Linguistics Outside the Classroom (LOC)

What is the LOC?

Linguistics Outside the Classroom (LOC) is an initiative to better integrate undergraduate students into the research being conducted and discussed within the UBC Department of Linguistics.

The LOC is about increased involvement on the part of the undergraduate student body in learning about linguistics outside of regular classroom instruction. Instructors have the opportunity to include LOC credits on their course syllabi. Students may satisfy LOC credits in one of two ways:

(1) Participate in experiments being conducted by Linguistics faculty and graduate students

(2) Attend a Research Seminar or Colloquium. Attendees of a research seminar or colloquium must submit a one-paragraph summary of the talk within one week of attending to earn their LOC credit.

Note that the point values associated with experiments vary according to their duration (generally 0.5 points per half hour), and attending a talk and writing a summary constitutes two LOC points. Each instructor will inform their students as to the number of points needed to satisfy their course.

The system used to sign up for talks and experiments (the “SONA” system), and the Department of Linguistics events calendar can be found below. General information on department research seminars and colloquia is available here

UBC Linguistics SONA site Events calendar


See the slides from the UBC Linguistics Sign-Up Tutorial for information on how to use the SONA system.

Note: as of May 2019, students should use the SONA system to sign up for BOTH experiments AND talks, and will be submitting their talk summaries through the SONA system as well. There are now a specific number of “spaces” available at each research seminar and colloquium that are eligible for LOC credit.

Who does the LOC benefit?

The LOC benefits undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and the department as a whole. Crucially, the LOC helps undergraduate students better understand linguistics through (1) experiencing linguistics research first hand and seeing how experiments are actually structured, (2) learning more generally about the resources (labs, people, event calendars, etc.) available to them in the linguistics department, and (3) seeing the ways in which current research is presented and discussed in the department.

Just a note about participating in experiments:

  • Your participation in experiments is ALWAYS voluntary, and you will get specific information about any given experiment before you actually agree to participate in it.
  • Your participation is also ANONYMOUS: although we keep track of the fact that you participated in an experiment, your name is not associated with the data, and your course instructor doesn’t even know which studies you participate in.
  • All studies must be independently approved by the university ethics board before they are allowed to be run.

If you have questions about the LOC, please email Márton Sókuthy (