PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 October, 2007, 12:00am

Ways to boost your English skills

There are many ways to improve your English standards.

You can read books to learn new words and sentence structures. It is also important to pay attention in class and be active during lessons.

If you want to have some fun while learning English, you may watch movies or listen to pop music.

English is everywhere, in newspapers and magazines and on television.

Also, don't forget to speak English because oral skills are a crucial aspect of this international language.

For a start, you can talk in English with your schoolmates.

It won't be easy at first, but remember: practice makes perfect.

It's difficult to master the English language, but you should try your best.

Yolanda Tsang Wai-yin, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

A gold medal is not everything

I would like to express my opinion about the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

China's dream of hosting this sporting extravaganza has finally come true.

I hope to visit Beijing next summer and experience the great atmosphere.

China's 1.3 billion people have high expectations of their athletes who will be determined to top the medals table.

While the country takes pride in its sporting achievements, the athletes, on the other hand, suffer from enormous pressure.

We should encourage them, whether they win medals or not.

A gold medal is not everything. Athletes gain a lot of experience by taking part in the games. The process is more important than results.

The Hong Kong government should use the Olympics to raise the national identity among the public.

People should also be encouraged to do more exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Ellie Leung Chui-shan, Leung Shek Chee College

Overprotective parents a problem

Many children in Hong Kong have never encountered obstacles because parents are always there for them.

So when they face problems, they need parents' help. Children should be more independent.

They are used to having parents arrange everything for them.

I think this is harmful because children will begin to doubt their own ability.

Parents should allow their children to stand on their own feet.

Pak Ching-yee, Pooi To Middle School

Charity drive

I helped raise funds for the eye-care charity, Orbis, by selling mooncakes and lanterns in the run-up to the Mid-Autumn Festival last month.

Some people completely ignored us, while others reacted enthusiastically, donating money for a worthy cause.

Overall, I was impressed by the public's generosity.

As the saying goes, 'What goes around, comes around'.

Although I didn't get any tangible rewards, I learned a lot from the voluntary activity.

K. S. Wong

Experience counts

Former security chief, Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, has decided to run in December's Legislative Council by-election for Hong Kong Island.

Mrs Ip said that she has an advantage because she is younger than her main rival, former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang. I don't believe age will be a factor in the by-election.

In life, experience is more important than youthful energy.

In school, for example, experienced teachers take up more responsibility than their younger counterparts.

Also, students tend to respect them more than new teachers.

It is the same in any other profession. Experience counts when it comes to salary and position.

Mrs Chan is qualified to become a legislative councillor. Compared with Mrs Ip, she has a more polished image and better management skills.

If I had a right to vote, I would support Mrs Chan.

Carmen Cheung, Kit Sam Lam Bing Yim Secondary School

Helping others will bring happiness

In a materialistic world, many people believe wealth can bring happiness. But, the more money and choices we have, the easier it is to lose our way.

Finally, we won't know what we really want. I want to gain satisfaction from my own efforts.

In life, we need to have a good plan. We must make the best use of our wealth to achieve our goals.

Instead of buying luxury items, we will probably be happier if we do meaningful things. For example, when we use our special talents to help others, we will be happy.

Health is our most valuable asset. Without good health, life will be miserable.

We should all carry out a simple charitable act every day. For example, by giving a hand to the elderly when you are crossing the road, you will find that life is wonderful.

Ingrid Wong

Elderly need support

I am only 16 years old but I am already worried about my life after retirement.

Some elderly people are sent to homes, while others live alone in small flats. They need emotional support.

Their families may only visit them a few times a year. There was a homeless elderly man who robbed a convenience store in the hope of being sent to jail where he could have shelter and food.

This is a warning to the government, which should develop a comprehensive welfare system for the needy.

Ma Chi-ho, Po Leung Kuk 1984 College