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An idea you had for improving something at work or college

IELTS Cue Card Question 31 With Model Answer: 

Describe an idea you had for improving something at work or college.

You should say: 
  • when and where you had your idea
  • what your idea was
  • who you told about your idea
and explain why you thought your idea would make an improvement.

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

Model Answer 1:
Ideas are immortal and could change lives within the twinkle of an eye. The idea of inventing wheels has brought a massive revolution in the entire world of communication. Distance is now not a major issue for the global population for the idea of wheels. In fact, ideas are used to improve the current situation.

After completing my graduation, I had joined at a local college in Michigan to teach Science to the students of 11th grade. So, as the Science teacher in the college grades, in the beginning, it was difficult for me to teach the subject for different reasons. Most of the students were mischievous and did not bring their Science books or assigned homework. As a result, they started having sorry figures in the class tests and examinations of Science class. It turned difficult for me to teach the course as most of the students did not have their books with them and those who had the book did not share it with the other for some egoistic causes. I had to go through all the lines of some important texts. As they did not have books, they missed the lines. So, I started planning how to improve the situation and finally I had a solution to the problem.

I planned to teach them the texts using multimedia tools. I sought for a projector in the classroom. I made presentations of the texts using PowerPoint slides. I inserted all the necessary information, texts, images and rules for solving some complicated issues on the slides. I thought it will be helpful for all the students regardless with or without books. But it cost me time and labour more than teaching in the class. I had to compose all the texts all by myself and prepare the logic into a digital format. But it was effective for all. The students used to look at the projected screen containing their texts and it did not require books for them. It also made them more attractive to the class.

When I experienced the troubles with the students, I discussed the issue with some other colleagues and also informed the college authority. They gladly allowed me to invent something useful for the students. So, when I appeared before them with my idea, they appreciated it and instantly allowed me to use a projector in my class. Gradually the issue of using a projector in the class was spread among the guardians and all of them congratulated me for such a brilliant idea and its implementation.

As the students were wicked in nature and did not follow the advice both from the teachers and sometimes from their parents, I thought they need something different. I tried to improve the situation and suddenly using a projector with digital texts appeared in my mind. In my university, the teachers also used the technology. However, at first, I was confused about the acceptance of a projector in a classroom filled with teenagers. I also thought about the negative criticisms from different quarters. But finally, I decided that if I want to have a better future for the student, I have to take the risk. I believed that a projector will make a different environment in the classroom. Usually, the students are bored of textbooks, homework, class tests, monthly tests, semester exams etc. Something different will revive their willingness to study more and I was successful.

Sample Answer 2: 
Ideas help to make things better and by applying a simple idea, I have improved my as well as my classmates’ academic studies in both college and home. In fact, before applying the idea to my real-life, it was troublesome for me to write. Now writings have become simple and easier for me and many others who also adopted the idea thanked me profoundly.

The idea crossed my mind when I was in my college and still apply it in my daily life. I was a student of 11th grade, in fact, got newly promoted at the grade at the college from where I passed the earlier grades. Applying the idea has brought some special changes particularly for my writings. Before applying the idea, I made huge mistakes and the ratio reduced after applying the idea.

I started using pencils instead of using pens for taking draft notes at class, underlining on books, writing on papers and drafting notes at home more others things. I believe this is one of the best ideas that has helped me to improve my writing in college. Before moving to pencil, I used ballpoint pens for all of my writing purposes. It was really troublesome when I made spelling and other mistakes with the pen while writing. When I made mistakes using pens, it was difficult to correct or change the mistakes but using pencils, it is easier to erase the mistakes and write again freshly.

Initially, I shared the idea with my parents. They were glad that I am conscious of the writings and applied the new idea. When I got approval from my parents, I shared the idea with some of my intimate friends and classmates. They also were amazed and congratulated me to invent such an interesting idea. Gradually, the entire class came to know about my idea of using pencil and the reactions were mixed. Some of them adored the idea and also implemented with them while the other mates of mine said they were informed about the idea but did not apply considering it as silly.

To be frank, I am not a very good student and often make mistakes while writing. the spelling mistake is the most defective feature of mine and I wanted to check the mistakes. So, when I made the mistakes, it was impossible for me to erase the mistakes written by pen and write the correct word. Thereby, the idea to use pencil appeared on my mind as I have used pencils in my childhood. So, I thought if I write with pencils to make drafts, I would be able to check the spellings. The idea worked well and my spelling has been improved. Whenever I had a mistake, I erased that with rubber, wrote the correct one memorised that. By this way, the idea of using pencil helped me and my classmates to improve the spelling.

Part 3 - Detail discussion / Two-way discussion:

Ideas and Education:

Q. Some people think that education should be about memorising the important ideas of the past. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
A. Education is a lengthy process. It helps to gain knowledge of the issues required to lead a happy, healthy and wealthy life. There are some views that education should be based on the past ideas. But have you ever noticed or thought that we are living in present and even the present moments are turning past within seconds? So, this is unnecessary to think about the ideas of past. But I am not of the view that the past ideas are unable to reap benefits for us, but we should not cling to those and learn to think ahead. The days ahead are more advanced than those were in the past. Everything is being changed in different ways and if education is based on the past ideas or ideologies, the students will fail to survive in the future where the past ideas will be ineffective to cope up with the modern situations. So, this is not the day of memorising the past logic rather we are to think to improve or invent something newer.

Q. Should education encourage students to develop and share their own ideas?
A. Currently, education has become routine-bound. There are fewer chances to explore different ideas or inventions. But the aim should be exercising the free ideas. The students should be allowed to develop newer ideas which will be helpful for them and the mankind as well. But if they are not engaged to do so and keep occupied with memorising the ‘E=MC2’ theory for their lifetime, they will not be able to discover or invent something newer. Unless the education system is encouraging them to exercise their own intelligence, something better in unexpected. They should develop newer ideas over different issues and share them with their superiors and mates, and it will be helpful for them to be great in life.

Q. How do you think teachers could help students to develop and share their own ideas?
A. Teachers are considered as the nation builder. They are the key role player in exploring the intelligence of the students. They should inspire the students to exercise their own intelligence to discover improved ideas. They should also show the way of thinking on any specific issues. They should be taught to get out of logic as logic has limitations and boundary but imagination is not. The students should be inspired to imagine different things which may appear unusual at first but will be effective in the long run. By this way, they will be trained to perform the extraordinary things which are beyond the capacity of the commoners’.    

Ideas in the workplace:

Q. Should employers encourage their workers to have new ideas about improving the company? Why?
A. Employees are the players who have the leading role in the development and advancement of any company. They are the people who work relentlessly to improve the situations. Unfortunately, they are to work in prescribed forms which at times do not bring the desired success for the company. They should be allowed to contribute newer ideas to improve the company. During the selection process, the company picks the fittest individuals for the work. So, it should allow them to speak over different issues and submit their ideas to improve the company from their respective working conditions. Applicable new ideas are able to improve the working conditions, production will be increased and the employees will be happy that their ideas have been granted, and then they will work more attentively than before.

Q. Do you think people sometimes dislike ideas just because they are new? Why? 
A. It should be considered and kept in mind that every people are not the same. There are differences among the people and they may not like everything in a working condition. Some of them may think that new ideas are unnecessary as they are accustomed to the older ones. They may also think that they have to get out of their comfort zone if the new ideas are implemented. Besides, they also think about the failure of the new ideas.  So, they are against the ideas and do not want the implementation. They are new to the ideas and adjustment is impossible or sometimes too tougher for them with the new conditions. But they do not understand that once they are familiarised with the new idea, it will be beneficial for them.

Q. What is more difficult: having new ideas or putting them into practice? Which is more important for a successful company? 
A. Generating a new idea is truly a daunting and hefty task but to apply the idea in real life situations is more difficult. Anyone could generate ideas but it is impossible for them to apply in practical situations. Regarding the company, having an idea is difficult but it is more difficult to implement the idea inside the company. Usually, the employees are habituated to work in the way they had been and the introduction of something new will make them puzzled. It may also create a sense of discomfort with the employees as well. So, the implementation process should be more technical and easily understandable for all working in a company.      

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