For complete beginners & novices, the language of choice must be C & C++, as they are quite easy to learn & master & establish some sound engineering/programming principles.
Moreover, C & C++ has had 30 years of evolution & sustainment - naturally, the amount of web portals & resources (books & sites) are tremendous & students have a lot to refer & learn.
The crucial point is that C was the first truly modern procedural language with an amazing degree of direct memory access (through the art of pointer manipulation) - so, it started off a revolution of sorts, as programmers could now develop critical O.S. kernels in C.
Again, C++ because it ushered in a new era of Object Oriented Programming - the foundation for most modern programming - the concepts of inheritance, polymorph ism saw realization via the medium of C++.
VB is another light-weight option available to beginners - although, newbies would not be exposed to the same degree of rigorous engineering principles, that they might get to see in C/C++