Use technical vocabulary consistently and define terms repeatedly to help students gain competency and fluency speaking in technical terms.

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  • When using technical vocabulary you have two competing goals:
    • Helping students develop fluency with technical vocabulary
    • Making the vocabulary accessible to students who might be alienated by the technical vocabulary.
  • You can address these competing goals by using language consistently.
    • This also gives students the opportunity to become comfortable speaking with and hearing technical vocabularies that will translate outside of the classroom environment.
    • Be sure to use technical language instead of using non-technical synonyms which can introduce confusion.
  • Examples of important vocabulary in an introductory course include:
    • Function call
    • Parameter
    • Pointer
    • Implementation
    • Object-Oriented keywords
    • Vocabulary that appears in the programming language error messages.
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Interview with Katie Cunningham.

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