Mastering Graphs and Statistics Vocabulary in English

Graphs and statistics form an integral part of various fields including business, science, finance, and even daily life. Being equipped with the appropriate English vocabulary to describe and interpret graphs, charts, and statistics allows learners to effectively communicate complex data and information. This not only enhances their academic and professional prospects but also strengthens their overall language competence. Moreover, it is essential practice for students attempting to pass English language tests such as IELTS, TOEFL and TOEIC.

The resources include:

  1. Downloadable PDF Exercises: These are printable worksheets for online/offline teaching packed with a variety of graph and statistics-related vocabulary exercises that range from matching exercises and fill-in-the-blanks to short-answer questions.
  2. Listening Exercises: To sharpen students’ listening skills, these exercises include audio clips where speakers discuss various graphs and statistics.
  3. Video Exercises: These multimedia resources provide visual context to the graph and statistical language, making it easier for students to understand and remember.
  4. Speaking Exercises: these activities promote classroom discussions about graphs and statistics. These exercises challenge students to express their understanding using the learned vocabulary.

1 Numbers and statistics for work

This is a listening/speaking lesson to help English as a Second Language students understand numbers and statistics in a variety of contexts.

Download PDF extract

See the video on YouTube

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   I’ve always been familiar with prepositions for location, time and movement. But for years I have been teaching English for graphs and statistics to pharmacy and medical technology students. And I’ve noticed a recurring problem with prepositions when they try to use statistics to describe graphs and trends. So, finally I’ve done something about it.  

Prepositions for graphs and statistics (PDF)

See the YouTube video

Prepositions for graphs and statistics

3 Describing your own graph worksheet

This is a fun “describing graphs” vocabulary worksheet for English language learners. Students think of a topic in their lives and draw a graph illustrating how it affects them on a daily, weekly or monthly etc. basis. An example is included on the worksheet and there are also some suggested topics. After they draw the graph, students write sentences to describe and explain their graph. It is also a great online teaching exercise. Students have to create a graph about a topic of their own choice, Then they have to create a video and describe their graph. See the video below as an example.

Describe your own graph (PDF)

(mp4 video example YouTube)

4 Introductory activity for describing graphs

This is an easy way to introduce some commonly used vocabulary for describing graphs.

Download PDF

5 Describing graphs and sentence writing worksheet (with audio and answers)

    This is a follow-up “describing graphs” vocabulary worksheet for  English language  learners. Students match the words to the graphs then write sentences using their own ideas. Or students can listen to the audio and fill in the missing words

Describing graphs vocabulary and sentence writing (PDF)

(see the video version on Youtube)

Describing graphs and sentence writing

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6 Describing business trends

This is a slightly more challenging comprehension gap fill exercise for language used to talk about trends.

Download PDF

This is  a worksheet to help  English language learners write and talk about graphs and trends. Students try to write appropriate sentences for the pictures using the vocabulary at the bottom of the page.

Describing graphs sentence writing (PDF)

Describing graphs and trends

8 Describing graphs worksheet (with answers)

    This is an introductory “describing graphs” vocabulary worksheet for  English language  learners. First, students sort the words into the appropriate columns. In the second exercise they match the phrases to the correct lines on the graph. Finally, they unscramble the words in the third activity to make sentences and match these sentences to the 5 lines on the graphs at the bottom of the page.

Describing graphs vocabulary worksheet (PDF)

9 Describing graphs parts of speech sorting (with answers)

     A parts of speech sorting exercise to help students understand the difficult vocabulary and grammar of language used for describing graphs. Many of the words can be used as either a verb or a noun.

Describing graphs parts of speech sorting (PDF)

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10 Presentations and describing graphs worksheet

    This is a speaking activity to help English language  learners think about and practice “describing graphs” for presentations .    

Presentations and describing graphs lesson (PDF)

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