What Programming Language Should I Teach With?

We love Scratch, App Inventor and Python!

Academic Computing

Probably the most commonly asked question by teachers coming to computing is: what programming language should I teach with? An idealised answer might be that it doesn’t matter — the ideas and principles are similar across all of them. However, in practice, teachers do need to pick one (or two) languages to use, and this allows them to concretise much of their planning. One teacher recently asked this question, and this blog post expands on my response there.

Decision Factors

There’s no perfect or right choice for which language to teach — although I would argue that there are some bad choices, especially for younger age groups (teaching C++ to a group of six year-olds would not be the best option). I also think that the programming environment can be as important as the language. Taking Scratch as an example, part of Scratch’s appeal is the environment — the…

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