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Conference Proceeding

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This paper determined if and how high-performing and low-performing students differed in the language that they used as they collaborated on a debugging task. 180 students worked in pairs to debug 12 small programs with known errors. Students were segregated into high and low achievement levels based on the number of bugs they found. Chat transcripts from the pairs were analyzed using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) software. We found that high- and low-performing students only varied in terms of their use of words that implied discrepancy and sadness.