Transfer by Design

Explicit teaching of skill transference begins with an overt acknowledgment to students that they already know a skill or concept and that they are ready to learn and apply what they already know to another language. During the transfer lesson, there is a gradual release of language use. The language transfer will connect to the language taught in the target language.

Transfer Lesson
LWhat Teachers Does
OrientationL1Activates prior knowledge
Connects L1 to L2 learning
State lesson objectives
Provides a comprehensible connection between L1 and L2 learning
PresentationL1 – L2Explain, demonstrate and gives examples of concept and skill strategy
Points out the similarity or differences in the learning conditions and tasks
L1 – L2Leads students step by step, clarifying,
using concrete/visual representations
Continues to negotiate the rules and conditions applicable to the skill or task
L2Encourages collaboration among students
Elicits metacognitive skills
Provides corrective feedback as students practice on their own.
Independent PracticeL2Ensures students are working at appropriate level
of L2 language proficiency

Planning for the skills requires that we identify essential grade-level skill sets and analyze the transference relationship between the two languages. Teachers also need to plan what to teach for transfer and in which language.

In planning the instructional sequence that ensures transfer from one language skill and concept to another, teachers need to consider the successive approximations or scaffolding needed during independent work at each student’s level of language acquisition.