Logo and Natural Language

'Lectures' when you like

This electronic coursebook is intended to be read through over the ten weeks of the Autumn term and aims to provide you with the sufficient background to be able to take advantage of the weekly practical lab classes which form the timetabled part of the course.

The coursebook substitutes for the formal lectures which were previously used as the main method for introducing Logo concepts and illustrative 'programs'. The method has the advantage that you can work through the materials at your own pace and at the times you choose. It is assumed, however, that by the end of term you will have completed the Introduction and Part One and sampled at least some of the systems which are presented in Part Two.

Practical classes

You will be assigned to small groups for the practical classes which will take place in FOLSS Room 124 at times to be advertised.

There is no absolute requirement that you reach a particular point in the text before the current week's lab session, but it is clearly in your own interest to maintain a steady progress. The series of pages called Things to do offer some suggested milestones. Roughly speaking, you should aim to read through a new chapter of Part One BEFORE each practical class so that you can take advantage of the supervised session to sort out any problems.

No hard copy of the Things to do pages will be provided. You will find it very easy to work with a 'virtual handout' when you have both Logo and the Netscape browser running together. Look here for information on how to manage that.

Consultations and feedback

Individual questions can clearly be raised during lab sessions, but you can also use electronic mail to raise points with me - or indeed the rest of the group - at any other time. I am very keen to discover how you react to the teaching methods and what problems you might have with the 'text'. Please take advantage of this opportunity. In addition to what it adds to the course, you will find it extemely useful during the rest of your time at university (and beyond) to have become familiar with electronic communication.


By the end of the fourth week of Lent Term you are expected to have completed and submitted a small Logo project. You may either Assessment will be based on the write-up and a listing (printout) of the system.


The course assumes no previous knowledge of programming, but you will be expected to be reasonably familiar with the operating system of the local Macintosh computers before the start of the course.

None of the linguistic concepts assumed will be in advance of the normal second year schedule though some ideas from courses presented in parallel will be used in order to encourage cross-fertilisation.

Ron Brasington
Department of Linguistic Science
The University of Reading

E-mail: ron.brasington@rdg.ac.uk