Document Type




Publication Date

Fall 2019


Association of Teachers of Advanced Composition

Source Publication

Composition Forum

Source ISSN



This article tracks the emergence of the concept of “transfer talk”—a concept distinct from transfer of learning—and teases out the implications of transfer talk for theories of transfer of learning. The concept of transfer talk was developed through a systematic examination of 30 writing center transcripts and is defined as “the talk through which individuals make visible their prior learning (in this case, about writing) or try to access the prior learning of someone else.” In addition to including a taxonomy of transfer talk and analysis of which types occur most often in this set of conferences, this article advances two propositions about the nature of transfer of learning: (1) transfer of learning may have an important social, even collaborative, component and (2) although meta-awareness about writing has long been recognized as valuable for transfer of learning, more automatized knowledge may play an important role as well.


Published version. Composition Forum, Vol. 42 (Fall 2019). Publisher link. © 2019 Rebecca S. Nowacek, Bridget Bodee, Julia E. Douglas, Will Fitzsimmons, Katherine A. Hausladen, Megan Knowles, and Molly Nugent. Used with permission.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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