The Language Sciences Institute was designated a GREx Institute in 2021.
The Language Sciences Initiative was established in 2015, generously supported by long-time Vancouver educator and language and literacy advocate Marietta Hurst, who provided additional seed funding in 2018 to support the initiative for the next three years. Since 2016, UBC Language Sciences has received funding through UBC's Excellence Funds as a Research Excellence Cluster.
From investigating children’s development of language, to examining dyslexia and recovery from stroke, to helping the revitalization and maintenance of Indigenous languages, to modelling the human vocal tract, researchers in the Language Sciences Institute help to improve lives, and inform society.
The Langauge Sciences Institute aims to connect scholars, teachers, and researchers working in all areas of the language sciences, to create collaborations that produce and support innovative research. Members span fields, disciplines, faculties, and institutions. Projects funded by Language Sciences have explored promoting multilingual literacy for young Canadians through online storybooks, the effects of vibrating devices on speech intelligibility, how opera training may sculpt our brains, how language might affect patient well-being, and much more. The institute strives to communicate its members’ work to many audiences: researchers, students, institutions, communities, and the general public.
Language Sciences offers an interdisciplinary course, Living Language: Science and Society, which examines the power of language. Cross-listed in six faculties, the course introduces students to the building blocks of language, encourages them to examine how language has informed their field of study, and to apply what they learn outside the classroom, including in the workforce.