Expanding our Reach and Theirs: When Linguists go to High School

Jeffrey Lidz and Yakov Kronrod

In 2007, we began an outreach program in Linguistics with psychology students in a local majority–minority high school. In the years since, the initial collaboration has grown to include other schools and nurtured a culture of community engagement in the language sciences at the University of Maryland. The program has led to a number of benefits for both the public school students and the University researchers involved. Over the years, our efforts have developed into a multi-faceted outreach program targeting primary and secondary school as well as the public more broadly. Through our outreach, we attempt to take a modest step toward increasing public awareness and appreciation of the importance of language science, toward the integration of research into the school curriculum, and giving potential first-generation college students a taste of what they are capable of. In this article, we describe in detail our motivations and goals, the details of the activities, and where we can go from here.