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Computer Coding as a Foreign Language

Some states are thinking about allowing high school students to fulfill foreign language-learning requirements with a computer language instead of spoken languages. In other words, they can take Java, Python, and C++ instead of French, Spanish and German.

Some colleges allow students to meet the foreign language requirements with coding languages. Other colleges do not require computer science majors to complete a foreign language in order to get their degree.

Fortunately, you are the parent. You get to decide what is required for your high school graduate, and you get to decide the college preparation you will provide from your home.

Here are the facts.

1. It's important for teens to learn basic computer coding for certain computer-related careers in the future.
2. It's important for people to understand the world they live in, and foreign language helps.

These two things are not mutually exclusive. It's actually possible for a teen to study both coding AND a foreign language (don't let your teenager tell you otherwise!) In fact, they each have their own list of benefits. At the same time, we also know some things about high school children. They are all over the spectrum when it comes to abilities.

Here are more facts.

1. Some children are amazingly awesome at computer coding all technical issues involving binary code.
2. Some teens are terrible, horrible, lackadaisical, resistant, or unwilling to learn a foreign language.

You, as the parent, must strike a balance between these two things. Is your student amazingly awesome at computer coding and also willing to learn a foreign language? if so, you may be able to teach both with no trouble. Score! 

So can computer coding be used as a foreign language? Maybe! Here is what I suggest.

1. Attempt a foreign language and assume it will be needed. Pick an actual spoken language just in case. 
2. Carefully search for perfect fit colleges for your child. Consider their interests and weigh it with the quality of the programs the college offers.
3. While visiting colleges, ask their foreign language policy. Do they accept computer coding as foreign language? 
4. Make sure techie geeks get the English, art, and foreign language they need. A well rounded transcript is more impressive than perfect fluency in any language, spoken or otherwise. 

Never assume that computer coding can be the foreign language that earns your child college admission and scholarships. However, if your child can't do a foreign language, then consider putting computer coding language in your foreign language subject area, as if your high school policy did allow for that. And check with each college to see where you will apply to find out if it's a good long term plan.

Will you count computer coding as a foreign language in your homeschool? Let us know in the comments! 

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Monday, 27 May 2024

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