About a year ago Sophia So Yuk-yum would run away whenever she saw a gweilo on the street, let alone speak to them. Today the 15-year-old from Guangdong seizes every opportunity to speak to foreigners although her English is not perfect. And her efforts at learning the language have been enough to win her a certificate in a graduation ceremony at the Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong this morning. Sophia is one of 25 migrant children who completed an eight-week English enhancement course, sponsored by Rotary Club and organised by an international school in Sha Tin. 'My former school in China didn't offer English lessons,' Sophia, who is in Primary Five, said. 'I spoke no English when I first arrived in the territory last year. 'But I want to learn better English because almost all Hong Kong people speak the language. I want to be a real Hongkonger.' Sophia should have attended Form Two when she arrived but was forced to join a junior class because she did not speak English. Even in a junior class she felt under pressure to learn the language. That was until she attended an English course offered by students, many of whom are from overseas, at the Li Po Chun College. 'Learning English can be full of fun, and gweilos are nothing to be scared of,' Sophia said. 'They teach us English through singing and playing games.' One of her teachers, Cameron Middleton, said she enjoyed teaching new migrants as she, in return, had picked up some Cantonese such as mm sik and mm chi, which meant 'no idea at all'. 'They were shy at the beginning and answered mm chi to our questions. But they have improved. They are quite smart indeed,' she said. Project co-ordinator Chris Gallimore said many new migrants learned English well when they were given the language environment. The Education Department has been urged to offer more English courses and adjustment programmes to children from the mainland. It is considering running day-long, mid-level classes.