Topic Sentences

Level: Advanced

Topic: General

Grammar Topic: General

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Type: Lesson Plans

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Lesson Plan Text

 

© 2004 UsingEnglish.com

 

Highlight or underline the topic sentence in each paragraph: 

1.  I recently read an article called So Many Englishes by Paul Roberts, in which he argues for 

the "abolition of the native speaker assistant or the abolition or the native speaker teacher." 

He bases this on the idea that "Paradoxically, perversely, even, it makes a lot more sense for 

a class of Milanese or Parisian or Berliner students to have, for example, a Russian, 

Chinese or Brazilian English teacher." This is justified on the rather flimsy grounds that 

they are more expert at international communication in English.   

 

2.  When learning new words and expressions, it is important to take note of whether these 

words and expressions are used in an informal context or a formal context. Many words 

and expressions are used both formally and informally. If you aren’t sure of exactly how to 

use a new word or expression, you can try them out with work colleagues and friends. Find 

people to converse with. They may not be instructive in any way, but you can try out new 

ways to express yourself. You should also listen as closely as possible when you converse. 

Listen for anything that sounds different, new, or unfamiliar. If the circumstance permits, 

don’t be afraid to take out your pocket notebook and write it down. If you say something 

that isn't quite right, the person you are speaking with might take note of it and let you 

know. If you aren’t sure of something you said or would like to say, then ask about it. If 

you hear something and you don’t know what it means, ask about that as well. 

 

3.  More than two million children sat the tests, which include reading, writing, spelling and 

handwriting as part of an overall examination of English language skills. The results seem 

to be somewhat disheartening as apparently fewer than half of our children can spell words 

such as “effortless” and “participate” says the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority 

 

© 2004 UsingEnglish.com

 

(QCA). 

 

4.  The concept of abnormality changes with knowledge and the prevailing social attitudes, 

therefore it is difficult to define an individuals’ mental state or behaviour as abnormal. The 

term Abnormal is defined in the 1985 edition of The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology as 

"Any departure from the norm or the normal". It also defines Normal as "Conforming to 

that which is characteristic and representative of a group; not deviating markedly from the 

average or the typical.". Legally, normality is largely defined as the ability to distinguish 

between right & wrong, and to control their own behaviour (Roediger et al., p533). 

 

5.  It seems clear that there must be some form of universal language with which we can 

communicate mental states and problems to each other accurately and without 

misunderstanding. The need to diagnose problems implies the need for some form of 

labelling and grouping of symptoms. The labels used to describe abnormal mental 

behaviour up to now have often had negative overtones. A labelling system which is both 

impartial and accurate must surely be of utmost importance. However, there is always the 

possibility that any labelling of mental disorders will develop a negative tone due many 

people’s fear, or lack of understanding, of these conditions and their implications for an 

individual. It could therefore be that the problem of labelling is surpassed by the problem 

of how we act towards them.