If you’re intimidated by the concept of coding, you’re not alone. The word itself brings up images of tech geniuses and math whizzes. However, new research published in Nature‘s Scientific Reports has found an unexpected key factor in coding success: the ability to learn languages.
The researchers from the University of Washington followed three dozen adults as they learned Python and assessed critical factors such as attention to problem-solving, memory, numerical skills, and resting-state brain activity. They found that above all, strong language abilities, as well as good working memory and reasoning abilities, created the best coders.
This could create a big shift in the way coding classes are approached. At the university level, coding classes are mostly taught in computer science or engineering departments, often with math and engineering prerequisites. Approaching coding languages with the same teaching techniques as linguistic courses such as French or Chinese could be a functional solution for teaching more effectively and encouraging coding across more diverse academic disciplines.