Linguistics Outside the Classroom (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.

Background on the LOC

The LOC’s goal is to increase involvement within the undergraduate student body to learn about linguistics outside of regular classroom instruction. Instructors can include LOC credits on their course syllabi.

Students may satisfy LOC credits in one of two ways:

  1. Participate in experiments conducted by Linguistics faculty and graduate students.
  2. Attend a research seminar or colloquium. Attendees must then submit a one-paragraph summary of your experience of talk within one week of attending in order to receive their LOC credit.

Please note that the point values associated with experiments will vary according to their duration (generally 0.5 points per half hour). Attending a talk and writing a summary results in two LOC points.

Each instructor will inform their students as to the number of points needed to satisfy their course, how much of the course grade is dependent on attaining these points, and the deadline for satisfying the requirement.

Useful links for completing your LOC credits

We use an online system called SONA for students to sign up for and track their LOC credits.

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:

  • Experiencing first-hand how linguistics research and experiments are structured;
  • Learning more generally about the resources (labs, people, event calendars, etc.) available to them in the linguistics department;
  • Seeing the ways in which current research is presented and discussed in the department.

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. Additionally, all studies and experiments must be independently approved by the university ethics board before they are allowed to be run.

Continuing your research involvement

Interested in research in Linguistics? Here are some recommendations:

  • Continue to take Linguistics courses if what you hear about or participate in interests you.
  • Take STAT 203 (Intro. to Statistics) and LING 333 (Research Methods) if you’re interested in more about how research works.
  • Keep volunteering to participate in experiments and/or attending research seminars and colloquia to learn more about linguistic research first-hand.
  • Talk to your instructors or the experimenters you meet while participating about what they’re researching, how it relates to your course material, and opportunities to become a volunteer or a paid research assistant in the future.
  • Check out to learn about the various active research labs and groups in the department.
  • Fill out the form at to indicate your interest in getting involved.
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