Due to the pandemic, CSULB is unable to host NACLO this year (2021).
We hope to return as a host next year (2022).

What is NACLO?

The North American Computational Linguistics Open (NACLO) is a contest in which high school and middle school students solve problems relating to linguistics and computational linguistics. No prior knowledge of linguistics or of other languages is necessary. The Linguistics Department at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) is hosting a site for the competition. More information about NACLO can be found at the official NACLO site.

  • Information Session

    November 16, 2019 • 10am-12pm
    Liberal Arts Building 2 (LA 2)• Room 120 @CSULB

    An information session is being planned for Fall 2019. Attending the information session is optional but it will help you. The session will include information relevant to the competition as well as problem solving strategies and practice working through data sets. If you would like to attend, please RSVP by November 12, 2019 via email to Dr. Michael Ahland.


  • Open Round

    Thursday, January 23, 2020 • 9:00AM
    Karl Anatol Center • AS Building

    First round is open to all registered participants and will be held on Thursday, January 23, 2020. The contest begins promptly at 9:00 AM PST and runs three hours until 12:00 PM PST. Please arrive early, by 8:15 AM at the latest to register and receive student ID numbers. Students must be present at least 15 minutes before the start of the competition in order to hear the reading of the rules, instructions, and announcements. Students who arrive after that time will not be provided additional time to have instructions or announcements repeated for them. Well-performing students from the first session will be invited to the second (invitational) round, which is scheduled to take place on March 5, 2020.

  • Invitational Round

    Thursday, March 5, 2020 • 9:00AM
    Karl Anatol Center • AS Building

    The invitational (second) round (March 5, 2020) is open only to top performing students. From these students, the top scorers (from across the USA) will have an opportunity to join the national team and represent the United States at the international level.


Participation in the event is free, however you must register first. We recommend that you register online ahead of time to ensure availability. The deadline for online registration is January 22, 2020. If you miss the deadline for online registration, you can register on site on the morning of the competition on January 23, 2020 (subject to availability). Register online by clicking on the button below to reserve your place ahead of time.

Highlights of 2018-2019 Year: Local NACLO Participant Earns Spot on National Linguistics Team!

Our own Katherine He (from Palos Verdes) was among the top 8 scorers in the 2019 Invitational Round and earned a spot on Team USA. Katherine represented the US at the International Linguistics competition in Yongin, South Korea, in July 2019. She was awarded Honorable Mention for her performance. Way to go, Katherine!

In January of 2019, we hosted the Open Round of the NACLO competition at CSULB. A total of 16 highschool students from across the southern California area participated in the three-hour competition. They are now awaiting their scores and the announcements for the Invitational Round. Last year (January 2018), CSULB Linguistics hosted 13 students from the local area high schools during the open round of competition. The competition was held in real-time across the nation where students attempted to solve eight problem sets in three hours for a chance to win a seat at the invitational round and eventually a seat on the U.S. team at the International Linguistics Olympiad in Prague, Czech Republic. We are excited to be building this partnership and to get the opportunity to work with such bright future linguists, computer scientists, and scholars!

This year, our activities have included multiple practice sessions on and off the CSULB campus. In fact, we have been particulary excited about a new NACLO group that has been organized at Sato Academy of Mathematics and Science in Long Beach. We have enjoyed working with teachers and students at Sato to practice our problem-solving skills. It is our hope that we'll be able to facilitate more Lingusitics-related clubs and practice sessions in area schools in the coming years. As always, if you have any questions, you are welcome to contact our local organizer, Dr. Michael Ahland, here.

About CSULB Linguistics

Linguistics (/lɪŋˈgwɪstɪks/) is the study of human languages. It is divided into a number of subfields including:

  • Syntax
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Phonetics
  • Phonology
  • Morphology
  • Semantics
  • Pragmatics
is the study of
  • linguistic structures
  • language in society
  • physical properties of speech sounds
  • organization of speech sounds
  • word formation
  • meaning
  • language use


  • Information Session: Liberal Arts Building 2 (LA2): Room 100 • For a Campus Map, please click here. The LA2 building is located along West Campus Drive, just north of the Library.
  • Open and Invitational Competition Rounds: Academic Senate (AS) Building: Anatol Center • For a Campus Map, please click here. The AS building is located at the southern end of campus (east of the Library) and the Anatol Center is in the southeast corner of the AS building.
  • Recommended Parking Lots: Closest visitor parking lots are the 'G' General Lots G1, G3, G4, and G5. These lots are equipped with self-pay stations. For a map of additional parking areas click here.

NACLO @ CSULB Sponsors

  • • CSULB Department of Linguistics
  • • CSULB College of Liberal Arts
  • • CSULB 49er Shops