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The Application of Second Language Acquisition to Programming Language Study

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

CoED: Computer Science Topics

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

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Paper Authors


Lulu Sun Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univ., Daytona Beach

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Lulu Sun is an associate professor in the Engineering Fundamentals Department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where she has taught since 2006. She received her Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of California, Riverside, in 2006. Before joining Embry-riddle, she worked in the consulting firm of Arup at Los Angeles office as a fire engineer. Her research interests include second language acquisition in programming languages, and online course design. She is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education.

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Christina Frederick Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univ., Daytona Beach Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Frederick is currently a Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator in the Human Factors and Systems Department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. Dr. Frederick received her Ph.D. in 1991 from the University of Rochester with a major in Psychological Development. She previously taught at the University of Rochester, Southern Utah University and the University of Central Florida. In 2000, Dr. Frederick joined the Human Factors and Systems Department at Embry-Riddle, where her work focused on applied motivation and human factors issues in aviation/aerospace. Dr. Frederick also served in various roles in University administration between 2004-2012, including Vice President for Academics and Research. Dr. Frederick’s current research interests examine how individual differences interact with technology to enhance educational engagement and performance. Dr. Frederick is the author of more than 50 research publications, 4 book chapters and over 60 regional, national and international conference presentations on a wide range of topics in human factors and psychology. She is active in a number of professional associations, and is a Consultant for Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology.

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Li Ding Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

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Li Ding is a visiting professor of the Department of Engineering Fundamentals at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where she has been since 2012. She received her Ph.D in Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2010. She taught several undergraduate courses in engineering and in science, and she currently teach Introductory to Programming for Engineers. From a background of an engineer, she is transitioning into an educator, and has been working with other principle researchers on education studies since 2015.

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Rebecca Rohmeyer Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

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This paper describes a design and implementation of a Second Language Acquisition in a Blended Learning (SLA-aBLe) project that aims to examine the efficacy of SLA approaches for teaching programming language. The project, which has been running for three semesters, modifies specific learning modules in a programming language class using a series of shorter videos with subtitles, online quizzes with tiered questions and comments, and a topic specified discussion board with Q&A sections. The SLA aspect of the SLA-aBLe study is emphasized through the use of strategies defined as best-practice SLA techniques, such as the inclusion of self-testing tired questions and visual-aided explanation in screencasts, more online programming writing assessment, more collaboration, and ‘speak aloud’ in labs. A series of surveys assessing students’ perceptions, attitudes, and satisfaction of students in the SLA-aBLe, and control groups were analyzed. Their academic performance on exam scores was compared. A random group of students were selected and interviewed face-to-face each semester to understand the effectiveness of the SLA-aBLe design. Assessment results confirmed the effectiveness of SLA-aBLe design.

Sun, L., & Frederick, C., & Ding, L., & Rohmeyer, R. (2017, June), The Application of Second Language Acquisition to Programming Language Study Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27424

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