Join and Donate:


Become part of a 5,000+ community which believes that speaking and listening skills are central to personal fulfilment and cultural understanding

Become a member


One-off or regular donations are vital to our work, helping us ensure that young people everywhere have the oracy skills they need to thrive



We’re hugely grateful to those who volunteer their time in helping to organise and run ESU programmes and competitions. Find out how you could help


‘We rely on the generous support of our members, donors and volunteers to ensure we can reach those children who need our help most’

The English-Speaking Union is a charity working to give young people the speaking and listening skills and the cross-cultural understanding they need to thrive




I’m interested in...

We are deeply saddened by the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, President of the English-Speaking Union of the Commonwealth from 1952 to 2011, when he was succeeded by HRH The Princess Royal. Prince Philip was a staunch supporter of the charity’s work, writing frequently and attending events at both Dartmouth House and venues across the world on our behalf. Our Public Speaking Competition, now the largest such competition for schools in England and Wales, came about as a direct result of a speech he made in 1960. In 1991, at the World Schools Debating Championships, with which the ESU was involved, he said ‘There are bound to be winners and losers in any contest, but I hope that all the competitors will go home with respect for their opponents and with the realisation that different opinions are no bar to lasting friendships.’ With this sentence he encapsulated the whole purpose of the ESU, and we consider ourselves deeply honoured to have enjoyed his lifelong support.

ESU activities 20/21

Registration for the ESU’s 20/21 competitions is now closed. Sign up below to be the first to hear about next year’s competitions when they go live.

Register your interest

‘Young people today are exposed to a tide of incivility – they need to be equipped with the skills to cope with it’


For teachers

We offer rigorous speech and debate programmes, competitions and resources to boost oracy provision in your school, as well as workshops and scholarships to aid your professional development.

Find out more

For members

Our network of branches across England and Wales provides opportunities to meet like-minded people, to socialise and to gain new perspectives on the world. Membership helps fund our vital educational work and many members also fundraise or volunteer their time.

Our branches


There are over 50 international English-Speaking Unions around the world, spanning the globe from Albania to Yemen. All work to promote proficiency in spoken English as a means of cultural exchange and understanding.

Discover more
We regret that, due to the pandemic, Dartmouth House is currently closed to members.


From games to lesson plans, our bank of resources will help you get your class talking



...the number of young people reached through our UK-based programmes in the last year

Help give more young people the speaking and listening skills and cultural understanding they need to thrive


Become a member


Share Page