education ielts cue card

Education is a cue card topic that often comes up in the IELTS speaking part 2. Below you will find a list of some exam questions and answers that you could encounter during part 2 of the IELTS Speaking test.

The questions below are based on the real IELTS speaking exam. They serve as a great IELTS Speaking part 2 cue card prediction questions to help you prepare better before your test.

Education Speaking Part 2 – Cue Card 1

Talk about a new language that you learnt. Please say

You should say:

  • when did you do it
  • how did you do it
  • who helped you with it
  • and explain how you feel about it now.

I am going to talk about learning English. I have been learning English since I was a child. I went to an international school so from a young age some of the subjects were taught in English. This was really difficult at first as not only did you have to be good at science or maths, you had to listen to the teacher explain it in English too. When I went to secondary school, my parents employed a private tutor to teach me at home. The teacher was a native from the UK so the classes really helped me learn more typical phrases and the correct pronunciation. The classes were invaluable and have really paid off as my English is much better now. Since then, I have been self taught. I read books, watch TV series and listen to podcasts in English which really helps immerse me in the language. Sometimes, I chat with English speaking friends and they correct me and I ask questions about the bizarre phrases and colloquial expressions they use. English uses a lot of jargon and slang, it can be difficult to understand but eventually I managed to catch their drift. I make a note of new vocabulary and use an app on my phone to test myself every now and again. Now I am studying translation, I am using English every day so I don’t need to brush up on my skills as much now. I feel proud of my English level, I have worked hard to get to this point.

Education Vocabulary Speaking Part 2 – Cue Card 2

  • paid off – got a good result
  • bizarre – strange
  • jargon and slang – technical and local dialect vocabulary
  • catch their drift – understand their meaning
  • to brush up on – to practice something after a long time

Cue Card 2

Talk about a skill that was difficult for you to learn. Please say

You should say:

  • when did you learn it
  • why did you learn it
  • how do you learn it
  • and explain how you feel about this skill now.

I am going to talk about learning to dance. Most Italians are pretty good dancers and lots of my family members dance well. I think I was in secondary school when I realized I had two left feet. I had no natural rhythm at all and I felt embarrassed dancing in public. Dancing in public is a way of life in Italy, everybody dances at family events and special occasions. One of my friends offered to teach me to dance. She is a salsa teacher and gives classes in a studio. So, I decided to sign up and took up classes a couple of times a week. The first few classes were awful! I got really flustered trying to listen to the music and follow all the instructions at the same time. It probably took me a few months to feel more comfortable and less embarrassed. As well as the classes, I watched videos at home and copied the moves. Although I still wasn’t a natural, I persevered with the classes for six months, eventually starting to move my hips and not look like a giraffe dancing. After that, I gave up as I didn’t have enough time to attend the classes. I continued dancing with friends and family and got a few compliments on my dancing. I am proud that I made the effort to improve my skills and I will never forget the lessons. It is almost unheard of not to dance in Italy, we are a very musical and passionate nation.

Vocabulary for Cue Card 2

  • have two left feet – no ability to dance
  • sign up – register for a course or activity
  • flustered – nervous and embarrassed
  • almost unheard of – very unusual

IELTS writing correction

Cue Card 3

Talk about an elementary school teacher you have a good memory of. Please say

You should say:

  • what he/she was like
  • the subject he/she taught
  • a memory you have of him/her
  • and why you this is a good memory, in your opinion
  1. What he/she was like
    I am going to talk about Miss Elaine who was my favourite elementary school teacher. She was probably the kindest teacher I have ever had. She was very patient with us, but she also knew how to set9 clear boundaries10. She would always let us know when we did something wrong, but she would also try to understand why we did it.
  2. The subject he/she taught
    Miss Elaine was my math teacher. I always struggled11 with math, but she was there to help me, and she gave me a lot of individual attention12, which I very much needed, because I would get very anxious trying to solve a math problem on my own.
  3. A memory you have of him/her
    I remember that one time she gave us a worksheet13 to complete. I could not do it and I started to tear up14. Everybody else was looking at me in the classroom. Miss Elaine ran to me and asked what was going on. I couldn’t really speak because I was crying and feeling stressed. Miss Elaine told me everything was okay and asked me if I was crying because I was nervous that I couldn’t solve the problems when others could. I just nodded15 and she gave me a warm hug. Then she sat with me, and we solved the problems together.
  4. And Why you this is a good memory, in your opinion
    To me that is a good memory because I really felt like she wanted to and was able to understand me. Especially when you are young, it is hard sometimes to know, let alone16 say how you feel. Her understanding and support17 had a huge18 impact19 on my confidence.

Vocabulary for Cue Card 3

  • set = (in this case) put
  • boundaries = limits
  • struggled = had problems doing something
  • individual attention = focus on one person
  • worksheet = a piece of paper with activities to complete or questions to answer
  • tear up = have tears come up in your eyes
  • nodded = said yes with the head
  • let alone = even less
  • support = help
  • huge = extremely big
  • impact = (in this case) effect

Cue Card 4

Talk about a skill that was difficult for you to learn. You should say

You should say:

  • what skill it was
  • why you learnt it
  • why it was difficult to learn
  • and explain how you felt about this.

I am going to speak about learning to speak another language. I learnt to speak French a few years ago. I decided to learn in order to communicate better when I travelled abroad. I had learnt it at school but forgotten a lot in recent years and felt I should brush up on it. I wanted to challenge myself and prove to myself I could do it. So I found a teacher online and then we met face to face. The teacher was a French native but spoke really good English too which helped when explaining the grammar. As well as the classes, I listened to podcasts and used vocabulary apps to learn new words. At first, it felt near impossible to grasp the vocabulary and master the pronunciation. I felt really frustrated that I didn’t seem to be picking it up more quickly and it was embarrassing to repeat the same things over and over again in class. But I persevered and gradually it got easier. It was as if part of my brain opened up and started to accept and remember the language. I was elated. From that moment, I was on a roll; learning new words and even going to a language exchange group to meet other like- minded people.  Now when I go on holiday to France, I feel more confident going into shops or ordering food in a restaurant so it was worth the effort and time I put into learning French.

Vocabulary for Cue Card 4

  • face to face – in person
  • grasp – to understand
  • elated – very happy
  • on a roll – a prolonged period of success
  • like minded – similar thinking people

Cue Card 5

Describe an area of science (physics, psychology and so on) that interests you. Please say

You should say:

  • what it is
  • how do you know about it
  • why are you interested in it
  1. What it is?
    I would like to talk about physics, an area of science that focuses on matter. It mainly deals with how matter moves in space and time, and what forces act upon it. In general, this field aims to make people understand how the universe behaves. For ordinary people, Physics is more understandable in situations like rubbing two things together and creating static electricity or the force applied whenever the washing machine dryer rapidly rotates. And to many, this subject can be identified when driving a car because natural forces help cars to start, move and stop.
  2. How do you know about it?
    I started learning physics when I was 8 years old as it was a formal subject in my school curriculum. As my class teacher used to teach concepts of physics in a very interesting manner, I developed keen interest in it during my childhood. What’s more my father is a science professor at a local university so I also got to know a lot about physics through him.
  3. Why are you interested in it?
    Physics interested me because it involves a lot of math. I find it easier to work with formulas for force and understanding how they work compared to other branches of science. Physics covers several areas and every time I encounter them in real life, my love for physics grows further. Moreover, I feel satisfied whenever I realize the scientific explanation and apply its practical aspect

Vocabulary for Cue Card 5

Cue Card 6

Talk about another course that you would like to take, not related to your previous studies. Please say

You should say:

  • what kind of course would it be
  • what do you want to learn from it
  • why would you choose it

I am going to talk about photography. I would love to take a photography course. I have always been interested in taking photos since I was a young child. I was given a camera when I was a teenager and used to go out taking pictures of animals and people. Nowadays, I mainly take photos using my smartphone but I miss the skill of taking really good photos. I would like to take the course so I could learn about setting up the shot, capturing a moment and also some of the technical stuff about filtering and perfecting photos.

I know that you can do these courses as an evening class or even during the summer but I just haven’t had the time or the money since I have started university. You can even learn online but I don’t think that is the same as a hands on experience.I have a friend who has completed the course and he takes amazing photos of people and beautiful architecture – it really is awe inspiring. If I did the course in the future, I would like to take a trip to a famous sight like Machu Picchu or the Niagara Falls and capture some amazing shots there. In the meantime. I am taking photos with my smartphone of me and my friends. I use the different filters and post photos on instagram so my friends and family back home can keep up to date with my life.

Vocabulary for Cue Card 6

  • set up – prepared
  • hands on – direct experience
  • awe inspiring – amazing
  • in the meantime – the time between now and something in the future
  • keep up to date – to be informed of the current situation

Cue Card 7

Talk about a person you know who learnt a foreign language. Please say

You should say:

  • who is he/she
  • what was his/her motivation for learning the language
  • how frequently does he/she use it
  • and how do you feel about him/her
  1. Who is he/she?
    I am going to talk about my aunt Tina. Aunt Tina comes from a multicultural family background, and is a polyglot, speaking French, Danish and Spanish fluently. She learnt French and Danish from her parents, and made the decision to major in Spanish at university. She completed her degree and later lived in Argentina for about ten years, where she met her husband, Pedro.
  2. What was his/her motivation for learning the language?
    Growing up with different cultures, my aunt developed a fascination for languages, and it seemed she was picking them up with ease. When she was fourteen years old, her parents travelled with her to Spain for the summer holidays, and she realised she was able to comprehend most of what was being said to her and around her. Her knowledge of French was a huge leg up, due to the common linguistic roots between French and Spanish. I think she really identified with the culture there, and her interest in the language grew stronger over time.
  3. How frequently does he/she use it?
    My aunt practises the language on a regular basis. Although she no longer lives in Argentina and her husband speaks a little French, they find it easier to communicate in Spanish. My aunt introduced the languages she knows to her children, and she was beside herself with joy when one of them expressed an interest in learning an additional foreign language in school. Sometimes, she would speak to her children in Spanish and they would respond in a different language. It is their way of learning new words and phrases!
  4. and how do you feel about him/her?
    I find her inspiring. Learning languages is like a walk in the park for her, and I admire her courage to pursue her dreams and live life as she sees fit.

Vocabulary for Cue Card 7

  • Polyglot = someone who speaks more than two languages
  • Fascination = strong interest in
  • picking them up = (in this case) learning them
  • leg up = help
  • linguistic roots = linguistic origins
  • on a regular basis = regularly
  • beside herself with joy = extremely happy
  • a walk in the park = extremely easy
  • as she sees fit = the way she wants, as she believes is right for her

Cue Card 8

Describe you preferred location for studying. Please say

You should say:

  • where is this place
  • what does it physically look like
  • why is it your favourite place to study
  • follow up question: Do other people you know use the same place to study?
  1. Where is this place?
    I am going to talk about my favourite place to study. It is actually a public library. As a tour guide, I need to constantly increase and update my knowledge of the places I tour, and the library provides me with all the resources I need for that.
  2. What does it physically look like?
    The public library I go to is quite big. It has a Victorian architecture and outside look to it, but it’s very modern on the inside. It offers a plethora of books on a variety of subjects, such as history, art, languages, and so on. Thereare plenty of tables and chairs throughout the library. Some chairs look more like armchairs an may be placed by large bay windows, although I prefer less exposed areas, to help me concentrate better. There is also an area with computers for people to use, as well as printers and scanners.
  3. Why is it your favourite place to study?
    I find myself being more productive at the library. I believe that being surrounded by books really sparks motivation in me. The members of staff are all so friendly, and I feel like there is little that can distract me there. It is really the ideal place for me to complete my work without any interruptions. I enjoy the abundance of books and resources there. The history section is of particular interest to me, due to my job. There are plenty of books on local history, and I feel like there are always new facts and anecdotes for me to learn.
  4. Follow up question: Do other people you know use the same place to study?
    I know people who use this library, but I don’t believe they go there to study. Many of them make use of the computers or borrow books rather than study. I see many people conduct research or focused on their own personal projects, but I do not know them personally.

Vocabulary for Cue Card 8

  • plethora = range
  • exposed = with nowhere to hide
  • productive = making good use of time by completing many tasks and actions
  • sparks motivation = inspires enthusiasm/motivation
  • abundance = large quantities
  • of particular interest to me = particularly interesting to me
  • anecdotes = small stories that relate to a main subject

Cue Card 9

Talk about a course which left an impression on you.

You should say:

  • what course was it
  • where did you take that course
  • what was the course like
  • and why did it impress you
  1. What course was it?
    I am going to talk about a course I took and which left a strong impression on me. That course was a Spanish course I took over the summer. I had studied Spanish in school but wanted to hone my skills.
  2. Where did you take that course?
    It was an intensive and immersive language course at a language institution in a nearby town. It was delivered by a Guatemalan teacher, which meant I got insight into Guatemalan culture and idioms. The institution was only a twenty-minute drive from where I live. Very convenient!
  3. What was the course like?
    The course was very engaging and inclusive. Our teacher used a myriad of media to teach us: films, videos. Books, magazines, recordings, songs, and more! It was truly immersive and I was completely hooked. The classes took place three times a week, and I would look froward to each class. Another aspect I truly appreciated about the course was the fact that she only spoke to us in Spanish, with the occasional English translations, where needed. It really forced us to think and produce in the language. It was great!
  4. Why did it impress you?
    I was very impressed by this course because I never realised the power of immersive programmes. I sincerely feel like I got more bang for my buck than with other more traditional courses. I can certainly feel that my speaking skills, and my reading skills for that matter, have increased tremendously. It also taught me about the power of visuals in conveying messages, and that anything is possible when we put effort into it! I did not expect that level of improvement on my part, and I am very thankful for the course and, of course, the teacher!

Vocabulary for Cue Card 9

  • hone = sharpen
  • engaging = (in this case) catching my interest
  • myriad = range
  • hooked = (in this case) so exciting I want to keep doing it
  • bang for my buck = better value for the price you pay
  • tremendously = in large amounts, to a very large degree

Cue Card 10

Talk about a practical skill you have learnt.

You should say:

  • what skill have you learnt
  • when did you learn it
  • how did you learn it
  • and why is it an important skill
  1. What skill have you learnt?
    I am going to talk about an important practical skill I learnt when I was young. It is a cooking skill I use today and which involves frying eggs.
  2. When did you learn it?
    I believe I was about 12 years old when my mom called me to the kitchen. I was clueless about cooking, and quite frankly disinterested in the subject. But my mom, wise as an owl, said to me: “you may not find it interesting, but, believe me, you will find useful”. At the time I did not realise how right she was.
  3. How did you learn it?
    She showed me exactly how to do it, and even let me try it out myself. The first time, I went too strong, and part of the eggshell fell into the pan. I felt so embarrassed and told my mom I was giving up. My mom was never the kind of person to beat around the bush. She essentially told me to stop making excuses, and pull myself together so I can try again. She didn’t do it in a malicious way. She just wanted to help me get back on the horse. The second time, I managed to do it properly. She congratulated me and let me try it a few more times.
  4. And why is it an important skill?
    This skill is so very important, because it is one of the easiest meals to cook. It helps a lot when my schedule gets too busy for me to have the energy to cook anything else. It also inspired me to attempt to cook other dishes. When I mastered the skill, I thought to myself, if I can cook that, imagine what else I could make? It was a significant confidence boost for me

Vocabulary for Cue Card 10

  • clueless = have no idea, have no knowledge of something
  • wise as an owl = very wise person
  • beat around the bush = avoid saying what you think because it is uncomfortable
  • pull myself together = get over a negative emotional state
  • malicious = evil, meaning to hurt
  • get back on the horse = try again after a discouraging failure
  • confidence boost = an action that helps increase someone’s confidence/self-confidence

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