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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:

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.

Cornell will be a local host of NACLO for the 2022 competition!

The Open Round will be Jan. 27, 2022, 9am-12pm. Location: Alice Cook House Dining Room.

Proof of full vaccination for COVID-19 or negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the contest will be required.

Registration is now open on the NACLO website. We will provide more information closer to the contest date. Currently we are planning on having an information/practice session in January (date TBD). Feel free to contact for more information.


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.

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, Abigail Cohn, with questions.