If Learning Programming Depends on Logic and Logic Depends on Language, Does Learning Programming Depend on Language?

Ms Christine Prasad
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This paper reports on a study that explores the relationships that exist between language, logic and learning of computer programming in first year computer programming students. To contain the scope of the research, only Boolean logic is examined in this study. Using a single case study method, data is gathered by means of a questionnaire, and analysed firstly, using statistical methods to identify correlations and relationships, and secondly, using descriptive methods to see if there are non-numerical relationships. The study also attempts to identify possible reasons for these relationships by referring to literature. This is a cross disciplinary study that draws input from the fields of linguistics, cognitive science, education, and computer science and has immediate implications in the area of teaching computer programming to international students and L2 students (i.e. those students for whom English is not the first language) with wider implications for global education, e-learning, and technologies for new learning. This study is a continuation of research previously reported at the first technology conference.

Keywords: Natural language, Computer programming, Teaching and learning, Boolean logic
Stream: Technology in Education
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Ms Christine Prasad

Lecturer, School of Computing and Information Technology, Unitec New Zealand
New Zealand

Currently a lecturer in Information Technology, I teach two computer programming courses in an undergraduate degree. I have worked in the computing area for the past 10 years, out of which I spent 3 years in an analyst/ programmer/ support role in industry and 7 years teaching in tertiary institutions. I have taught at a South Pacific Regional University and an Australian University in Fiji and am now teaching at a tertiary institution in Auckland New Zealand. My research interests are in the area of Computer Science Education, International education, Cultural and Linguistic factors affecting education.

Ref: T06P0148