For Specialties


SIL staff support language communities' language development efforts in many different ways, from linguistic and cultural analysis to lexicography, community literacy, and literature development.

The links below provide details about the various types of language-related roles in SIL, and the training required for each of them. 

This list is especially for those who are interested in working with SIL, and who are just beginning to prepare for language program work. Those who have more extensive professional backgrounds may wish to contact the appropriate SIL International domain coordinator for further information about opportunities in their domain of expertise. 

Anthropologists promote socio-cultural awareness in training and fieldwork, support ethnographic research and provide resources for cultural documentation.

Arts and Ethnomusicology
Arts Specialists advocate for and enable communities to draw on their artistic forms of communication to meet their goals.

Dictionaries and Lexicography
Lexicographers promote language development in minority language communities by assisting in the creation of dictionary products.

Language Assessment
Language Assessment personnel gather community information to support strategic language development planning.

Language & Culture Documentation
Language and Culture Documentation personnel preserve language and culture data in support of linguistic vitality, cultural identity, and stewardship of heritage resources.

Language Program Management
Language Program Managers provide structure and methods for a community to plan and execute projects that contribute to their language-related goals.

Language Technology
Language Technology Specialists promote appropriate technology to local language communities, providing access to tools and training that will help them in their language development goals.

Field Linguists provide a foundation for language development work of all kinds by illuminating the patterns and variety in the structure and use of language.

Literacy & Education
Literacy and Education Specialists work with local communities, government and non-government agencies and national institutions to establish mother tongue-based literacy and multilingual education programs for children, youth and adults who speak non-dominant languages.

Media Development
Media Development Specialists help communities use their communication resources to enhance access to information, encourage language development, and address community goals and felt needs.

Scripture Engagement
Scripture Engagement Workers assist Christian communities to strengthen their languages by integrating Scriptures into their life and practice. 

Translation Specialists support language communities in gaining access to information and literature from other languages and cultures.