2018 DSE English Writing Question 6 (Sample)

Learning English through Popular Culture

‘Athleisure’ is currently one of the biggest trends in the fashion industry. This is a term for clothes that can be worn both for exercises and as everyday wear.

Write an article for the local newspaper explaining possible reasons for the rise in popularity of athleisure.

Athleisure – A Healthy Lifestyle

Athleisure has become popular and has set the fashion trend in recent years. Basically, athleisure means athletics and leisure.  People wear sports clothing not only for exercising but also for casual occasions. They wear yoga pants, gym clothes, sports tops and shorts, leggings, sneakers and shoes as everyday wear.  There are several reasons why athleisure is so popular.

Most people are now living and working under pressure in the city. Normally, they spend at least 8 hours stuck sitting in the air-conditioned office working with the computers. It easily leads to stress, headache, muscle fatigue, back pain and other body-related problems.  They are in need of stretching, breathing and exercising to reduce stress and keep their body healthy. As a result, the concept of living a healthy lifestyle becomes so popular with the office workers that yoga studios, gym rooms and fitness centres are opened everywhere to cater for their needs. They wear sportswear outfit to go to these fitness centres to do exercises on a regular basis to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, athleisure comes with the healthy lifestyle and becomes trendy fashion.

As fast-food diet is common to our everyday life, many people are overweight and have the problem of obesity. Many celebrities also face the same issue. They usually upload photos and videos of their workout process and result on their social media accounts to advertise the concept of athletics, sportsmanship and healthy lifestyle as well as their sportswear sponsorship since they are representative of some sportswear brands. People are easily attracted to their outfits, efforts and workout performance and follow suit. Moreover, as the newspapers and magazines are full of the celebrities’ success stories of weight loss through exercising to achieve a perfect figure and wear slim sportswear outfit, the general people are easily influenced to follow the trend. With the impact of celebrities, athleisure becomes a popular trend.

In recent years, the annual marathon competition has become so popular that it has attracted thousands of people to take part in. People from all walks of life are interested in joining the marathon run. To prepare themselves for the competition, they have to keep training themselves throughout the year. The marathon run is now a major sports event in Hong Kong and has spread its influence among the general public. It has created a culture of athletics. This is one of the driving force behind athleisure. 

Last but not least, sportswear products are trendy and fashionable. They offer both comfort and a taste of fashion. Comfort wear is preferable to denim jeans because not only the fabrics used serves the purpose of comfort, durability and flexibility, but also its design is stylish as well. So athleisure becomes fashionable and is much sought after.

In short, athleisure is equal to healthy lifestyle. As long as people are obsessed with health pursuit, athleisure will sustain and continue to set the trend in the fashion industry.

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2019 DSE English Writing Question 2 (Sample)

Learning English through Social Issues

The following excerpt appeared in an article in the Hong Kong Daily Press:

To participate in today’s global economy, companies hire individuals whose skills and talent meet standards of excellence. One hundred years ago, people were hired from within the local community but today the best individuals are hired from around the world.

  • Write an essay for your English teacher
  • Explain some of the benefits and challenges international talent brings to Hong Kong society and ways to ensure that people from the local community are not neglected
  • Include a title for your essay

Local Talent in Danger

As the world is undergoing globalization in the 21st century, business is becoming international. Companies are eager to recruit global talent to cater for the demand of business as they have to co-operate with companies and countries worldwide to develop and expand their business. While there are benefits to Hong Kong society and economy by hiring global talent, there are also challenges to the local community.

The benefits brought about by global talent are numerous. First of all, it can diversify the local workforce so that they can learn to work with people from other languages, cultures and countries. It increases their international exposure. Second, it can satisfy the needs of multinational companies or international corporate which set their headquarters and branches in Hong Kong. An Indian manager stationed in Hong Kong is more likely to know how to communicate with his fellow colleagues in India and oversee the business performance in his home country than local counterparts. Moreover, it brings in the necessary and professional knowledge and skills to help build and develop business. For example, the Hong Kong branch of US-based international company Apple employs tech-savvy and IT talent from India to bring in the first-class information technology knowledge and skill to assist the business development in Hong Kong. Lastly, with the inflow of foreign talent, it brings in innovative ideas and insights into the local business and avoids brain drain of the talent pool in Hong Kong.

Despite the positive effects mentioned above, there are negative sides to the input of global talent. First, it increases the competition of local job market. Local talent is compelled to compete with global talent in order to secure a place in internationally renowned companies. In terms of language, international experience and professional knowledge, they may pale in comparison and thus lose out the opportunities of getting hired. Second, it is difficult for local talent to find a good job with potential development. As well-paid jobs are filled up by global talent, local talent is only left with jobs without good prospects and benefits. As a result, global talent seemingly “steals the rice bowl” of local talent and affects its social mobility.

In order to prevent local talent from being neglected, the Government should take certain measures to tackle the problem. For example, it should allocate more resources to the education sector, particularly higher education sector, to attract more internationally-renowned talent or scholars to foster and nurture our local students and to expand their horizons so that our students can also measure up to international standard. The Government should also set up education funds to subsidize our university students to participate in foreign exchange programs.

As the inception of global talent is inevitable, local people should not lose heart but work hard to make themselves unique, useful and competent so as to increase the competitive edge and “protect the rice bowl”.

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