oa The Journal of Independent Teaching and Learning - Does instruction in academic literacy result in transfer?



The University of KwaZulu-Natal offers year long, Faculty-based Access programmes to students who didnot initially meet the Faculties' entrance requirements. One of the Access modules offered in the Faculty of Humanities, Development and Social Sciences (HDSS) is Academic Literacy (hereafter referred to as AL) which teaches reading and writing in the first semester. It is hoped that Access students will transfer the practices and knowledge they have learned from this module to degree modules. However, studies on transfer indicate that decontextualised practices are not transferable (Perkins & Salomon, 1988). The authors, therefore, conducted a study which investigated the HDSS Access students to discover if transfer of practices does take place, and if so to what extent this occurs. Data collection consisted of analysing asample of students' essays at various stages: pre-intervention, intervention and post-intervention. Findings indicate that transfer did happen to a certain extent, especially in the modules that use similar writingpractices to those taught in AL. This suggests that AL should be taught as a discipline specific module.


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