Examining the Foreign Language Writing Experiences of Computer Engineering Students

Hakan Bayezit 1 * , Tufan Adiguzel 2

AM J QUALITATIVE RES, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp. 116-135

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Identifying the relation between the processes of programming and foreign language writing may lead to new directions for programming language and natural language focused instructional design. The present qualitative case study supported by quantitative data investigated foreign language writing experiences of computer engineering students taking an object-oriented programming course. Forty-five sophomores learning programming and academic English simultaneously in a foundation university in Ankara, Turkey, were selected purposefully for the case study. There were two data sources (students’ opinions and documents) and three data collection tools (a semi-structured interview, a short diary, and a composition. In terms of the findings of the research, four themes were obtained; however, only the use of metacognitive strategies will be explained in detail due to the length of the study. Participants stated that they feel the positive effects of programming experience on the use of self-evaluation strategy and that there are similarities and differences between the processes of programming and foreign language writing. Participants’ views on the effect of programming on foreign language writing did not differ according to their writing and programming performance scores. Participants stated that programming experience may have an effect on the use of metacognitive language learning strategies in the writing process. Upon analyzing participants’ comments, it is understood that programming experience does not hinder the use of metacognitive strategies but has a role in supporting and reinforcing their use. It is suggested that multiple case studies be done for similar views on the effects of programming and that each finding be proven by quantitative studies.

Keywords: programming, foreign language writing, metacognitive strategies.