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Language Pedagogy Specialist, ESL/EAL

University of Chicago
United States
Closing date
Oct 1, 2023

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Job Role

HUM Staff: CLC - ELI English Language Institute

About the Department

The Chicago Language Center (CLC) is a hub for professional development and support for language instructors and students at all levels of the over 50 languages that are taught each year at the University of Chicago. In 2015 the English Language Institute (ELI) was established within the CLC to meet the English language needs of all international students (and other individuals for whom English is an additional Language) across campus - over 3000 every academic year. Now, the ELI runs a large-scale pre-matriculation summer program as well as academic year programming including courses, workshops, and individualized instruction. The ELI also works collaboratively with the Writing Program and UChicagoGRAD to maximize and complement existing programming.

Job Summary

Reporting to the Managing Director of the English Language Institute in the Chicago Language Center, the Language Pedagogy Specialist serves the needs of international students, and other individuals for whom English is an additional language, across campus by providing academic programming throughout the year and collaborating with different units/offices across campus. The Language Pedagogy Specialist must be prepared to work in a fast-paced environment to accommodate the needs of an ever-expanding English program.

  • Designs and implements a range of courses/programming in English as a Second/Additional Language for international students, and other individuals for whom English is an additional language, across all divisions and schools at UChicago.
  • Works to ensure seamless integration with the Writing Program, UChicagoGRAD, and other offices on campus by creating ESL/EAL-specific academic and professional programming.
  • Teaches North American Academic English courses independently, which include topics in career professionalization, discipline-specific English, 'Chicago as Classroom,' and other relevant foci based on student needs.
  • Performs initial and ongoing assessments of students' academic abilities and rates of achievements. Monitors and documents students' progress, participation, and attendance in class.
  • Conducts proficiency assessments for ELI-internal placement purposes that follow the standards set by the UChicago Office of Language Assessment.
  • Trains new instructors and part-time staff in ESL/EAL pedagogy (theory and practice).
  • Engages in ongoing professional development, including conducting research on ESL/EAL pedagogy to present at relevant conferences.
  • Provides extra support for students and/or teachers, which may include tutorials, academic counseling, guidance services, individual consultation, and additional resources.
  • Participates in staff meetings and a range of social and academic program events.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.
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Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 5-7 years of work experience in a related job discipline.
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Preferred Qualifications

  • Master's degree in TESOL, Applied Linguistics, or related field.

  • Five to seven years of experience teaching Academic English at the graduate level in the United States.
  • Experience designing curriculum for international graduate students.
  • Teaching Academic Writing.
  • Teaching Professional English.
  • Teaching abroad.
  • Training others.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:
  • Strong knowledge of ESL/EAL pedagogy and instructional methodologies.
  • Near-native fluency in English.
  • Familiarity with ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) guidelines and OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview) testing; willing to be ACTFL trained.
  • Edit and proofread documents in English at an advanced level.
  • Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint or equivalent.
  • Google Drive, Box, and Canvas or equivalent.

Preferred Competencies
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Interpersonal skills.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • Knowledgeable about cultural resources in the Chicago area.
  • Multilingual/multicultural background.
  • Develop curricula, lesson plans, and assessment tools.
  • Design and construct relevant instructional materials.
  • Teach in a manner consistent with the values of the Division and University.
  • Work with a wide variety of individuals and units.
  • Work independently and as part of a team.
  • Work on multiple projects simultaneously, set priorities, and meet deadlines.
  • Maintain confidentiality.
  • Interdisciplinary outlook.
  • Familiarity with academic rigor of graduate programs at the University of Chicago.

Working Conditions
  • Fast-paced environment and high workload at certain points of the academic year.
  • Teach evening classes.
  • Occasional weekend activities.
  • Standard office environment.
  • Sit for 2 to 4 hours, navigate around campus.
  • A partially remote work schedule can be discussed.

Application Documents
  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Letter of Interest in this position (required)
  • References Contact Information (3)(required)
  • Teaching Philosophy Statement (required)
  • Please be aware that a teaching video and/or conducting a teaching demonstration may be requested.

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family

Academic Affairs

Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

Employees must comply with the University's COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

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