• Describing pictures

    Describing pictures forms part of the ICAO English exam and is an opportunity for the assessor to test your descriptive skills.

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Describing pictures in ICAO Aviation English tests

In this article you are going to learn techniques to describe pictures in ICAO English tests. describing a picture is a common part of many ICAO English tests.


What language skills are required?
Quite often the pictures will be of unusual or unexpected events such as damage to an aircraft, a crash/collision or a malfunctioning piece of the aircraft’s equipment. You will need to develop your vocabulary so that you can easily explain these situations without being lost for words. As a pilot or controller you will need vocabulary to describe

You will also need a good command of verb tenses so that you can describe:

You should also learn the language skills needed to explain why these events have occurred. This will involve (among others) modal verbs of possibility/probability, conjunctions and infinitives of purpose. You should also use prepositions to describe the physical location, or path of movement of the various objects in the picture. Start by giving a brief description of each picture.

There are different phrases you can refer to parts of each pictures. For example:

Depending on the picture you will need to use appropriate tenses. For example:

The assessor might also ask you to give your opinion about the picture.

Language Skills

As a pilot or controller you will need vocabulary to describe

Phrases for describing pictures

Start by giving a brief description of each picture.