This book explores the potential for task-based language learning and teaching (TBLT) within a particular context, specifically Hungary, by investigating beliefs among Hungarian university students about English (and other foreign) language teaching. It also examines the nature of these learners' task-based spoken interaction and explores their socioculturally determined choices in that regard. It finds that, despite much exposure to traditional classroom practices, the learners are generally open to TBLT, make various (sometimes surprising) contributions in performing speaking tasks, and display a tendency toward collaboration in spoken interaction over communication breakdowns. The book offers both universal and culture-specific explanations for this tendency. The findings detailed here have implications for English (and other foreign/second) language teaching which may be of interest to researchers, practitioners, and teacher educators, not only in Hungary, Central Europe, and similar educational contexts, but anywhere that teachers and learners are struggling to improve foreign and second language development.
Holding a PhD in English Applied Linguistics, Thomas Williams is currently engaged in teaching and research at the University of Szeged, Hungary. His studies and classes delve into such areas as task-based language learning and teaching, learner interaction, developing second and foreign language speaking skills, sociocultural theory and second language learning, conversation analysis, intercultural pragmatics and classroom-based research. With a teaching degree and over 28 years' experience in the classroom, he has also taught and tested English as a foreign language, Business English, and specialized translation. He has presented his findings internationally and published numerous articles and chapters, in addition to a well-received speaking coursebook.