Join | Donate | Volunteer:


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

Support our work


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’

Home > News and views > Speak for Change

Speak for Change

The Oracy All-Party Parliamentary Group reveals life-limiting effects of a lack of oracy education

As a founder member of the Oracy Network, out of which the Oracy All-Party Parliamentary Group developed, the English-Speaking Union (ESU) is pleased to have contributed to the APPG’s momentous Speak for Change Inquiry report.  The full report is here and an executive summary is here. It highlights the devastating impact of the pandemic on the already marked spoken ‘language gap’ between disadvantaged students and their peers, and posits an indisputable case that oracy skills, which underpin academic attainment, literacy, employability, civic engagement and confidence and wellbeing, should be an integral aspect of all children’s and young people’s school education.

‘Spoken communication is such a fundamental issue in the world today – because the digital revolution has made it a less and less practised skill,’ says Miles Young, Chair of the ESU and Warden of New College, Oxford. ‘I’ve seen that as an employer, where people perform poorly in interviews simply because they’d never had any basic training, and I also see it very much in the Higher Education context where applicants from less privileged backgrounds find it difficult to express who they are or what they stand for. I hope very much that with this report, oracy will start to receive the importance it deserves’.

We thank ESU members, alumni and supporters for all you do to promote the ESU’s vital work, and the volunteering and financial contributions which make our oracy work possible.

Share Page