In an interview with French media company Konbini, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that it was better for students to learn to develop programs than to learn a second language. Cook's reasoning was that learning to code would allow the students to reach more people in the world than learning a second language would.
"If I were a French student, and I were ten years old, I think it would be more important for me to learn coding than English." Then Cook went on to clarify that "I'm not telling people not to learn English, but I think you understand what I am saying, is that, this is a language you can express yourself to seven billion people in the world."
According to Cook, coding should be required in every public school in the world, and indicated that Apple had done its part to make coding accessible by developing Swift, a programming language that is as simple to learn as Apple's products are easy to use. "It is the language that everyone needs," explains Cook, "Not just for the computer scientists, it's for all of us." Check out the interview below.
According to Quartz, learning a second language does have its benefits, including rewiring your brain in several advantageous ways, and improving your opportunities for finding employment. Cook also expounded on the benefits of mobile applications, which are democratising learning and allowing more people to access training for cheaper rates. An example Cook gave was how the cost of guitar lessons were high, and mobile applications allowed them to learn to play the instrument.
Closer back home school students typically study anywhere between two to four languages, apart from an outdated programming language.