The English-Speaking Union of the United States: Education. Scholarship. Understanding.
 
 

Welcome to the ESU

The English-Speaking Union of the United States is a network of 68 Branches throughout the country, whose members celebrate English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators and members. The ESU seeks to nurture and enhance our linguistics heritage through nationally administered programs and outreach.

Join ESU or Renew Your Membership

News And Events

Teenager from Hawaii wins ESU National Shakespeare Competition

(l to r - Third place winner, Elizabeth Mears, winner Sarah Spalding and Second place winner Evelyn Johnson)

New York City, April 27, 2015 -- With a performance of a sonnet and monologue from Shakespeare, Sarah Spalding, a student of John Watt at Mid-Pacific Institute in Honolulu, won first prize at the 32nd annual English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition. The Competition was held on April 27th at Lincoln Center Theater in New York City for 57 winners of ESU Branch competitions nationwide. Sarah had previously won the ESU Hawaii Branch regional competition. Her prize for placing first is a full scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art's Young Actors Summer School in London, England.

The runner up of the English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition, Evelyn Johnson, representing the Philadelphia Branch of the ESU, won a full scholarship to the American Shakespeare Center's Theatre Camp in Staunton, Virginia. Third place winner, Elizabeth Mears, representing the Boston Branch of the ESU, won $500 from The Shakespeare Society.

The finalists were:

Alfred Bardwell-Evans - Charlottesville Branch
Angelo Chukwudebe - San Francisco Branch
Hale Stewart - Phoenix Branch
Koria Johnson - Sandhills Branch
Andrew Davis - Austin Branch
Harry Thornton - Chicago Branch
Willington Vuelto - New York Branch

View photos of the 2015 National Competition. 

Watch videos of the 2015 Competition Finalists.

Read Full Story

ESU Sponsors 236 Middle School Debates at East Coast Championship Tournament

On April 18, 2015, the English-Speaking Union, along with its partner the Middle School Public Debate Program, welcomed 282 students from 31 schools in six states to the Hackley School in Tarryton, NY.  These students participated in 236 rounds of debate.  Teams from the Hackley School and Rachel Carson Middle School in Herndon, VA advanced to the Final Championship Debate where they sparred over the topic:  The US should pay ransom for hostages.

The Championship Tournament was the culmination of a year-long initiative sponsored by the English Speaking Union in New York and New Jersey, and is part of the national Middle School Public Debate Program.  Attending the tournament were public, charter and independent schools from inter-scholastic Leagues in New York City, Monmouth County, NJ, Washington, DC and New Orleans.  Over 100 teachers and parents joined the students on April 18th to serve as volunteer judges. 

Read Full Story

The 2015 English-Speaking Union Founder’s Award

The Hon. Edwina Sandys MBE and Dr. Paul Beresford-Hill MBE were presented the English-Speaking Union Founder's Award on April 27 for their roles in helping to launch the English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition 32 years ago.  Immediately following the 2015 ESU National Shakespeare Competition at Lincoln Center Theater, the awards were presented at a festive reception and dinner in the Crystal Room of the Empire Hotel.

Danny Lopez, Her Majesty's Consul General in New York, served as Honorary Chairman of the event committee.  Unable to attend in person, he was represented by Nick Astbury, Deputy Consul-General and Deputy Head of Mission.

Read Full Story

Representative chosen to compete in the International Public Speaking Competition in London

First Place Winner: Chaya Sara Oppenheim, a junior at Manhattan High School for Girls in New York City, will travel to London this May to represent the United States in the 2015 ESU International Public Speaking Competition.

The ESU International Public Speaking Competition (IPSC) brings together the most talented young speakers from across the globe for a week of oratorical workshops, competition and international cultural exchange. Her speech at the National Level, titled, "Colorblindness vs. the Mosaic of Diversity", addressed the ESU's theme, "To Be Ignorant of the Past is to Remain a Child". At the International Level, Chaya Sara will speak on the topic, "Culture is Not a Luxury, But a Necessity".

Read Full Story

Luard Morse Scholarship awarded to Allyson Carpenter and Laura Campbell

Announcement Photo

Allyson Carpenter and Laura Campbell

Allyson Carpenter, a Political Science Major/Community Development Minor, and Laura Campbell, a Biology Major/Chemistry Minor, both at Howard University in Washington, D.C., have been selected as this year's recipients of the English–Speaking Union (ESU) Luard Morse Scholarship.  The scholarship provides $25,000 towards a semester of study at an English university during the 2015-16 academic year.

Read Full Story