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About English Language Services


The mission of English Language Services at Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech) is...

To provide engaging English language instruction in a dynamic learning environment relevant to the academic and professional needs of non-native learners.


English Language Services offers several options for students to develop their language abilities. English Language Services (ELS) is accredited under the university through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and licensed to operate under the Illinois Board of Higher Education. ELS recently applied for the English-specific accreditation through the Commission on English Language Accreditation (CEA).  ELS is currently in the self-study portion of the application process.

To view information about the various programs, please click on the respective link. Thank you!


Although English Language Services was officially formed in 2015, the School of Applied Technology (SAT) at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) began offering courses in English as a Second Language in 2002 in response to a request from a Korean cohort coming to the university for Information Technology certificates. At that time, short-term certificate programs were created consisting of ESL courses in listening/speaking and writing/vocabulary combined with academic coursework in IT and business as well as optional internships with local Chicago businesses. Within five years, this program grew to support partnerships with a variety of prestigious South Korean and Chinese universities.

In Spring 2011, in response to a university demand for a structured method of supporting international student success at Illinois Tech, English Language Services began offering ESL courses to the international student body. By fall of 2012, Proficiency in English as a Second Language (PESL) courses were required for all international graduate students lacking English proficiency. Since 2012, PESL courses have been offered in two levels—high intermediate and advanced—in Reading and Vocabulary Development, Academic Writing, and Listening Enhancement. Effective Communication courses were added as a requirement in Spring 2013.

In Fall 2013, Illinois Tech welcomed a group from the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program for our first English-only program. Because of that, the Intensive English Program (IEP) was formed. In December of 2015, Illinois Tech's IEP was added as one of the SEVP certified programs allowing individual international students to apply and attend the program. Students in the IEP study English 18 hours per week for 12 weeks. The IEP is a four level program consisting of Listening and Speaking, Reading and Writing, Grammar, and a content-based elective.

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