Part 1 – Introduction & Interview
Q. Can you tell me your full name, please?
A. My full name is “Georgia Annita”. You can, however, call me simply “Annita” if you like.
Q. Can I see your ID card, please?
A. Of course. Here it is.
Q. When do you usually have free time?
A. On a weekday, I am free in the afternoon and the whole evening after returning from college. On a weekend, I am free most of the day. I take the evening time to walk in the park or hang out with my friends. I also have some free time after I finish my dinner at night.
Q. What do you like doing in your free time?
A. Well, on a weekday evening, I love to walk in a nearby park for an hour or so. I also listen to some of my favourite music on my iPod while I walk. After I finish my dinner at night, I watch some TV programmes and read newspapers. I read novels and magazines before I go to bed each night. On a weekend, I meet my friends, eat some of our favourite food at a restaurant or watch a movie together. Besides, I love to read different books, watch some interesting TV documentaries and have conversations with my family members in my free time.
Q. What free time activities are most popular where you live?
A. People in Cyprus love to spend their leisure time by getting engaged in different activities and they enjoy their free time to a great extent. Many of them are fond of sports like golf, tennis, basketball while some other love watersports and diving, and hiking to hills and valleys. Watching television is a common and popular leisure activity in our country. Young people often like to hang out with friends and spend time online while elder people like to go outdoors and meet their friends and neighbours. Reading books, gardening, running, and hiking are also popular among them.
Q. How important is free time in our life?
A. Leisure time and how we decide to spend them are no less important than our professional and academic life. If we enjoy our free time activities and have free time as a reward for our hard work, we would enjoy what we do in life. In fact, our free time helps eliminate our stress to refreshes our mind. Consequently, we can focus on our regular activities more enthusiastically. Some leisure activities help us rediscover ourselves and get engaged in activities that are helpful for our personal growth. Our free time also helps us plan ahead and look back at our usually busy life from time to time. Finally, free time spent with family and friends strengthen our relationship and make us more social.
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Part 2 – Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card
Describe a teacher who has influenced you in your education.
You should say:
- who this teacher was
- what subject he/she taught
- what was so special about him/her
and explain why this teacher has influenced you so much in your education.
[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, 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.
Part 3 – Details Discussion:
Q. How has education changed in your country in the last 10 years?
Answer: The education system in my country went through numerous changes during the last ten years or so, and the use of technology in education is most noteworthy of them all. Most schools and colleges in my country have modern computer labs these days and teachers take advantages of the technology to communicate and teach students more efficiently.
Besides, the syllabus has been amended to make it more modern and useful while teachers went through rigid and comprehensive training sessions to enhance their teaching skills and subject-matter knowledge. They have a much friendlier relationship with students, unlike the past, and young students are no longer afraid to talk to teachers regarding their problems. I personally see it as a remarkable development. Finally, the exam and grading systems have been revamped and more emphasis has been put on developing pupils’ soft skills along with their communication and problem-solving skills.
Q. What changes do you foresee in the next 50 years in your country’s education system?
Answer: “50 years” is a long period and it is so difficult to predict the changes in our education system in such a distant future, especially because of the pace in which technology is advancing. However, I will try.
After a few decades or so, the education system in our country will go through a paradigm shift where technology will manage and administer almost everything. The classrooms will be remodelled, application of multimedia will be very common and many students will attend classes from their home. Robots and Artifical Intelligence would act as mentors and the exam system would be fully automated and computer-based, I believe. The government will fine parents if their offsprings do not attend classes and many people would seek for professional courses and training rather than getting traditional degrees from traditional educational institutes.
Q. What method of learning works best for most students in college in your country?
Answer: Ummm… most college students in my country can adapt to a diverse type of learning methods. But I think the multimedia classes are more effective to them than the conventional way of learning from textbooks. Teachers as a result, often use video tutorials for lessons that the students otherwise find hard to grasps. This type of visual presentation of lessons have been proven out to be very effective among the young students in my country and they are being used more and more in classrooms these days.
Q. How beneficial do you think it is to group students according to their level of ability?
Answer: Forming groups, based on students’ ability, skills and knowledge, is highly beneficial both for the students and teachers. When students of the same level gather at a place or in the classroom, they freely share their thoughts and ask questions without hesitations. They do not suffer from inferiority or get bored due to silly questions and topics raised by less intelligent students. Teachers, on the other hand, can prepare lessons according to the skill level of these students. I personally believe that grouping similar students in terms of their capability and talent is far beneficial than grouping them randomly.
Q. How technology has changed the way people learn new things?
Answer: The use of technology, without any doubt, has made learning new information much easier from anywhere. In the past, people had to struggle a lot to learn new things as their options were limited. But over time, the learning system has evolved with the blessings of technology. For instance, teachers these days use multimedia presentations while teaching young students, a professional can just Google for something and get updated information, a housewife can get a recipe while cooking at the kitchen and someone on the road can get updated traffic information from his/her smartphone. Moreover, online courses, skill development training sessions, e-books, video tutorials are all aimed to make our learning process easier and more convenient. Distant learning and online learning have made it possible for us to get a required diploma online while not travelling to a distant school every day at all. Thus the possibility of getting information and learning new things are virtually endless in this modern era.
Q. What are the qualities of a good teacher? Would you want to be a teacher in the future? Why/ Why not?
Answer: Well, a good teacher should possess some great qualities including, but not limited to, the passion for teaching and learning, patience, dedication and the ability to understand the students’ need. A good teacher also should have excellent communication skills, and he or she should try to instil morality among the students. As students often follow their teachers, he or she should also be punctual, honest and sincere in executing responsibilities. He/she should possess sound knowledge of the subjects and topics he/she teaches. Finally and most importantly, a good teacher should be a role model for his or her pupils and inspire them to learn and become good citizens.
Well, I do not prefer to be a teacher because I lack the patience that a teacher needs while teaching in the classroom. Though I think highly of this profession, I do not feel passionate about it. To be honest, I have a passion for journalism and thus would seek to become a journalist instead.
Q. Female teachers, according to many, are more suitable to teach in primary schools? What’s your opinion on that?
Answer: I believe appointing more female teachers in elementary or primary schools is an excellent idea. In elementary schools, most of the students are much younger and they need special attention, motherly care and affection. Female teachers, by their nature, already possess those qualities and features and that is why they have a competitive advantage over the male teachers while teaching students of very tender age.