Title: Guiding principles of visual-based programming for children's language learning

Authors: Xiaojing Weng; Haoran Xie; Gary Ka-Wai Wong

Addresses: Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Faculty of Education, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong ' Department of Mathematics and Information Technology, The Education University of Hong Kong, Tai Po, New Territories, Hong Kong ' Division of Information and Technology Studies, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong

Abstract: Computer assisted language learning (CALL) is an emerging branch of applied linguistics which devotes at improving language acquisition for English language learners (ELLs) through different computer applications (Levy, 1997). Among abundant achievements CALL has achieved, visual programming language (VPL) as an essential component of computer science (CS) and an efficient procedure to cultivate K-12 students' computational thinking (CT), which refers to students' problem-solving ability, has attracted people's attention. This conceptual paper reviews literature on CALL, CT, second language acquisition (SLA), and then goes to illustrate the principles that can facilitate bridging SLA with CT in the realm of CALL under the constructionism theoretical framework. A case study on nine Hong Kong primary school students from the Maker Space is presented in this paper to serve as the example of employing VPL as an empowering tool to enhance SLA and CT for K-12 students.

Keywords: computer assisted language learning; CALL; second language acquisition; SLA; visual programming language; VPL; computational thinking; CT.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSS.2018.100223

International Journal of Services and Standards, 2018 Vol.12 No.3/4, pp.275 - 292

Received: 13 Jun 2018
Accepted: 04 Mar 2019

Published online: 18 Jun 2019 *

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