Intensive English Program Structure

Courses are offered at 5 levels of instruction, from high beginning to advanced.

Full-time students receive 20-25 hours of classroom instruction per week in courses that practice reading, composition, vocabulary development, grammar, listening, pronunciation, conversation, and academic study skills.

Part-time students choose to either focus on reading/writing (10-12 hours of instruction per week) or listening/speaking (10-12 hours of instruction per week).


Class Schedule

The Intensive English Program Reading/Writing classes meet in the morning. Listening/Speaking classes meet in the afternoon. The exact class times depend on the student’s class and level assignment. Students receive their scheduled class times when they receive their level assignments.

Fall and Spring Sessions

20 hours of instruction per week over 13 weeks.
Classes meet Monday through Thursday, morning and afternoon.

Summer Session

25 hours of instruction per week over 11 weeks.
Classes meet Monday through Friday, morning and afternoon.


The Intensive English Program has 5 levels: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 (advanced).

  • Full-time Students in levels 1, 2, 3, or 4 take 2 classes: Reading/Writing and Listening/Speaking.
  • Full-time Students in level 5 take 2 classes: Advanced Academic Skills and Advanced Language Applications.

When students successfully complete each level of study, they receive a certificate of completion.

Read what a successful student can do at the end of each level.


Classes and Skills

In the Reading/Writing class, students work on English skills such as:

  • Reading
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar
  • Composition
  • Study skills
  • Cultural awareness

In the Listening/Speaking class, students work on English skills such as:

  • Listening
  • Pronunciation
  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
  • Conversation
  • Cultural awareness

In the Advanced Academic Skills class (for level 5 students only), students work on skills such as:

  • Writing
  • Study of academic content
  • Academic seminars
  • Guided independent study

In the Advanced Language Applications class (for level 5 students only), students work on skills such as:

  • Speaking
  • Exploration of cultural topics
  • Organized literature discussion facilitation
  • Formal presentations
  • Evaluative reports
  • Idiom study

Our Intensive English Program students have homework every day that includes reading, writing, listening, and speaking practice.  For their homework, our students regularly use books, newspapers, magazines, radio, television, telephones, libraries, and computers.

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Electives Week

Each semester, the Intensive English Program offers 1 week of elective (selected) courses.  These courses are offered in place of the regular Reading/Writing and Listening/Speaking classes for this week and allow students to choose areas of language study for special focus according to their needs.

Examples of past elective courses:

  • Business Writing
  • Country Music: Johnny and Friends
  • Current Events and Newscast
  • Debate
  • Focus on Film: American Animation
  • Getting Around Chicago
  • Successful Spelling Strategies and Typing Made Easy
  • Writing a Personal Statement

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Apply to the Intensive English Program
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