Books to learn English by

Thelma Yim


Promoting a reading culture in the community has been one of the themes of CityU’s 20th anniversary celebration. Reaching beyond the campus, CityU academics joined hands with renowned scholars in the community to share their secrets to learning English, at the Joint Publishing Company Art Gallery on 22 May.


Hundreds of participants enjoyed an enchanting afternoon with experience sharing by: Mr T L Tsim, former host of RTHK English learning programme  and Hong Kong Economic Journal columnist; Professor Zhang Longxi, CityU’s Chair Professor of Comparative Literature and Translation and Director of the of the Centre for Cross-Cultural Studies; and Dr Paul Kwong, formerly with CityU Press and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. All of the speakers suggested that there was no easy path to good English. Pronunciation, proper grammar, succinct writing, vocabulary building, and, above all, more reading and exposure to western culture are essential elements for success.


In honour of World Book Day and Hong Kong Reading Month, the speakers introduced their "bibles" for learning English. Mr Tsim's was A New English-Chinese Dictionary and Brighter Grammar by C E Eckersley, good, he said, for building one's vocabulary and understanding grammar rules. Commenting on the long and clumsy sentences in today’s literature, Professor Zhang recommended The Golden Treasure of English Verse by Edward Leeson, for learning a concise style of essay writing. Dr Kwong suggested reading at your leisure, whether it's Reader’s Digest, or How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler. He said Reader’s Digest, usually proofread ten times, provides many models of good style. How to Read a Book, on the other hand, could help sharpen readers’ thinking.


Part of the University’s 20th anniversary activities, the seminar was co-organized by CityU, Hong Kong Publishing Federation, and Joint Publishing Company. “The seminar served the purpose of dispensing the University’s knowledge to the community,” said Mr Patrick Kwong, host of the seminar and Director of the City University of Hong Kong Press. “Judging from the audience's warm response, we are consider hosting more seminars of this kind in the coming months.” 





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