Friday, October 14, 2016
Is computer coding a foreign language?
Should coding be considered a foreign language for high school credit requirements? I found an interesting article linked here from U.S. News and World Report. The article shares the different points of view on this topic. Believe it or not, Florida actually tried to do something first! Florida Senator Jeremy Ring submitted a bill to allow students to choose computer coding over the traditional foreign language requirements. The bill passed the Florida Senate, but then died. In speaking to the Senate, Ring said, "We can be the first state to do this, or we can be the 50th state to do it. It's our choice. It's going to happen."
I found this to be an interesting debate. The concept is that coding is a foreign language, allowing us to communicate with computers. Critics say that speaking a foreign language is a great advantage in the world marketplace. As someone who took the required two years of a foreign language, I can tell you that I am in no way fluent in Spanish, so I don't see the current requirements as beneficial.
I do think that coding courses should be considered a foreign language. Sure, maybe speaking Chinese will be a marketable skill, but communicating with computers? No doubt that this is a skill that will be needed more and more as technology continues to grow exponentially. Our students today are digital natives, so they should have the chance to learn the language. All the computer hardware in the world won't do us any good if we can't tell the computers what we want them to do.
Galvin, Gaby (2016). Some Say Computer Coding is a Foreign Language. U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved on 10/14/16 from http://www.usnews.com/news/stem-solutions/articles/2016-10-13/spanish-french-python-some-say-computer-coding-is-a-foreign-language.