Dear Teachers, December 14, 2015

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Dear Teachers, December 14, 2015
We would like to introduce you and your students to the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (
The Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO) is a pencil and paper contest in which students use analytical skills to solve puzzles in languages that they do not know. In the course of solving the puzzles, students learn something about the structure of human languages and how computers can process them. The contest introduces students to possible careers in linguistics, languages, and computer science.
Who can participate in NACLO? The target audience is high schoolers (9th - 12th grades); middle schoolers (6th-8th grades) are also welcome to participate. The Linguistics Olympiad has no prerequisites and no registration fee.
What kinds of students are interested in NACLO? Typical Linguistics Olympiad participants enjoy puzzles and languages. Any students who enjoy the sample puzzles on the attached flyers are good candidates for the Olympiad.
Linguistics Olympiad Important Dates:

1. Registration is now open at

Select Cornell University as the contest location

2. (Optional) Attend information session, January 16, 2016, 10am-11:30am.

3. The Linguistics Olympiad open round is on January 28, 2016 (registration at 9:30, contest 10am-1pm). Details can be found on the web site

4. The top 100 students from the open round will participate in an invitational round on March 10, 2016. Top students from this group will participate in training sessions via teleconference with eight students chosen to represent the US at the International Linguistics Olympiad ( in India in July 2016.

How to Prepare for NACLO: Students can practice with past exams from the NACLO web site and are encouraged to attend an information session at the Cornell Linguistics Department ( We would also be happy to schedule an info session for interested students at your school – contact us as
We hope that you and your students enjoy the contest!
Abby Cohn & Sam Tilsen, NACLO @ Cornell co-chairs
Abigail C. Cohn,

Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies


Sam Tilsen,

Assistant Professor and Director of the Cornell Phonetics Lab

Department of Linguistics, Morrill Hall, Cornell University

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