The English-Speaking Union

News And Events

First Virtual Town Hall Meeting for Tutors

We were thrilled to host our first virtual Town Hall Meeting for tutors on May 1!  The event was attended by over 50 volunteer tutors from all over New York City as well as other ESU branches across the U.S. We discussed the new ways in which the English in Action conversation program continues to provide services to our students.  Tutors shared their experiences of talking with students remotely and best practices for holding conversation sessions online. As part of our ongoing support for our tutors we will be sharing helpful resources, online platform guides as well as tutoring tips shared by our community of tutors. We will also be hosting workshops for tutors on topics of interest and continuing our monthly tutor support groups.   

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Support Our Community of Immigrants

May 5th is #GivingTuesdayNow

Support our community of immigrants! 

Our immigrant students have been among the hardest hit by COVID-19. They live in neighborhoods at the center of the pandemic, including Corona, Elmhurst and the South Bronx.

The ESU has created an emergency fund to support our 250 immigrant clients during this uncertain and challenging time.

Donate today to support immigrants in need 

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37th English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition goes digital Crowns winner from Washington D.C. during quarantine

Embodying the premise that the "show must go on," the English-Speaking Union (ESU) celebrated its 100th anniversary by employing available technology to produce a digital ESU National Shakespeare Competition in this, its 37th year.

Using texting, online meetings and YouTube, the organization responded to the pandemic by putting on its first-ever digital competition. A 3-day event filled with activities had been planned for the 50 high school students representing ESU branches across the United States. When COVID-19 intervened, the organization chose to pivot rather than disappoint the thousands of students who had participated in classroom and ESU Branch competitions for the opportunity to perform at the finals, originally sited at the Public Theater in Manhattan.  

Ava Blum of the Washington D.C. Branch won first place and a scholarship to attend the 2021 Midsummer Conservatory Program at the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, U.K. Her teacher, Jim Mahady of Georgetown Day School, will receive the $1,000 Teacher Recognition Award, instituted this year as thanks to teachers who have adapted to current challenges.

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Celebrate the Queen’s 94th Birthday and Help Support the English-Speaking Union

You can celebrate the Queen's Birthday and support the ESU by posting a creative photo of you hosting a tea party on Facebook or Instagram (even a party of one) and a short birthday greeting to the Queen! For every photo posted on  Facebook or Instagram, President Dr. Quinn Peeper and Chairman Dr. Paul Beresford-Hill will each donate $100 per entry for the first 100 entries! This means that each post with #esuteadrive donates $200 to the ESU!  We are grateful to Quinn and Paul for their support at this time. Please help us raise much-needed funds to support our programs and students.

  1. Photos should be in high resolution and include a short birthday greeting to the Queen
  2. Posts should include hashtag #esuteadrive
  3. Photos should be creative with a tea party theme yet keeping social distancing in mind
  4. Please feel free to submit 3 photos per entry
  5. Contest will close on Monday, June 1st. The winner will be selected by Saturday, June 13th. The winning photo and message to the Queen will be sent to Buckingham Palace at that time.
  6. A selection of photos will appear in the ESU's Centennial Remembrance Album scheduled for release at the end of 2020
  7. Winner will receive an Amazon gift card

Click here to view our Facebook post

Click here to view our Instagram post

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Announcing: The 2020 ESU National Shakespeare Competition Finalists

The moment you've waited for is here!

Before we announce the finalists, we would like to thank each and every one of our participating ESU branches and their coordinators for their tireless support of this competition. We congratulate every teacher and family member who helped a student participate. We thank you, our students, for brightening our days by sharing your love of Shakespeare with us all.

Please join us in congratulating the ten 2020 ESU National Shakespeare Competition finalists (in order of performance):

7. Jordyn Jenkins, Kentucky Branch

18. Julia Kolinski, Monmouth County Branch

20. Max Mester, Philadelphia Branch

25. Ava Blum, Washington D.C. Branch

29. Hayden Mays, Austin Branch

35. Sofie Berg, Denver Branch

37. Adina Cazacu De Luca, St. Louis Branch

40. Adam Wilson, Charlottesville Branch

45. Kaia Williams, Memphis Branch

47. Sheridan Mirador, Kansas City Branch

Information about the finals will be sent out next week to finalists, their parents, teachers and Branch Coordinators.

Information about how to watch the finals will also be announced next week.

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