"I have already tried visual programming"
Option 1 – Other strategies encouraging students to collaborate.
You could get them to work in pairs, with one person creating a flowchart to define a sequence. Then the next person could try writing code from that flowchart. You could even do it in reverse – writing the flowchart from some code.
As a programmer one of the really important skills to learn/develop is understanding someone else's code, and if it's well structured (and commented!) it's much easier to debug if you can follow what's happening.
Another activity could be to improve the efficiency of code by using loops. One person could write some code to solve a problem "long-hand" so to speak (not using any loops), and the other can look for the patterns and see if it can be optimised by using loops, and if so, which parts should be in the loop and the number of iterations.
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