The English-Speaking Union is an educational charity which was founded on June 28th, 1918 on the initiative of an English writer and journalist, Sir Evelyn Wrench. During its long history, the ESU has played an important part in fostering cultural links between people of different nationalities. The original ties between Great Birtian, the United States of America and Commonwealth countries have, in recent decades, been extended to most countries throughout the world. It is an independent, non-political body, operating with the support of many distinguished public figures. Corporate members support the ESU's activities through sponsorship of individual awards and events.
The mission of the ESU is to promote international understanding and human achievement through the English language.
Central to its purpose, is the recognition that the English language offers people of different races and cultures, a means of shared communication, English is spoken by over one billion people worldwide and has become the international language of business, travel and technology. The ESU supports a range of activities that enhances the effective use of English in education, in business and in daily life.
These aims are achieved through scholarships, awards, debating and public speaking competitions that encourage speaking skills and a variety of educational programmes for young people from all over the world. School Children, students and young professionals are our main focus because the future of international relations will be in their hands. They share a common language in English through which they are able to share thoughts & feelings, to transmit information, to explain and, through an expanding programme of live Internet debates, to discuss, argue and persuade. The young people who take part in our programmes emerge better equipped to contribute to their society and with a better understanding of the world they live in.
The ESU also has a strong tradition of links with young musicians. Music scholarships are awarded annually to allow outstanding young performers to study at summer schools in the USA and in institutes throughout the UK.
International and current affairs from the subject of many ESU programmes and events. Debates, conferences and lectures on domestic and global issues allow ESU members to exchange views on a wide range of contemporary topics. Every year, an international figure is invited to give the prestigious Churchill Lecture at the Guildhall in London. The annual conference on "Britain Today" at oxford brings together delegates from many different countries to discuss issues of common importance ranging from environmental questions to international relations. Many scholarships and exchanges are sponsored by the ESU, providing the opportunity to study both in the UK and in the USA.
The center of all these activities is the international Headquarters at Dartmouth House in London, which not only manages the international programmes but also provides advice and support for ESU, both nationally and internationally.
Tens of thousands of ESU members all over the world are able to share their ideas and culture through the ESU global network.