The English-Speaking Union

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In the News

Click below to read the latest news, updates and stories from our programs:

Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center News

166 new immigrants graduate from the Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center – June 8, 2018

 Graduation is a memorable moment for all students, but for the 166 graduates from the Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center (ARNIC) on May 31, this achievement was especially significant. ARNIC graduates are unique in that they are all new immigrants who attended a free, yearlong scholarship program through English in Action.

Read full story.


ARNIC Facebook Group Created on Facebook – March 29, 2018

ARNIC is pleased to announce the creation of a Facebook Group for ARNIC members. Join this group to stay in touch with past and present ARNIC members, share stories and photos from our events and get updates about ARNIC activities.

Click here to join the ARNIC Facebook Group.


Upstander Intervention workshop – November 21, 2017

On November 9, ARNIC hosted an Upstander intervention workshop, where members, tutors and staff learned how to stand up against harassment in their communities. You can read more about the workshop in Voices of NY


Three ARNIC Members Win NYU Essay Competition – March 16, 2016

This year three members of the Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center (ARNIC) at the English-Speaking Union (ESU) won the prestigious essay competition of The Literacy Review journal published by New York University Gallatin School of Individualized Studies. Read full story.


ARNIC Celebrates its second graduating class -- June 8, 2015

On May 21 the English-Speaking Union Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center celebrated its second year with a graduation ceremony hosted by the Open Society Foundations, financial supporters of the program, at their offices in New York City. Read full story.


ARNIC Supports the 1st Annual Immigrant Heritage Month – posted June 9, 2014

Today the English-Speaking Union (ESU) announced its support of the first ever Immigrant Heritage Month, an initiative organized by the Welcome.us, a non-profit that is partnering with corporations, media outlets, organizations, celebrities, athletes, faith, civic, and political leaders to gather and share inspirational stories of American immigrants. Read full story.


Learning One Million Words: ARNIC Interviewed by Voices of New York – May 30, 2014

Maya Ogibalina may not know more than a few thousand words in English but she knows enough to make a joke or two.

Although the exchange may not mean much to her native English-speaking customers, Ogibalina's ability to play with words is one of many new things she can do after a year of studies at the Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center. Read full story.


Members of the Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center Visit Nation's Capital – May 21, 2014

On April 28 and 29 a group of new immigrants, members of the Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center (ARNIC) of the ESU visited Washington, DC. The trip was part of ARNIC's civil and cultural education initiative. Through trips to landmarks, museums, parks, historical buildings and notable organizations in New York City and beyond these new Americans learn about American culture, history, arts, governance and citizenship. Read full story.


Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center Celebrates First Anniversary – April 3, 2014

The English-Speaking Union Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center celebrated its inaugural year with a graduation ceremony for its first graduates on April 1, 2014. The event was generously hosted by the Open Society Foundations at their offices in New York City. Read full story.


English in Action Expands to Include New Immigrant Center – January 15, 2013

We are proud to announce that the ESU has been given a tremendous opportunity to expand our English in Action program and provide more services to recent immigrants on the path to American citizenship. The Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center (ARNIC) is named for the program's instigator and major supporter (pictured above). It will provide a diverse collection of educational, cultural and professional offerings tuition free to help immigrants in need improve their English, gain essential skills and cultural fluency, and develop networks they need to fully participate in American society and exercise the responsibilities of citizenship. Read full story.

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English in Action Conversations News

English in Action Conversations Facebook Group Created – March 29, 2018

English in Action Conversations created a Facebook Group to connect with volunteers and students, share stories and stay up-to-date with news about the program.

Click here to join the Facebook Group.


English in Action featured by the BBC – April 13, 2016

English in Action tutor, Ronald Blumer, recorded the happy chatter of EiA conversation partners during his Tuesday evening unit at the ESU in New York City. The BBC's World Update: Soundscapes made it part of their live broadcast. Click here to listen.


Jasem Harari in the New York Times – January 16, 2016

Read EiA student Jasem Harari's story published in the New York Times. Read full story.


Tutor Toolkit created in memory of Marian Siegel – July 10, 2015

The Marian Siegel Tutor Toolkit is named in memory of a beloved English in Action tutor who passed away in 2012. One toolkit is available for each conversation unit to share among its students and tutors.

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Luard Morse Scholarhips News

Final report from Luard Morse Scholar Leondre Ramsay – August 1, 2018

Leondre Ramsay recently completed a semester at University College, London. Read his final blog post, along with some photos of his travels. Read Full Story


Final report from Luard Morse Scholar Serena Newberry – June 28, 2018

Serena Newberry recently completed a semester at Goldsmith's University, London. Read her final blog post, along with some photos of her travels. Read Full Story


Mid-term report from ESU Luard Morse Scholar Serena Newberry – April 18, 2018

The past four months have been so amazing, that it took me two days simply to decide where to begin on this mid-term report. Given that the main purpose of studying abroad is to learn, I will begin with my classes. I read many plays for my Shakespeare course. The professor was very passionate about the material, and our class took a trip to the Shakespeare Globe Theatre. I am going back to see the play Much Ado About Nothing in a few weeks. I was also able to take my learning outside of the classroom for my Sensibility & Romanticism course. After discussing the poems of John Keats, I visited the poet's home in Hampstead Heath. Read Full Story


Serena Newberry written up in The Oakland Press – January 2, 2018

The Oakland Press covered Serena Newberry, a 2018 ESU Luard Morse Scholar who is beginning her semester abroad at Goldsmiths, University of London. Read full story about Serena, including information about the non-profit she started with her mother and sister.


Leondre Ramsay Mid-Term Report, Fall 2017 – posted November 16, 2017

My time here in the United Kingdom has been a truly significant learning experience. My courses began last week at University College London. My professors and the courses themselves are all quite interesting and engaging. I am enrolled in International Security, Welfare Politics, British Politics, and Justice & Public Policy in the Political Science department here. I have had ample time to get accustomed to the new environment during Arcadia's orientation program as well as during UCL's international student orientation program. I also was able to spend some time with family that lives here in London prior to the start of the semester which was more than I could have asked for. Read full story


Adaya Sturkey's Report from the UK, Spring 2017 – November 8, 2017

Retrospection is always so enlightening. I prepared to go to Oxford a few short months ago and while I was prepared to have somewhat of a "life-changing" experience, no amount of preparation could have gotten me ready for the friendships formed, the knowledge gained and the shift in perspective that resulted from spending a semester abroad. Read full story.


Talia Sharpp's Report from the UK, Spring 2017 – July 5, 2017

I had the wonderful opportunity to study at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London for the spring 2017 semester.  Here, I completed courses focused on international migration, political economy, global decolonization movements, and global wars.  Studying in the U.K. was a lot different from studying in the U.S.  Whereas at my home university students met with our professors for lecture 2-3 times per week, in the U.K. lectures were once a week and tutorials led by graduate students were once a week.  I loved my tutorial experience as it was here that I truly got to interact with my peers and delve into the readings and lectures.  In tutorials students led the discussions and debates which forced us to be accountable for our learning experiences. Read full story


2017-18 ESU Luard Morse Scholarship Recipients – January 20, 2017

Ms. Serena Newberry, an English Education and Pre-Law major from Southfield, MI, a student at Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, LA, and Mr. Leondre Ramsay, a Political Science major and Community Development minor from Tallahassee, FL, a student at Howard University, Washington, DC, have each been selected as recipients of an English-Speaking Union Luard Morse Scholarship. Read full story


2015-16 Luard Morse Scholar Laura Campbell's "Reflections from Across the Pond" – November 18, 2016

My Oxford experience provided me with the valuable exposure needed to make me globally competitive and increased my appreciation for the world's diverse peoples. My Neuroscience and Brain and Behavior tutorials equipped me with the confidence to speak with even the best neuroscientist. The challenges I faced to prove I was "Oxford smart" in my Physiology tutorials taught me that an unbeatable work ethic conquers all. Meanwhile, my Human Ecology tutorial influenced the way I plan to practice medicine in the future by inspiring me to become a physician that also uses foresight. At the end of both terms, I relished the fact that I truly earned every A mark I received. Read full story


2016-17 Luard Morse Scholarship Recipients Announced – November 18, 2016

The ESU is proud to announce that Talia Sharpp, a Political Science Major from Broadview, Illinois, and Adaya Sturkey, a Biology Major from Marion, South Carolina, both students at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, have been selected as this year's recipients of the English-Speaking Union Luard Morse Scholarship. The scholarship provides $25,000 toward one semester of study at any university in the United Kingdom during the 2016-2017 academic year. Read full story.


2015-16 Luard Morse Scholars Pre-Departure Interviews – November 15, 2016

Luard Morse Scholars Allyson Carpenter and Laura Campbell talk about their expectations prior to studying at the University of Oxford. Read full story.

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Middle School Debate News

279 students debated for 6,900 minutes at the English in Action Middle School Debate Championship

May 11, 2018 -- Should reptiles be pets? Should the Olympics include video games? Should the US adopt a guaranteed minimum income level? These are just a few of the topics middle school students debated during the English in Action Middle School Debate Championship Tournament on May 5 in New York City. 279 debaters from 33 schools from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia, Maryland and Colorado converged at the Nest +m public school to participate in the seventh annual tournament. Read Full Story


Horace Greeley Team Wins 2017-2018 HSPDP Championships – May 1, 2018

On Saturday, April 21st, the team of Krishna Ramaswamy, Claire Weis, and Dorothy Low won the 2017-2018 HSPDP Championship event held at the Rim School of the World School in California. Horace Greeley won a 2-1 decision as the opposition against Polytechnic High School on the impromtu motion. Read Full Story


Moore County Middle Schoolers Compete in Debate Tournament

March 26, 2018 -- It might be another decade before they can run for political office, but the students of Moore County's post-millennial generation are learning to make their voices heard.

Students from Elise, Southern Middle, Highfalls, New Century, West Pine Middle and St. John Paul II Catholic School competed this past week in the annual middle school debate tournament co-sponsored by the Rotary Club of Pinehurst and Sandhills branch of the English-Speaking Union at Sandhills Community College. Read Full Story


Debate Team from the Hackley School wins 2016 English-Speaking Union Middle School Debate Championship Tournament

June 29, 2016 -- The English-Speaking Union Middle School Debate Program capped off a successful fifth year with its annual Championship Tournament, which took place at Stone Bridge Middle School in Allentown, NJ, on April 16, 2016.  All six ESU Middle School Debate Program leagues participated bringing together 250 debaters from 29 schools from New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. Read Full Story


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Team from The Hackley School wins ESU MSPDP National Championship

May 30, 2015 -- On May 29th at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City the facts flew back and forth between students from the the Hackley School of Tarrytown, New York, and the Pegasus School of Huntington Beach, California, who were vying to become the 2015 National English-Speaking Union - Middle School Public Debate Program Champions. Arguing in support of the motion "The United States should abolish the death penalty," Hackley convinced the panel of three judges to award them First Place. Read Full Story

Click here to see photos from the event.


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Debate and Leadership – May 21, 2015

Girls I knew who would freak out before every presentation were now walking with their heads held high. Debate took shy, timid students and turned them into forces to be reckoned with. Read Full Story


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ESU Middle School Debate Finishes Third Year in Grand Style – May 30, 2014

The ESU Middle School Debate Leagues capped off a successful third year with a Public Debate in New York City and a National Championship Tournament at Claremont McKenna College. During "The Great National Security Debate", students discussed the proposition, "In the case of the United States government, transparency is more important than security". Read Full Story


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ESU Sponsored Debate Teams Win National Tournament

May 30, 2013 -- Hunter College middle school debate teams, members of the New York Debate League, won the top awards at the Middle School Public Debate Program National Championship Tournament on April 20th in Claremont, CA.  The New York Debate League, sponsored by the ESU, participates in the Claremont McKenna Middle School Public Debate Program, which hosted the national tournament. Read Full Story

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National Shakespeare Competition News

The Pilot – March 22, 2019

The O'Neal School senior Jenna Burns spends a lot of time explaining her passion for performing: theater in general and Shakespeare specifically.

So she should feel right at home next month in New York City, assuming anyone can really feel "at home" performing at no less a venue than the Lincoln Center against 55 other high school students in the English-Speaking Union's national Shakespeare competition.

 -- Read Full Story


Ken-Ton Bee -  April 02, 2019

Kenmore West High School has won the top two spots in the 2019 Regional Shakespeare Competition, with students placing first and second.

The winner and runner-up this year are senior Josh Sinclair and junior Luci Weatherbee, respectively, who competed against students from high schools across Western New York to win top honors. Weatherbee placed second for the second year in a row.

-- Read Full Story


Digital Journal– May 3, 2019

"April 29th may have been a normal Monday for most high school students, but for Matthew Grigoratos, a Junior at Blue Valley High School, it will be a day to remember forever. " -- Read Full Story



Savannah Now– May 3, 2019

"Local student Lillian Morgan Barry from The Habersham School recently performed at the National Shakespeare Competition in New York City, according to the English-Speaking Union. Lillian, student of June Ann Ash Moore, placed as a semifinalist in the competition against 50 students from across the country on stage at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center Theater. To qualify for the National Shakespeare Competition semi-finals, Lillian won the regional ESU Savannah Branch Shakespeare Competition earlier this year. The event is the culmination of a year-long competition hosted by the English-Speaking Union (ESU).." -- Read Full Story



Fontina Herald News – May 6, 2019

"On April 30 in New York City, Kelly Bouslaiby placed third in the 36th Annual National Shakespeare Competition. She went up against 50 students from around the U.S. on stage at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center Theater. The event is the culmination of a year-long competition hosted by the English-Speaking Union (ESU).." -- Read Full Story



Naples Florida Weekly -- May 9, 2019

"April 29 may have been a normal Monday for most high school students, but for Kylie Campbell from Barron Collier High School, it will be a day to remember forever. Ms. Campbell, student of Christina Johnston, placed as a semifinalist at the 36th annual National Shakespeare Competition celebrating William Shakespeare's birthday while competing against 50 students from around the U.S. on stage at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center Theater. The event is the culmination of a year-long competition hosted by the English- Speaking Union." -- Read Full Story



Cape Gazette -- May 9, 2019

"Cape High sophomore Kylie Daisey placed as a semifinalist in the 36th annual National Shakespeare Competition in New York City April 29. Kylie competed against 50 other American students on stage at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center Theater. To qualify, Kylie won the regional English-Speaking Union competition in Delaware in February." -- Read Full Story



The Baltimore Sun -- May 10, 2019

"All's well that ends well.

And things ended very well for St. Vincent Pallotti High School student Kaitlyn Robinson, who placed as a semifinalist at the 36th annual National Shakespeare Competition held April 29 in New York City. There, the sophomore competed against 50 students from around the United States in a monologue competition in honor of the bard." -- Read Full Story


Secondary School Exchange News

Edmundo OrtizEdmundo Ortiz '18 named English-Speaking Union Scholar – Rabun Gap, Georgia – April 26, 2018

Edmundo Ortiz '18 is headed across the pond for a once-in-a-lifetime educational opportunity as an English-Speaking Union Secondary School Exchange Scholar.

The appointment grants Ortiz a full scholarship to spend a year between high school and college at a British boarding school. Next year, he will study at Eastbourne College in East Sussex, England. He has already been accepted to Bowdoin College, a top liberal arts college located in Brunswick, Maine, for the 2019-2020 academic year and plans to study English, philosophy, and politics. Read Full Story


Thanksgiving 2018 at Dartmouth House, London – December 1, 2017

Every year, ESU Secondary School Exchange Scholars from the United States studying in the United Kingdom travel from across the UK to gather at the English-Speaking Union in London for a Thanksgiving Celebration at Dartmouth House.  The scholars have been in the UK since early September studying at nine schools in England, Scotland, and Wales as a part of the SSE program.  SSE Scholar Anna Brummeler is keeping a photo blog this year - check it out hereRead Full Story


SSE Scholar Arrives to Emma Willard School – Jan 5, 2017

SSE Scholar recently arrived from the UK to Emma Willard School in Troy, New York for a two-term exchange, pictured here with Jamie Hicks-Furgang, Head of Enrollment Management and Kent Jones, Director of College Counseling. Read Full Story


SSE Scholars Thanksgiving Gathering -- November 28, 2016

Each year the ESU London branch generously hosts a Thanksgiving dinner for the SSE Scholars studying abroad in the UK.  Arielle Paré shared some photos of the event.  Arielle is also keeping a blog of her experience in the UK this year - check it outRead Full Story


Thanks to our Secondary School Exchange Donors – November 27, 2016

The ESU gratefully acknowledges the generosity of the following donors whose support helps make the Secondary School Exchange program possible.

Read Full Story


SSE Scholars 2016-17 – November 24, 2016

The ESU congratulates the current SSE Scholars who are studying abroad in the UK and Argentina for the 2016-17 academic year. Read Full Story

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Travel and Learn Abroad News

Greensboro News & Record -- April 18, 2018
"The English Speaking Union Greensboro Branch is offering a $2,700 scholarship to a high school teacher in Guilford or an adjoining county to study with TLab in the summer of 2019.

Selected universities include Oxford University, University of Edinburgh and Shakespeare's Globe. Teachers who are interested should call 336-294-9177 for an application form.

Read Full Story


Palm Beach Post -- April 18, 2018
"Liesel Winchester was selected by the English-Speaking Union to study at Oxford University in England this summer. The organization welcomes scholarship applications from Palm Beach County teachers who wish to study abroad." Read Full Story


Jennie Wright

Bossier Press-Tribune -- April 10, 2018

Jennie Wright will definitely have a summer to remember. Wright, AP and English IV teacher at Parkway High School, is the recipient of a scholarship that allows her opportunity to study at Exeter College in Oxford (England). 

The ESU Travel and Learn Abroad scholarship offers her the "opportunity of a lifetime."

"I am way beyond excited," Wright said.

Read Full Story


Covington High's Gary Mendoza wins coveted spot in Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Gary Mendoza, who also mentors students to compete in the annual Shakespeare Competition, will head to London for the program this summer thanks in part to the English Speaking Union of the United States [ESUUS], which provided the New Orleans chapter scholarship. Read full story.

Meriden Teacher Will Study Shakespeare in London

Ethan Warner from Platt High School is sponsored by the Greenwich branch of the English-Speaking Union to attend the "Teaching Shakespeare Through Performance" workshop. Read full story.


Writing Takes Former Memphis Resident to United Kingdom -- Memphis Democrat

The English-Speaking Union St. Louis Branch named Janet Trueblood Baldwin Heptig a BUSS Fellow, enabling her to study at Exeter College this summer. Read full story.


Teachers: The Real American Idols -- Orlando Sentinal

Five outstanding educators from Central Florida have been awarded 2013 British University Summer School Scholarships in 2013. Read full story.

Find out more about the English-Speaking Union Central Florida Branch here.


Oxford Opens Its Doors to ESU Scholars -- Summer 2012 

Each summer, the University of Oxford welcomes ESU British University Summer School (BUSS) scholars to attend its international summer schools. BUSS participants must be American high school teachers. They return to their classrooms reinvigorated and armed with deeper knowledge. For three weeks, they have the privilege of living and studying English Literature, History, Politics and Society, or Creative Writing at Exeter College. Read full story


I am excited to infuse what I have learned into teaching my Contemporary America, Sociology, and American History students....  Here at Oxford, the academic program is complimented so well by the social environment.  My peers in the program are a diverse group of dedicated, interesting scholars from very different places and careers.  I cannot express enough thanks for the opportunity the ESU has given me to participate in this program. 

Stephanie Ryan, ESU BUSS Scholar and teacher at Greenwich High School, Connecticut


In July 2011, Anna and Don Carlson participated in Teaching Shakespeare Through Performance, presented by Shakespeare's Globe in partnership with the English Speaking Union. In their twenty-plus years of teaching, mostly at Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth, they had not experienced anything like it. Anna teaches middle school drama, and Don teaches upper school literature and serves as department chair. He also sponsors the ESU Shakespeare Monologue Competition, their entree to TSTP. They also co-direct a three-week summer Shakespeare workshop for teens. Read full story

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