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


The linguistics department is a local host site for NACLO, the North American Computational Linguistics Open competition. NACLO is a contest in which high-school students solve linguistic puzzles. In solving these puzzles, students learn about the diversity and consistency of language, while exercising logic skills. No prior knowledge of linguistics or second languages is necessary. 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.

Please visit the Cornell NACLO information site for information about the next competition.


Linguistics Department undergraduate and graduate students are offering linguistics mini-courses as part of Splash! at Cornell.
Any questions can be directed to LinguisticsOutreach@cornell.edu.

Linguistics League

For secondary students interested in learning more about linguistics, check out the linguistics league

Linguistic Society of America

Also for any interested K-12 students and teachers, the Linguistic Society of America offers a complimentary membership.

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.


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.