I would like to present an alternative variant of the table in Part B of Task 2. I have decided not to change the choice of verbs. What I am interested in is to find an effective way of showing students how they could use the chosen verbs to describe the chart in the task.
Please look at the following verbs in the examples of sentences from academic texts in BAWE to see how changing rates are described.
The rate may …
REMAIN constant, relatively constant, low, very high, extremely high, positive, unchanged throughout. EXAMPLES
REACH 43.5%, around 26%, zero, a maximum, a plateau, the level at which the rate … . EXAMPLES
DECREASE with increasing concentration of phosphate solution; proportionally with an increase in thickness; as some of the cells stop growing; from 23.41 to 4.81 µmol/O 2/mgchl./hour a reduction of 79%; to 8.93 µmol/O 2/mgchl./hour; a reduction of 62%; by the same amount; to, but never reach zero. EXAMPLES
INCREASE continuously; by 22%; from 5.0 to 5.4 percent; by 35% in comparison to rate 1; as the pH of the solution increases; with the temperature; to 26,000 units a year; by about 0.8% per year. EXAMPLES
TEND TO depreciate; decrease proportionally with an increase in thickness. EXAMPLES
RISE not … as much; by less to …; from R 1 to R 2; less to …; from 16.5% of GNP in 1952-54 to 31.9% of GNP in 1970-71; tremendously; to a staggering 764%; to around 8%. EXAMPLES
FALL not … any further; gradually during 1971 and 1972; to around 14%; to 5% per annum after 1998; steadily to around 4% level; below zero; to 3% by 2000; … and dipped below 6%. EXAMPLES
If the exercise is done in class, the above lists of words that follow the verbs should be elicited from the given examples by students. If there is enough time, the teacher could complete the list with other words useful for describing graphs.