Learning to read before learning to write code
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Sounds, words, reading, writing: this is how many people generally develop language skills. In this session, we argue why learning to read code is a game-changer in teaching programming to novice learners and highlight some strategies that can be utilised to develop code reading skills.
Navigating a text-based programming language for the first time can be daunting for many learners. While educators support their students with writing code, we argue that learning to read code is equally important. We present some of the existing research in this area, highlighting the numerous benefits of learning to read code. We highlight some easily accessible ways that educators can develop code reading fluency in novice learners, and how these strategies can also provide educators with valuable insights into how their learners are developing their knowledge.
Sujatha Gunja is a Lecturer at the University of Sydney, teaching core units in the Master of Education (Digital Technologies) program. A secondary computing and humanities teacher by training, she has worked with students and staff across K-12 to instill a curiosity for how technology works. In her previous role at the Australian Computing Academy, she helped develop block and text based coding resources for students and ran professional development workshops for teachers across the country. She has helped establish K-12 STEM/STEAM programs including after school code and robotics clubs. Prior to teaching, Sujatha worked in the IT industry as a software developer and technical team lead. She is passionate about finding opportunities for every student to experience success in their educational journeys.