ESU News THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING UNION Creating global understanding through English ISSUE No. 143 MAY 2009
All-Alumni Reunion 2009 A vibrant and relaxed mood welcomed alumni to this year’s All-Alumni Reunion held on the 26 March. Over 60 alumni from a wide range of scholarships and years returned to The English-Speaking Union headquarters at Dartmouth House to enjoy a drinks reception with fellow scholars. This event was the first organised by the Alumni Officer, Cristel Guajardo. The Alumni Association was represented by Mr Brian Marsh, Honorary President and Ms Jenni Hibbert, Vice-President. During the reception Cristel talked of the need to keep records up to date and asked guests for their assistance in contacting missing alumni. She hoped the evening would provide the platform for further events. Jenni Hibbert referred to the benefits of being part of the Alumni Association and how her internship at Capitol Hill had been a life changing experience. She also mentioned the importance of giving back to the ESU whether by becoming a member, volunteering work or through donations. Stories and experiences shared during the evening are proof of the positive impact that ESU programmes have had on the lives of our alumni. We were delighted to be able to celebrate this and provide the opportunity for them to meet alumni from other scholarships.
Alumna Ms Ruth Simpson, SSE (formerly BASS) 1986-1987, recalled the reception as “a lovely evening. It was daunting at first not knowing anyone; however it soon became clear that the shared experiences from our exchange programmes meant it was a pleasure to meet fellow alumni. It was great to recall our stories from those very special years. I feel re-connected to the ESU and part of a group of extraordinary people. I am looking forward to the next one”. George Mingay SSE (formerly BASS) 1994 described "a super evening and a very good audience. It was excellent to see the breadth and depth of the alumni turnout for this event and everyone clearly had a great time. Alumni also had the opportunity to see ‘The Sea-Vac Project Exhibition’ which was on display at Dartmouth House. It is an impressive collection." The ESU hopes that alumni will stay in touch and many events like this will be organised in the future. If you wish to organise an event please contact Cristel Guajardo at email@example.com
Lord Watson visits South Africa
Lord Watson, Chairman Emeritus of the ESU International Council visited his alma mater, Bishops School, Cape Town, South Africa in mid-March. During his stay he had breakfast with HE The Rt Hon Paul Yaw Boateng, British High Commissioner to South Africa.
Alumni Reunion . . . . .Page 1
They discussed taking the ESU further in South Africa, and plans for this will be developed during this year. Mr Boateng has a strong ESU connection having won the ESU International Public Speaking Competition in London as a student. Lord Watson has proposed Mr Boateng as a future Governor of the ESU.
Lord Watson in SA . . .Page 1 Malta Visit . . . . . . . . .Page 2 Iceland First . . . . . . . .Page 3 Chile Debate Trip . . . .Page 3 Albania Prepares . . . . .Page 4 Shakespeare Win . . . .Page 4 Pharmacy Debate . . . .Page 5 WH Page Awards . . . .Page 5 Sea Vac Event . . . . . .Page 5 At Home . . . . . . . . . .Page 6 World Schools . . . . . .Page 6 US Team Tour . . . . . . .Page 6 Economics Debate . . .Page 6
Lord Watson with Paul Yaw Boateng in Cape Town
Russia Evening . . . . . .Page 7 Polish Project . . . . . . .Page 7 Diary Dates . . . . . . . .Page 8
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INTERNATIONAL VISITS SOW SEEDS OF ESU EXPAN Support for Malta’s New Steering Committee This part of the programme gave rise to the idea of expanding the International Public Speaking Competition within Maltese schools and also, the possibility of learning more about debating through the ESU’s debate training programme, Discover Your Voice. A meeting was held with FELTOM (Federation of English Language Teaching Organisations Malta) at which 30 English language teaching schools were represented. Ideas were also discussed for future collaboration between FELTOM and the ESU. The programme in Malta concluded with a highlight event at the Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, where Professor Lee Williams gave a presentation entitled: Sowing the original seeds in Malta in the 80s. He explained the background and emphasised that it was the right time to start an ESU now. Valerie Mitchell followed with a presentation on The EnglishSpeaking Union and world connections to which there was a most encouraging and enthusiastic response. Receptions and dinners were held in the visitors’ honour and these included a memorable party hosted by Dr and Mrs Refalo in their beautiful home. Prof Alan Lee Williams, HE Ms Louise Stanton, Valerie Mitchell and Mr Roger Pyne, Chairman of the steering committee
At the invitation of Dr Michael Refalo, former Maltese High Commissioner to the UK, Director-General, Valerie Mitchell, visited Malta to support the newly-established ESU Malta steering committee. Mrs Mitchell was accompanied by Professor Alan Lee Williams, former ESU Director-General, who, in 1985, was part of a committee to form an ESU in Malta. Sadly, this failed to get off the ground. It was apparent, however, from the high profile programme that was put together for this visit that the new steering committee would undoubtedly, get the ESU up and running in Malta. The four-day trip included a meeting with the Hon Mrs Dolores Cristina MP, Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, at the Ministry of Education. Mrs Cristina responded most enthusiastically to the message of the English-Speaking Union. Firstly, she stressed the need for more opportunities to be given to the young for English, particularly in the field of oral presentation skills, which clearly, the ESU was in a position to offer.
Mr Martin Scicluna, Chairman of the steering committee, will attend the International Council Meeting in October to make a presentation to the members for ratification to launch the ESU Malta in May 2010. The visit to Malta was a great success and well covered in the press. Thanks go to Dr Michael Refalo, Mr Martin Scicluna and all the members of the committee who supported the trip. A vote of gratitude is also due to Roger Pyne, former Chairman of the Portsmouth Branch, whose house in Malta offered its hospitality. Valerie Mitchell concluded the trip with the following remarks: “I feel confident in saying that ESU Malta will adhere to the education goals of her country and, at the same time, will support the international aims of the English-Speaking Union. This has been a most profitable and inspiring visit which will definitely contribute to the success of the ESU in Malta.”
Secondly, was the ESU’s aim of creating global understanding through English. This would enable young people in Malta to link in with a world organisation. Mrs Cristina was delighted to accept the invitation to become Patron of ESU Malta. A visit to the British High Commission followed, hosted by HE Ms Louise Stanton. She welcomed Valerie Mitchell, Professor Lee Williams and members of the steering committee to a very productive meeting where plans were made for the future. The High Commissioner pledged her support and was pleased that she would be able to be part of setting up the ESU in Malta. Valerie Mitchell chaired a seminar for head teachers of state, church and independent schools at the Royal University of Malta. It was entitled A Snapshot of English Language Teaching in Maltese Schools. Meanwhile, Professor Lee Williams chaired a forum with students in the English Language Department and Faculty of Arts at the university. 2
Former ambassador to Malta, Dr Michael Refalo, Prof Alan Lee Williams, the Hon. Mrs Dolores Cristina, MP, Mrs Valerie Mitchell and Mr Martin Scicluna, Chairman of the steering committee
ANSION AND GROWING CULTURAL PARTNERSHIPS Inaugural Event for ESU Iceland After the presentation and some lively debate, a brief reception was held with drinks and food provided by the embassies of Canada, India and the United States. The British Embassy was also instrumental in arranging Brian Hanrahan’s presentation in Iceland. The steering committee is now planning a busy calendar of events for 2009, in order to introduce the organisation to the country. Members look forward to hosting further lectures in English, as well as beginning a programme for public speaking and debating within secondary schools.
Bogi Ágústsson, Brian Hanrahan and Benedikt Jonsson - acting Permanent Secretary of State at the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Late January saw ESU Iceland hold its inaugural event, just a few months after launching its steering committee. BBC Correspondent Brian Hanrahan delivered a lecture entitled The Power of the Media in Times of Change. Despite the ongoing political crisis in Iceland, the event was extremely well attended, with members from the general public, the diplomatic community, academia and media in attendance. Former President Vigdís Finnbogadóttir was also present among the audience of more than 60 guests. Brian Hanrahan’s entertaining and informative lecture was introduced by Icelandic newsreader Bogi Ágústsson.
(L-R): Eliza Reid, Chair, ESU Iceland steering committee, Elizabeth Nunberg, Secretary, ESU Iceland steering committee, HE Sivaraman Swaminathan, India's Ambassador to Iceland, Gudjon Gudjonsson, ESU Iceland steering committee member
Competitions Officer Visits Chile Debating in Chile is growing at an encouraging rate with an increasing number of competitions in both Spanish and English. Equally encouraging was the interest shown in the free course offered by the University of Andres Bello which was taken up by students and teachers from private and state schools alike. The class covered everything from voice projection and body language to debate research and comparative rights analysis. In temperatures ranging from 25-32 degrees centigrade, I was able to explore some of the hills surrounding the city and the cultural treasures in it – including the National Museum of Art and the new cultural exhibition beneath the Presidential palace. A good deal of local food and Chilean wine was sampled during my trip.
ESU Competitions Officer, Jason Vit, in front of La Moneda, the Presidential Palace, Santiago
Jason Vit recently travelled to Chile as part of the Centre for Speech and Debate’s international work. Here, he tells us about his experience: ‘In January, I enjoyed my first visit to South America thanks to a tour arranged by ESU Chile, to go and teach debating and public speaking at a summer camp for students and teachers in Santiago.
I was also privileged to join the training sessions of the first team that Chile sent to the World Schools Debating Championship in Athens. Members of ESU Chile, Ana Maria and Richard Collingwood-Selby, were especially generous with their time, giving me guided tours of Santiago, days and evenings out and entertaining me in their homes. This young member of the global ESU family is especially vibrant and is undertaking a joint project with Andres Bello to develop the competitions on offer to young people in debating and to build on their own outstanding work in creative and essay writing. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience and recommend the country, city and ESU branch to anyone who has the opportunity to go.’ 3
Albania Prepares for First Public Speaking Competition The educational activities of the fledgling ESU Albania, due to launch in September this year, are already well underway. James Probert, Head of the ESU’s Centre for Speech and Debate, has already been to Tirana to see some of their preparations for the first national public speaking competition. More than 100 students, aged around 17 and 18, packed the offices of the British Chamber of Commerce on a Sunday morning for a two-hour workshop. Most of those present had already written an essay version of their speech, for submission to the first phase of ESU Albania’s selection procedure, and were keen to practice their delivery.
James Probert works with a class of Albanian students on their public speaking skills
Smaller workshops were held in schools over the next two days. James also met with several school principals keen to become involved in the ESU’s network, and visited the offices of potential local sponsors.
Parrs Wood Wins Shakespeare Debate The final of the Great Shakespeare Debate was held in Stratfordupon-Avon, over two days in March. This is the fourth year that the ESU has run this event in conjunction with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Parrs Wood School, Manchester became the first state school from the North of England to win the competition. The team, Helen Stavri, Rebecca White and Alex Ware, was presented the George Pragnell Plate by Dr Carol Chillington Rutter, from the CAPITAL Centre at the University of Warwick. The students attended a number of workshops as well as a theatre visit to see a performance of The Tempest. There was also a question and answer session with a member of the cast the following morning. English undergraduates from Warwick and London attended the finals day to assist the students as did debate mentors and members of the Centre for Speech and Debate. The Great Shakespeare Debate received support from a number of ESU branches, who contributed funds to help cover the costs of mentors and the running of the two-day final. In a change to the format used in previous years there were two preliminary rounds, one held in London and the other in Warwick. This enabled every team who applied this year to take part. The six best teams from each of the two heats attended the finals day in Stratford.
(L-R): Carol Rutter, Helen, Rebecca and Alex, with the George Pragnell Plate
St Helen and St Katherine, Oxford came second in what was a close final.
Support the ESU If you would like to strengthen the ESU’s ever increasing educational programme by a donation or a legacy in your Will, please contact Jo Wedderspoon at Dartmouth House, 37 Charles Street, London, W1J 5ED, telephone 020 7529 1550, email email@example.com. Your help would be greatly appreciated.
New Debate Partnership with Royal Pharmaceutical Society Held in the Museum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society during the National Science & Engineering Week, the competition involved ten schools. Each was represented by a team of three Year 10 and 11 students. The winning team came from St Francis Xavier’s College, Liverpool and was presented by James Probert and Jayne Lawrence, Chief Scientific Advisor from the Museum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain with a replica apothecary’s pot from the 18th century. The team from City of London Freemen’s School came second, in a very close final.
(L-R) Matthew Oldham, Daniel Keeley and Matthew Handley from St Francis Xavier’s College, Liverpool with the trophy
A new partnership with the Museum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain was launched on 13 March with the Great Pharmacy Debate.
As well as the debate itself, the students enjoyed a number of workshops, a tour of the Museum and a pill making demonstration. University students of pharmacy-related subjects attended the competition day to assist the competitors. Debate mentors and members of the ESU’s Centre for Speech and Debate were also on hand to share their knowledge and experience.
Walter Hines Page Scholarships Decided On 20 March, the Walter Hines Page Scholarship Committee met at Dartmouth House to hold interviews for the 2009 scholarships. Four scholarships were awarded to provide teachers with the opportunity to spend two weeks in the United States to investigate an area of professional interest. The scholars plan to visit a variety of schools and educational organisations and will explore issues including home/school relations, the use of outdoor education to enhance the curriculum and educational provision for deaf students.
The English-Speaking Union is grateful to the ATL and NASUWT teaching unions for supporting the scholarships. The panel also interviewed candidates for the Chautauqua scholarship which enables a teacher to study at the prestigious Chautauqua summer school. Scholars of both awards are looking forward to exploring and comparing US strategies and ideas with colleagues in the United States as wells as sharing their own teaching experiences and promoting current UK educational initiatives and approaches.
Sea Vac Celebration Dartmouth House welcomed 75 overseas evacuees and their families to a celebration to mark the end of the first phase of the Sea Vac Project. This project is run in collaboration with the Imperial War Museum and the University of Reading. ESU Director-General, Valerie Mitchell and Sir Brian Fall, Chairman of the Sea Vac Project provided the opening remarks. There followed reports on the project and future research from Dr Martin Parsons, Director of the Research Centre for Evacuee and War Child Studies, University of Reading and from Annette Fisher, Head of International Programmes. Dr Peter Heinl, a leading psychologist on child war trauma concluded the morning with a speech entitled Waves of Memories and Emotions Across the Ocean of Evacuation. During the afternoon, guests took part in workshop sessions about their experiences. There was also time to enjoy an exhibition detailing their contributions to the project. This will travel to museums across the UK in the future. The ESU would like to thank Rio Tinto plc for its generous sponsorship of the Sea Vac exhibition.
Sea Vac Project committee members (L-R) Michael Henderson, Roderick Suddaby, Annette Fisher, Dr Martin Parsons and Sir Brian Fall
A documentary made of the event is available for purchase on DVD for £10. A photograph is also available for £3. Please contact Alison Wakefield. 5
Ambassadors Attend International at Home Guests from 30 countries were welcomed by Valerie Mitchell and Susan Bull, Chairman of the Promotions Committee, to an International at Home held at Dartmouth House on 11 February. Among those that the ESU was honoured to host were the Ambassadors of Macedonia, Croatia, Moldova and Indonesia and the High Commissioner of The Bahamas. Valerie Mitchell spoke to all the guests about the national and international work of the ESU. This was followed by a tour of Dartmouth House.
Valerie Mitchell with HE Mr Yuri Octavian Thamrin, Ambassador of Indonesia to the Court of St James and Mr Novan Ivanhoe Saleh, First Secretary, Embassy of Indonesia
England Second at World Schools Event Jack Gamble, Emily Pearce, Melanie Pope and Ben Woolgar, representing England, and their coach Debbie Newman, travelled to Athens in February to compete in the 21st World Schools Debating Championship, in association with the Pan-Hellenic Forensics Association. Over ten days, Team England competed in 11 debates to get to the Grand Final. Competing against New Zealand, and opposing the motion This House believes that all illegal immigrants should receive amnesty, the team battled bravely but was eventually defeated. New Zealand triumphed with its first win since 1995 and its fourth overall since the competition began in 1988. The final
was held in the theatre of the Hellenic American Educational Foundation (HAEF). Judging the event were Cameron Wyllie (Scotland) in the Chair, Kris Ade (Canada), Branislav Fecko (Slovakia), Eirianna Kouri (Greece), Sherria Ayuandini (Indonesia) and Virginia Paksiene (Lithuania). The Deputy Minister of Education of Greece, S. Taliadouros, a former President of the Hellenic Republic, also attended. The other home nations’ teams fared well. Ireland came 11th, Scotland 13th and Wales 14th.
US Team Tour Every year, the ESU Centre for Speech and Debate hosts a tour of the UK for the US debate team. This year’s pairing of Jason Gershowitz and Sebastian Rodriguez proved to be a huge success. They were kept busy at debating competitions and entertaining audiences throughout the country. One of the outstanding moments of their tour was when they were invited to speak at Lincoln’s Inn on the subject of shutting Guantanamo Bay. (L-R) Sebastian Rodriguez and Jason Gershowitz
Economics Debate Brings Season to a Close
Wednesday 10 March saw the last Dartmouth House Debate Society meeting of this academic year which we were very pleased to jointly host with the Institute of Economic Affairs.
and Jim Bligh (former President of Durham University Conservative Society) speaking on the subject This House Believes in a Liberal Immigration Policy.
We were fortunate to have Damien Green MP, Phillippe Legrain (writer and visiting academic at London School of Economics), Dr Mark Pennington (lecturer at Queen Mary University of London)
The debate proved a huge success amongst the large audience which voted (by one vote) in favour of the motion.
Russian Language as a Means of Intercultural Communication and Development of International Co-operation international co-operation. This was rounded off by Natalia Kuleshova, Deputy Director of the Russian Museum who gave an insightful presentation on the Virtual Russian Museum project which allowed the audience to envision the actual museum and particular paintings in 3D. The audience was then treated to a concert featuring an outstanding and lively recital of Russian songs and romances performed by Timur Abdikeev, bass soloist of the Mariinsky Theatre. Julian Gallant, Director of Pushkin House accompanied. Valerie Mitchell gave the vote of thanks. A reception brought the evening to a close.
Geraldine Watson, Professor Yurkov and a member enjoy the evening
The group from St Petersburg continued their tour the following day, heading off, and looking forward to, visits to Edinburgh and Glasgow.
A Russian cultural evening took place at Dartmouth House on Tuesday 31 March. The ESU was delighted to host representatives from the ESU branch in St Petersburg as part of their six day trip to the UK entitled Russian Days in Britain. Lord Watson welcomed guests to Dartmouth House, followed by Tatyana Emelyanova, Director of International Programmes of the ESU St. Petersburg who provided a few words of introduction and presented the audience with a quiz about Russian language and culture.
Timur Abdikeer, bass soloist of the Mariinsky Theatre
Professor Yurkov, Deputy Secretary General of the International Association of Teachers of Russian Language and Literature and Dean of Special Department of Philology at the St. Petersburg State University, gave a lecture on the topic Russian language as a means of intercultural communication and development of
ESU and British Council in Poland The ESU teamed up with the British Council in Poland when Debates and Education Officer, Andrew Fitch visited Krakow for the Living Together project. This saw students and activists from across Europe come together to develop programmes to encourage cultural understanding. Delegates from over a dozen European countries took part in a series of workshops on topics such as public speaking, fundraising and using the internet to spread messages, before representing their projects to a panel of experts.
Three delegates taking part in the Living Together project in Krakow
All of the participants performed outstandingly, due, in no small part, to the contribution of the ESU.
ESU Merchandise When visiting Dartmouth House, why not take a moment to look at the display cabinet, where you will find an exclusive range of gift items, all featuring the ESU logo. The items for sale are reasonably priced starting from just ÂŁ3.50 and range from key fobs to an impressive assortment of glassware, ties, and jewellery. Ask at reception for details. 7
Unless otherwise stated we regret that no refunds can be made for cancellations within seven working days of an event.
For members: We accept payment for Dartmouth House events and membership subscriptions by credit/debit cards. Cards bearing Visa, Master-Card, Maestro, Switch, Solo or Delta symbols can now be used to make bookings by post, telephone or email. DARTMOUTH HOUSE Telephone : 020 7529 1550
Wednesday 13 May 10.30-11.30 am Coffee Morning at Dartmouth House for members and their friends. Contact: Alison Wakefield Thursday 21 May at 9 am International Public Speaking Competition Final Members are welcome to Dartmouth House to see the heats. Contact: Annette Fisher
JUNE Wednesday 3 June Reception 6.30 pm / Lecture 7.00 pm Chilton Art History Lecture Joanna Gwilt, Assistant Curator, Works of Art at The Royal Collection will talk on French Porcelain for English Palaces at Dartmouth House. Tickets: £17.50 to include a glass of wine Contact: Gillian Parker Wednesday 10 June at 10.30 am International at Home coffee morning. ESU members are invited to a coffee morning at Dartmouth House. Contact: Alison Wakefield Monday 15 June at 6.45pm The Importance of Being Earnest At Dartmouth House. Follow the adventures of two dashing young bachelors as they find themselves hopelessly in love under assumed identities which happen to be the same. Because the truth is rarely pure, and never simple, and who knows what will happen when the black handbag is opened… For the first time, Oscar Wilde’s last and most enduringly popular play comes to its original setting in a Mayfair townhouse, for a unique, one-night-only performance. This is a revival of the critically acclaimed 2008 Oxford University production in the 125th anniversary year of Oxford Drama, a stone’s throw from Algy’s quarters in Half Moon Street. Guests should arrive 7.15pm for curtain up at 7.30pm. Dress: Black tie. Tickets: £35 to include reception. Contact: Gillian Parker Wednesday 17 June at 7 pm Lecture in aid of the American Arts Scholarship to Attingham. Beth Carver Wees, Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will be speaking on American Silver and Jewellery at the Metropolitan Museum, New York. Tickets: £7.50 to include a glass of wine Contact: Alison Wakefield
Thursday 25 June National Mooting Competition Final Members are welcome to attend the semi-finals at Dartmouth House, starting at 9.30am. The final will be held at the Royal Courts of Justice. In association with Essex Court Chambers Thursday 25 June. Contact: Rosie Unwin 29 June at 7.00 pm Literary Lecture with Joanne Harris Joanne Harris, author of the critically acclaimed Chocolat, which was made into an Oscar-nominated film, and most recently Lollipop Shoes, will be giving a lecture at Dartmouth House. Date to be announced. Tickets: £8 to include a glass of wine Copies of the author’s books will be available for purchase and signing. Contact: Gillian Parker
JULY Wednesday 1 July 3.30-5.00 pm House of Lords Tea Party This event is now fully booked. Please contact Alison Wakefield if you wish to be added to the waiting list. Wednesday 8 July 10.30 am Coffee Morning Coffee Morning at Dartmouth House for members and their friends. Contact: Alison Wakefield
ADVANCE NOTICE 4 – 8 September Launch of ESU Albania The formal launch of ESU Albania will take place on 7 September followed by a programme of cultural events. Please note, places are limited and no reservations will be made by the ESU without payment Contact: Annette Fisher Thursday 10 December 2009 The Churchill Lecture The 2009 ESU Churchill Lecture will take place at Guildhall on Thursday 10 December at 6.15pm. The guest speaker will be Her Excellency Madam Fu Ying, Chinese Ambassador to the Court of St James. The event will be followed by a reception. Contact: Jo Wedderspoon
19 – 23 June Launch of ESU Cyprus The formal launch of ESU Cyprus will take place on 22 June followed by a programme of cultural events. Please note, places are limited and no reservations will be made by the ESU without payment. Contact: Annette Fisher
Date to be arranged, 12.00 for 12.30 Literary Luncheon with Frank Gardner OBE BBC’s full-time Security Correspondent will present his new book Far Horizons which immaculately documents observed accounts during his travels, and, how he regained the confidence to look towards those far horizons again after he was seriously wounded in 2004. Tickets: £34 to include a two course lunch, tea and coffee. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing Contact: Gillian Parker
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