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English in Chicago

Request a quote using the form below or check out our list of frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will you choose my classes for me?

We will give you two tests – Grammar & Vocabulary and Listening. We will also speak to you individually for about five minutes to get an idea of your spoken English and also to find out if you have any special interests or needs; for example Business English or exam preparation.

When will my classes start?

Following a full level test and orientation on Monday morning, your classes will start on Monday afternoon if you are on an Intensive or Super Intensive Course, or Tuesday morning if you are on a Standard Course.

How will I know which class and room to go to?

You will see your name on the class lists on the notice board. We will show you where to find this during your orientation.

How will I know what time my lessons start and finish?

Look at the class list on the notice board. The times are exactly the same every day.

Will I have to buy anything?

All core classes follow a course book. You will be able to borrow a book in return for payment of a £20 deposit. This deposit is returnable if the book is returned in good condition. You will be told how to pay during your induction, but if you have any questions please ask in Reception. You will need to buy your own pens, paper etc. Your teacher will expect you to have a dictionary and may ask you to use it in class. You can buy dictionaries and grammar books from the school. Your teachers will give you a lot of photocopies; it is a good idea to use a folder to organise your notes and help you study and review your lessons in your free time.

What will happen in my classes?

In your core classes you will study General English – reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. You will do lots of speaking and listening to help you communicate better in English. We will give you a course book to keep. In your module classes you will cover lots of different areas of English and topics which are interesting and useful to you while at the same time improving your language skills. These modules will change every four weeks. There will never be more than 15 students in a class. If there are students in your class who speak the same language as you, try not to sit next to them and make sure you only speak English in class.

How much homework should I do?

Your core teacher will normally give you homework every day, but we hope that you will also do some work on your own to improve your English. Students always make more progress if they work hard outside their classes and speak English all the time.

What extra work can I do on my own?

It is a very good idea to read and listen to as much English as you can. You can borrow books and CDs from the library to practise pronunciation, listening, grammar, vocabulary etc. You should speak English as much as possible – with other students and your host family. Watching TV, listening to the radio and reading newspapers will all help you to improve your English. You should also come to the social activities organised every week. Look on the Social Programme notice board to see what is happening each day.

Can I change my class at any time?

You will be regularly tested in your class to ensure your progress is being monitored and so we have regular test scores to help decide if you are ready to progress to the next class.

What happens if I don't come to school, or if I'm late?

You must come to school every day and attend all your lessons. If you are not here we will contact your host family or the staff in your residence. If you are ill please phone the school to let us know you are not coming, preferably before your first lesson. If you need to miss any lessons (e.g. if you have a doctor’s appointment) you MUST tell the Director of Studies beforehand and complete an authorised absence form.

What can I do if I am unhappy in my homestay or where I am living?

We hope that you are very comfortable in your accommodation and if staying in a homestay that you feel welcome and are able to practice your English in the evenings at home. If you are unhappy, you should talk to the accommodation officers as soon as possible, they can be found in reception all day from Monday to Friday. We will be able to help with all your questions about living in a foreign country and we have lots of experience in helping students to adjust and acclimatise! Please remember that homes in the UK are often quite different from homes in your country, but this can be a fantastic learning experience for students and hosts alike. If there is a genuine problem, we will take immediate steps to find a solution that suits you and, if necessary, change your accommodation. Please bear in mind that there is usually a 2 week cancellation period that applies if changing accommodation.

Can I use the Internet?

Yes. There are computers in the school for your use and if you have your own computer we have wireless internet access (Wi-Fi) in the school, which you are welcome to use. You can ask at Reception for the password. Homestays and residences that the school provides also offer free internet to our students.

Can I leave my things in the café or classrooms?

It is fine to leave your books and folders in your classroom at break time but it is not a good idea to leave anything valuable (laptops, cameras, phones, money etc.) unattended. We suggest that you keep your valuables with you at all times. The school cannot take responsibility for items lost or stolen.

Will I have an ID card?

Yes, we will give you an ID card on your first day and you must wear it at all times while you are in the school. If at any time you lose it or your details change, please ask at Reception for a new one.