Started in 2009 by staff member Julie McGory and then-chair Beth Hume, the Summer Linguistics Institute for Youth Scholars, more commonly referred to as SLIYS (pronounced slice) has given high school students with a passion for Linguistics a place to pursue their interest. With a starting enrollment of 14 students, SLIYS has grown to host around 100 enrollments throughout the various summer sessions offered.
Starting with SLIYS I, the first session in the sequence, students learn about different aspects of Linguistics to make them better language learners. Hosted Sunday through Friday, students spend each weekday morning studying about a specific Linguistic topic. Then they apply this knowledge during their field work activity in the afternoon. For the week, students are paired with a speaker of a foreign language that the students themselves have no background in.
From there, they ask questions to the speaker involving the specific topic they learned that day. For example, students have learned about syntactic differences and articulation patterns among other topics.
SLIYS II, the second session, builds on what students learned in the first session. Paired with a speaker of a different foreign language from before, students are exposed to different challenges and opportunities that come with exposure to a new language.
Coupled with nightly social activities, the program offers students a great summer experience to explore their interest in languages.