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Language Courses in Chicago

Overview of Language Learning Opportunities in Chicago

Chicago, a bustling urban center known for its diverse cultural landscape, offers a plethora of opportunities for language learning. Whether you’re a beginner seeking basic proficiency, a business professional looking to enhance communication skills, or a cultural enthusiast wanting to deepen engagement with foreign cultures, Chicago’s language courses cater to all needs. With a range of institutions including universities, community colleges, and private language schools, each provides unique programs designed to fit a variety of learning styles and goals.

University Language Programs in Chicago

University of Chicago Language Center
The University of Chicago Language Center is renowned for its comprehensive language programs that span from the commonly taught languages such as Spanish, French, and Chinese, to less commonly taught languages like Swahili and Icelandic. The center emphasizes immersive learning, often incorporating cultural events and workshops into the curriculum to provide a holistic learning experience.

DePaul University Modern Languages Department
DePaul University offers language courses designed to enhance global understanding and competence. They offer a variety of languages including Arabic, Italian, Russian, and Japanese. Courses range from introductory to advanced levels, and they also offer study abroad options to provide students with real-world language immersion experiences.

Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University’s Modern Languages and Literatures program offers students the chance to study a multitude of languages including German, Portuguese, and Korean, alongside a focus on cultural studies. Loyola also offers service-learning courses that combine language learning with community service in Chicago’s diverse linguistic communities.

Community College Language Offerings

City Colleges of Chicago
The City Colleges of Chicago offer affordable language courses in Spanish, French, Mandarin, and more. These courses are designed for both academic and practical purposes, helping students and professionals enhance their language skills for career advancement or personal growth.

Oakton Community College
Located in the Greater Chicago area, Oakton Community College provides courses in languages such as Russian, Hebrew, and Spanish. Known for its small class sizes, Oakton facilitates a personalized learning environment that caters to individual student needs.

Private Language Schools and Institutes

Inlingua Chicago
Inlingua is one of the premier language schools in Chicago, offering a wide array of language courses including English, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese. What sets Inlingua apart is its method of teaching, which focuses on speaking and practical communication skills, making it ideal for business professionals and travelers.

Language Loop Chicago
Language Loop offers personalized language training in over 20 languages including Polish, Arabic, Turkish, and Hindi. They offer flexible scheduling and a customizable curriculum, which is perfect for students with specific learning objectives or those with busy schedules.

Chicago Language Center
The Chicago Language Center specializes in English as a Second Language (ESL) programs but also offers foreign language classes such as Korean, Thai, and Spanish. Their approach integrates technology and interactive methodologies to engage students in active learning.

Specialized Language Learning Programs

Chicago Cultural Alliance’s Language Connects
Language Connects is a program by the Chicago Cultural Alliance that focuses on preserving and promoting lesser-known languages and cultures through education. Languages such as Assyrian, Yoruba, and Quechua are taught in partnership with local cultural institutions.

Cervantes Institute Chicago
Dedicated to Spanish language and Hispanic cultures, the Cervantes Institute in Chicago offers comprehensive Spanish language courses. Their curriculum is aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and they also host Hispanic cultural events and workshops.

Online Language Learning Opportunities

For those who prefer learning from the comfort of their home, several Chicago-based institutions offer online language courses. These include:

University of Chicago’s Virtual Language Program
This program allows students to learn languages online with the same rigor and depth as in-person classes at the University of Chicago. It provides flexibility and access to resources like virtual language labs.

DePaul University’s Online Language Courses
DePaul offers fully online courses in languages like Chinese and Spanish, designed to provide flexibility for students with other commitments. These courses maintain high academic standards and include virtual interaction with instructors and peers.


Chicago’s rich tapestry of languages makes it an ideal place for language learners. Whether through formal education at a university, more flexible courses at community colleges, specialized programs, or private institutes, there are language learning opportunities suited for everyone. As globalization continues to bring diverse cultures together, being proficient in multiple languages is an invaluable skill that opens doors to a multitude of personal and professional opportunities.