How to use coding to boost students’ vocabulary and discussion skills

By Yana Tsykunkova, English language teacher from Ukraine

Usually, coding never goes beyond computer science lessons. As a simple, visual tool, it is used at school primarily to teach students the basics of programming. But despite its relative simplicity, coding can be a powerful and motivating pedagogy tool in the hands of a teacher of any subject. It can be used in eTwinning projects, in non-computer science activities, not necessarily for learning, but rather for motivating pupils.

These are some of the examples how I used simple coding and implemented it into the ’Treasure box of human dignity’ project materials, including lexical tasks for vocabulary project brainstorming sessions, collaborative activities to create letters and messages, analyzing and evaluating.

Nowadays, teachers are increasingly faced with the problem that students have poor critical thinking abilities when compiling a logical chain of terms or topical vocabulary. Gadgets with built-in applications and programs pose a challenge for the modern teacher, so they are seldomly used in projects. Therefore, exercising oral activities becomes a problem that cannot be ignored.

We developed the project ’Treasure box of human dignity’, using simple coding that treats this problem. The project materials can be accessed and downloaded from here.

The project activities aim to train students’ skills in oral discussion in an exciting, dynamic way. At the beginning of each activity, students will try to become familiar with special vocabulary. They will prepare their coding letters for future generations after doing some pre-activities, collecting the letters into their Treasure box of human dignity’ they will discard the useless definitions and order all the materials  to create their letters for the treasure box.