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To promote an understanding for what linguists study, we develop opportunities for local secondary students to learn about linguistics in various ways:

For the past several years, the linguistics department has been a local host site for NACLO, the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad. In preceding years, we have had between 10 and 25 participants: high schoolers, middle schoolers and home schoolers from across the county. Each year, we expand our recruitment efforts to increase participation.

The 2018 open round will be on Jan 25th, from 9:30-1pm. Please register at Local contest information and a map of the contest location are here. Practice problems can be found here. All students are welcome to attend one of our information sessions in January:

  • Jan 13 - Information session, Cornell Linguistics Department (11:00am-12:30pm, Morrill 106)
  • Jan 16 - Information session, Ithaca High School (3:45pm, room K17)
  • Jan 25 - NACLO Open Round, Cornell University (9:30-1pm, ILR 429)

Linguistics Information Sessions
Each year, we hold Linguistics information sessions at local area schools and Cornell University. The goal of the information session is to give middle and high school students a sense of what linguists do and what sort of data linguists work with. We introduce students to a number of topics, including how words are formed, how sentences are structured to express meaning and how speech sounds are put together. Students have an opportunity to learn some linguistic skills and practice linguistic problem-solving.

Cornell Linguistics Outreach Network
In order to expand our outreach activities, we have created the Cornell linguistics outreach network, through which we communicate information about these activities with local schools in Tompkins County. If you would like to be added to this network, please email us at the address below.  Cornell Linguistics faculty and graduate students are also available for guest lectures.

Linguistics Department undergraduate and graduate students are offering linguistics mini-courses as part of Splash! at Cornell which takes place in the fall and spring.

Any questions can be directed to

If you are interested in learning more about linguistics as a possible major in college, see the description of our undergraduate program and feel free to contact our Director of Undergraduate Studies, Draga Zec, with questions.