Guiding principles of visual-based programming for children's language learning

Xiaojing WENG*, Haoran XIE, Gary Ka-Wai WONG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Computer assisted language learning (CALL) is an emerging branch of applied linguistics which devotes at improving language acquisition for English language learners (ELLs) through different computer applications (Levy, 1997). Among abundant achievements CALL has achieved, visual programming language (VPL) as an essential component of computer science (CS) and an efficient procedure to cultivate K-12 students' computational thinking (CT), which refers to students' problem-solving ability, has attracted people's attention. This conceptual paper reviews literature on CALL, CT, second language acquisition (SLA), and then goes to illustrate the principles that can facilitate bridging SLA with CT in the realm of CALL under the constructionism theoretical framework. A case study on nine Hong Kong primary school students from the Maker Space is presented in this paper to serve as the example of employing VPL as an empowering tool to enhance SLA and CT for K-12 students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-292
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Services and Standards
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

The work in the essay has been partially subsidised by the Innovation and Technology Fund (GHP/022/17GD), the Internship Programme (InP/015/18) from the Innovation and Technology Commission of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and the Research Grants Council (RGC) in Hong Kong under the General Research Fund (Ref: 18615216). This article is based on part of Xiaojing Weng’s Master thesis, which was submitted to The University of Hong Kong in 2017.


  • CALL
  • Computational thinking
  • Computer assisted language learning
  • CT
  • Second language acquisition
  • SLA
  • Visual programming language
  • VPL


Dive into the research topics of 'Guiding principles of visual-based programming for children's language learning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this