Adult Literacy

Funded by Illinois Community College Board through Chinese Mutual Aid Association, Illinois Secretary of State, and Chicago Citywide Literacy Coalition.

Registration for the Winter Quarter is now closed. Spring Quarter registration opens January 2020 (exact date pending). For more information please contact Ramakrishna Satyavolu,, or call 773-973-4444, X104.

IAC is a unique community-based organization with an English as a Second Language program that addresses the needs of very low literacy adults. Classes are free of charge and taught in a quarter system.

IAC offers four levels of instruction from Beginner to Advanced and is a twelve week course. Registration for the next quarter opens the week before it is scheduled to start. When registration is closed (typically one week after), Saturday “While You’re Waiting” classes exist until the next quarter begins in addition to one-on-one tutoring sessions. The levels correspond to a wide range of learners, from low-literacy adults who may have little or no education, to people with advanced degrees from their home country yearning to perfect the American language.

Students come to the program to learn English for a variety of reasons:

  • Job acquisition or promotion
  • The pursuit of higher educational opportunities
  • Accent reduction
  • To help their children with homework and school situations
  • To increase fluency and conversational capability with the wider community

Classes range in size from 10 to 15 students with instruction provided by paid staff or volunteers. Instructors hold years of teaching experience in the U.S. or abroad. A specialized workforce curriculum is incorporated into the intermediate ESL class once a week.

New initiatives are implemented as IAC strives for continuous improvement. Instructional quality is maintained with closed-enrollment classes and attendance policies. The curriculum is based upon a multi-level textbook series and enhanced with field trips to educational and entertaining sites in Chicago, a conversational club, workshops to enhance self-care, and one-on-one tutoring.

All learners participate in IAC’s Creating Options Needed Now Through English and Career Technology  (CONNECT) program one hour a week. CONNECT was developed to create a technologically integrative classroom that help learners gain soft computer skills necessary for life in the United States through interactive ESL games and activities. CONNECT also helps learners approach language learning in another context. 

Open Tutoring

IAC offers open tutoring sessions from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM to allow learners to focus on specific English grammar skills in a personalized setting.

“While You’re Waiting” Class

Special Saturday courses are available to practice English in a fun, friendly, low-pressure environmen