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Students' Perspective on the First Programming Language: C-Like or Pascal-Like Languages?

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Education and Information Technologies Volume 23, Number 1, ISSN 1360-2357


The choice of the first programming language (FPL) has been a controversial issue for several decades. Nearly everyone agrees that the FPL is important and affects students' subsequent education on programming. The study presented in this article investigates the suitability of various C-like and Pascal-like programming languages as a FPL. Students from three Universities express their perceptions on the FPL through a specially designed questionnaire. The students had been introduced to programming using different FPLs and having experience on more than one language and formulated two distinct groups: a group introduced to programming with a C-like and another with a Pascal-like language. The statistical analysis of the data collected showed that the choice of the FPL does not have a deep impact on difficulties that novices may experience when learning the basics of programming. However, this result was recorded in the context of three distinct programming courses that were positively evaluated by students in relation to their content, organization and quality. Consequently, this study indicates that the overall quality of the course and the instructors have a great impact on a smooth introduction to programming no matter what the FPL is.


Xinogalos, S., Pitner, T., Ivanovic, M. & Savic, M. (2018). Students' Perspective on the First Programming Language: C-Like or Pascal-Like Languages?. Education and Information Technologies, 23(1), 287-302. Retrieved June 5, 2023 from .

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