Benedictine program helps students improve their English language skills

More than 60 million people living in the United States do not speak English at home, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Two-thirds of those people speak Spanish.

Benedictine University, which was founded in a predominately Eastern European neighborhood on the west side of Chicago more than 125 years ago, is now offering a low-cost English language program to help international and local students of non-English speaking backgrounds who wish to pursue higher education in the United States.

The Benedictine University Intensive English Language Program features eight weeks of 20 hours per week instruction for students who have at least completed high school. The courses provide opportunities for students to cover the basics of English language at a high level and gain an understanding of U.S. academic culture.

“Students can be permanent residents as well as those on a visa who wish to improve their English to make their educational experience more worthwhile,” said Jennifer Erickson, associate director of International Programs and Services at Benedictine. “Students also don’t have to be currently enrolled in college. The program is also open to those solely looking to improve their English language skills.”

Program participants will be learning in small classes led by experts in teaching English for academic purposes in state-of-the-art classrooms. They will be part of a friendly and supportive academic and social community that attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds.

International students will also have the opportunity to mix socially with American students, to join many educational and fun activities organized by the Office of International Programs and Services, and the explore Chicago’s rich cultural and historical resources.

Benedictine University is conveniently located near Interstates 355 and 88 off Maple Avenue and College Road in Lisle, just 25 miles west of Chicago. Benedictine is one of the most affordable Catholic colleges in the country, according to