April 15 – The issue of skill transferability

Photo by @escocesa_madrid via eltpics.com
Do students transfer skills from one activity to another?

Today’s chat involved the issue of skill transferability. More specifically, two focal questions began things off:

  • How immediately transferable to students’ actual academic study should EAP be?
  • How do we make students see the transferability better?

Read the transcript here: http://chirpstory.com/li/68890

The final burning question left with everyone to consider:

  • What is one activity you’ve used with students that emphasised the transferability of a taught skill to their content courses?

Feel free to blog about these topics on your own blogs (then link back here) or discuss in the comments here.


3 thoughts on “April 15 – The issue of skill transferability

  1. Pingback: a lonely unused transfer | 4C in ELT

  2. geoffjordan

    What a very well-composed post! Moving and thought-provoking. The question it begs is to what extent are skills transferable? In language learning it’s generally accepted that what is taught is not what is learnt. I think Breen, way back, (Breen, M.P.1987. ‘Contemporary paradigms in Syllabus Design, Parts 1 and 2.’ Language Teaching Vol.20, No.2) eloquently argued against a product syllabus by pointing out that learners just don’t think like you or have your skills, so you need to deal directly with their skills and let the students take a big role in developing their own style. The problem with teaching EAP is, I think that we, as teachers, expect too much, especially when it comes to how students express themselves. I’m surely teaching my grandmother to suck eggs if I say that the challenge is to help students find their own voice and Zamel’s process writing approach seems the best way to do this, IMHO. I’d love to ramble on, but I won’t.


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