How it Works

The All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad (AILO) is a contest in which secondary school students develop their own strategies for solving problems in fascinating languages from around the globe.

Students must use their ingenuity to solve Puzzles such as deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics, decoding numerical spy codes, and interpreting ancient Mayan poetry.

Who is Eligible?

All second level students from schools in Ireland, both North and South, are eligible to participate.

Students may only participate in one national linguistics Olympiad in a school year (eg. You can not take part in AILO and the UKLO / German Olympiad etc at the same time).

The challenge can be taken by students at any stage in their second level studies, and we have two age groups – Senior Category (under 16) and Junior Category (16 and over).

Categories and Prizes

The All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad has two main categories:

  • Junior Category is open to students under 16 years old registered in a secondary school in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland.
  • Senior Category is open to students 16 years and up registered in a secondary school in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland.

Both Junior and Senior Category students will take the same puzzles and be marked in the same way. However, we will award prizes and trophies to the winners of each category.

Preparation

To prepare for AILO we suggest solving some sample puzzles and viewing previous years’ puzzles.

ADAPT Problem Solving Workshops

ADAPT provide problem solving workshops all around Ireland to help students prepare for the AILO competition. In these workshops sample puzzles are explained and worked through in detail.

For more information and for the list of the 2019 Workshop locations click here.

Please note that if you or your students would like to attend a workshop, please register for AILO here.

Competition Rounds

The AILO competition is comprised of two rounds:

  • The Preliminary Round of the competition will be held in participating schools in late January. The paper will be emailed out to teachers for printing and must be taken under exam conditions. Teachers must then post the answer booklets back to us. Schools and individual students can register here. You must have a teacher contact to undertake AILO unless you are home-schooled.
  • AILO Final : The top 100 students of the preliminary round (regardless of age) qualify to compete at the National Final of AILO in a Dublin university in late March. During this final the students will participate in an individual round as well as a team round. The top 4 students of the individual round will qualify to represent Ireland at the International Linguistics Olympiad (IOL) in July.

International Linguistics Olympiad(IOL)

  • IOL Final The IOL typically takes place in July every year and the location changes every year. Training for the Irish team will begin once the four students are selected. For more information on IOL click here. Team training will  begin with a meetup of the team followed by online sessions once a month after the national final. A 3-day training session will take place before the beginning of the IOL. To see some IOL Puzzles click here.

 Timeline for 2018/19