Describe Image Strategies and Tips from PEARSON EDU.

Describe image

This is a long-answer item type that assesses speaking skills, and requires you to describean image from an academic source such as a graph, map, chart, table or picture.

ItemType Strategies

Strategy 1      You have 25 secondsto study the image. Try to understandthe main ideas or features of the graph, map, chart, table or picture.

Strategy 2      Useappropriate statistical vocabularyto describe bars or segments, and their values in pie charts and bar charts, and to describe movements or trends in line graphs. Use a different set of language expressions when describing pictures.

Strategy 3      Make sure your description is simply and logically structured. Start with an introduction, followed by the main body, and end with a conclusion.

Explanation and Practiceof Each Strategy

Strategy 1

You will only have 25 seconds to look at the image before the microphone opens. You should use the time to study the image and identify the main features by answeringquestions such as, What is happening?What are the smallest numbers? and What are the biggestnumbers? If the image is a time graph, you should understand the changes or the trends.

To practice this strategy, do the followingactivities:

 Look at Item 1. Give yourself 30 seconds to identify two to three main ideas represented in the graph, e.g., 1) during the first 60 weeks, the songs purchasedincreased gradually;2) there was a rise in week 60;3) sales shot up in week 90.
 Support each idea with details from the graph, e.g., 1) between week 1 and week 60, only 100 million songs were purchased; 2) after week 60, the number of songs purchased rose to 200 million in 30 weeks (almost doubled); 3) after week 90, there was a rapid rise to 1,000 millionsongs in only 60 weeks.

Strategy 2

It is importantto use correct vocabularyto describe statistical information. You may also need to use a different set of expressions to describe pictures.

To practice this strategy, do the followingactivities:

 Think of some categories related to statistical information: prepositions, movements down, movements up, adjectives, adverbs,no movement,list appropriate vocabulary for each category. For example,

Prepositions: from/between 1990 to/and 2010

Movements up: increased, rose, grew, went up

Movements down: decreased, declined, dropped, went down

Adjectives: slight, gradual, sharp, sudden, steady

Adverbs: slightly, gradually, sharply, suddenly, steadily

No movement: remained steady/stable, was unchanged, stabilized

 Look at Item 1 and make appropriate sentences to describe different features or trends within the graph using the vocabulary you have listed.
 Think about the phrases you can use to describea picture. Look at the followingcategories: kinds of pictures and perspectives, structure, scene description, impression, intention, and think of appropriate vocabulary or expressions for each category. For example,

Kinds of pictures and perspectives: viewer, photograph, bird’s eye view, worm’s eye view

Structure:foreground, background, in the upper/lower part, in front of, behind, next to, on the right/left, from behind/above/below

Scenedescription: describes, shows a scene, shows an image of (place),from a distance, Impression: attention focused on
Intention: evoke/express something, put forth a perspective

Strategy 3

You should include anintroduction, a mainbody and aconclusion in yourdescription. The first sentenceshould introduce the image and provide a brief description, e.g., The graph shows/displays the number of ITunes songs bought , In this graph, we can see the number of ITunes songs purchased , The photo/image shows a (scene, buildings, place) from a distance.

In the body, you should describe each feature or main idea as identified in Strategy 1, and provide supporting details. You should concludewith one sentence summarizing your description and draw the relevant conclusion, e.g., The information indicates,From the chart/graph, we can conclude that ….

To practice this strategy, do the followingactivities:

 Think of one sentence to introduce the graph, e.g., what is being describedin the graph.
•  Decideon the most logical order to present the main ideas or features, e.g., time graphs/charts usually present information in chronological order so the most logical order would be to structure your descriptions from earliest to latest.
 Now summarize your description.
 Since this item type may also includepictures, think about the most logical structure for a picturedescription, e.g., from left to right; from the foregroundto the background, or from general impressions to details.
 Find some suitablepictures to describe (e.g., of famous buidings)and plan the structure of your description.

continue the series of Describing Image with episode two "Describe Image Strategies and Tips 01"

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