How to do things with words: learning to program in R with a "communicative approach"

Textbooks for learning a new language always start the same: you learn to say hello, to introduce yourself, and some simple and useful sentences to communicate with others.

How to do things with words: learning to program in R with a "communicative approach"

January 21, 2021

Textbooks for learning a new language always start the same: you learn to say hello, to introduce yourself, and some simple and useful sentences to communicate with others. In language teaching, this is called a “communicative approach”, and is based on the idea that learning a language successfully comes through having to communicate real meaning to real people. This is what I expected to find when I first tried to learn R seven years ago. Sadly, I got stuck in resources that started with definitions of abstract concepts and no real examples of how to say things with data. In this talk I will discuss the benefits of adopting a communicative approach and how to implement it when teaching/learning R, writing documentation, and writing code that will be read by other human beings.

Additional Videos

Riva Quiroga and Mine Çetinkaya-Rundel Q&A 1

Riva Quiroga and Mine Çetinkaya-Rundel Q&A 2


About the speaker

Riva Quiroga

I like to organize R related things, like meetups (RLadies Santiago & RLadies Valparaíso), conferences (LatinR, satRday Santiago), book translations (R4DS in Spanish), and data projects (#DatosDeMiercoles). I am an editor at The Programming Historian, and I am currently pursuing a PhD in Linguistics.