Should Coding be the “New Foreign Language” Requirement?

Coding, Cognition and Communication

In terms of cognitive advantages, learning a system of signs, symbols and rules used to communicate — that is, language study — improves thinking by challenging the brain to recognize, negotiate meaning and master different language patterns. Coding does the same thing. Students who speak English and Mandarin are better multitaskers because they’re used to switching between language structures. Coding, likewise, involves understanding and working within structures.

Foreign language instruction today emphasizes practical communication — what students can do with the language. Similarly, coding is practical, empowering and critical to the daily life of everyone living in the 21st century.

Coding is Ubiquitous

Programming is the global language, more common than spoken languages like English, Chinese or Spanish.

5 Reasons Why You Should Teach Kids to Code ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

Why We’re Learning about Coding in Our 6th Grade Writing Class

Should coding replace foreign language requirements?

Washington state and Kentucky have both proposed legislation that mirrors this trend, with Washington asking that students be allowed to count two years of computer science courses as two years of foreign language studies.
In an October post, Washington Post columnist Valerie Strauss wrote that coding is something like “cursive 2.0″ — a practice that will soon become compulsory in schools across the nation.