Somewhere in Malaysia: "Wow, Puan Mariam, your son created that computer game all by himself? He's only five years old and he knows coding?" asks Puan Lim. "Yes, he learnt coding from his kindergarten!" Puan Mariam replies proudly.\r\nThe New Literacy\r\nWhat exactly is coding? If you ask any of the kids involved in the CoderDojo movement, (an Irish founded charitable organization and movement) they'd very quickly answer without missing a beat: "It's the stuff I type that makes my computer do cool things."\r\n\r\nIf we think of code as a language, we can very well say that is it one of the most used languages in the world, maybe even more so than English and Mandarin. In a world where most jobs involve some sort of programming and dealing with software, code becomes the new, worldwide language. The new literacy.\r\n\r\nExtensive research has shown that because young brains are so adept at picking up languages, it's best to introduce children to foreign tongues as early as possible. What we did not realise is that those same neural mechanisms that make kids sponges for languages likely also make them highly receptive to computer languages.\r\nGlobal Government Initiatives\r\nEstonia is teaching first graders how to create their own computer games and offering scholarships to entice more undergraduates into technology-driven disciplines. In England, an updated national curriculum will soon expose more undergraduates into technology-driven disciplines. In England, an updated national curriculum will soon expose every child in the state school system to computer\u00a0programming, starting at age five. The American "Hour of Code" effort says it has persuaded 28 million people to give programming a try.\r\n\r\nAround the world, students from elementary school to the PhD level are increasingly getting acquainted with the basics of coding. From Singapore to Tallinn, governments, educators and advocates from the tech industry argue that is has become crucial to have at least a basic understanding of how the devices that play such a large role in modern life actually work.\r\n\r\nMalaysia has its very own Coding@Schools programme. This is a government-funded initiative aimed at introducing primary school children to the world of computing and programming, to encourage them to become\u00a0contributors to and creators of the Internet, rather than mere consumers. Via this programme, 3,000 students got to learn programming with LiveCode.\r\nBenefits of Coding Skills\r\nFrom the Tynker blog, here are 10 reasons kids should learn to code:\r\nCoding Improves Academic Performance\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n1\r\nMathematics\r\nCoding helps kids visualize abstract concepts, lets them apply math to real-world situations and makes math fun and creative.\r\n\r\n\r\n2\r\nWriting\r\nKids who code, understand the value of concision and planning, which results in better writing skills. Many kids even use Tynker as a medium for storytelling.\r\n\r\n\r\n3\r\nCreativity\r\nKids learn through experimentation and strengthen their brains when they code, allowing them to embrace their creativity.\r\n\r\n\r\n4\r\nConfidence\r\nParents enthusiastically report that they\u2019ve noticed their kids\u2019 confidence building as they learn to problem-solve through coding.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nCoding Builds Soft Skills\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n5\r\nFocus and Organisation\r\nAs they write more complicated code, kids naturally develop better focus and organisation\r\n\r\n\r\n6\r\nResilience\r\nWith coding comes debugging \u2013 and there\u2019s no better way to build perseverance and resilience than working through challenges\r\n\r\n\r\n7\r\nCommunication\r\nCoding teaches logical communication, strengthening both verbal and written skills. Think about it: learning code means learning a new language.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nCoding Paves a Path to the Future\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n8\r\nEmpowerment\r\nKids are empowered to make a difference when they code \u2013 we\u2019ve seen Tynkerers use the platform to spread messages of tolerance and kindness.\r\n\r\n\r\n9\r\nLife Skills\r\nCoding is a basic literacy in the digital age, and it\u2019s important for kids to understand \u2013 and be able to innovate with \u2013 the technology around them.\r\n\r\n\r\n10\r\nCareer Preparation\r\nThere is a high demand for workers in the tech industry; mastering coding at a young age allows kids to excel in any field they choose.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nCool Apps\r\nInterested in getting your children started in coding? The kindergarten does not have coding in their curriculum or can't find enrichment classes on coding? Try searching online. There are hundreds of online courses, programmes and apps that use cool graphics and simple tutorials dressed up as games to help kids learn to code.\r\n\r\nBelow are a few suggestions to get you started:\r\nCool apps \/ programmes\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n1\r\n\u00a0\r\nThe Foos\r\nA commercial app to teach programming for ages 5 and above \u2013 no reading required.\r\n\r\n\r\n2\r\n\u00a0\r\nScratch Jr\r\nAn introductory programming language developed at MIT and Tufts. Designed for ages 5-7 to create interactive stories and games.\r\n\r\n\r\n3\r\n\u00a0\r\nTynker\r\nFor kids who can already read, this app is created for Android and iOS. It teaches programming logic with visual code blocks.\r\n\r\n\r\n4\r\n\u00a0\r\nLightbot\r\nA programming puzzle game; it uses game mechanics that are firmly rooted in programming concepts. Lightbot lets players gain a practical understanding of basic concepts like instruction sequencing, procedures and loops, just by guiding a robot to light up tiles and solve levels.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThink your kids are too young to learn to code? Think again. Some educators and experts are calling coding the "New Literacy" - a subject so important that every child needs to know the basics to excel in our rapidly changing world. Four and five-year-olds can learn the foundations of coding and computer commands before they can even write and spell words.\r\n\r\nWhile once upon a time it was "Learn to play and play to learn", today is it "Learn to code and code to learn".