Knowing What You're Doing: the skills agenda and the language degree

Author: Mike Fay


This article examines the proposition that one can use the discourse and concepts of the skills agenda to foster better learning of languages and related studies on degree courses at British universities. By skills agenda we mean the political and intellectual pressures which government agencies exert on universities to ensure that their students emerge equipped with skills useful to a knowledge-based economy. As we shall see below, skills agenda is a fuzzy term which can only be made meaningful by a teaching force as they review the curriculum. In so doing they will encourage more conscious, strategic behaviour by learners: knowing what you're doing. But our main proposition is that the skills agenda contains the seeds of something better than itself: social and intellectual exchanges by which everybody benefits. We begin by reviewing some social and economic as well as academic aspects of the study of languages and related subjects in Britain today; we go on to suggest pointers towards construing the skills agenda intelligently and humanely; and we conclude by suggesting that there is a tension between the fundamentally intercultural nature of the languages degree and our usual habits of organisation.

Table of contents

1 The languages degree and social change

We might begin by considering how the study of languages and related studies has been changing over the last thirty years. The most fundamental change, the one from which the others flow, has been in the social and economic context of study. A languages department used to be a place apart, and a degree a scarce commodity. The school examination system was dedicated to ensuring that university students' prior knowledge levels would be unproblematic. Once admitted, most students experienced few financial pressures: although student jobs were commonplace, they were frowned upon as a distraction from vacation reading lists. The elements of the curriculum were also quite detached, relying on an interaction between internally-coherent components and a student body which was pretty homogeneous. Proficiency was not a primary aim, and perhaps the only contact between language and related studies was reading. Social events - societies, plays, the year abroad - were a major factor in ensuring coherence of student experience. The foreign culture was more difficult to access, even radio reception being difficult in many parts of the country, and specialist bookshops few and far between.

In contrast, today's students are more heterogeneous, enjoy transformed communications and greater choice of studies within language degree programmes, but face greater time pressures and financial distractions. One can make fewer assumptions about their prior knowledge. Language students are more international and cosmopolitan as a group, but the needs of traditional 18+ British students are perhaps more exposed. This, together with increased choice and flexibility of courses means we need more and better connections between students' prior knowledge, the components of their degree, and their ongoing outside commitments.

Students' time and money problems encapsulate the shift away from university study as a privileged once-in-a-lifetime moment. Study is now an instalment in a lifelong learning project whose material basis obscures alternative accounts of its value. By this we mean two things. Firstly, that student debt locks them firmly into the existing economic order. Secondly, that current discourse and practice make all learning convertible into cash: learning has outcomes which are assessed and credited as personal assets to be negotiated as earning opportunities within the material economy. It may be objected that a degree certificate was always a negotiable asset, but credit accumulation systems aim to achieve a state of instantaneous convertibility between learning and material advantage: cashing in academic credit should be no harder than clearing a dollar cheque was in Franco's Spain. Banking terminology supplies a discourse for learning achievement, reflecting political and economic priorities: learning for the knowledge economy. What this gives us is a rhetoric of intellectual capital accumulation, part of which is the rather confused discourse of skills. What we need is a theory of learning, its application and transformation, in order to transform scattershot listings such as that in the languages benchmarking statement into useful tools for promoting better practices.

2 Languages and the skills agenda

2.1 The skills agenda

The skills agenda rests on the proposition that students should develop not only knowledge related to disciplines within the academy but also forms of knowledge which will allow them to function successfully as social and economic actors in the outside world. This will be of utility to them as individuals and of benefit to society as a whole, which will thereby be recompensed for providing the resources for study. The agenda is pursued by government agencies through continual assertion; by making funding of resources conditional upon compliance; and through specification of the desired forms of knowledge, which invariably comes down to lists of skills. These lists usually consist of an adjective followed by the term skills. Both the noun and its qualifiers are somewhat unsatisfactory. On the one hand the English term skills has low-status psychomotor connotations for the lay person, though one also talks about cognitive skills or reading skills. It also refers to fully-assimilated, unconsciously-held products of learning, whereas their development (our stock in trade) frequently demands high levels of conscious attention; one therefore needs to think of skills in conjunction with strategies. Finally, some of the qualities required are better described as attributes: perseverance, honesty, etc. On the other hand most of the various qualifiers centre on unproven or unfalsifiable assertions: of importance (key skills); of generalisability (generic, transferable skills); or of economic utility (employability skills). The best available term is probably the one which designates the group who ought to acquire them (graduate skills). This would leave us with a working definition: the skills and strategies which we think it desirable for undergraduates to acquire, develop, and carry between forseeable contexts in their social and economic life, with desirability providing the motor for the agenda. Notions of transfer and transferability are perhaps too simplistic, since transferred knowledge needs to become transformed knowledge, adapted to the new contexts, as we shall see.

2.2 Avoid over-reliance on taxonomies

Producing lists of the skills which should be developed by various groups of students has now become an industry, rather like the production of cookbooks, though with ingredients included but procedures left out. As with recipes, authorities differ on the exact constituents and proportions, but there is a core of similarity. This core of similarity should not be idealised: there are good apple pies and bad apple pies, and maybe even stylish apple pies, but the validity of the term does not depend on scientific agreement on the exact chemical composition of the best apple pie imaginable. What we mean exactly by the term will vary from family to family, and may be a matter of negotiation or even of dispute: do you call that an apple pie? Our point is serious: skill taxonomies look objective but are actually insider documents. They are confusing to the outsider because they represent the understandings reached within working parties; to be of any use, they have to be re-contextualised and their meaning renegotiated at other operational levels, particularly by course teams and within the classroom. Language is not naturally precise, even in taxonomies, and precision can only be bought at the expense of (apparent) transparency. What is needed is a common understanding of purpose, which can only be achieved and maintained through ongoing interpersonal communication and negotiation. Taxonomies should not be sacralised: one needs to work with a limited number of authoritative references and then translate them into a programme of learning activities. We note the ingredients, but have to work out our own procedures.

2.3 Which taxonomies do we work with?

Skills taxonomies and the succession of government-inspired initiatives based upon them have been exhaustively documented elsewhere (e.g. Bridges 1993; CVCP/DfEE/Coopers and Lybrand 1998; Fay and Pilkington 2000; King and Honeybone 2000). The difficulty for syllabus designers is to narrow down the choice of references. In practice this comes down to Dearing; Languages Benchmarking; the Council of Europe's Common European Framework of Reference; and any listing produced by the particular institution where one works. The Dearing Report recommended that universities develop a programme specification for each subject giving the intended outcomes in terms of knowledge and understanding, key skills, cognitive skills, and subject-specific skills (National Committee of Enquiry into Higher Education, 1997:44). The Languages and Related Studies benchmarking exercise will specify generic, transferable graduate skills which will be acquired and developed in the course of the programme of study (QAA 2001 section 4.5). These are classed as predominantly cognitive skills, predominantly practical skills, and interpersonal skills and attributes. The Common European Framework of Reference contains a substantial section on the general competences to be developed in language learning for European citizenship. There are specifications for the development of declarative knowledge (including knowledge of the world and sociocultural knowledge), skills and know-how, existential competence, and ability to learn, as well as linguistic, sociolinguistic, and pragmatic competences (Council of Europe 2001:101-131). The sources have in common that learners are to bring world knowledge to bear on their academic learning and go on to develop that knowledge in the process.

2.4 A link between the skills agenda and languages and related studies

In TransLang's work with non-specialist language learners we proposed that at the level of the learning task, one can identify a core set of generic transferable skills associated with language learning (Fay and Pilkington 2000: 20-22):

1. self-management skills,
2. subject-related skills,
3. communication/interpersonal skills,
4. cognitive/intellectual skills.

We maintained that these skills can never be completely avoided in communicative (and we might add) discourse-based language learning and that it would be pedagogically misguided to neglect them. Other skills, such as numeracy and IT skills, may or may not be associated with a given language task; in a language learning context these can be regarded as practical skills, possible enhancers of the learning task. We believe that the assertion has a high level of generalisability to area studies and other subject areas, having its origins in work done by Honeybone et al on integrating skills development with academic content in Higher Education. We also believe that our framework has affinities with information processing theories of language learning (e.g. Anderson 1983, McLaughlin 1985), and also generative models of language acquisition which acknowledge that domains such as perception and memory interact with a language module (Ellis 1994: 439; Towell and Hawkins 1994). Thus the skills agenda may have its origins in state-sponsored utilitarianism, but it actually offers language teachers a framework within which they can appeal to learners' knowledge structures, self-perceptions, social identities, and personal aspirations. Moreover, by focusing on the cognitive and metacognitive aspects of language learning, the approach offers some hope of intervening upon those learner variables which less mobile and dynamic societies would perceive as constituting a fixed set of innate learner aptitudes (O'Malley and Chamot: 163). Used intelligently, the discourse of transferable skills can be made to serve both democratic and developmental ends; it also challenges the demeaning caricature which opposes language learning skills to higher level forms of knowledge and understanding imparted through language-related studies.

3 Rationale: languages and knowledge maturation

We would suggest that programme design should be guided by five pedagogical principles:

  1. Respect for students' intelligence and prior learning, involving an emphasis on elaboration (see 4.1 below);
  2. Overcoming shallowness, fragmentation and attrition of learning;
  3. A preference for a purposeful and transformative approach to learning as opposed to training for specific purposes and similar contexts to the training;
  4. Encouragement of strategic, self-aware behaviour;
  5. A "deep", principled approach to subject learning, as opposed to a search for short cuts.

Our first two principles derive not simply from practitioners' intuitions, though we hope they will have high face value among colleagues, but from cognitive models of learning, including of language acquisition (Anderson 1983; O'Malley and Chamot 1990). The second two are aimed at maximising knowledge transfer across domains, to the extent that this is possible (see e.g. Haskell 2000). The final principle recognises the probability that knowledge domains are to a greater or lesser extent discrete, differently-structured and take time to master.

3.1 Respect for students' intelligence and prior learning, involving an emphasis on elaboration

A knowledge-transfer approach requires that students develop the habit of confronting their existing concepts against new information. Human intelligence is not founded on algorithms (the accurate but exhaustive and domain-limited basis of information processing in computers), but on heuristics: probablistic attempts to interpret information either in terms of pre-existing schemata, scripts and stereotypes or by generating new hypotheses. Rather than a head-on attack on the human unwillingness to admit ignorance, a more sophisticated teaching approach would be to acknowledge both to ourselves and to students both the usefulness and the limits of these heuristics. One suspects however that university language teaching sometimes favours a forget everything you've done, tabula rasa approach. This may be because of deficit models of language learning (comparisons against the impossible standard of the native speaker); because we associate transferring behaviour with error; because of mistrust of the products of the secondary sector examination system; or because of the increasingly heterogeneous cultural backgrounds of our students, which may make it difficult to hypothesise about their prior knowledge. Modular provision also makes it harder to foresee the possible contexts to which students will take the knowledge they acquire while they are with us. Despite all this, it is important that we try to find out and build on what students already know. A policy of encouraging habits of knowledge transfer will start by encouraging transfer into the learning situations where the lecturer exerts most control. Que sais-je?

Respect for learners' intelligence and prior knowledge does not mean accepting and propagating linguistic errors or inaccurate folk beliefs, but understanding that learning behaviour involves active, and in the early stages inaccurate hypothesising (Haskell: 160). Haskell warns against the effects on learners of media punditry, pop psychology, folk beliefs, and even under-researched theories originating from academia. We know that languages are themselves a notorious arena for folk beliefs (e.g. Yaguello 1986; Wardaugh 1999), while language students are not immune from cultural stereotyping (Coleman 1996).

To take reading as a metaphor for all types of learning, students need to develop both top-down and bottom up processing: coming to a situation with existing skills, suppositions and background knowledge, but "taking on board" new data. Within cognitive theory this moment in comprehension is termed elaboration: The mental process of relating new knowledge to existing information in long-term memory (O'Malley and Chamot: 230). We regard elaboration as the critical moment in the skills agenda, that where existing knowledge is challenged and held up to conscious and explicit scrutiny in the light of new information. Transferable skills therefore have to pass through a stage as conscious strategies if they are to become transferred skills. This allows us to place them within models of language development and use which acknowledge strategic behaviour by the learner.

If we accept this, a number of knowledge transfer phenomena become more explicable. One such is that if you can see it it's not working. If transfer is successful and adapted to the new domain, behaviour will be automatic and perhaps unnoticed; if the behaviour is noticeable and conscious, transfer is not fully proceduralised and remains at the stage of an intentional strategy, an overgeneralised hypothesis or a transitional competence. The notions of elaboration and consciously interrogating one's existing knowledge indicate that students need to consolidate knowledge acquired over the course as a whole: to be retrievable it has to be coherently organised.

3.2 Overcoming shallowness, fragmentation and attrition of learning

The need to combat fragmentation is behind the movement to document and track within modular systems the development of key skills and graduate outcomes (see for example Drew and Bingham 1997; Honeybone et al 2000; Key to Key Skills Project Site; Liverpool University Student Interactive Database). Learning has to be cumulative and maturational rather than disconnected, a point of particular sensitivity within modular systems. Range and choice of provision has to be reconciled with coherence, within course components as well as across them. Course components include personal tutoring; societies, theatre groups and the like; and the careers service; while their sum needs to add up to a learning community. Instruments for marshalling course components in ways meaningful to the learners include profiling and assessment by portfolio initiatives, as reported in a number of the above studies.

Encouraging knowledge transfer means that within teaching and learning sequences we have to pay attention to how students "read" new information and represent it in memory, as well as allowing time for elaboration and consolidation. Recall of single important items of information can be improved by mnemonics such as the method of loci, the keyword method, remembering the context in which the information was memorised, and practising recall (see e.g. Atkinson et al: 282-287). Recall of more complex information is improved by better organisation at the moment of encoding. In reading, techniques such as SQ3R (Survey, question, read, recite, review) or PQRST (preview, question, read, self-question, test) encourage readers to elaborate new information, hypothesise, self-check, and organise it hierarchically (Atkinson et al: 286-287). Cautious use can also be made of constructive memory: conceptual frameworks such as schemata and scripts can help us, if not to fill in the gaps, to at least begin to locate them as a step towards revision and review. Behind all this is perhaps a general sense that conventional techniques of say note-taking tend to rely on linear patterning, symbols, and analysis but ignore rhythm, pattern, colour, imaging, visualisation, dimension, spatial awareness, association and wholeness. This view underpins the notion of mind-mapping (Buzan). The learning styles movement suggests that individuals tend to limit themselves to a preferred range of cognitive strategies which they tend to apply across all knowledge domains (Gardner xxv; Riding and Rayner: 7); if so our task as educators is not simply to identify each individual's style in accordance with some simple model, but to help them extend their repertoire (O'Malley and Chamot: 164). However, knowledge imparted during a teaching sequence needs to be encoded for connections to other learning contexts rather than just for exams and success in the module. We read for a purpose and in different ways for different purposes. It is important that students approach each learning sequence strategically, a point of importance in our next two sections where we discuss the possibilities of teaching for wide-ranging transfer as opposed to specific contexts.

3.3 A preference for a purposeful and transformative approach to learning as opposed to training for specific purposes and similar contexts

Behind the pedagogic and psychological arguments it evokes, this teaching principle raises the political question of the degree of teaching autonomy that is possible within a programme which espouses the idea of knowledge transfer between academic and other contexts. Limiting our ambitions to near transfer between similar contexts would mean that we teach only for specific, probably occupational purposes, and that these would determine teaching, learning and assessment. In contrast, an ambitious view of the possibilities of knowledge transfer between contexts frees us to devise programmes with a high level of generality. Organisationally, this would be an advantage: a general programme offers more market flexibility and economies of scale than does specific purposes teaching, as can be seen for example by Institution-Wide Language Programmes (Pilkington 1998).

It will be noticed that the methods explored by case studies within this book tend to show the preferences of language practitioners for a more ambitious and generalising view of knowledge transfer, but they do not face an easy task. General psychological work on memory indicates that success in recall is most likely if the context at the time of retrieval closely approximates to that during original encoding (Gleitman: 201- 202). In educational literature transfer of learning between contexts and domains has been demonstrated only infrequently; between unlike domains still less frequently; and in a "deep" rather than a trivial manner less frequently still (Haskell 2000: 29-30; 219-227). Similar taxonomic labels may anyway conceal different realities in different knowledge domains (Hyland and Johnson, 1998). Haskell (2000:15) in fact posits no less than eleven conditions before "deep" or "distant" transfer can take place (see Appendix 1). They can perhaps be summed up as a requirement that teachers plan at several organisational levels and that learners behave purposefully.

3.4 Encouragement of strategic, self-aware behaviour

We saw in the preceding section that thinking is often "welded" to the task or domain in which it is first exercised; and that many take the view that distinct knowledge domains by their very structure require different forms of understanding, thus severely limiting the extent of cognitive transfer (Hyland and Johnson, 1998). It follows that the more superordinate and general the mental process, the more likely it is to be transferred, and that teaching for transfer should therefore start with learners' efforts to become aware of and consciously regulate their own learning behaviour. This starts with metacognitive skills and strategies (see e.g. O'Malley and Chamot: 184) but perhaps extends to communication strategies (Faerch and Kasper; Kasper and Kellerman) and maybe to cognitive strategies:

although each content area may require a particular set of strategies and skills, a number of core skills underlies all subject areas. Examples of these core skills are using prior knowledge, making a representation of the information, and summarizing

(O'Malley and Chamot:188),

Encouragement of strategic and self-aware behaviour needs to take place within appropriate social, affective and organisational contexts. However studies of expertise (e.g. Goldman et al) show that strategic awareness is not sufficient to guarantee excellence in skilled performance: a primary variable is practice and familiarity with the learning domain. Strategic attempts to economise effort have their limits.

3.5 A deep, principled approach to subject learning, as opposed to a search for short cuts.

Demands that learners maximise knowledge transfer may well reflect an ingrained preference for short-cuts and quick fixes (Haskell: 45-46) within the utilitarian ideology dominating English-speaking societies (see for example Scollon and Scollon: 99-104). Short-termism under-estimates the practical as well as moral importance of learning for its own sake (Haskell: 171-186). Haskell suggests that a major reason for the failure to transfer learning is that many students do not in fact master the original knowledge domain.

Flexibility and transfer within domains is positively linked to expertise. Experts have better domain representations, are quicker to notice inconsistencies, and to adapt. They can invent new procedures for novel situations because of their deeper conceptual understanding of the domain. Experts typically function in social contexts such as teams and communities of practice. They are not simply motivated by a desire for acquiring more knowledge but socially with the intent of achieving objectives that are valued in relation to their identity and membership within a community of practice. They are members of a discourse community (Goldman et al 1999: 595-602).

These points are echoed by Haskell (15). Learners need to acquire a large primary knowledge base; an understanding of underlying theory is vital; hours of practice and drill are requisite; cultures of transfer need to be created. Moreover, some level of knowledge base in subjects outside the primary area is necessary for significant transfer: general knowledge often provides bridges to or analogies for the new domain.

4 A broader view of transfer

As we have seen, knowledge transfer is a key but problematic notion within the skills agenda. It is of interest to the language teaching community that while knowledge transfer across other domains is infrequently reported (Haskell 2000), transfer has been a major topic in linguistics since the 19th Century. It is present in historical linguistics through substratum theories (Odlin: 6-10) as well as in studies of language contact, pidgins and creoles (Odlin:10-14); while at the level of individual learners much effort has gone into contrastive analysis, error analysis and interlanguage studies (e.g. Selinker). Transfer at discourse level has been studied within Contrastive Rhetoric where it interfaces with studies of rhetorical composition, genre, text linguistics, and translation (Connor). Linguists therefore know as much as anyone about knowledge transfer. It is a 'now you see it now you don't' phenomenon (Kellerman 1983) and may act positively in the development of IL or negatively in contributing towards fossilization. Where transfer strategies are seen to be at work, they are not fully adapted to the new environment: non-native pronunciation, a non-native choice of lexis or register, or some other form of culturally-marked behaviour, but where adaptation to the new environment has been fully successful the resultant behaviour will be unmarked, un-noticed. Transfer interacts with a number of cognitive and linguistic factors within language development, with its cognitive aspects being most evident not only within strategic learner behaviour (O'Malley and Chamot; McDonough) but in studies of second language reading and writing.

The value of knowledge transfer within language learning can be seen by imagining a teaching and learning approach which succeeded in altogether eliminating native language influence from the learning of a foreign language. This would "bracket out" the following:

  • a major component of the learner' social identity and concept of self;
  • a major component of learner language;
  • a means of establishing social solidarity with other learners;
  • all representations of prior learning and world knowledge derived from native language input;
  • all contrasts and comparisons between languages, including translation strategies;
  • bilingual dictionaries.

Language teachers do themselves few favours by downplaying the complex interplay between cognitive and linguistic development experienced by our students. A complete contrastive analysis of two or more languages would locate them within their respective cultures conceived as totalities. We might schematically represent the study of these totalities thus:

Native language and culture Session Target language and culture
Values 1
Values 2
Discourses 1
Discourses 2
Knowledge representations 1
Knowledge representations 2
Semantics 1
Semantics 2
Lexis 1
Lexis 2
Morphology and syntax 1
Morphology and syntax 2
Phonology 1
Phonology 2

Figure 1 Contrasting Two Languages and Cultures

In this figure the more arbitrary aspects of the systems are at one end of the continuum and the more cognitive aspects are at the other. Study for a languages degree is a matter of accessing and developing all these aspects of the second language and culture, a process of additive bilingualism which builds on and feeds back to the native language and culture. However these outcomes are not encouraged by the compartmentalised and highly territorial forms of organisation prevalent in Higher Education.

Historically, faculty organisation within universities was held to mirror the workings of the human brain. Classical faculty psychology held that intellectual disciplines were sets of cognitive abilities which mirrored the structures of distinct knowledge domains. Similar views are held today: areas of experience (Hirst); modularity of mind (Fodor); multiple intelligences (Gardner). Our dominant beliefs about language are similar: Chomskyan linguistics insists that language is a specific and discrete form of knowledge, unlike any other in its organisation and development, though this is less clear for second language acquisition after a critical period which is perhaps bounded by puberty. These are versions of faculty psychology, engrained in our belief systems, and carry over into pedagogical organisation within universities. They are central to the sense of identity which language teachers transmit to specialist language students. However, where languages differ from other disciplines is that every language is a universal symbolic system, its signs not only a set of arbitrary signifiers but also of signifieds, indexing the whole world including language itself. The result within HE is that languages burst the organisational bounds assigned to them. As soon as a language is used to denote something it begins to trespass on other academic territory: literature, cinema, politics, psychology, history, geography, law, linguistics, business etc. Although the premises, subject matter, methods and forms of knowledge organisation of these domains are presented as universally valid, these often turn out to be quite different within foreign cultures: our forms of academic organisation beg for intercultural scrutiny. In particular, academic boundaries embody a metaphor of knowledge as a territory to be organised, exploited, defended and bequeathed. In contrast to faculty psychology, a more modern representation of cognition is one of activation of networks of nodal points, where some key nodes are shared between networks. Embodied as an organisational metaphor this would mean that key notions such as language, information, cognition, communication, discourse, and culture are regarded as points within open networks, to be shared in a developing, adaptable and intelligent way. In the present climate, however, many languages departments will feel tempted to draw in upon themselves, fearing reduction to a second-rank servicing status which would see their knowledge and research bases hived off to other parts of the organisation. This is likely to set back attempts to encourage knowledge transfer between languages and other academic disciplines, whether at staff or student level: beleaguered communities do not inculcate outgoing values.

5 Conclusion

We have argued in this article that notions of skills transfer can not only be usefully applied to the business of studying for a modern language degree, but that the study of language transfer is itself illuminative of knowledge transfer processes in general. In broad terms, transfer of prior knowledge and experience to new situations is a form of generalisation which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. Although learning transfer is a form of generalisation from prior experience, successful adaptation avoids over-generalisation. Arguably, learning and speaking a foreign language is primarily an exercise in avoiding just this over-generalisation from one's native culture. It is a corrective to ethnocentrism, the over-generalising belief that our native practices and habits are natural and proper. Students of foreign languages in the UK live and work within a globally-dominant but largely monolingual culture. For them bilingualism represents the beginnings of an antidote to cultural narcissism, and a sense of the boundedness of one's native culture. For linguists, knowing what you are doing is more than just informed, conscious, strategic behaviour: it's knowing and understanding what the Other is doing, too.

Appendix: Eleven conditions for learning transfer (Haskell: 15)

  1. Learners need to acquire a large primary knowledge base or high level of expertise in the area in that transfer is required.
  2. Some level of knowledge base in subjects outside the primary area is necessary for significant transfer.
  3. An understanding of the history of the transfer area is vital.
  4. Motivation, or more specifically, a "spirit of transfer" is a primary prerequisite for transfer to occur.
  5. Learners need to understand what transfer of learning is and how it works.
  6. An orientation to think and encode our learning in transfer terms is necessary, for significant transfer doesn't happen automatically.
  7. Cultures of transfer need to be created.
  8. An understanding of the theory underlying the transfer area is crucial.
  9. Hours of practice and drill are requisite.
  10. Significant transfer needs time to incubate; it tends not to occur instantaneously.
  11. Learners must observe and read the works of people who are exemplars of transfer thinking.


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