Discover Illinois with Jackie from Ask Jackie!

162 - Discover Illinois with Jackie (from Ask Jackie)


Words that are bolded in red are suggested vocabulary words for this episode.


Illinois is situated in the heart of the American Midwest, and it’s a charming mix of city life and rural landscapes. It’s known as the "Prairie State" because of its vast expanses of flat land. Over 60% of the state is covered in farmland, so agriculture plays a significant role in Illinois’ economy. They’re known for their production of crops like corn and soybeans.

Now, there are a few natural wonders in this state, one being Starved Rock State Park, where ancient sandstone canyons and waterfalls await visitors, but what attracts most out-of-towners is, of course, the vibrant city of Chicago, also known as "The Windy City."

Depending on the year, Chicago ranks as the third or fourth largest city in the US. There are a lot of people and there’s lots to do.

Of course, it’s situated on the scenic shore of Lake Michigan, so it’s beautiful. 

Chicago is also a hot spot for art enthusiasts; it’s not only home to world-class museums and iconic architecture, it’s also the home city of today’s guest, Jackie Katsis, who is an ESL teacher and a well-known YouTuber from the channel "Ask Jackie."

We’ll begin today’s episode by getting to know this wonderful Chicagoan, and then we’ll discover Chicago and Illinois with her. You’ll hear about Jackie’s experience with tornadoes, learn the nuances of the Chicago accent, you’ll hear about the food, and you’ll get a local’s perspective on how to make the most out of your next trip to Chicago. This is a fun one. Let’s do it!


Cloud Gate aka "The Bean"
Cloud Gate aka "The Bean" - a famous landmark in Chicago, Illinois


Shana: Hi everybody. We’re here today with Jackie Katsis. Is that how you pronounce your name?

Jackie: Perfect. Yes.

Shana: Or Jacqueline, I found. Is that your full name?

Jackie: Yeah, Jacqueline. But I don’t ever really go by Jacqueline.

Shana: Cool. So, Jackie is here right now. She is an English teacher, originally from Chicago, Illinois. But you have lived around the world. You speak multiple languages. I want to get to know you, and I want to get to know where you’re from, which is an area I’m not too familiar with, if I’m going to be honest.

Jackie: That’s okay. Yeah.

Shana: So how are you doing today?

Jackie: I’m good. Yeah. I’m good. I’m actually impressed that we’re on the same time zone, because I was thinking that for you, it would be super early in the morning, but no.

Shana: No, I’m now in North Carolina on the East Coast. And you are in Florida at the moment, right?

Jackie: Yep.

Shana: Okay. All right. So I am curious to know a little bit about your background. Do you mind telling me a little bit about yourself?

Jackie: Sure. So, well, I was born I say Chicago, but it was Chicago suburbs. And so one thing that’s different. I spent a lot of time in Brazil, and I know your husband is also Brazilian.

That’s the end of the free version of this transcript. Sign up to Season 4 for the full transcript, quiz and more.


Jackie’s Chicago Recommendations

  • Portillo’s – Italian Beefs + Chicago-Style Hot Dogs
  • Kingston Mines – Listen to Blues (but also go listen to Jazz!!)
  • Do an architecture tour on the Chicago River
  • Take a walk in Millennium Park and see "The Bean" (Cloud Gate)
  • Go shopping on  Michigan Avenue
  • Walk a lot and enjoy the art and architecture!

Learn with Jackie
Jackie Katsis is a well-known ESL teacher from Chicago. You can find her content here! 

Website –
YouTube – 
Instagram –

Chicago-Style Hot Dog
Chicago-Style Hot Dog