In terms of the transfer of literacy skills, it seems like it would operate along the same principles as the transfer of any skill. Skills can learned, consolidated and reapplied once the student is familiar with them and develops an understanding of them. This is how it has been in my own personal experience and I have observed it in my students.
When they are taught a new skill, they apply it hesitantly but over time, practice and broadening applications, the skills becomes ingrained and transferable.
Carderas-Hagan and Carlson (2007) emphasise the importance of the instructional strategies. These are vital in ensuring the initial learning takes place. Adopting a common model and applying it across Key Learning Areas (even training staff in the use and instruction of the concept) are factors Bush and Herring (2009) identified as significant in the teaching of an Information Literacy Skill, so the skill is being used and reinforced repeatedly across the school. Other factors identified as valuable in developing the transference of Information literacy skills include using the TL role as a catalyst for learning and transferring these processes and practices, ensuring they are utilised in a range of contexts and the development of a deepening understanding of the concept across the range of contexts (Lloyd & Williamson, 2008).
Bush, S.J., & Herring, J. E. (2009) Creating a culture of transfer for information literacy skills in schools. ASLA Conference Paper.
Carderas-Hagan, E., Carlson, C.D., and Pollard-Durodola, S.E. (2007). The cross-linguistic transfer of early literacy skills: the role of initial L1 and L2 skills and language of instruction. Language, Speech and Learning Services in Schools. 38(3), 249-259
Lloyd, A and Williamson, K (2008) Towards an understanding of Information Literacy in context: implications for research. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 40(1), 3-12
Herring, J (2011) Year seven students, concept mapping and the issues of transfer. School Libraries Worldwide 17(1), 11-23