The University of Canterbury held this year’s Open Day on Thursday, July 11, 2019. It was a chance for high-school students to look at possible majors at our University. This year I had the chance to showcase UC Linguistics, and I brought along our ultrasound machine to show people images of my tongue in motion, and let them see their tongues. A few were intimidated by the idea of seeing their own tongues on a machine, but lots of young students participated, and hopefully got a bit of a taste for Linguistics and especially phonetic research.
However, next year I will try to build more materials to address all the ways linguistics can be useful to students. I like the fact that Linguistics is both arts and science at the same time. You learn to write, you learn numeracy, you learn statistics, and you learn how to do experiments. And on top of that, our students learn how to speak in public and speak well. These are exceedingly useful skills, and have led students to continue in research, get positions with Stats NZ, build up computer research in local companies, and so much more.