PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 October, 2007, 12:00am

English is something to sing about

I suggest using popular songs as a tool to improve your English and your vocabulary. There are a lot of new words to be learnt by listening to the lyrics of songs.

Also, singing a song in English out aloud can help you speak English smoothly and fluently.

Another entertaining way to improve your language skills is by watching English films. Watching people talk while using body language at the same time deepens your understanding of language.

And don't forget to cut out interesting and instructive articles in the newspapers.

The internet offers all the information and reading material you could possibly need. Not only can you read and learn from the internet, you can also practise your written and spoken English by corresponding with friends by e-mail and on MSN.

Jeff Chiu, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

Father-to-son confession

I had a most touching family experience the other day.

One night, at dinner, my father suddenly turned to me with a strange expression on his face. He began to reminisce and talk about my childhood.

That night I heard that my father and mother were separated from me for the first decade of my life, from the time I was a baby until I reached the age of 10. They left me in the care of my grandmother in order to work in Hong Kong.

During those years, I saw my parents just once or twice a year, during the Lunar New Year and the Ching Ming Festival.

I believe my parents felt guilty every time my childhood came up in conversation.

But I don't want to say anything critical of them.

During those years when my parents were away, I made many friends and I learnt self-discipline. I managed by myself, without my parents having to monitor me.

Also, I had a wonderful time with my grandmother, for whom I developed a very special affection.

Lam Chi-lai, Christian Alliance S.C. Chan Memorial College

A chat over milk-tea

Milk-tea, or lai-cha, is a refreshing and bracing drink, especially when you are tired, because of the caffeine content.

My mother would drink at least three cups of milk-tea every day in the office. She said she would feel faint and get headaches if she missed a cup of her favourite brew.

My mother has now started to kick the milk-tea habit. She says drinking too much of the brew is not good and not necessary.

Those who would like to give up milk-tea can turn to other drinks, such as milk or lemon tea or, better still, water.

Nicole Ma Sze-ting, Leung Shek Chee College

Teen misbehaviour

Many parents like to say that young people behave badly because of the bad influence of others.

They lay the blame on their children's teachers and friends and take no responsibility for their own role in their children's behaviour.

Family education is crucial in a child's upbringing. What goes on in the home carries much more weight than what goes on between children and their friends at school. Today's parents largely neglect their children because they are busy with their own work and have little time for the family.

Parents should spend more time with their children and find out what they really need for their psychological and emotional growth.

Financial support - food, clothes and pocket money - alone is not enough.

Chan Kin-fung, Ju Ching Chu Secondary School (Kwai Chung)

Training daze

I joined the school basketball team this year.

At first, I thought it would be fun, but after a recent training session I had second thoughts.

I performed badly during the training, and I was told to do 95 push-ups. I could not believe that I deserved such a harsh punishment.

After this experience, I wondered if I deserved to be on the team.

A teammate said I should not give up. He said the early stages in any formal training in a sport are always the hardest.

I am determined to overcome my doubts about my ability to play basketball.

Nic Leung

Skyrail nerves

The MTR Corp and Skyrail-ITM are both responsible for the cable car that plunged to the ground.

To re-establish Ngong Ping 360 as a tourist attraction, the government should invite well-known people to ride on the Skyrail.

And members of the government should also take a ride on the Skyrail in order to reassure the public that the system is safe and everything is all right.

Free travel tickets should be given out in the first few months of the Skyrail's new operation.

Frankly, I don't think I'll have the courage to ride the cable car again.

Perhaps I will take a ride one day, but only after I see things going smoothly.

Joanne Lui, Ju Ching Chu Secondary School (Kwai Chung)

Try to think like an adult

We were shocked by the news that a 12-year-old boy attempted suicide after being scolded by his mother.

The boy spent the whole summer playing online games.

Youngsters should try to think in a mature way.

When an older person criticises us, they do it for a good reason.

We should think about the reason for the criticisms. We should not try to escape from reality and criticism of our behaviour.

A student