So I’ve been working on a little project recently. I’m creating an introductory Python course based on the Foundations of Python Programming from Runestone Academy, but modifying it for high school students whose primary language isn’t English.
As I ran a pilot of the course, I realised that my test pupil is somewhat disadvantaged. She knows English, but it isn’t her first language. I began to wish I could present her with a programming language whose tokens look like those from her first language. How much easier it would be for her to learn to code!
And then I realised how biased the world of programming is towards English.
The article “Coding Is for Everyone—as Long as You Speak English” by Gretchen McCulloch on Wired.com mirrors my frustrations.
There needs to be a shift. I wonder what it might look like for this shift to be implemented. It might need a completely new tool we haven’t dreamed of yet. Or something we already have that can be repurposed.
Perhaps something akin to natural language processing that can translate source code into language tokens that align with different natural languages?
That article again from Wired.com is “Coding Is for Everyone—as Long as You Speak English.” Have a read and let me know your thoughts!