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... i am currently plotting a way to sneak Perl into the C++ labs that i will be teaching!
...that should be easy.
You can have them use Perl as a way to benchmark their programs written in C++. You can have them use Perl to create sample data sets, or provide simulated input streams for testing.
And of course, you can have them inspect the source code that relates to issues like Regular Expression parsing, or whatever else seems interesting within the context of design.
Perl fits everywhere, and it's not hard to make the case that it's a vital part of any programmer's toolkit.
When I worked as a C programmer, I often used AWK (and sometimes even sed) to handle tasks associated with testing, integration and development. Perl can be viewed in that role if you want to have them do so.
...All the world looks like -well- all the world,
when your hammer is Perl.