Areas of Scholarly Research

Scholars at the Institute of Foreign languages conducted research in three main areas:

  • (1 )Structural and functional peculiarities of Germanic, Romance, Slavic and Lithuanian languages
  • (2) Research in Germanic, Romance, Slavic literatures and cultures
  • (3) Research in language didactics

Conducting research in Structural and functional peculiarities of Germanic, Romance, Slavic and Lithuanian languages, scholars at the institute examined various levels of these languages, intergrated the results of their research into the learning process, nurtured linguistic competence and practice. Doing research in morphology and syntax, IFL scholars analyse sentence formation, construction of the infinitive in specialised and scientific language, sentence modeling from the semantic aspect, and certain foreign languages are examined from a historical aspect. Works in which inter-Slavic linguistic influence in the vocabulary of 17th century diplomacy examined in both diachronic and synchronic aspect collected from Baltic hand-written dictionaries of various centuries can be mentioned here. Monographs and research articles about lexicography examine the principles used in putting together bilingual dictionaries, the consistency and comprehensiveness of their composition, the double direction of the dictionary, and attempt to answer the question whether bilingual dictionaries are always reliable in comparing languages. Great attention is given to the analysis of scholarly text discourse, linguistic issues in various fields (the use of conjunctions in the English language in the works of native speakers and learners). In the area of applied linguistics, research is conducted in functional particularities of the English language as the international language (lingua franca), problems of sociolinguistics such as national, social, cultural identities, lingual human rights, and European foreign-language learning practices in context are discussed.

Conducting research in German, Romance, Slavic Literatures and Cultures, FLI scholars explore traditions of these literatures and cultures and their connection to Lithuanian literature and culture, they analyse various topics related to literary theory, culture and linguistics, works of literary critics and philosophers (M. M. Bakhtin, A. Maceina). Special attention is given to the linguistic aspect of literary theory. The mentioned research is connected to the work of English and French Renaissance writers (W. Shakespeare, M. de Montiagne and others) and to the new worldview of the epoch, also early 20th century Russian, German (H. von Hofmannsthal, J. Bobrowsky, J. Olesha and others) literature and culture, as well as influence of culture on language, and the research results are applied to the cultivation of intercultural competences. The scholarly method is mostly comparative. A lot of attention is dedicated to multilingualism and intercultural communication, since these phenomena are understood not only as a means of communication, but also as a tool for more profound mutual understanding in the common international domain of European higher education.

The next area of scholarly research is connected to Educational and linguistic didactics. It looks at language teaching as a condition for the development of professional competence. Conducting research in language didactics, educational experts at the institute examine the problems in foreign-language didactics, i.e. examination and evaluation of language aptitude, preparation of standardised tests, analysis of the quality of final exams in foreign languages, insights into the possibilities and prospects of integrated foreign-language teaching, peculiarities of learning abilities based on foreign-language training. Attention is also given to the issues of the future foreign-language teacher training, individual competences (professional, general, personal, cultural, moral etc.) of foreign-language learners. In this way, the department scholars have an ability to improve their subject and educational competences, to convey knowledge to students using the most effective teaching strategies and methods.

Since 2010, the Institute of Foreign Languages at Vilnius University has been publishing the periodic journal Verbum, dedicated to research in Germanic, Romance and Slavic linguistics (04H) and education (07S).