SXSWedu 2017

Can You Speak Computer Science?

This debate will explore whether computer science should be counted as a foreign language in high schools. This was a controversial issue that arose in March after Florida’s state legislature was poised to become the first in the country to allow computer science to be able to count as a foreign language requirement. Many cities are making programming classes mandatory in schools, and the federal government is pushing for states to include the course in their school curricula thanks to President Obama's Computer Science for All initiative. But there is still a long way to go for every child to learn the language of Java, Python or C++.

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  1. Introduce an unfamiliar topic, and the pros and cons around the debate, to the audience.
  2. Audience should understand the importance of learning both computer science and foreign languages.
  3. Audience should leave with an understanding of whether computer science should be mandatory in schools and/or counted as a foreign language.


  • Corinne Lestch, Education Reporter, EdScoop
  • Hal Speed, Founder, CS4TX
  • Edward Zarrow, Latin teacher, Westwood High School


Corinne Lestch, Education Reporter, EdScoop

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