Cognitive Skills in Learning to Read in Chinese and English: A Transfer of Learning Perspective
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This thesis sought to critique two recent empirical studies on transfer of cognitive skills between reading Chinese (L1) and English (L2). By a careful review of the major concepts and ideas on theories of transfer of learning, the author called for readers' attention to the conditions of learning events that encourage transfer to happen. Transfer is how we human being learn based on our past knowledge and experiences. Transfer is aspired to occur, but it usually does not. Without examining the conditions that promote transfer, one would be too bold to assume the occurrence of transfer. The two empirical studies showed a lack of interest to examining the conditions of transfer, thus presumed the occurrence of transfer and drew the wrong conclusions. This thesis posed questions regarding the transfer of cognitive reading skills between languages from two orthographical systems, in order to challenge the status quo of research. Questions that the field of reading education must address include how will we define transfer within the field of English language learning, what counts as evidence of transfer, and most importantly, how do we implement transfer into reading classroom contexts.
- Education - Seattle 
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