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Second Language Acquisition and Task-Based Language Teaching by Mike Long

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Chapter 12Does TBLT Have a Future?

12.1.  Diffusion of Innovation

‘Diffusion of innovation’ is a term often used to refer to the study of when and how new ideas (or ideas perceived as new) catch on and spread, and when and why they often do not. While a long-standing research interest in other fields, including general education, the first serious treatments of the topic in applied linguistics, to the best of my knowledge, were those of Bailey (1992), Henrichsen (1989), Kennedy (1988), Maley (1984), Tickoo (1987), and most notably, Markee (1988) in his UCLA dissertation, followed by a series of publications (Markee 1993, 1994, 1997, 2007). Since Markee's pioneering work, much of it focusing on TBLT as described in this book (see Chapter 11.5.4.2), diffusion of innovation has become a topic of wider interest in language teaching (LT) and applied linguistics, with contributions by Alderson (2009), Carless (2007, 2012), Goto Butler (2011), Holliday (1994), Murray (2008), Van den Branden (2009), and Wedell (2009), among others.

The literature shows that numerous factors, both positive and negative, have been implicated in the diffusion of innovation in education, including LT and applied linguistics. While the labels vary, several conditions are considered likely to facilitate the adoption and spread of new ideas. They include the early involvement of teachers; practical demonstrations ...

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