Three Ways Coding Enhances Communication Skills

Last Updated: August 14, 2017 3:49 pm
Three Ways Coding Enhances Communication Skills

Three Ways Coding Enhances Communication Skills

Communication is the focus of the third (and final) installment of our “soft skills” series. The connections between coding, language, and writing in computer programming education help kids learn to express their ideas clearly. This is a great skill to develop for school and beyond. We looked at the importance of coding and how kids build communication skills when they learn to code.

1. They use logical communication

The process of breaking down problems into communicable parts is a skill that translates to interactions with people, too. When engaging in computational thinking for communicating with computers through coding languages, kids must first carefully consider what needs to be expressed. They also have to brainstorm the clearest way to say it, and then carefully execute their conclusions with well-organized, intuitive code based upon logical thinking. Computers can’t fill in any gaps – they need everything spelled out quite literally.

Logical communication is helpful when communicating with people in personal or business settings; it allows us to convey our points concisely and accurately. Effective communication is one of the most important skills anyone can have, and coding can help get kids there.

Communicating through code doesn’t begin and end with the literal act of coding. As eloquently stated by Beth Austin, a Blue Ribbon educator who works in an ESL classroom, “Coding is a universal language. It breaks barriers in cultures and allows the students to interact with one another in a common area.” In her classroom, coding is a collaborative endeavor and a way for kids to share their different ideas using the same platform.

2. They learn a new language

Programming and communication through language are closely related – enough that Florida has pushed to consider coding a foreign language in public schools. Classifying coding as a new language is an interesting approach to consider!

Just as learning a foreign language helps kids better understand the grammar of their native tongue, programming helps them recognize and organize communication and thought patterns. In fact, psychologist Janet Siegmund and her colleagues studied brain activity in programmers, finding that programming had more to do with language than mathematics.

Because computers are so literal, programming requires that kids think carefully about what, why, and how they communicate. In doing so, they become more deliberate in their communication.

3. They improve their writing

It’s not a new idea that coding develops writing skills – there are dozens of articles (including one on our blog) about how learning to code makes kids better writers. Coding encourages them to organize and synthesize information in order to produce something, a skill that is also the basis of good writing.

When writing code, kids must express complex ideas in the simplest way. Great writers do the same! In fact, there is a direct correlation between concise writing and coding in communication.

With kids, the biggest challenge can be engaging them in a way that makes learning enjoyable. Coding gives kids a fun, motivating way to learn the skills that create successful programmers and writers alike.

Coding Promotes Problem-Solving Skills Which are Essential for Effective Communication

Coding plays a crucial role in promoting problem-solving skills, which are essential for fostering effective communication. When you code, you engage in a systematic process of breaking down complex problems into smaller, more manageable tasks, allowing you to analyze issues critically and devise logical solutions. This analytical thinking not only improves your coding abilities but also transfers to other aspects of life, including communication.

A step-by-step approach is fundamental to coding, as you carefully instruct the computer to execute each task in sequence. Similarly, effective communication often involves organizing thoughts and ideas in a coherent manner, following a logical flow to present information comprehensively. The ability to break down problems and ideas into clear and concise steps is a valuable skill for effective communication in both verbal and written forms.

As you code, you encounter bugs and errors that require debugging and troubleshooting. This process of identifying and resolving issues cultivates adaptability and problem-solving resilience. In communication, the same skills prove invaluable when navigating misunderstandings, adapting your message to different audiences, and addressing unexpected challenges in conveying ideas effectively.

Furthermore, coding requires meticulous attention to detail, as even minor errors can lead to significant issues in the program. This attention to detail transfers to communication, where precision and accuracy are essential for conveying information accurately and avoiding misunderstandings.

Looking to the Future

Communication skills are a necessary part of life – and because these skills are required both in the workplace and in personal interactions, their relevance won’t dwindle in the future. Learning to code can be an exciting, educational way for kids to develop their communication skills – from learning to improve verbal and written communication to gaining a better understanding of conversation structure.

Parents and educators – when you encourage your children or students to code, you are providing a way for them to gain not only technical skills, but life skills as well. Thank you for giving the kids in your life the gift of learning to code and the opportunity to develop the skills that accompany it!

Explore Tynker Courses

About Tynker

Tynker enables children to learn computer programming in a fun and imaginative way. More than 60 million kids worldwide have started learning to code using Tynker.