Chicago TEFL Course Outline

This is a breakdown of the content in the Chicago TEFL Course. Other TEFL classes offered by International TEFL Academy will cover very similar content, but the exact structure & syllabus will vary slightly.

Read More: Online TEFL Course Syllabus

Throughout this course, students will learn everything from creating lesson plans, teaching the four components of language learning: listening, speaking, reading & writing, gain an understanding of different teaching methods, and more.

Read More: ITA Course Instructors.

Chapter-By-Chapter Overview

Click on each chapter to access their content.


Course Content: Chapter Outline

Important Note: Refer to the course calendar for specific tasks and due dates. Course activities and tasks will be explained in detail within each corresponding learning chapter. If you have any questions, please contact your course instructor.

Your 190-Hour TEFL/TESOL Course is divided into 12 separate chapters and a final project, The Learner Profile.

Grammar Module

A thorough overview of grammar from adjectives to compound verbs to gerunds, and more. 

ITA's extensive Grammar Module is sent to students upon registration to begin reviewing important grammar points.  The content is designed to serve as a self-study grammar reference.  The content herein is likely most useful for the novice learner of English grammar, but it can also serve as a review or provide samples for more advanced grammarians. Students can revisit sections of the Grammar Module and retake quizzes as needed.

Chapter 1: Role of The Teacher

Reading and tasks on the history of English language; expectations for teachers on their first day of class; creating your teaching persona; recognizing traits of an effective teacher; ways to build community in your classroom; examples of how to be a good role model; strategies for maintaining professional relationships; terminology and abbreviations used in the TEFL profession; introduction to language levels, and effective and ineffective teaching practices.

Chapter 2: Creating a Student-Centered Classroom

Reading and tasks on the student-centered approach and teacherโ€™s roles; autonomous learning, the roles of collaboration and cooperative learning; creating scaffolded activities, experiential learning with examples of useful EFL activities; individual differences.

Chapter 3: Methods and Approaches

Reading and tasks on the differences between approach, method, and technique; contemporary and traditional teaching methods; Communicative Language Teaching (CLT); characteristics of the Community Language Learning approach; general procedures used in a Silent Way classroom; the pillars of Suggestopedia; using Total Physical Response and Total Physical Response Storytelling in a classroom; principles of Content-Based Instruction; and ways to implement Cooperative Learning, Task-Based Learning, Project-Based Learning, and differentiation.

Chapter 4: Lesson Planning

Reading and tasks on the importance of lesson planning and how it relates to instruction; understanding language level distinctions, creating learning objectives for lessons, characteristics of an effective lesson plan; lesson planning for young learners, the foundation behind effective assessment methods. 

Chapter 5: Course Design

Reading and tasks on the basic concepts in course design: creating and delivery of needs analyses and diagnostic assessments; use of data collected via analyses; evaluating and selecting textbooks; producing a general course syllabus; creating a class contract to establish classroom standards of behavior.

Chapter 6: Lexis

Reading and tasks on defining word root, prefix and suffix; common phrasal verbs and collocations; phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic understanding; selecting vocabulary words to teach in the ESL/EFL classroom; effective methods of vocabulary instruction; challenges and approaches to teaching idiomatic expressions.

Chapter 7: Grammar

Reading and tasks on effective methods of grammar instruction with example grammar activities.

Chapter 8: Listening and Reading

Reading and tasks on how the brain processes listening output; types of listening input; types of listening materials and how to choose them for the classroom; how to tailor listening activities to student level and mental method of processing; ways to set up activities within a listening lesson and sequence of lessons; specific techniques for teaching listening skills; how the schema theory impacts ESL/EFL reading activities; common reading strategies that can be taught to ESL/EFL learners; selecting reading materials; intensive and extensive reading skills; types of pre-reading, while-reading, and post-reading activities; and ways to assess reading both formally and informally.

Chapter 9: Speaking and Writing

Reading and tasks on the foundation needed for ESL/EFL students to improve their oral and written language production; commonly used classroom speaking activities; the sounds and most common pronunciation rules for English pronunciation and when to incorporate effective pronunciation techniques into ESL/EFL lessons; structuring ESL/EFL writing activities and lessons; and recommended outside resources to improve and expand teacher knowledge, methods, and materials of ESL/EFL speaking and writing.

Chapter 10: Visual Aids and Technology

Reading and tasks on the several benefits of using low-tech visual aids with English language learners; general criteria to follow when choosing a visual aid; low-tech visual aids and how they can be applied to the ESL/EFL classroom; ways to use the internet effectively with ESL/EFL students; precautions to consider when assigning internet-related activities; how blogs and wikis might be used to enhance studentsโ€™ communication skills; recommendations for effectively integrating video into the ESL/EFL classroom; ways to use video as a teaching and learning tool, and pros and cons to learning a language online. 

Chapter 11: Cultural Sensitivity

Reading and tasks on culture and cultural sensitivity, surface, and deep culture; the five barriers to cross-cultural communication; four main cultural dimensions and their implications for the EFL classroom; and culture shock and its stages. 

Chapter 12: Young Learners

This unit covers the differences between teaching young learners and adults, and the differences in teaching approach to different ages of young learners. We will also cover the best activities for young learners; how to teach listening and speaking skills to young learners; how to teach reading and writing skills to young learners; and how best to manage a class of young learners

Chapter 13: English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and Business English

This unit covers the history and development of English for Specific purposes (ESP); the rationale behind and methods for conducting needs analyses; major considerations for teaching English for academic purposes (EAP); sample reading, writing, listening, and speaking tasks that would benefit students in Business English. We will share various online resources available for ESL/EFL instructors within EAP and business English

Learners Profile

During the course, you will meet with an ESL learner to assess his/her language background and needs. Based on your assessment and analysis, you will design and teach a lesson specific for the ESL learner.

At the end of the course, each TEFL student will complete and present a Learner Profile portfolio, which will consist of the learner background analysis, language skills assessment, lesson plan analysis, and a follow-up lesson plan. The Learner Profile is worth a total of 250 points.

The Learner Profile can serve as a portfolio that you can bring to interviews and showcase to potential employers to illustrate your knowledge and experience with student needs assessment and lesson plan design. *Students MUST complete the Learner Profile in order to pass the class. Students who do not complete the assignment will not be issued their TEFL/TESOL Certificate.


Founded in 2010, International TEFL Academy (ITA) offers accredited TEFL certification classes online and in 21 locations worldwide and has received multiple awards and widespread recognition as one of the best TEFL schools in the world.


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6,000+ certified students a year & graduates in 80+ countries

Additional Resources

Chicago Course

4-Week, Full-Time ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ป

Learn more about ITA's accredited 4-week full-time TEFL Certification course in Chicago, IL that will qualify you for teaching English abroad & teaching English online with employers worldwide.




ITA's 190-hour Chicago TEFL Course is internationally accredited by TQUK & meets or exceeds internationally recognized standards for professional-level TEFL certification courses.



How To Enroll ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐ŸŽ“๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸŽ“

Before enrolling, it is imperative that you speak with an advisor. Please fill out a form or call 773-634-9900 to speak to an advisor who will answer your questions; review your employment prospects for teaching English abroad; and  assist you with the enrollment process.