Acting, games and singing help boost pupils' confidence Students who performed at the launch of the English Festival 2005 have found drama and games helpful in boosting their interest and confidence in learning and speaking English. 'English is not my favourite subject, but I like drama,' said 11-year-old Natalie Pang-ching, a Primary Five pupil. 'I have to master English to act well, so I am more interested in learning English now.' Classmate Lam Ching-wun, also 11, shared her friend's view: 'I love performing very much. I think the reason why I do not find old English very difficult is because of my strong passion for drama.' The pair, from Diocesan Girls' School, were among a dozen children who performed selected scenes from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream to launch the festival yesterday. The drama, performed by primary student members of Shakespeare4All, will open to the public next month. Another performer, Primary Three pupil Brian Yu Cheuk-hin, six, said he loved singing songs and rhymes. 'I love learning English because I enjoy playing games and songs during English lessons on Saturday. I am not afraid of speaking in English, because it is a good thing,' said the Tsung Tsin Primary School and Kindergarten pupil. Brian is one of 1,600 three- to nine-year-olds who attend free English workshops for 10 months, one of the festival activities. A member of the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research, Stephen Chan Chi-wan, said the festival would raise public interest in learning and using English through various activities. 'Our festival includes competitions on skipping with rhymes, drama performances, a one-minute English television programme which introduces English usage and English workshops for both children and teachers,' he said. He thanked the event's media sponsor, the South China Morning Post, for presenting two events: Newspaper Show-n-Tell, by the Post's Young Reporters Programme, and exhibitions on English newspaper editing and reporting.