English in Action: The English-Speaking Union

Programs Overview

Which programs apply to me?


English In Action Conversations

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English in Action is a program that matches newcomers to the U.S. with American volunteers for weekly, one-to-one conversation practice sessions.  EIA helps students master conversational English and fosters cross-cultural, global understanding through English.

Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center

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The Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center provides a welcoming and nurturing environment along with diverse educational, cultural and professional offerings. Recent immigrants will improve their English, gain essential skills and cultural fluency, and develop the networks they need to participate fully in American society and exercise the responsibilities of citizenship.

TLab: Travel and Learn Abroad

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Study Abroad.  Return Home Inspired!

Teachers, educators, lifelong learners:  Study in the UK and have an unforgettable educational experience!

Our English in Action-TLab programs will transport you to the famed campuses of England and Scotland where you will attend real classes with top professors at the University of Oxford, the University of Edinburgh, Shakespeare's Globe Theater, and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Short Courses

One-week TLab programs developed exclusively for the ESU are open to educators, current or retired, ESU members, and life-long learners.  These programs do not qualify for scholarships.

Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust—
Stratford-upon-Avon (July 8-14, 2018)
Shakespeare's Globe—London (July 2-20, 2018)

University of Oxford (July & August 2018) 

University of Edinburgh (July & August 2018)

Consult our fundraising guide for ideas and suggestions for funding your participation in these programs

The English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition 2018-2019

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2018-2019 ESU National Shakespeare Competition

Welcome to the 2018-2019 ESU National Shakespeare Competition! Here is everything you need to begin the competition at the school and branch levels.

About the Competition

The National Shakespeare Competition provides teachers across the country with a performance-based program for the study of English Language Arts and Shakespeare. It is a school-based program serving Grades 9-12. Through the Competition, students develop communication skills and an appreciation of the power of language and literature. The Competition has engaged more than 300,000 young people since its inception in 1983.

Through the English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition, students:

  • develop essential skills: critical thinking, close reading and public speaking
  • increase self-confidence through reading, analysis and performance of Shakespeare
  • explore the beauty of Shakespeare's language and classic themes
  • bring the timeless works of Shakespeare to life and learn to express his words with understanding, feeling and clarity
  • meet local, state and national standards in English Language Arts and Drama.

Students read, analyze, perform and recite Shakespearean monologues and sonnets in three qualifying stages: at the school, community and national levels. Approximately 2,500 teachers and 20,000 students in nearly 60 ESU Branch communities participate each year.

The ESU National Shakespeare Competition has been recognized by the Globe Center (USA), the Children's Theatre Foundation of America and the American Academy of Achievement. Many distinguished judges have served on the Competition panels.

Documents & Forms

Handbooks:

2019 Monologue Packet

2019 Sonnet Packet

Rubrics & Evaluation Forms:

Teacher Handouts:

Sample Memos:

Press Releases (Coming Soon)

Posters (Coming Soon)

Middle School Debate 2018-2019

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The ESU Middle School Debate Program is an ESU educational initiative in partnership with Claremont McKenna College's Middle School Public Debate Program, international leaders in middle school debate education.  The program is for students in grades 5-8 to help them develop critical thinking and language arts skills through public speaking. 

Luard Morse Scholarships

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The English in Action Luard Morse Scholarships are merit awards for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, enabling them to spend a semester of their junior year at the British university of their choosing. Luard Morse scholars have studied at universities including Oxford, Cambridge, and the London School of Economics, where they have performed with distinction as scholars and unofficial American ambassadors.

Secondary School Exchange

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Through The Secondary School Exchange, American and British teenagers spend a postgraduate semester or year abroad on a full scholarship provided by participating schools.  Since 1928, thousands of students have participated, many describing the SSE Exchange as the most formative experience in their lives.