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Semi-Supervised Learning (SSL) traditionally makes use of unlabeled samples by including them into the training set through an automated labeling process. Such a primitive Semi-Supervised Learning (pSSL) approach suffers from a number of disadvantages including false labeling and incapable of utilizing out-of-domain samples. In this paper, we propose a formative Semi-Supervised Learning (fSSL) framework which explores hidden features between labeled and unlabeled samples to achieve semi-supervised learning. fSSL regards that both labeled and unlabeled samples are generated from some hidden concepts with labeling information partially observable for some samples. The key of the fSSL is to recover the hidden concepts, and take them as new features to link labeled and unlabeled samples for semi-supervised learning. Because unlabeled samples are only used to generate new features, but not to be explicitly included in the training set like pSSL does, fSSL overcomes the inherent disadvantages of the traditional pSSL methods, especially for samples not within the same domain as the labeled instances. Experimental results and comparisons demonstrate that fSSL significantly outperforms pSSL-based methods for both within-domain and cross-domain semi-supervised learning.