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

Programs Overview

Which programs apply to me?


National Shakespeare Competition

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The English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition assists high school teachers across the country with their Shakespeare and language arts curriculum. Through the competition, students are encouraged to develop their communication skills and an appreciation of the power of language and literature. 

Shakespeare Teacher Programs

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Shakespeare Teacher Intensives, a partnership between the ESU and the world-renowned Folger Shakespeare Library, are two-day, low-cost, non-residential institutes for teachers.  Using the Folger's smart materials and easily adapted methods, the Institutes teach performance-based approaches to Shakespeare.

British Universities Summer School

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The British University Summer School Fellowships provide high school teachers with dynamic continuing education through summer study at prestigious British centers of learning – Oxford University, Shakespeare's Globe in London and Edinburgh University.  BUSS teachers return to their classrooms revitalized and inspired to apply their new teaching strategies, knowledge and international perspective.

Middle School Debate

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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. 

English In Action

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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.

Luard Morse Scholarships

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The Luard Scholarships are merit awards for students at United Negro College Fund institutions, enabling them to spend a semester of their junior year at the British university of their choosing.  Luard 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, British and Argentine 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.

Books Across the Sea

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Books-Across-the-Sea, with its Ambassador Book Awards and Books as Envoys components, disseminates books as interpreters of our culture.  The Ambassador Book Awards are presented annually to authors whose works best represent American life and culture, and through the Books as Envoys program these works are then sent as "literary ambassadors" to ESUs around the world for distribution to libraries and schools.

Evelyn Wrench Speaker Program

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The Evelyn Wrench Speaker Program provides expert lecturers on history, politics, the arts, language, literature and current events to cities across the U.S. through the network of ESU Branches. The English-Speaking Union has always provided a national platform for gifted, professional speakers from a broad spectrum of fields, including journalism, government, business, teaching and the arts.

Walter Hines Page Scholarship

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The Walter Hines Page scholarship gives teachers the opportunity to explore and exchange educational ideas between Britain, Argentina and America. Scholars travel to the USA to study an aspect of education which is relevant to their own professional interests and development.  Page Scholarships are funded by the ESU of the Commonwealth, teaching unions Great Britain and ESU Argentina, and scholars are hosted by ESU members in the United States.  This international exchange of educational techniques and ideas benefits the educators -- and their students – on three continents.

International Public Speaking Competition

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The ESU International Public Speaking Contest brings together outstandingly articulate young people from all over the world for a week of public speaking competition and international cultural exchange in London.  Under the auspices of the ESU of the Commonwealth, the finalist contestants meet and learn with their peers of different backgrounds and cultures from some 50 countries.  Through all its qualifying levels, the program engages more than 40,000 young people globally.