Portland, OR, September 22, 2016 --(PR.com
)-- According to the Sun Sentinel, "Earlier this year, the Florida Senate approved a bill that would have declared computer coding... a language for the purpose of meeting graduation requirements that include the study of a foreign language."
It didn't pass the Legislature, but does the bill still have some merit?
What exactly constitutes a foreign language? According to Dictionary.com, a foreign language is any language used in a country other than one's own; a language that is studied mostly for cultural insight.
Does coding fit the bill? Well, coding is a language used in countries, including our own. Plus, it would not be a language studied mostly for cultural insight. It would be a language studied for application and technological advancement. So, according to the definition it does not hold merit.
However, according to UPenn, components of human language consists of the following:
A sound-system (or phonological component).
A set of vocabulary items (the "lexicon").
A grammatical system ("morphology") which puts meaningful elements together into "words."
A syntax, or set of rules to state what the order of elements is in larger utterances, such as "sentences."
A semantic component, where meanings are interpreted.
How many of these rules apply to code? Two Tech Academy students, Jessica Irish and Quinn Zepeda, chimed in.
Yes - There is a sound component to coding because developers have to communicate with their teammates, which includes speaking out loud.
Yes - Early on at Tech Academy students go through a course specifically dedicated to learning definitions. More importantly, the coding lexicon is contextual to each program or project. "I know what 'from' means, but I need to know how to use it to be able to call or perform the right action." Each vocabulary word serves a function.
Yes - "No matter what language you're coding in the grammar is extremely important to set up a program." The difference between brackets, parenthesis and indents are crucial to writing code that works.
Yes - Another important element is code-flow. Coding syntax either makes or breaks your code. "Word-flow in coding is the same thing as somebody understanding where the adjectives and verbs go in the English language."
Yes - "You can read someone's code and be able to know this means that and that means this." Every line of code should all have meaning, whether it be to ID or to represent data or actions or functions. It should all have meaning even if it's just comments to tell you what the meaning is.
With all this being said, do you think computer coding should fulfill a school's foreign language credit?