Pedagogical Use of Scratch Coding for Co-Developing English Language “Locations and Directions” Building Blocks and Computational Thinking
Keywords:computational thinking, English Language, locations and directions, primary schools, Scratch coding
This study designed and evaluated a pedagogical innovation which used Scratch coding to foster Grade 4 students to co-develop subject knowledge and computational thinking (CT) in English Language classrooms. A 280-minute teaching in four lessons was arranged for 205 students from ten selected Grade 4 classes in three primary schools at Hong Kong. The Scratch-based pedagogy "To Play and Learn, To Think and Navigate, To Code“ - supplementary with four Scratch games and four Scratch activity worksheets - was trialed for engaging students in Scratch coding to explore, think about, apply and consolidate English Language building blocks for talking about locations and directions. The pre-post-test results provide statistically significant evidence that students can advance all three topic-specific knowledge points and all four target CT concepts after learning under the designed pedagogy. The questionnaire survey results reveal the impact of the designed pedagogy on students' growing awareness of the two target CT practices, and their growing confidence in coding. The focus group interview results reveal students' confirmation on their success in and satisfaction with the designed pedagogy for developing English Language knowledge and CT competency through coding. This study validates that the pedagogical innovation of learning through coding is potential to foster the co-development of subject knowledge and CT competency in Grade 4 English Language classrooms. Future directions of integrating coding activities into senior primary curriculum are discussed.
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