The English-Speaking Union

Programs Overview

Which programs apply to me?

Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center

Program thumbnail

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 Conversations

Program thumbnail

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.

Evelyn Wrench Speaker Program

Program thumbnail

The Evelyn Wrench Speaker Series, named for ESU founder Evelyn Wrench, provides speakers to ESU Branches throughout the United States over the course of one to two weeks. Wrench Speakers have been renowned historians, politicians, and authors, presenting their work for ESU members and the general public. Lectures cover a wide range of topics, including but not limited to: current events; history; language and literature; art and architecture; and travel.

The National ESU absorbs the transportation costs involved with bringing speakers to the United States as well as their travel between Branches.* The Local Branches cover the cost of any accommodations, local travel, meals, and additional hospitality.

International Public Speaking Competition

Program thumbnail

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.

Luard Morse Scholarships

Program thumbnail

The English-Speaking Union 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.

Middle School Public Debate Program

Program thumbnail

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. 

Secondary School Exchange Scholarship

Program thumbnail

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.

National Shakespeare Competition

Program thumbnail

The National Shakespeare Competition is a performance-based program focused on the study of English, Language Arts, and Shakespeare. This school-based program serves Grades 9-12 and enables students to develop communication skills and an appreciation of the power of language and literature. The Competition has engaged more than 400,000 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.

Travel and Learn Abroad in the UK  ESU TLab Summer Programs

Program thumbnail

Educators and lifelong learners: study in the UK for an unforgettable immersive experience! Live and learn on the famed campuses of England and Scotland or take a deep dive into Shakespeare -- standing on the stage of the Globe Theatre. Lose yourself in our short (one-week) and intensive (two- to six-week) courses and explore the history while soaking up the culture for a truly comprehensive learning experience.

Our exclusive partnerships give you access to renowned scholars and behind-the-scenes experiences specifically designed for classroom teachers and lifelong learners. TLab's intensive programs elevate you as you study in official university courses with top professors at the UK's most prestigious campuses.

Our TLab experiences include:

  • From Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust (1 week program)
    • From Page to Stage: Text to Theater
  • From the Oxford University (2 to 6 week programs)
    • English Literature
    • History, Politics and Society
    • Creative Writing
    • International Politics
  • From Shakespeare's Globe (2.5 week program)
    • Teaching Shakespeare Through Performance
  • From University of Edinburgh (1 to 6 week programs)
    • Text and Context
      • Modernism
      • Contemporary Literature
      • Scottish Literature
    • Creative Writing
    • Theatre & Performance