Aims and Rules

The UK Linguistics Olympiad Committee (UKLOC)

Aims and rules

The UK Linguistics Olympiad Committee (UKLOC) was constituted in May 2009 by the Committee for Linguistics in Education, a joint subcommittee of the Linguistics Association of Great Britain and the British Association for Applied Linguistics. The UKLOC website is The aims of UKLOC are:

  • to organise a Linguistics Olympiad in the UK every year.
  • to select one or more teams to represent the UK in the annual International Linguistics Olympiad.
  • to provide support for schools that participate in the UK events.
  • to raise funds to cover these activities.

A Linguistics Olympiad is a competition for secondary schools in which pupils solve language puzzles. A typical puzzle is based on data from some unfamiliar language and requires competitors to work out some part of the system illustrated by the data. The intellectual experiences provided by the Olympiad competitions are not part of the normal school curriculum, but many pupils greatly enjoy the challenge and the competitions promise a number of important educational benefits.

The committee members are all unpaid volunteers, and include not only academics from university linguistics departments but also some school teachers. The sponsors include professional associations, university departments, government-funded educational agencies, the British Academy, publishers and schools.

April 2010

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