HKDSEE English Language Paper 4 – Empty shop projects: Shopping in Britain is slowly changing due to a recent project designed to use empty shops to increase community spirit, Singapore

University The University of Hong Kong (HKU)
Subject HKDSEE English Language Paper 4 - Empty shop projects

Hong Kong Examinations And Assessment Authority Hong Kong Diploma Of Secondary Education Examination 2013:


This paper consists of two parts: Part A, Group Interaction; and Part B, Individual Response. Part B will immediately follow Part A. DO NOT write anything on this page.

PART A Group Interaction
You will be given 10 minutes to prepare. The time allowed for the group interaction is 8 minutes (or 6 minutes for a group of 3 candidates). You may make notes on the notecard provided and refer to your notes during the discussion.

                                   Empty shop projects

Shopping in Britain is slowly changing due to a recent project designed to use empty shops to increase community spirit. In 2009, the British government created a £3million (HK$37.6million) fund, providing companies and charities with grants to convert unused shops into spaces for community services.

One popular scheme saw a small fairground set up in a city-centre shop-space during a school holiday, alongside circus skills sessions and other activities for young people.

A company held activities in seven unused shops in another UK city, including photography exhibitions and musical performances. More than 4,000 people visited the area over one weekend.

In a third city, a local company established a university drop-in shop in the main shopping street. It offered advice about studying, fees and funding and ran a free legal-advice clinic. Another empty property showcased the work of local artists, attracting over 10,000 visitors in four months. Local designers benefitted from affordable space, workshops and retail experience.

Could this scheme be adapted for ‘shopping paradise’ Hong Kong? Certain areas seem ideal for such projects, and with government assistance our malls and shopping streets could become places where we exchange ideas and learn new skills, as well as do our shopping.

HKDSEE English Language Paper 4 - Empty shop projects

Your group wants to write a letter to the newspaper to express your opinion on ’empty shop projects’ that use shop-spaces for community events. You may want to talk about:

  • the benefits and problems of organising empty shop projects in Hong Kong
  •  what activities would be best for Hong Kong empty shop projects to hold
  • how to encourage companies and charities in Hong Kong to organise empty shop projects
  •  anything else you think is important

PART B Individual Response

The examiner will ask you one or more questions based on Part A. You will have up to 1 minute to respond.

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