Waters, Alan (2009) Managing innovation in English language education, state of the art review. Language Teaching, 42 (4). pp. 421-458.
Innovation in English language education (ELE) has become a major ‘growth area’ in recent years. At the same time, an ELE innovation management literature has also developed, based on insights from innovation theory and their application, both from outside and within ELE, and concerned with attempting to critically evaluate and inform ELE innovation practice. Thus, using a well-established three-part framework for distinguishing the main stages involved in innovation project management, this review describes and discusses the main features of this body of work. After defining terms and clarifying its scope, it considers what is said about the innovation ‘initiation’ phase, in terms of innovation causes, characteristics and contexts. It then examines conceptualisations of the innovation ‘implementation’ stage, by distinguishing main overall approaches, frameworks for identifying and configuring roles, underlying psychological processes, and the use of evaluation techniques. Lastly, the literature relating to innovation ‘institutionalisation’ stage is analysed. The article concludes by identifying overall trends and areas for further development. In particular, it is argued that ELE innovation work needs to become more informed by many of the concepts and procedures which the ELE innovation management literature contains.
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