The English-Speaking Union of the United

About Us

What is the ESU?

Founded in 1920, The English-Speaking Union of the United States is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, non-political charitable corporation with the mission to celebrate English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators and members.

Headquartered in New York City and incorporated in the State of Delaware, the ESU undertakes its programs through its members in a network of 70 Branches nationwide. An independent American corporation, the ESU-US works in fellowship with more than 50 independent ESUs around the world.

ESU members work together locally, nationally and internationally to foster global understanding through a variety of educational, cultural and social programs. The ESU's national programs are supported by its unrestricted endowment and corporate and foundation grants as well as by the generosity of its members. Members benefit from the personal relationships and international exposure gained from ESU activities and events while they provide financial and volunteer support to sustain these programs.

The ESU Mission

The ESU celebrates 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 Vision Statement: Click Here

History of the ESU: Click Here

Dr. Paul Beresford-Hill MBE Chairman of The English-Speaking Union: Click Here

ESU Programs

The English-Speaking Union 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.

BUSS is now Teachers Learning Abroad or TLab-UK

Join a 60-year international tradition

Since 1957, more than 2,500 American teachers have continued their own education through summer study at prestigious universities and cultural institutions in the United Kingdom as ESU Teacher-Scholars. For six decades these educators have returned revitalized and inspired and armed with new teaching strategies, knowledge and international perspective to engage their thousands of students nationwide.

Shakespeare Teacher Programs, 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.

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.

English in Action is a second language tutoring program matching newcomers to the U.S. with American volunteers for one-to-one conversation. EIA helps students master conversational English and fosters cross-cultural, global understanding through English.

The Luard Morse Scholarships are merit awards for students at United Negro College Fund institutions, enabling them to spend 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.

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.

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.