Nat Bartels

University of Leipzig

In much of the Linguistic Awareness literature there is an assumption that once teachers are aware of something about language and are in a teaching situation where that knowledge will be of use, that they will know how to use their new knowledge. Thus the responsibility of linguists is simply in making teachers aware of aspects of language they feel might be useful to future language teachers. Research findings in cognitive psychology, however, have shown that we humans do not transfer knowledge in this way very easily and there is a large number of factors which contribute to the ease with which knowledge can be used in new situations, such as surface and structural similarity between practice task and transfer task, the variety of constraints in practice tasks, learning for understanding and development of mental models, context and contextual information, the use of metacognitive strategies, and time on practice tasks vs. background information. The purpose of the talk is to present the research in this area and suggest hypotheses for increasing the usefulness of Linguistic Awareness classes for teachers.