Journal of Information Systems Education (JISE)

Volume 20

Volume 20 Number 4, Pages 431-438

Winter 2009


Interpreting Beyond Syntactics: A Semiotic Learning Model for Computer Programming Languages


Jeffrey May
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA 22807, USA

Gurpreet Dhillon
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, VA 23284, USA

Abstract: In the information systems field there are numerous programming languages that can be used in specifying the behavior of concurrent and distributed systems. In the literature it has been argued that a lack of pragmatic and semantic consideration decreases the effectiveness of such specifications. In other words, to simply understand the syntactic features of a programming language alone does not provide an adequate foundation for students, programmers and designers to learn or to create robust and efficient programs. As a result, this paper will present a fresh approach for both teaching and understanding programming languages. The approach presented in this paper uses semiotics as a theoretical lens for identifying the important issues that transcend syntax issues alone and creates an organized conceptual model that will force instructors to facilitate a deeper understanding of programming constructs to their students.

Keywords: Programming instruction, Conceptual model, Semiotics, Language construct analysis

Download this article: JISE - Volume 20 Number 4, Page 431.pdf


Recommended Citation: May, J. & Dhillon, G. (2009). Interpreting Beyond Syntactics: A Semiotic Learning Model for Computer Programming Languages. Journal of Information Systems Education, 20(4), pp. 431-438.