Number one for English language teachers

Describing data-line graphs 1

Type: Article, General lesson plan, Teaching notes, Worksheet

Some top tips, a lesson plan and a student worksheet about describing data-line graphs to help with the writing component of the IELTS exam.

Example question

The graph below shows the pass marks for different nationalities of students over the last five years. Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information shown below.

Line graph

Teacher's tips

Tip 1: The data that the students must describe is given in a graphic form (e.g. a graph or bar chart) or as a table of figures.

Tip 2: Students have to write 150 words in 20 minutes, in well organised paragraphs, with a conclusion - so time is of the essence! All class work should be closely timed, be it brainstorming, discussion or actual writing.

Tip 3: Tenses they are likely to need to know for this part are the contrast between present perfect for unfinished actions and the simple past, the use of present continuous to describe things in the process of happening, and future with will for predictions.

Tip 4: The other language they are likely to need is that of trends. A great source for this is Business English teaching books.

Tip 5: The thing students most often forget, and the obvious way to start the piece of writing is to describe what the graph actually represents:This graph shows.../ the axes represent....

Tip 6: The obvious way to liven up classes practising this point is to speak about the graphs before writing about them. It is possible to play games like pairwork information gap activities and Bingo to add a bit more fun.

Tip 7: The other way to add interest for the students is to use data that means something to them personally,e.g. graphs from local government or newspapers, or having them give presentations on something that interests them.

You can download the worksheets and lesson plan below.

Answer key for student worksheet exercise 2

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13

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Readers' comments (13)

  • I find this worksheet very useful but I think it is not easy to find ;-)

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  • Hello statsilandia,

    Thank you very much for your comment. We will certainly keep this in mind.

    Best wishes,

    The onestopenglish team

  • I love that the lesson plan is in a document! It means I can take my time reading it later without being online.

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  • Hello YHub,

    Thank you very much for your comment. This is good to know; we will bear it in mind for the future.

    Best wishes and happy teaching!

    The onestopenglish team.

  • Hello anonymous,

    Thank you very much for your feedback. We have since added the answer key into the teacher's notes above.

    Best wishes and happy teaching,

    The onestopenglish team

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  • I couldn't find answer keys for part 1&2 in the worksheet.

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  • Hi there,

    Many thanks for your feedback. The exams resources on onestopenglish (which includes IELTS and Cambridge First, along with KET, PET and CAE) were recently audited and materials are currently being updated/written to be published later in the year. Macmillan have also released a new series of IELTS books which may be of interest to you:

    http://www.macmillanenglish.com/courses/improve-your-skills-for-ielts/

    Hope this helps.

    Best wishes,
    The onestopenglish team

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  • Hi OnestopEnglish team,

    It would be better if you can post more updated materials as well as information about IELTS. As far as I have seen that, this topic seems to be outdated and needs to be upgraded.

    I would be very happy to pay more fees but with informative sources.

    Thanks

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  • Hi there,

    Many thanks for the feedback. It's great to hear that you found the resources so useful.

    Best wishes,

    The onestopenglish team

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  • Very helpful and resourceful material usable in my IELTS lessons. I was looking for some creative ways of teaching IELTS to my students and I couldn't be more grateful to you. Thank you

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  • Hi there,

    Sorry to hear that you're feeling disappointed by the site. What kinds of IELTS resources would you like to see here? Also, when you say messy what do you mean by that? Could you give us an example?

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  • Some blogs on IELTS are a lot better than this, and you don't need to pay to use their materials. This site is messy and expensive.

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