Having been referred to the International TEFL academy by a friend who just completed the course, I have to say his referral was well worth it! Everything I have to say has a positive overview regarding this course. From the instructors to the content as well as advice regarding the next steps after course completion. Top-notch. - ITA Grad Michael Gavin

9.6/10 - reviews from goabroad.com

Why Take Your TEFL Certification in Chicago?

Earn your internationally accredited 190-hour TEFL Certification at International TEFL Academy's world headquarters, ideally located in the heart of Chicago's Near North Side. Situated in Lakeview, we are a mile away from Lake Michigan and one mile south of world-famous Wrigley Field. With the Diversey Brown Line "El" (subway) stop just a block away, it's a quick 15-minute ride to "The Loop" in downtown Chicago, home to the city's most significant architectural and cultural landmarks, including Michigan Avenue, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Soldier Field.

As one of the largest and most diverse cities in America with a multicultural blend of over 100 different ethnicities, Chicago is an ideal locale for your introduction to the field of teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL).

This TEFL Chicago course is an intense, full-time university-level course. You will be in class full-time, five days a week. During your TEFL Chicago course, you will receive the following:

  • Instruction from two university-level instructors.
  • Personal Guidance from a TEFL advisor who's been in your shoes and taught English overseas.
  • One-on-one lifetime job search assistance to help you find employment online and in 80+ countries around the globe.
  • Sought-after TEFL certificate. Your TEFL Certification from ITA does not expire, is accredited at the highest level, and is recognized by employers worldwide.
  • Access to the ITA alumni community, a highly engaged network of 40,000 alumni. Interact with fellow students, support each other and learn from everyone's experiences overseas.

#1 Best TEFL USA Course

ITA's Chicago TEFL Course was named #1 Best USA TEFL Course by GoAbroad.com & incorporates 190 hours of training, which is 58% more than a standard 120-hour TEFL course. 

10 Hours of Hands-On Live Practice Teaching

This Chicago course offers real teaching experience to prepare you to become a confident English teacher.

Dedicated Feedback & Support

All Chicago instructors possess advanced credentials & training in the field of TEFL (MA or Ph.D.). Interact daily with your instructor & receive constructive feedback.

Level 5 Accreditation

This TESOL Chicago course is externally monitored and approved at a Level 5 Ofqual (British Government) accreditation by TQUK (authorized accreditor of Ofqual).


Who Should Take This Full-Time Chicago TEFL Course?

International TEFL Academy's TEFL Course in Chicago is perfect for:

  • You want to take an award-winning TEFL course in the US at ITA's world headquarters. Be prepared for the intensive nature of this course. It is an intense, full-time university-level course. You will be in class full-time 5 days a week & there is homework as well. In addition, approximately twice a week, students will stay until 8 pm to complete practice teaching (other class days wrap up around 5:30 pm).
  • Anyone 18 years old and above. You're 18 and under? You will need to submit a young teacher's essay and speak to an admissions advisor prior to enrolling.
  • All fluent English speakers seeking to teach ESL. You're a non-native English speaker? You will need to complete a phone interview & submit an essay to verify your English skills. Read more: Non-native English speakers & TEFL

Job Search Assistance for Chicago TEFL Course Students

All TEFL Course students receive lifetime job search assistance for finding a job teaching English abroad and online. These exclusive services and resources include:

  • Personal Support from an experienced Job Search Advisor. We have a full-time Student Affairs department whose sole purpose is to help you find the best TEFL job for you.
  • Access to ITA's exclusive 400-page job search manual.
  • Exclusive live and recorded webcasts covering all aspects of the TEFL job search process.
  • Referrals to preferred recruiters, placement agencies, language schools and online teaching companies.
  • Graduates of this course can gain employment teaching English online and in up to 80 countries worldwide.
  • Job interview & resume assistance.

Read more: ITA's Lifetime Job Search Assistance

Explore: Country Profile Index for TEFL jobs



Job Search Assistance & Support From Your Personal Advisor


Graduates Have Trusted ITA for Their Teaching Career


Countries hiring worldwide for teaching English Abroad & Online


Hiring schools worldwide accessible from our directory

Lesson Plan

TEFL / TESOL Course Content

This TEFL certification course has been specially designed to provide all course graduates with the tools to succeed as professional English teachers.

TEFL Chicago Curriculum & Syllabus

Here is a brief overview of what you will learn in your Chicago TEFL Course:

  • Chapter 1: Role of the Teacher
  • Chapter 2: Creating a Student-Centered Classroom
  • Classroom Management
  • Chapter 3: Methods and Approaches
  • Chapter 4: Lesson Planning
  • Chapter 5: Course Design
  • Chapter 6: Lexis
  • Chapter 7: Grammar
  • Chapter 8: Listening and Reading
  • Chapter 9: Speaking and Writing
  • Chapter 10: Visual Aids and Technology
  • Chapter 11: Cultural Sensitivity

Supplemental Content— The course also dedicates 2 separate lectures to the following topics: Teaching English to Young Learners, and Teaching English for Specific Purposes.

For more details, check out this Chicago TEFL Class Syllabus & our Chicago TEFL Class Content Page.

Classroom Details

TEFL / TESOL Chicago Details

Length of Training

4 weeks full-time (190 hours). This is an intensive university-level course.

Daily Schedule & Intensity

Students should expect to be in class from 9:30 am - 5:30 pm (with breaks), Monday-Friday. Students will also need to stay later until 8:00 pm approximately twice a week to complete their practicum. Weekends are primarily free for sight-seeing and relaxation, but some homework is required. Check out this sample Chicago TEFL Class calendar.

Course Location

Earn your internationally accredited 190-hour Chicago TEFL Certification at International TEFL Academy's world headquarters, ideally located in the heart of Chicago's Near North Side, 1 block from the Diversey Brown Line "El" stop.

TEFL Chicago: Course Size & Facility

Classes are capped at 12 students; Internet access is available at the school facilities.

Included With The Course

What's Included in Your Chicago TEFL Course?

Your Chicago TEFL certification comes with:

  • Internationally recognized TEFL Certificate delivered by International TEFL Academy
  • Personalized & dedicated lifetime job search support
  • Constructive feedback from your course instructors
  • Workshops & peer-participation with classmates
  • Hands-on live practice teaching
  • All course reading materials, assignments and quizzes
  • Access to ITA's exclusive alumni network of 40,000 teachers worldwide
  • Assistance with making housing arrangements (housing costs not included)
  • Welcome lunch & graduation party

Your course tuition does not include personal expenses, transportation, visa, insurance, housing costs and the course textbook (purchase upon enrollment).

Class Requirements

Here are the minimum technology requirements to attend the TEFL course:

Laptop - Students are required to bring a laptop with long battery life (at least 4 hours). Tablets, Chromebooks, and mobile devices cannot be used in place of a computer.

Flash Drive - Students will need a flash drive that is compatible with his or her computer.

Word Processing Software - Students should have a reliable word processing system on their computer such as Microsoft Word.

Adobe Acrobat - Students will be required to submit assignments as PDFs. Most computers already have the capability of saving documents as such.

Google Drive - Students will need to know how to use the basics of Google drive. If you are unfamiliar with Google Drive, check out this quick tutorial. Many others can be found on YouTube.

Optional Add-Ons

Optional Add-Ons for Your TEFL Chicago Course

All ITA students & graduates have the option to enhance their skills and credentials by taking additional TEFL Specialty courses in the fields of:

  • Grammar Fundamentals
  • Teaching English Online
  • Teaching Business English
  • Teaching English to Young Learners
  • Tutoring English
Optional Excursions & Activities

A variety of free & paid activities/excursions are available to students. Popular activities typically include:

  • Wrigley Field, Bars, Lake Michigan: walking distance
  • Millennium Park, Water Tower Place Mall: 20 minutes by bus/train
  • Theaters, Museums, Navy Pier: 30 minutes by bus/train
Housing Arrangements

Housing Arrangements

We can provide advice on housing options nearby in hostels that are located in Lincoln Park and downtown Chicago, all within minutes from public transportation.

Several hostels are conveniently located near the course location with prices ranging from $27-$35 USD and up per night. Hostel options include Hostellng InternationalAAE Chicago Parthenon Hostel, and Chicago Getaway Hostel.

Short-term furnished apartments and subleased rooms are available throughout the city year-round. 

A great option is found through AirBnB where you can rent a furnished apartment from the owner or rent a room in their place.  

TEFL Course Dates & Registration

Before enrolling in any International TEFL Academy courses, we recommend that you speak with an advisor who will answer your questions; review your employment prospects for teaching English abroad, and assist you with the enrollment process. You will also need to conduct an interview and complete the application process.

We strongly recommend enrolling in your Chicago TEFL course at least 2-3 weeks in advance due to its popularity. We also invite you to read our registration procedure and terms & conditions. Note that all students will be charged a small processing fee per course/program purchased.


Gain Confidence as a Professional English Teacher with Hands-on Student Practice Teaching

Learn how to teach hands-on thanks to the mandatory live practice teaching (practicum) sessions included in your TEFL course. The practicum is an essential component of a teacher's training process, as it provides valuable insight and experience prior to obtaining independent teaching positions.

10 Hours Practicum Included

You must complete a minimum of 10
hours for your TEFL/TESOL certification. These hours will be achieved through observation and real student teaching

Build Your Teaching Skills

Apply teaching principles to real-life situations, build confidence in your skill and pedagogical style, and gain exposure to various learning styles and classroom situations.

Teach All ESL Levels

International TEFL Academy offers free ESL classes to non-native English speakers that live in Chicago. You will practice teaching adult learners of varying levels and cultural backgrounds.

Acquire Valuable Teaching Experience

Feel more prepared, and add a competitive edge during your job search and interview process thanks to your acquired teaching experience.

Download TEFL Starter Kit

Ask a TEFL Chicago Instructor

Juliana Dukov,  ITA's Chicago TEFL Course Instructor.
Juliana has been with ITA since 2015. She has a Master's in English Philology and Theory of Literature, 18 years of teaching experience and 3 continents she's called home.

Who Teaches the Chicago TEFL Course?

All instructors, including myself, possess advanced degrees in TESOL (at least an MA, and usually a PhD) in addition to at least 10 years of professional teaching and training experience. We have also taught English abroad extensively.

Read more: ITA's Academics Department

What Does a Typical Day in the Chicago TEFL Course Look Like?

Remember that it is an intensive, university-level course. Here's what you should expect:

  • Class Hours: you should plan on spending 50 - 55 hours per week (at minimum) on the course. Class hours are from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm with breaks throughout the day and a one-hour break for lunch. From 5:30 pm - 6:00 pm, students will receive feedback from their practicum instructor regarding their previous night’s teaching practice. 
  • Live practice teaching is from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm Each student will be required to be here a minimum of 8 nights until 8:00 pm either for teaching or working on their Learner Profile. You will receive your practicum schedule on the first day of class.
  • Class Assignments: There are approximately 85 assignments due throughout the 4-week course. These include lesson plans, reflections, essays, quizzes, written assignments, etc. Plan on spending an extra 2 to 3 hours every night on homework.


Do I Need to Purchase a Textbook?

Purchasing the ITA TEFL course textbook is required to take the class in Chicago. 

Purchase your textbook here: ITA's Fundamentals of Teaching English as a Foreign Language Textbook

I am a Non-US Citizen/Non-Legal US Resident. Can I Take This Course?

Our courses in the United States are available for all citizenships, ethnicities, native and non-native English speakers.  For non-US citizens or non-legal residents of the USA, you will need to understand US law and the visa that allows or doesn't allow you to enroll into job training courses (vocational training).  

  1. It is your responsibility to understand this information prior to registration and we highly advise prospective students with non-legal US status outside the US to not enroll in a Chicago TEFL class or make any travel arrangements until you have the correct visa. ITA does not check visa status for enrollment into our TEFL courses.  Your ID will be checked on the first day of class only to verify that you are the correct student registered for the course. This complies with our accreditation and issuance of the completed TEFL certificate.
  2. Non-US citizens or non-legal residents trying to enter the US on a visa need to comply with the US State Department's regulations. Note that a tourist visa does not allow foreign citizens to enter the US with the intention of taking a job training course. A Student Visa is for this purpose and the Chicago class is not authorized to issue this.  ITA cannot assist students to obtain any visa for the Chicago TEFL Course. Our partner school in NYC does have processes in place for getting a Student Visa.

Ask a Chicago TEFL Course Grad

Aubrey Brown, Chicago TEFL Course Graduate


What Did You Like The Most From Your TEFL Course in Chicago?

This course is definitely worth it if you learn best in person like me. I gained so much confidence through this course and it really solidified my goals of being an English teacher. The practicum classes were extremely helpful as you teach so many different comprehension levels. It really gave me an insight into what to expect going forward as a teacher. Finally, the two instructors that I had were amazing and made the class really enjoyable. I learned so much from them and am so grateful for all of their help. 10/10

How Did You Find Your ESL Job After Your TEFL Course?

I knew that I wanted to teach in South Korea and went through an amazing recruiter recommended by ITA. Overall, I found their services very helpful. 

Any Advice For Future Students of This Chicago TEFL Course?

This is a very intensive course and you will be at the school for most of the day. It will seem overwhelming at times but you honestly learn so much throughout the 4 weeks. Getting my TEFL and teaching abroad has been a lifetime experience for me. No matter if you choose the online or in-person class, I strongly recommend going in and giving it your all. The instructors here really know what they’re doing and I have taken a lot of their teachings and applied them to my current classroom. Best of luck! 

Chicago TEFL Course Comparison

Chicago TEFL Course

What is included 👇

  • In-Person 4 Weeks, Full-Time
  • OFQUAL Level 5 Accreditation from TQUK
  • University-Level Instructors
  • Lifetime Job Search Guidance
  • 10-Hours Live Practice Teaching
  • Classes Capped at 12 Students

New York TEFL Course

What is included 👇

  • Held Online Until Further Notice
  • In-Person 4 Weeks, Full-Time
  • Accredited by the SIT Graduate Institute -Meets/Exceeds All Industry Accreditation Standards
  • University-Level Instructors
  • Lifetime Job Search Guidance
  • 6-Hours Live Practice Teaching
  • Small Class Sizes

Online TEFL Course

What's included 👇

  • 170-Hour Online Certification
  • 4-Week Full-time/ 11-Week part-time
  • OFQUAL Level 5 Accreditation from TQUK
  • Live Office Hours with Your Instructor & Peer-Participation with Classmates
  • Lifetime Job Search Guidance
  • 10 to 20-Hours Live Practice Teaching