Maryland’s legislature is considering a bill to allow computer coding courses to fulfill the foreign language graduation requirement for high school. A similar bill passed the Florida State Senate in 2017 (but was ultimately rejected by the full Legislature), and a federal version proposed by Senators Bill Cassidy, Republican of Louisiana, and Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington, is being considered in Congress.

The animating idea behind these bills is that computer coding has become a valuable skill. This is certainly true. But the proposal that foreign language learning can be replaced by computer coding knowledge is misguided: It stems from a widely held but mistaken belief that science and technology education should take precedence over subjects like English, history and foreign languages.


Opinion | Is Computer Code a Foreign Language? – The New York Times

It’s funny how everything old is new again. This was brought up back in the late 80s, but didn’t gain much traction. Probably because in the 80s computers were being used by very few people and relatively mis-understood by others.

Should coding be considered a replacement for the foreign language requirement? Yes, I believe it should. Almost everyone carries the equivalent of an 80s supercomputer in their pocket, and use very little of what is possible. By leveraging the critical thinking and logic schools gained from learning to program, students are better able to approach there studies in other subjects.