PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 March, 2008, 12:00am

I want an English exam do-over

I'm a Form Six student now and I have decided to retake English in the coming HKCEE.

I made the decision because I think my results left a lot to be desired.

I'm a science student. Before the public exam, I spared no effort in studying science subjects like biology and chemistry but I only spent a little time on languages.

Although my overall results were not bad, I regretted not spending enough time on my language studies.

Don't think that if you are good at science subjects you can neglect language subjects.

I have a friend who got more than 20 marks in the public examination. Unfortunately, he failed Chinese.

He was unable to go to the school of his choice and had to anxiously scramble for a place in other schools.

So you see he is very sorry, he got satisfactory results in other subjects but because he failed Chinese he had to leave his school and retake the examination.

I hope students can learn from this mistake.


Calligraphy is not just for the elderly

I love calligraphy because it makes me feel relaxed and teaches me to be patient. I need to concentrate to write the beautiful words.

If I was nervous and bad-tempered, I would make mistakes easily. Thus, I'm calm when I'm doing calligraphy.

Furthermore, calligraphy is part of Chinese culture. It is great for me to learn Chinese culture. But, calligraphy is not easy because there are many changes of words. Every type of word has its own characteristics.

Calligraphy is very challenging, but it's also fun.

That's why I love calligraphy very much. It is not just a pastime for the elderly. Teenagers can also enjoy it.


Treat children with kindness and love

Most parents criticise their children but seldom praise them. In my opinion, this is not a good way to educate children. Under this kind of teaching children may become negative.

They know that if they fail to meet their parents' expectations they will get punished, and when they do meet their parents' expectations there is no reward.

Hong Kong is a civilised city, so we should use civilised ways to teach children.

Through praising children, we can let them know that we recognise when they succeed.

If they fail, they should not be punished. Everyone makes mistakes.

When I have children in the future, I will encourage them when they feel sad. They will feel my love and won't be alone.

Hung Hing-sum, SKH Lam Kau Mow Secondary School

Learning English little by little

Many students think it's difficult to learn new English words.

This is probably because they are put off by thick dictionaries which contain thousands of different words.

But if we study in a good way, it's not too difficult.

If you find a word you don't understand, look it up in a dictionary and make a note of it. Go back and memorise it.

You don't need to learn a whole bunch of words every day. Just steadily learn a few every single day.

Even if you only learn one a day by the end of the year you would have learnt 365 words you didn't know before.

As you do this your vocabulary will double or triple.

It is not really difficult to learn English. If you can learn more words, it may help you a lot in your writing.

Enjoy learning English!

Chan Ho-kan

Ideas on solving teenagers' problems

Teenagers often have many problems, such as issues with friends, confidence and appearance. I have some suggestions on how they can solve them.

Talk about problems with friends. I suggest joining extra-curricular activities, or inviting classmates to lunch. Then, strike up a conversation and make a friendly impression.

There are many ways to boost self-confidence. For instance, reading newspapers every day - especially the English ones - to know more about current issues. Share opinions about the articles with classmates too.

Watching comedies is also a good way to raise self-confidence. That way we have a ready store of jokes to use when talking to others. People will think we are funny.

Lastly, do not obsess about appearances, they are not very important. Do regular exercise to keep fit and people will think we are very energetic.

I hope the above advice can help the teenagers solve their problems.

Mandy Sze Yuen-fai, Christian Alliance S.C. Chan Memorial College

Home alone children should be at least 12

In this day and age, child abuse often manifests itself in passive ways such as the neglect of emotional and material needs.

Leaving children alone is a major factor in child abuse cases. Personally, I think it is acceptable to leave children who are older than 12 at home without supervision.

Children in primary school are too small to say no to the treatment they get from their parents. But 12-year-olds are definitely able to take care of themselves.

Many domestic accidents are caused by children who are alone at home. Parents usually overlook the risks that may exist when they leave their children unsupervised.

In short, parents have the responsibility to look after their children and should not leave children aged below 12 at home without supervision.

Jasmine Lui, Shun Lee Catholic Secondary School