The English-Speaking Union (ESU) was founded by Sir Evelyn Wrench in 1918. One of the first Chairmen of the ESU was Sir Winston Churchill. Today, HM the Queen is the Patron of ESU whilst HRH The Princess Royal is the President.

The ESU is a dynamic educational charity with its international headquarters at Dartmouth House in London and a presence in some 55 countries worldwide. It aims at promoting the value of effective communication around the globe and to help people realise their potential.

In Mauritius, the ESU was established in 1993 by the late Sir Rabindranath Ghurburrun who was the Patron until his demise in 2008. Sir Victor Glover, Kt, GOSK, has been the President of the ESU since its inception until 2008 when he became our Patron. Mrs Marie-France Roussety currently presides over the ESU in Mauritius, with Mr Prem Burton, CSK, Mr Rajen Gangoosingh and Prof Serge Rivière, as Vice-Presidents.

ESU-Mauritius works closely with secondary schools to promote and encourage the sharing of ideas through school exchanges, talks, debates and competitions. All schools in Mauritius and in Rodrigues are invited to take part in our activities.

Our vision is to instil people in Mauritius and in Rodrigues with confidence and pride for the English language, excellent communication skills and networking opportunities. We endeavour to see that the value of good communication, as an essential attribute for individual, community and global development and understanding, is publicly recognised and widely integrated into education and social policy.

ESU’s commitment is to create global understanding and to promote human achievement through the worldwide use of the English language. We aim at :

  • Encouraging the enjoyment and constructive use of English through a series of educational programmes
  • Initiating and administering National and International youth exchange.
  • Focusing on key current affairs issues through international conferences, seminars and meetings.
  • Providing and creating cultural activities
  • Making full use of the enthusiasm and support of our members

Main Activities of the ESU

Workshops on Public Speaking skills given to all participants, at various stages of the competition.

The Public Speaking Competition (Mauritius & Rodrigues). This educational programme acts as a platform for students to engage in an exchange of ideas and opinions, on a national and international scale. The competition enhances the participants’ public speaking and critical thinking skills, placing them in situations requiring them to make spontaneous responses. This event is sponsored by the HSBC and the British Council.

The International Public Speaking Competition (Sebastien Ng Kuet Leong, representing Mauritius, won the International Elocution contest in 2009). Winners of all branches of the ESU worldwide spend a week in London to participate in a range of activities centred on both communication and cultural exchange. They also engage in two days of competition.

The Youth Commonwealth Competition (Mauritius & Rodrigues) run by the Royal Commonwealth Society, in collaboration with the ESU. ESU encourage schools to take part. Local awardees receive prizes.

The National Spelling Bee Competition (Mauritius & Rodrigues), where Spellers experience the satisfaction of learning new words, improving their spelling and increasing their vocabulary in the English Language. This event is sponsored by the US Embassy and the Mauritius Commercial Bank, amongst others.

ESU Essay competitions (e.g. In 2015, ESU headquarters ran the “My Magna Carta” International Creative Writing Competition, open to students aged between 11 to 18. ESU-Mauritius took part in this venture. Our National Winner (Junior Category) won the first prize for the African continent.

“Find the Appropriate Word” competition for Form V Students. In this competition, participants are given the meaning of a word. However the word is deliberately written in a disorderly way. Participants have to get the correct and appropriate word by re-arranging the alphabets. This competition aims at enriching vocabulary and spelling.

Story Telling Competition for Standard V pupils in Rodrigues. The aim of the competition is to encourage pupils to use their imagination and creativity while expressing themselves in English from an early age.

Support to English teachers through various scholarships and workshops, both locally and abroad. Workshops are organized by Professional trainers of the ESU and US Embassy.

e.g. our Annual Dinner which will gather our members and guests.

An “English Language Day” for secondary school students, with a message delivered to all students during the school assembly, to create awareness on the importance of the English Language. Many schools ran activities to promote the English language on that day.

A scrabble competition for ESU adult Members. Besides the obvious rewarding and fun part, this activity helps to enrich the vocabulary and mathematical skills and provides emotional (feel good factor) and mental benefits (prevents Alzheimer) to regular players.

Workshops on “Creative Writing” run in partnership with the President’s Fund for Creative Writing.