In education, the transfer of skills refers to learning in one context and being able to apply the acquired knowledge and skills to other new situations. Many studies show that college/university students do not easily transfer skills from English courses to other courses or writing situations (Wardle, 2016; Lindemann, 2016; Beaufort, 2007). To name a few of causes contributing to this we can refer to three of them as: students’ general attitude, course content, and instructors’ perceptions and expectations. Even when instructors agree on the two categories of general writing skills and academic writing skills, students believe that knowing the conventions of writing and possessing the content competency in their fields do not help them create a piece of coherent written discourse. This reveals to us that the problem lies in another level of teaching and learning practice which is developing a metacognitive awareness in both sides of learning cycle: teachers and students. The purpose of this paper is to present strategies that enhance first, teachers’ awareness of what they are planning to do by developing more contextual-based tasks and second, students’ awareness towards gaining a true sense of procedural real-life achievements. The presence of experienced and reflective instructors would guarantee the success of this approach by providing students with ample opportunities of practicing and going beyond surface acquisition of knowledge to deeper levels of learning as discovery procedure, critical thinking, and reflective empowerment on how to apply this acquired expertise to further authentic contexts in both academic and non-academic life styles.
Mitra Rabiee, York University, Canada
Stream: Culture and Language
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