Irena Čajková

Instructional Professor in Spanish
Gates-Blake 226
Office Hours: Monday/Wednesday 2:20-3:30 p.m.

“Learn languages so you can get out of this country.” This was my father’s advice to me as a child growing up in communist Czechoslovakia. And I followed it: After graduating from DePaul University with a B.A. in Spanish and German, I received my M.A. in Spanish language and literature from the University of Chicago. I have worked at UChicago full-time since 2005 as a lecturer and coordinator in the Spanish Language Program. For the past decade, I have split my time outside of the University working with the city's Latino and Czech communities. In 2007, I became coordinator of the Odyssey Project en Español—a Bard College Clemente Course organized by Illinois Humanities in collaboration with the University of Chicago Civic Knowledge Project. I am also a member of the Prague Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International, and teach Czech language, literature and history to bilingual children at the historic T. G. Masaryk Czech School in Cicero.

Recent Courses in RLL

  • SPAN 10100 Beginning Elementary Spanish I (Winter 2017, Autumn 2017, Winter 2018, Autumn 2018, Winter 2021, Autumn 2021, Autumn 2022, Winter 2023)
  • SPAN 10200 Beginning Elementary Spanish II (Autumn 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Winter 2019, Autumn 2020, Winter 2022, Spring 2023, Winter 2024)
  • SPAN 10300 Beginning Elementary Spanish III (Autumn 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Autumn 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Autumn 2018, Spring 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Autumn 2020, Autumn 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024)
  • SPAN 12001 Intensive Spanish I (Autumn 2019)
  • SPAN 23333/33333 Reading Spanish for Research Purposes (Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2023)
Affiliated Departments and Centers: Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies