Each week our two teenagers debate a hot topic. This week ... Dennis Wu, 17, St Joseph's College Teachers, parents and students have a lot of qualms about studying in Chinese, their mother tongue. If we don't have faith in our English skills, we have no chance of survival. Learning in English ensures that students have confidence in their ability to use the language. But there's more to confidence than knowing a second language. It also has to do with the ability to see things from different perspectives and a desire to know the true origins of things. Learning in the mother tongue definitely enables students to develop such skills. Most students in Hong Kong are not fluent in English and only a handful can communicate in the language without any difficulty. The argument is that learning in English simply discourages the majority of students from asking questions. But it's very important to ask questions. If students are allowed to learn in Chinese, they can ask teachers to clarify information. Having the ability to challenge a higher authority helps build up confidence, but students in English-speaking schools are deprived of this because their English isn't good enough. If students were taught better English, there would be less demand for English-language teaching in other subjects. Esther Pang, 16, Diocesan Girls' School There has been a lot of dispute about the pros and cons of mother-tongue teaching lately. Opponents of English-language teaching say that Chinese is easier for students to understand and Putonghua is becoming a more prominent language in today's world. Some of reasons they give, however, are less credible. The assertion that mother-tongue teaching produces more confident students is highly questionable. It's hard to see how a person's confidence is related to the language used at school. Confidence isn't simply built by language, it develops through a lot of other things. A student could learn in a language which is not their mother tongue and still become confident and vice versa. Of course, some students may not find learning a new language as easy as others. Having to sit through all their lessons while struggling to understand what is being taught can certainly reduce confidence. It is undeniably a struggle for students who have to put in extra effort into their regular lessons, but it's the same for students who find Chinese difficult even though it is their mother tongue. If students can succeed in their academic studies despite the language challenge, it will boost their confidence rather than lower it.