English Language Learning
The ELL program is part of the ELL/World Languages Department. Most students in our program enroll in the college as full-time students, and many start taking select regular college-level classes as they prepare to enter English 101. For more details about our courses please read the Course Descriptions
.About our Students
The student population in English Language Learning is diverse in every imaginable aspect. About 30% of the students enroll as international students
on I20 Visas, on au pair visas, international work visas, spousal visas etc., while 70% are legal residents or US citizens. English Language Learners represent 55 or more countries in any given semester and their time in the US can be as little as one day to thirty years. Though most students come with the intention of completing a degree or certificate program, others come for one semester for personal enhancement.
The educational experience of our students varies greatly. For the vast majority of our students, they are the first member of the family to attend college. Students may be recent graduates of Chicago Public Schools or other local high schools while others may have been in the work force for many years. There is also a large number who have received advanced degrees from their home countries and are in the process of transferring to graduate level programs in the US. What We Do
Because our institutional role is to prepare students for college courses taught in English by English speaking professors, our courses
focus on English for Academic Purposes. Thus, our approach to language learning exposes students to themes and materials that include academic language and academic content.Activities and Trips
In addition to the academic side, we organize monthly events for our students. Some standard activities are monthly International Student Coffees, Ice Skating at Millennium Park, Bowling, the International Student Potluck, and Bike Riding along Chicago's lakefront.
Students also participate in supplemental field trips to local museums. The purpose of these trips is the development of community for students new to Chicago and new to the college experience. These trips allow students to create their own support groups by making connections across classes and cultures that have the potential to last throughout their college experience.