Department of Linguistics University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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For Students

English Language Opportunities

This is a list of language learning opportunities at the University of Illinois and the surrounding Urbana-Champaign Community. Please contact the programs directly.

University of Illinois ESL Courses
For Graduate Students: ESL 500, 501, 502, 503
For Undergraduate Students: ESL 113, 114, 115, 110
For Executive Development Center Students: ESL 505
For Current and Prospective International Teaching Assistants: ESL 504, 506
For Non-Students: Special English Class (SEC)

A list of approved tutors is also available.

Special English Class (SEC)

The Special English Class (SEC) is an intensive English conversation class for non-UIUC students, offered by the teaching practicum for the MATESL program in the Linguistics Department.

The SEC is usually offered in the Fall and Spring semesters (please check the website to see if the class is being offered). Registration for placement interviews begins at the start of the semester.

For more information about the SEC and to contact the coordinator, go to

University of Illinois Library Resources

A guide to support international students in ESL 112 and 115 and beyond:

A guide to the University Library for English as a Second Language graduate students:

Writers’ Workshop, 251 Undergraduate Library:

Other English Language Opportunities for You and Your Family

University of Illinois Intensive English Institute

Intensive English Institute Contact Info

Suite 210, Tech Plaza
616 E. Green Street, Champaign
Phone: 217 333-6598

Parkland College
Regular College ESL Classes, 351-2584
Intensive English Institute, 351-2890

Adult Education
These basic ESL classes are free and open to anyone. Interested students should contact Dede Brown (351-2580).
Urbana Adult Education, 211 N. Race, Urbana, 384-3530. No Fee
Classes in many areas including English are offered.

Privately Owned ESL Institutes

The English Center
610 S. 6th Street, Champaign, 344-3310.

International Hospitality Committee
Conversation classes. Free, but a textbook required for some classes. Classes held at various locations, including Orchard Downs and the basement lounge of the Goodwin & Green apartments at 300 South Goodwin, Urbana, Contact Vivienne Mackie at 328-1569,

International Friend/Host Family Program
Contact Nancy McGlathery

ESL Classes Offered by Local Churches

Temple Baptist Church
1100 Broadmoor, Champaign.
E-mail: Website:
Contact RaeAnn Vaughan (384-4849) or David or Belinda Nelson (384-3978).
Free classes on Friday 7-8 p.m., childcare and transportation provided.

Mattis Avenue Free Methodist Church
1913 S Mattis Ave, Champaign (between Kirby Ave and Windsor Rd) Free English conversation classes. Groups are small and informal. For days and times contact Helen Kaufmann at or 328-1770.


Tutors, Mentors and Conversation Partners

Global Partners
Conversation partners, especially for spouses of University students. Contact Susan Taylor at the Weston Exploration Office (244-9700).
Project READ/ESL: For a free tutor for basic ESL skills, contact Project READ at the Champaign Public Library, 356-1542.

ESL Drop-In Center
Basement of First United Methodist Church of Urbana, 304 S.Race, 367-8384. Free tutors are available for help with class work or informal conversation. No formal lessons. Fridays 1-3 p.m. and Wednesdays 7-9 p.m.

ESL Classes with Bruce Norris
MATESOL: Thursdays, 4 pm, Lutheran Student Center. Inexpensive rates. Call or email for more information. Phone: 239-2466; email:

The International Illini Buddy Program
This social organization pairs study abroad returnees with international students. It also sponsors activities like a BBQ, movies at the Union, a weekly social hour, camping at Kickapoo, pumpkin carving, etc.

The Counseling Center's Interlink Program
INTERLINK is an international student mentoring program. Mentors can be students, facutlry or staff. They can be from the US or international students. Mentors make a one-semester commitment to have regular individual meetings with their international student mentee, to help with their adjustment to the American culture. Mentees can be new or returning students, graduate or undergraduate. Additional information available at: URL:

Social Gatherings

Cosmopolitan Club
1001 S. Wright St, 217-337-1500. Hosts coffee hours Thursday evenings from 7:00-9:00 PM. These events feature different “host” countries that provide desserts for the evening. Learn more about their schedule for this semester at

English Corner
This English Corner will take place every Monday from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm at the Campus House on the corner of Lincoln and Oregon. The English Corner is sponsored by Christian Campus Fellowship, but the purpose of this weekly meeting is to give international students an opportunity to practice English with American students in a comfortable setting. It is not a religious or worship meeting. Learn more at

International Coffeehouse
The Etc. Coffeehouse at the corner of Goodwin and Green hosts an English Conversation meeting on Fridays from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. See their website at

Other Conversation Tables
Almost every language that is studied on this campus has either a conversation table, in which just the language that is studied is spoken, or a language exchange meeting, in which half the time is spent in one language, and half the time in English. Call the department and find out! For example, La Casa Cultural Latina (333-4950) hosts a Spanish-English convotable.