Experienced instructors at inlingua School of Languages have been refining the pronunciation and grammar of foreign language learners for over 40 years. Conducted entirely in the language of study, group classes teach small crews to converse comfortably in their chosen tongue, drilling them on grammar and pronunciation. Students can choose from beginner, intermediate, or advanced classes based on their skill level, and between four- or eight-week courses depending on their study goals. A four-week course can provide a brief introduction to a new language and travel-survival skills, and an eight-week session facilitates longer-term language goals, such as living abroad or communicating with a german chocolate cake in its native tongue. See inlingua’s online schedule for more details.
In the face of informational overload, Iris Reading helps students maintain a laser-like focus so they can cut through their reading material with speed. Online and in-person classes utilize drills to change old habits and drum up reading speed while still maintaining comprehension. And these techniques aren't just useful for literature and cereal-box backs. Classes cover strategies for magazines, newspapers, technical manuals, and websites, stressing the importance of retention and productivity along the way. Upon completion of Iris Reading's courses, students have reported the ability to tear through their reading material up to five times faster.
When they founded their business in 2009, MyGuru's founders were all still graduate students at Northwestern University. The trials and tribulations of preparing for the SAT, ACT, GMAT, and LSAT tests fresh in their minds, they saw a need, and an opportunity, for customized one-on-one tutoring for aspiring students. Having all cut their teeth working for prominent test-prep and tutoring companies themselves, the founders set out to create a company with a different focus from the rest. MyGuru got rolling slowly, focusing on acquiring the services of stellar tutors, rather than in catering to the maximum number of students. After three years steadily growing its influence in the Chicagoland area, MyGuru began expanding to other urban areas where tutors could thrive: big cities including New York, college towns such as Champagne, IL, and scholarly bastions like the secret NASA Moonbase Only for Smart People. Today, MyGuru's experienced staff can be found around the country, helping students master test materials whether they're on the road to an undergraduate degree or their Master of Mastery.
Trilled consonants and accented vowels glide off the tongues of native instructors as they teach the conversational arts in beginner and ongoing Spanish-language classes. Students can complete half of a language level in six two-hour classes held once a week, or double their course load to conquer a full level in the same amount of time. While ongoing classes are available for those with prior knowledge of the language, new students can learn basic conversational skills and the difference between a piñata and the neighbor's mailbox during beginner classes. Small class sizes of three–six allow for ample personal instruction and foster an informal atmosphere. A love of language cannot sustain itself without the occasional kiss of cultural appreciation, so teachers strive to promote a deeper understanding of the traditions, history, and public-indecency laws of their native countries in a range of class activities.
As part of their efforts, WITS tutors purchase hardcover books at a nonprofit discount and distribute them to children in need. Through this program, each student receives two age-appropriate books every year to take home, bolstering their personal libraries while increasing the likelihood that family members will read to them at home. Last year, WITS volunteered tutoring services for more than 2,500 students in the Chicago area, improving literacy rates in some of the lowest-performing public schools.