English in Action: The English-Speaking Union

News and Events

News and Events

ESU Statement on the Tragedy in Pittsburgh

At this time of great sadness in the wake of the hate killings in Pittsburgh, the English-Speaking Union joins the nation in mourning. We stand with our partner HIAS, targeted during this tragedy for their role in resettling refugees. We support all of our partners who are committed to the American ideal of welcoming those in need, including refugees and asylum seekers. As we approach the one hundredth anniversary of our organization dedicated to global understanding, our mission is now more important than ever.  

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TLab Scholars head to the UK on professional development scholarships

TLab Scholars at Oxford

This summer, TLab is sending teachers from throughout the country to study at some of the world's finest institutions of higher learning. Why? To enrich the education of teachers so that they, in turn, can share their enhanced knowledge and experiences with their students.

The ESU has always valued teachers and education. Since 1957, we've sent thousands of teachers abroad each summer to enroll in professional development courses at the University of Edinburgh, The University of Oxford and Shakespeare's Globe.

2018 TLab Scholars

  • 23 ESU branches providing scholarships
  • 39 scholarships awarded to teachers
  • 66 teachers studying in the UK
  • 1,000+ students impacted each year by TLab
  • $200,000 raised by ESU branches for TLab scholarships

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June is Immigrant Heritage Month!

Andrew Romay with students

English in Action and the Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center (ARNIC) stand with asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants. Immigrant Heritage Month is a chance for us to celebrate immigrants and the contributions they make to American society. 

Since 2013, ARNIC has served more than 1,000 asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants from over 60 countries. Through English language classes, professional development workshops and cultural events, ARNIC helps immigrants become active and engaged members of American society. Within a safe and welcoming environment ARNIC members improve their English, explore work and study opportunities, network, pursue citizenship and acquire cultural fluency as they build their new lives in the U.S.

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Congratulations ARNIC Class of 2018

Class of 2018 ARNIC Graduates

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. 

On May 31, 2018 ARNIC hosted a graduation ceremony for students, teachers, supporters and elected officials at Fourth Universalist Society in New York. Following the ceremony, a benefit dinner supporting ARNIC raised more than $76,000 through the generosity of a matching challenge grant from the Marietta and Andrew Romay Foundation.

Thanks to the ARNIC program, I have gained confidence and experience. Those keys I know will open doors to professional opportunities for me. As an immigrant, as a mother, as a woman in my 40s, as an asylum seeker—believe me, there are a lot of challenges I face, but that won't stop me from doing what I have to do today for me and my community. Niurka Melendez-Vasquez, ARNIC Graduate

Click to see photos from the ARNIC Graduation.

Click to watch the graduation ceremony, speeches and panel discussion.

Click to download a copy of the ARNIC Graduation program.

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Ali Cohen from Arizona competed in the IPSC Grand Final round in London

2018 IPSC Finalists in London

"The only difference between these two girls--in fact, the only difference between girls like myself and the 60 million uneducated girls around the world is chance."

These words were spoken today in London by Chandler Arizona high school junior Ali Cohen as part of her speech, Many Worlds Apart at the Grand Final of the ESU International Public Speaking Competition at Dartmouth House today.

Ali (third from right in the front row) used her platform to urge those who have power and influence to be a conduit for the story of uneducated girls around the world as they fight for education, opportunity and equality. 

Watch the IPSC Grand Finals on Facebook. 
(Ali Cohen's speech is at 1:21:00)

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279 middle school students from 6 states debated at the Championship Tournament

2017-2018 Middle School Debate Championship
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. Debaters came from 33 schools in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia, Maryland and Colorado to participate in the seventh annual tournament at the Nest +m public school.

Rachel Carson Middle School from Herndon, Virginia won the final debate against The Dalton School from New York, New York.

Jasmine Sanchez of West End Secondary School in New York, NY won the Top Speaker and coveted Golden Gavel awards.

Click here to see the tournament photos.

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2018 National Shakespeare Competition winner Jackson Dean

April 23 may have been a normal Monday for most students, but as the birthday of William Shakespeare and the date of the 35th Annual National Shakespeare Competition, April 23, 2018 will be a day that fifty-five high school students will never forget. Students from around the US competed on stage in the Mitzi Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center as the culmination of a year-long competition hosted by the English-Speaking Union (ESU).

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ARNIC Graduation Date Set

ARNIC Graduation Save the date: May 31, 2018

The 2018 Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center (ARNIC) Graduation will be held Thursday, May 31, 6 pm at The Fourth Universalist Society of New York.

The Marietta and Andrew Romay Foundation has announced a special challenge grant of $25,000 in support of ARNIC. For more information about the ARNIC 2018 Benefit and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Rossana Ivanova at rivanova@esuus.org, (212) 818-1200 ext. 220.

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2018-2019 Luard Morse Scholarship Recipient Named

2018-2019 Luard Morse Scholarship Finalists and Committee Members

Ms. Kyana Washington of Manvel, TX, an English major from Spelman College, has been selected as the English in Action 2018-2019 Luard Morse Scholarship recipient. Christopher Broadwell, Executive Director of the English-Speaking Union, announced the winner, noting that Ms. Washington will receive up to $25,000 toward a semester of study at a university of her choosing in the United Kingdom during the 2018-2019 academic year.

"Being selected as a Luard Morse Scholarship finalist has been an amazing experience. I've enjoyed meeting inspiring students and alumni from Historically Black Colleges and Universities around the country," Ms. Washington stated at her qualifying interview in New York on Thursday, January 18, 2018. "It was a pleasure to have been able to engage in a thought-provoking discussion about feminism, literature, and current events. My interview has inspired me to continue my intellectual exploration and to continue pursuing my goal of becoming an advocate for women in my study of both English and Philosophy."

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Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Teachers and lifelong learners from across the US reveled while on TLab's inaugural program at Shakespeare Birthplace Trust: From Page to Stage. Participants spent a week in Stratford-upon-Avon walking in the footsteps of Shakespeare, enjoying lively discussions with renowned lecturers, soaking up the Christmas markets and enjoying four performances by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

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