reasons a teacher becomes influential 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 work, creative stuff which is beneficial to the community.
» He/she is a great orator and has an exceptional personality.
To answer this cue card topic, also take notes on the following points:
- The teacher's name
- The subject(subjects he/she taught
- The class/level he/she taught
- His/her teaching style
- Things you learned from him/her
- How he/she influenced you to do better in life
- What motivation you got from his/her lessons/personality/advice
Once you take notes on the above-listed points, you would be able to talk about this topic spontaneously.
Teacher's Name: Say the name of one of your teachers. Don't spend time recalling a teacher's name. You can say a fictitious name as well.
What subject he/she taught: The major in which you graduated (or graduating) should be a subject you liked in your academic years, and a teacher who has influenced you should've encouraged you to do your graduation on this subject as well. But there is a possibility that you liked a teacher who took the history class and later on, you did your graduation in Mathematics. So, in this case, mention how the teacher has influenced you to learn more about "History" and how his/her advice inspired you to explore the subject. There can be an entirely different situation when the teacher has influenced you on something else than the subject he/she taught. For instance, you might have learned about some moral lessons from your teacher that later changed your course of action in life.
In which class/level he/she taught: Usually we get some inspiring teachers who influence us very much at our school level and university level. Mention the exact class he/she taught in, and how old you were then.
His/her teaching style: Exemplary teachers usually have some unique ways of teaching their pupils. A good teacher makes a tough subject interesting. He/she shares many interesting stories and gives references to materials outside of the academic books, and always inspires students morally and academically. Apart from that, they would explain the importance of education, how education can help you explore yourself and the world, how education flourishes human quality and your responsibilities as a student and human being. Apart from academic lessons, they talk about lots of interesting topics and issues. They usually make the lesson interesting and have a great way of delivering the lessons to the students. Finally, a good teacher does not pressurise the students to read around the clock and always patiently answers the questions asked by the students no matter how silly sometimes they are. They invite questions and do friendly interactions with the students.
Things I learned from him/her: Students learn many things from a good teacher. The first thing they learn is the importance of education and morality in life. They learn different information from the subject they read for exams, and also outside of academic subjects. They learn the responsibility, essential qualities of a good citizen and so on while also getting inspired to become a good human.
How he/she influenced me to do better in life: Usually, a teacher influences a student with his/her way of teaching, his/her own personal character/morality/honesty/bravery, with the advice he/she gives to the students and the information he/she delivers to the students. A student can also be influenced by the good advice he/she receives from a teacher.
While answering this cue card topic, emphasise the teacher’s great teaching style, motivational speeches, an interesting and easy way he/she adopted to explain intricacies issues, his/her personality and morality and things you have learned from him/her. You should also mention how you have applied the things you learned from him/her or how those things have changed your course of action in life.
Part 3: Details Discussion:
Discussion topics: Developments in education
Q. How has education changed in your country in the last 10 years?
Answer: The truth is that ten years ago the education system wasn't the same as it is now, and many aspects have changed in our education system. In the past, teachers used to engage conventional methods of education to teach their students, and the only mean 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 classrooms these days.
To conclude, I prefer the past educational system (as it was 10 years ago or so) to it 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 school. 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.
Discussion topics: A national education system
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 expectations, and they wish to have a higher position with 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 for 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 exceptional character and will benefit the school and teachers by having well-mannered and conscious students.
Discussion topics: Different styles/methods of teaching and learning
Q. What method of learning works best for you?
Answer: Practical work and lab experiments work best for me. I believe that when we do something of our own, be it in a school laboratory or classroom, we tend to understand and remember them better than just studying them theoretically. I have always learned better when I did something personally.
Q. How beneficial do you think it is to group students according to their level of ability?
Answer: I believe grouping students based on their talents and ability reap substantial benefits primarily because it helps teachers plan class lessons more effectively. In this method, teachers know how much effort they have to put into teaching something in the classroom and how they should deliver the lecture. They do not need to explain the same lesson to different students and take care of individual students as their level of ability is almost the same.
[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. Describe a person from your childhood whom you still remember.
2. Describe a teacher from your school/college whom you want to meet.
3. Describe 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.
8. Describe a teacher from your childhood.
9. Describe a teacher whom you liked.
10. Describe a math teacher.
11. Describe a teacher from your university.
12. Describe a teacher who gave you good advice.
13. Describe a teacher who you would like to meet again.