The summer of 2001 marked the 50th year of partnership between SIL and the University of North Dakota. That summer also marked Becky’s first encounter with the world of linguistics and it’s role in Bible translation. She was fascinated and hooked for life!
Every summer for five straight years Becky attended the SIL-UND (and met some of the most amazing people from all over the world!). At first as an undergraduate student and then later as a grad student and a teaching assistant she studied linguistics taking classes like phonology, syntax & morphology, sociolinguistics, second language acquisition, field methods, ethnographic methods, language survey methods, typology & discourse, as well as semantics & pragmatics and translation. In the summer of 2005 she focussed on language data collected in her first five months of field work in Nigeria and was the teaching assistant for the syntax & morphology course. Just a side note: the summer of 2005, Hugh was also taking his first SIL classes at ORSIL (Oregon SIL) then located in Eugene, Oregon.
The magic summer of 2007 was great for many reasons. Let’s start with two favorites. Hugh and Becky met! Becky completed the requirements for my MA in Linguistics, by successfully completing and defending her thesis!!!
Skipping the details, Hugh and Becky were married before the start of the following summer session when they returned to SIL-UND together. In 2008 and 2009 they both served on staff (Hugh had also been staff the summer of 2007). Becky worked with the staff of the field methods course and Hugh had various roles in IT and as a teaching assistant for the tone analysis course. In 2010, Becky taught the field methods course once again. One of the benefits of being on staff is that Hugh can pursue his MA as he takes classes part time while on staff.
We attended SIL-UND again this time Hugh took the Literacy Mega-Course and Becky was the teaching assistant on the tone course taught by Keith Snider.
We have so many great friendships that have grown out of our time at SIL-UND. Teaching there ranks at the top of my favorite assignments! We have been invited by the director to be part of the teaching staff in future summers. We’ll be sure to let you know when we are headed back to Grand Forks for another round of SIL-UND adventures!