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ERIC Number: ED257057
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Transfer of Writing Skills: How the Concept of Transfer Can Help Teachers of ESL and Basic Writing.
The concept of transfer, which refers to the brain's ability to generalize or situations in which perceptions and behaviors are generalizable, can be of use to teachers of English as a second language (ESL) students and basic writers. What is called "writing across the curriculum" and most classroom writing instruction are based on unexamined assumptions that the skills being taught will transfer, but writing skills are not just a matter of lateral transfer. The ability to produce written-language higher level linguistic forms and rhetorical structures is a prerequisite to higher level problem solving. Thus, writing instruction must be seen as teaching for both lateral and vertical transfer. For vertical transfer, writing must be performed as a situational activity. Writing assignments for ESL and basic writing students must be "student centered," must have a concrete audience, and must take into consideration the students' prior learning. The goal of increasing students' proficiency in the vertical transfer of skills cannot be accomplished using exercises that stress competence in isolated mechanical skills or unrealistic rhetorical forms at the expense of communicative intentions. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (36th, Minneapolis, MN, March 21-23, 1985).