PhD student Sharin Jacob is first author of an article in NYS TESOL Journal: "Teaching Computational Thinking to English Learners." Co-authors are Ha Nguyen (UCI), Colby Tofel-Grehl (Utah State University), Debra Richardson (UCI), and Mark Warschauer (UCI).
Computational thinking is an essential skill for full participation in society in today’s world (Wing, 2006). Yet there has been little discussion about the teaching and learning of computational thinking to English learners. In this paper, we first review what computational thinking is, why it is important in education, and the particular challenges faced in teaching computational thinking to speakers of English as a second language. We then discuss some approaches for addressing these challenges, giving examples from two recent K–12 initiatives in which we have been involved.