* An Analysis of the Errors Made by Novice Programmers http://www.sacla.org.za/SACLA2006/Papers/RP01%20Pillay%20Programming%20Errors.pdf
* An Exploratory Study of Novice Programming Experiences and Errors http://gild.cs.uvic.ca/docs/summary/SuzanneThompsonThesis.pdf
* Studying the language and structure in non-programmers' solutions to programming problems http://web.cs.cmu.edu/~pane/ftp/PaneRatanamahatanaMyers2001.pdf
You might also want to take a look at the Natural Programming Project:
They have lots of interesting papers.
* A development study of cognitive problems in learning to program http://www.ppig.org/papers/15th-tucker.pdf
* Cognitive strategies and looping constructs: an empirical study http://cq-pan.cqu.edu.au/david-jones/Teaching/Innovation/Lit_Review/p853-soloway.pdf
* Visualizing Roles of Variables to Novice Programmers http://www.ppig.org/papers/14th-sajaniemi.pdf
* The Roles Beacons Play in Comprehension for Novice and Expert Programmers http://www.ppig.org/papers/14th-crosby.pdf
* From Procedures to Objects: What Have We (Not) Done?
If somebody is interested, I've looked through the PL learning/novice articles PPIG 2007-2000 (http://www.ppig.org), so you don't need to duplicate this effort (unless you find something I overlooked ;).
John Pane seems to have other interesting papers:
The Natural Language Project has more publications:
Then, there's a site collecting articles about visual PLs:
Waldemar Kornewald -- ссылки про ошибки программистов-новичков
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