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Monthly Advice : Add more fun to your English journey!

【明報專訊】"To be, or not to be, that is the question."

When I was a student, I accidentally read this line on a newspaper. I was struck by this quote and I went to search for more information about this. I then realised it was one of the most significant quotes from a soliloquy in Shakespeare's play Hamlet. Back in the old days, we did not have access to the Internet. I had to ask my English teacher, and searched information from various reference books on my own in the library. You may think it is time-consuming, but this is how I learnt, and what inspired me to learn more. Now I can assure you that all this is worthwhile.

You can find ample opportunity to learn English, but still I would like to share a few suggestions with you, which can make your learning journey interesting and enjoyable.

1. Add fun to your learning tasks

Learning English is a tough journey. You can add more fun while you learn. For instance, instead of simply spelling the words, you can apply the new vocabulary learnt in Scrabble. This classic board game can strengthen your English vocabulary, and can challenge yourself in spelling words using the random lettered tiles. This game also allows you to play with friends, which means you can learn new words from your friends as well!

If you like reading, you can read books that suit your interests. You can read books of jokes in English, detective stories, or even recipes if you are interested in cooking. You do not need to intentionally choose books which are too advanced for you. It is indeed more important to look for books which can arouse your interests, and those which suit your language proficiency.

2. Learn with online resources

People in Hong Kong are all very busy, while students are no exception. However, nothing can stop you from learning if you are determined. With the advancement in technology, you can learn anytime, anywhere. There are many awesome YouTube Channels where you can learn English, such as Speak English with Misterduncan and BBC Learning English. All these allow you to find numerous topics related to English, and how the language is used. Besides, you can learn much about western cultures.

3. Write your own blog

Apart from utilising online resources, you can start your own blog in English. The purpose of writing a blog is to keep the habit of writing and share your personal views. Grammatical accuracy is not the most important issue. Writing a blog is like writing a journal. It does not have to be something grand, but it can be something really related to yourself — your feelings, your views, your interests. You can choose whether you would like to publish the blog for others to see, or you want to keep it private. This is an amazing way to become more comfortable expressing yourself in English. Of course you can use it as a tool to record your English-learning journey — what you have learnt, what difficulties you have faced, or what learning resources that you find them useful.

■There are many other ways of learning English. Opportunities and resources are easily accessible, yet, "To learn, or not to learn, that is the question".

■By Dr. Benjamin Chan Wai Kai

Chief Principal

HKBU Affiliated School Wong Kam Fai Secondary and Primary School

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