Impact of Proficiency in English on the Intuitive Understanding of Computer Science Concepts


Computer science terms like: Code, Analysis, Protocol, Encapsulation, Validation, Sampling, Model and many more are borrowed from English with their meanings slightly altered to suite computer science. This makes initial computer science acquiring more difficult for non- native English students, while it is facilitated for students of higher English proficiency. This is sort of a transfer from language proficiency to computer science which is similar to the known concept of transfer from one language to another in new language acquisition. The paper presents a test for assessing this transfer by investigating students' understanding of selected terms in both technical and non-technical contexts. The terms were selected to represent computer science sub-concepts as defined in the literature; hence, students’ understanding of these terms in everyday non-technical uses, measures potential students’ understanding of these same terms in computer science technical uses. The test was applied on Arabic speaking students of different English proficiency and different maturity levels. It was found that the intuitive understanding of the terms in computer science improves with improved English, but no impact of maturity was found. Computer science students’ records revealed an association between computer science learning and English level which is attributed partially to this transfer.

Author Information
Ismat Aldmour, AlBaha University, Saudi Arabia

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2022
Stream: International Education

This paper is part of the ECE2022 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Aldmour I. (2022) Impact of Proficiency in English on the Intuitive Understanding of Computer Science Concepts ISSN: 2188-1162 The European Conference on Education 2022: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon