Sixty-Six Summers in North Dakota

SIL Staff Photographer
Students engage with a variety of linguistics-related topics during the annual summer SIL training at SIL-UND, Grand Forks, North Dakota.

(July 2017) Sixty-six summers! Students and faculty are in the middle of the annual summer SIL linguistics training at the University of North Dakota (SIL-UND). Even though it is only nine weeks long, the courses are packed with learning opportunities for students who are preparing for involvement in language development.

Students engage with a variety of linguistics-related topics and gain practical skills in learning a new language. Some of the courses include sociolinguistics, mother-tongue literacy, translation, pragmatics, anthropology, and field methods. A specialty of the SIL-UND program is to include the linguistics of sign languages alongside spoken languages.

This group of students and instructors is involved in the Literacy Megacourse, which is offered every odd-numbered year. This summer-long 10-credit course package prepares students to work with language communities to create bilingual education programs with mother-tongue languages and the country’s language. When completed, students can receive a graduate certificate from UND in Community-based Literacy, as well as certification as an SIL literacy specialist.

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SIL-UND T-shirt day. Every year, students and staff vote on a unique T-shirt design, created by a student or staff member. When they are printed, the T-shirts are a creative way to remember each year and to bring the community together.

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Everyone enjoys seeing previous shirts created for T-shirt day, and throughout the summer. This year's winning design—“Linguistics is coulee”—refers to the stream that runs through campus and the muskrat that lives there.

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