England Teaches Kids Computer Programming

January 15, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. code /koʊd/ (v.) – to make or edit a computer program
Example: He taught me how to code a game using my smartphone.

2. curriculum /kəˈrɪk yə ləm/ (n.) – a program that involves a set of subjects and topics to be taught in school
Example: The new curriculum will include a journalism class.

3. modernize /ˈmɒd ərˌnaɪz/ (v.) – to make something up-to-date
Example: The company will modernize its facilities for efficiency. 

4. course /kɔrs, koʊrs/ (n.) – a class or series of lessons on a particular subject
Example: She passed her English course.

5. pursue /pərˈsu/ (v.) – to accomplish a goal or to achieve something
Example: She pursued her dream of working in a prestigious company.


Read the text below.
Schools in England now teach children how to code programs in computers.

England’s new national curriculum, which was implemented in September 2014, requires kids to have programming classes. The government decided that modernizing its computer education is necessary in the 21st century.

At the age of five, a student will be taught the basics of computer algorithms through games and puzzles. For instance, students can learn the concept of coding through “Daisy the Dinosaur,” an iOS app that lets students make and control their own animated character. At 14, students will be taught more about computer programming in a more comprehensive manner.

To help teachers deal with the demand for coding education, tutorial sites like Codecademy [kohd-KAD-uh-mee] give online classes on different programming languages. Codecademy has given courses to about 25 million people and has worked with over 1,000 schools in the United Kingdom.

Codecademy’s head of UK operations Rachel Swidenbank [SWEED-n bangk] said that programming skills are helpful in various job areas. She added that the need for information technology (IT) workers will rise in the coming years. A study by the GfK, a German market research company, stated that the shortage of IT workers was the biggest problem of business leaders at London’s Tech City. Meanwhile, research firm Empirica expects a shortage of workers in the IT industry by 2020.

The government hopes that the new curriculum will equip future employees with IT skills to address the shortage. However, Nottinghamshire [NOT-ing-uh m-sheer] computing teacher John Partridge doubts that England’s new curriculum will help attract children into pursuing a career in IT. 

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you approve of England’s new computer curriculum? Why or why not?
·         What could be the bad effects of the new curriculum on children?

Discussion B

·         What lessons were taught in your computer classes? Please discuss briefly.
·         Is information technology also a huge and successful industry in your country? Why or why not?

January 15, 2015