By DR KOH SOO LING
Information transfer from graphic representation to text
Common problems related to describing and interpreting graphic representations are:
- Not Understanding the Data (I) — Not Reading the Labels: students do not correctly
understand the data in the charts: often they do not carefully read the labels (e.g. students write “15 people were involved in the national street performance event in January 2011”, when they should write “150 people were involved in the national charity event in January 2011”.)
- Not Understanding the Data (II) — Not Applying Common Sense to your Interpretations: students do not apply their common sense to the interpretation of data in the charts (e.g. in the example above, common sense should tell us that it was impossible that only 15 people were involved in the national street performance event in 2011; we should then analyse the chart carefully to find a more satisfactory interpretation).
- Just “Listing” the Data: students simply “list” data from charts or graphs without trying to indicate what is more or less important. You should take note of large differences or changes and present them first.
- Not “Translating” Note Form to Grammatical English: labels or titles are usually in note form, so you need to change them into grammatically correct English in your writing. For example, in a chart describing the activities related to those who participated in the national street performance, one event label would be “stilt walking”. It would therefore be ungrammatical to say “the stilt walking were very agile and entertained the crowd tremendously”. Instead it should be “the stilt walkers were very agile and entertained the