Home Languages through the lens of Computational Thinking
During Home language week the Computational Thinking team celebrated our community’s many languages through some special coding projects.
By Iria Asanaki and Ana Yao, Computational Thinking
Research shows that using our home languages alongside our new language acquisition will make the process of learning English faster and easier. If home languages are valued and celebrated within the school environment then this sends a powerful message to pupils about their identity.Source: www2.oxfordshire.gov.uk
With this in mind, we inquired into our language background, we engaged ourselves into offline activities by recording our voice, we played with educational programming toys and we had a lot of fun! What did our activities look like? Please take a look at our video.
Another goal that is related to computational thinking is to understand how computers work. But the more we try to find answers the more we wonder: ‘How do computers communicate?’ and ‘What is their special code?’
‘When students were asked to describe what “computer language” means to them they responded diversely:
‘It is a language that we don’t understand.’
‘It is what the computers use to communicate’.
‘Binary code is the computers’ language.’
‘Computer language is different from humans’ language.’
‘Binary is a simple language that computers use with only 0s and 1s.’
‘I think it is just a normal language…I think it is easier for them to speak in binary.’
What was common in their responses though was that computers do have their own way to communicate but their code is different than ours.
We invite everyone to see Computational Thinking as a learning process, as a future COMPETENCY for the students to develop, but also as a MEDIUM to broaden the students’ horizons in other fields. The most important is to always consider their prior knowledge and their interests. Based on that mindset, we used Bee-bots, SAMLabs, CoSpaces AR as a medium to connect to our home languages and understand why they are essential to our future learning.