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Snow Lau

Sep 29, 2004
Please help to check the following essay.

With reference to your article on 7th September, concerning the effectiveness of watching TV and attending after-school tutorial classes, as a primary English teacher, I would like to respond as follows:
There have been many harsh criticisms that television has had undesirable influence over students. However, in my opinion, television offers many benefits on learning English.
Firstly, students can broaden their knowledge of English. In Hong Kong, many teachers do not have enough time to explain the details of the topics under study. Watching English TV programs may not only facilitate students’ understanding of English, it might also increase students’ English vocabulary. Besides, students’ knowledge of language structures and literacy will also be improved. Furthermore, television can serve as an educator. Watching different television channels can expose students to natural and formal foreign languages environment and they can learn how to speak English with a foreign accent. Therefore, students’ oral and listening abilities will be improved. In fact, watching English cartoons can arouse students’ interest in learning English. If parents are able to watch English cartoons with their children, it can really help them develop better bilingual language skills. Once the children are interested in watching television under their parents’ guidance, it would be easier for them to explore and learn more English via TV programs.
However, most of the parents have to work. Therefore, it is difficult for them to supervise what their children watch on TV. Thus, many parents suppose after-school classes can do something for their children. However, they send their children to some unsuitable classes without thorough considerations. They usually neglect their children’s needs and interest. Besides, their children may be very tired after school and will not have enough energy to attend other classes. Consequently, their beloved children will learn nothing from those classes and these after-school classes also cannot arouse children’s interest in learning, especially English, as English is not their mother tongue .
Factually, a tutorial school can be a tool for improving students’ language skills. Students attend after-school tutorial classes will have a positive effect on learning English. Attending after-school tutorial classes, students can feel a real classroom environment. Tutors can design different standards of English worksheets for students to practise their knowledge of English. In addition, tutorial classes give students an opportunity to seek help from tutors when they encounter problems. Tutors are also able to correct students’ English mistakes such as grammar, usage or pronunciation. Therefore, students can learn the language better and build up a better foundation for their reading, speaking, writing and listening skills.
Thus, it is time for parents to take appropriate considerations and to select tutorial classes based on children’s learning habits. Here, I would like to give some advice to parents. Firstly, before sending their children to tutorial schools, parents should distinguish carefully which after-school tutorial classes are suitable for their children. Instead of just giving children more exercises that spoil their interest and motive of learning, tutorial schools should have appropriate policies and strategies to motivate and stimulate the children in learning English. Secondly, parents should consider whether resources in the tutorial schools are enough for students to upgrade their English abilities. Finally, the syllabus and teaching methodology of these tutorial schools should also be compared carefully.

As a conclusion, the success of attending tutorial schools in Hong Kong is dependent on the selections of parents. In my opinion, tutorial schools can provide extra support to students in learning English in addition to formal classes. If tutorial classes are selected correctly, they will be beneficial to students. Thus, I would suggest parents should take on sending their children to tutorial schools.


Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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Nov 13, 2002
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British English
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I'll start:

There have been many harsh criticisms that television has had AN undesirable influence over students. However, in my opinion, television offers many benefits to\in learning English.


New member
Feb 5, 2007
Member Type
English Teacher
I don't think the Article An is required. Undesirable Influence may be uncountable, so a Singularising Article would not be needed.

I prefer the British English spelling Programmes, when used for TV. This helps to diferentiate from Program, refering to a computer program or some kind of schedule.
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