PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 July, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 July, 2008, 12:00am

Teach English in stress-free ways

One day while on the LRT, I saw a man speak to his two young children in English.

I could see the two boys were not keen to use English as they replied to their father in Cantonese. Yet the father persisted. He asked them questions in English and wanted them to reply in the same language. They eventually gave in to please their father.

I didn't know whether this was a good thing for the father to do. He clearly believed he was helping his children. English is an important language and he was trying to give the boys a chance to practise.

But speaking in a language other than the mother tongue can be very stressful for children, especially in public. They may be afraid of embarrassing themselves.

I appreciate what the father was trying to do. But encouraging children to use English should never stress them out. Introduce English to them gradually and make it fun, then they will benefit from it.

Nic Leung

Rekindle innocence

Once I was responsible for introducing school regulations to Form One students as I am a prefect.

Before the session, I was a bit worried that they would play pranks on me and my partner.

The students in our school have the same idea. They think prefects are not friendly and always bully the weak. So they treat us as enemies.

However, my fears were unfounded. While I was introducing the rules, the students were very noisy. I did not think that was troublesome because at least they competed to answer my questions and all were correct. They never thought about punishment, they just wanted to go home.

That's a big difference with the higher forms! The Form One students were so energetic. This is innocence - something that everyone had before but is lost now. That's the purest thing in the world.

If everyone in the world revives their innocence, there would be no terrorism and wars! Office politics wouldn't happen anymore. And the world will be better and more comfortable.

Tommy Ho Sung-chau, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

Avoid brand names

Teenagers are becoming brand-conscious and selective. They are prepared to pay for well-known labels such as Levi's and Westwood. These products make them spend a lot of money.

People like to buy many things. They don't think about how much an item will cost and how long they can use it for.

Students like to buy such things too. They use all their pocket money on branded goods, to the point of skipping lunch to save up money. They are too materialistic and this will badly influence their studies and family relationships.

When people buy more, that means they won't use the old things, which will be wasted. Stop buying branded goods and don't waste anything. Act now to save the Earth.

Siu Tsz-fung

Eat less meat

Do you know that 1kg of beef generates more carbon dioxide than driving for three hours? It is quite shocking that 22 per cent of greenhouse gases come from agriculture. Eating less meat is an effective way of solving this problem. The government should enhance awareness and co-operate with restaurants to limit the amount of meat in each meal. Eating less meat not only makes you healthier but also saves the world.

Tse Pui-lam, STFA Tam Pak Yu College

Work hard at English

What can an English teacher give you? A promise of five As in the HKCEE? Or a load of homework to push up the results?

Mr Lui, my English teacher, wants us to live our lives completely in English. No more Cantonese at school, with presentations and quizzes almost every day. What a harsh challenge!

But I do not dislike Mr Lui. The challenge is really needed. I know I will have a hard time in these two years and am not sure I can survive in my English lessons. But every cloud has a silver lining. I believe in times of struggle, my English will improve remarkably. I do not wish to have another English teacher but just want to get used to the lessons.

Lau Tsz-kit, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

Respect others' privacy

One useful function of the mobile phone is video recording. It is popular to upload videos on the internet to share with others.

YouTube is a popular website that provides space to upload videos. Some videos are about the life of the video owner and his friends, but some are about the lives of other people, recorded without their agreement.

This behaviour cannot be accepted. It infringes other people's privacy. If you were the victim, you would have been unhappy. No one wants such a thing to happen to them. We should not use our mobile phones to hurt others.

A Student

Too busy for soccer

At soccer matches in Hong Kong, the average size of an audience does not exceed 600, even when the match includes the popular team, South China.

In foreign countries, audiences are a hundred times bigger, such as at Manchester United matches. Even a small club can draw 10,000 spectators.

I think the reason for this is that we have different cultures.

We are busy. Even on weekends, people may need to work overtime or keep their parents company.

It is difficult to attract people to matches unless famous stars come to Hong Kong, but this is extremely expensive.

Wu Ka-yue