ADAPT All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad (AILO) Develops a Free Transition Year Module on Linguistics

21 September 2022

The module was created in partnership with Past-Primary Languages Ireland (PPLI), a foreign language education unit funded by the Department of Education.

ADAPT’s All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad (AILO), an annual national competition which challenges secondary students to develop problem-solving skills through a study of human languages, has recently developed a free Transition Year (TY) module to further encourage linguistics at second level. The module consists of ten topics including writing systems, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics and machine translation.  The module was developed thanks to funding from Post-Primary Languages Ireland (PPLI). PPLI is funded by the Department of Education in Ireland and they have the responsibility for implementing key actions in Languages Connect – Ireland’s Strategy for Foreign Languages in Education 2017-2026.

The module offers a rich set of teacher resources for use in the classroom with approximately 20 hours of content. Each topic introduces a new area of linguistics such as Syntax where students are introduced to phrase structure trees which underpins a key ADAPT research area, machine translation. Each topic ends in an AILO puzzle where students can apply their knowledge and problem-solving skills to a relevant linguistics problem based on a little-known language from around the world.

As a result, this module can be a foundational gateway for students to develop further interest in linguistics, and to consider a fascinating range of careers at the intersection of computing, linguistics and language. One in four secondary schools on the island of Ireland has registered for information on the module to date.

Speaking about the aims and objectives of developing such a module, Dr Cara Greene, National Coordinator of the ADAPT AILO said, “We are  delighted to have so much interest in the module. This module aims to improve students’ language awareness, team-working and problem-solving skills. We hope that this new cohort of schools will actively join us in the AILO competition as well.” 

No prior knowledge of linguistics or a second language is required to sign up for this module and it is open to all secondary school teachers and students on the island. ADAPT will provide certificates of participation for all students and teaching certificates. All participants are welcome to register their school to take part in AILO 2022/3. AILO provides free puzzle sets and a nationwide workshop series running from September to January. The winners of the AILO competitions are chosen every year to represent Ireland at the International Linguistics Olympiad (IOL) which will take place in Bulgaria in July 2023.

SIGN UP for the Linguistics Module to receive videos, certificates for students and more information 

Linguistics Module Materials HERE.  

REGISTER for AILO 2022/3