About the SLI

Whether you need to acquire proficiency skills to prepare to study abroad, to gain reading skills in a  language for scholarly research, or learn to read ancient texts in the original, the Summer Language Institute has a course for you. Our summer language students enjoy a welcoming setting for experiencing the academic rigor that is the hallmark of the University of Chicago and sharing their passion for knowledge with other likeminded students.

The Summer Language Institute takes place in leafy Hyde Park on the shores of Lake Michigan, just a short train ride from downtown Chicago. The windy city really comes alive in the summer, with dozens of free performances and cultural events in Millennium Park and countless neighborhood festivals. Or consider ending your day of language learning with a jog or bike ride on Chicago's Lakefront Trail, or with a swim in Lake Michigan from Promontory Point, just a 15-minute walk from campus.

The SLI offers three categories of language courses:

  • Beginning and Intermediate courses in the modern languages are designed for students wishing to develop proficiency across all four language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The intensive approach of these courses and the concentrated environment of the summer schedule help students to make quick progress. Our courses often enable students to progress at a speed that is the equivalent of a year or more of instruction during the regular academic year.
  • In our Ancient Language courses, faculty from the University of Chicago’s renowned ancient and classical language departments guide students in building and honing their reading abilities and their familiarity with ancient texts and culture. Beginning students can expect a comprehensive introduction to the languages, which will allow them to begin reading original texts. Intermediate students solidify their mastery of grammar and syntax while reading extensively in authentic texts and developing the skills necessary to begin scholarly work with ancient sources. Each year the Summer Language Institute offers two levels of Ancient Greek and Latin.
  • Reading and research courses focus on the skills graduate students need to access secondary literature in other languages. Students will become familiar with the advanced grammatical structures and idiomatic characteristics of academic prose. They will also practice reading comprehension on articles drawn from their own fields and can begin integrating those materials into their own research projects. By the end of these courses, participants will be able to navigate a wide range of scholarly texts in the target language.