Registration open for exchange programs (AY 2020-2021)

Dear students!

These challenging times have changed our daily life, especially social habbits and freedom to travel. However, we still want to reach important goals and make our dreams come true. We have no doubt that you cannot wait to quench your thirst for travel, knowledge and adventure. International exchange programmes can be a solution.

We are hopeful that the odd swill be in your favor during the upcoming spring and you will have a chance to get an international experience in the university of your choice!     

Applications  for the  SPRING semester exchange (AY  2020-2021) are open until the midnight of  the   24th  of September  (bilateral exchange until October 1st  midnight).   

  • Apply for ARQUS ir Coimbra group mobility here >     
  • Apply for Bilateral exchange here >   

ATTENTION!  You can apply for different mobility options at the same time.   

Informational session will be held online on the 16th of September (2pm). For more information about the event – follow Vilnius University page (Facebook).  

Please find more information here >  

Any questions? Please contact via email     or  

Dean's address to the community

Dear academics, dear students, administrators, emeriti, all members of the community of the Faculty of Philology,


We are about to start our strangest academic year during the last decades of Vilnius University, a year scarred by a pandemic virus. However, the long-lasting history of the University and of the Faculty continues with us working on our tasks and celebrating our festive events. As usual, the first of September is very different to people of different generations: some of us remember our numerous first-of-Septembers when we see school children with flowers in their hands flocking to start their first school year, others are getting ready for their umpteenth meeting with young people who see the world of school, University and books as the most fascinating, still others gaze in awe at academics expecting them to tell the young people the best ways leading to the stars.

I would like to congratulate you all on the occasion of the beginning of a new academic year starting 1st September 2020 and welcome you at the Faculty of Philology, a kingdom of words and texts. You, of all people, are capable of identifying the value and weight of words and texts, and know how to do it better than others. I wish you could use angry words sparingly and be generous with kind words, I wish we could help the world understand that how we speak and write is no less important than what we say and write.

I wish this academic year could be a year of our community, when we could join our efforts not only for our small communities, such as departments, research groups or study programmes. Let us join our efforts for the Faculty, for the University, for Lithuania and the world. I know that we can do it. I would like to take this opportunity and thank you each and every one of you for being with us, for your creativity, for your spirit of camaraderie that you bring to our multilingual community. Your unique personalities are the best signposts on the University’s and the world’s journey to meanings and senses of words and texts.


Professor Inesa Šeškauskienė

Dean of the Faculty of Philology



Historical martial arts for the students of “Beowulf”

The last seminar in the course „Reading the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf“ was special this year: guided by three masters of historical martial arts from the Sword Mastery School (Lith. Kalavijo meistrystės mokykla, leader Andrius Janionis), the students learnt about the early medieval weapons, combat techniques and practiced fighting with sword and buckler.


“Reading the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf” was a new elective course offered this semester for the students of both English philology and Scandinavian studies. It was a slow-reading course of the heroic poem, held by many to be the masterpiece of Old English literature.

In the poem, swords play a prominent role in comparison to other weapons, since they are depicted not only as used in battles, but also as precious and mysterious artefacts that carry immense social and cultural significance as symbols of loyalty, power, inheritance and obligation.

The Sword Mastery School in Vilnius founded six years ago by the archaeologist Andrius Janionis aims at reconstructing the tradition of historical martial arts based on the authentic evidence found in written and archaeological sources. The leader of the school together with his colleagues have kindly agreed to teach our students some combat techniques using true to life replicas of medieval swords and shields.

According to Andrius Janionis, the sword is an especially old weapon that has been used in Europe continuously for nearly a thousand years. Although fighting with a sword might seem easy, masters of the art accentuate the precision and thorough knowledge of fighting techniques, which easily allow to compare the sword to using a surgeon’s scalpel.

During the seminar, the instructors from the Sword Mastery School taught the students of “Beowulf” some authentic movements with a sword and a small shield called ‘buckler’. Since no combat manuals survive from the times of the Anglo-Saxon poem, to have a glimpse into the fighting techniques of the early Middle Ages one has to rely on the earliest surviving fechtbuch in Europe, the so-called Walpurgis manuscript from ca 1300. The manual depicts series of defence and offence moves between a master and a pupil each armed with a sword and a buckler. It might be that the medieval fighting tradition of the Anglo-Saxons or Scandinavians was very similar to the one documented in the manuscript.

The most important thing about sword fighting, therefore, is not only the physical strength, but also the invaluable lessons of freedom, concentration, courage and purpose that once learnt in swordplay, will gradually manifest in the students’ everyday life as well.

The Sword Mastery School together with a few other clubs in Lithuania belongs to the international Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) movement that unites thousands of sword fighting enthusiasts across different countries in Europe. To learn more about HEMA and follow the events organised by different fencing clubs, please check the link


Rūta Zukienė, VU Centre of Scandinavian studies


Kalavijo pamoka 05 28 1

Kalavijo pamoka 05 28 3

Kalavijo pamoka 05 28 8

International conference "Le mot dans la langue et dans le discours 3: la construction du sens"

The Department of French Philology of the Faculty of Philology invites to an international conference Le mot dans la langue et dans le discours 3: la construction du sens. The conference will be held April 23–24, 2020. More information can be found below:

Conference "Translation in a modern society: the changing profile of a translator, ethics, expectations"

On 4 October 2019, the conference "Translation in a modern society: the changing profile of a translator, ethics, expectations" will take place at the Conference Centre (Room 92) of the Faculty of Philology, Universiteto St. 5, Vilnius. The Conference is jointly organised by the Directorate-General for Translation of the European Commission and the Institute for Literary, Cultural and Translation Studies of the Faculty of Philology. There will be video conferencing between Vilnius and Brussels.

9.30–10.00 Registration
10.00–10.30 Welcome
  • Prof. Dr. Valdas Jaskūnas, vice rector, Vilnius University
  • Prof. Dr. Inesa Šeškauskienė, dean, Faculty of Philology, Vilnius University
  • Rita Dedonienė, head of Unit 1, Lithuanian Language Department, Directorate General for Translation, European Commission
10.30–11.15 Professionalism and ethics for translators and translation scholars
Christina Schaeffner, Aston University, UK
11.15–12.00 The changing profile of specialised translation: humans versus machines
Lucja Biel, University of Warsaw, Poland and European Society for Translation Studies
12.00–12.15 Q&A session
12.15–13.30 Lunch (Vilnius University Cafe)
13.30–14.15 „Looking for translators? No, we're looking for smart translators!“ 
Renata Špukienė, director, "Tilde"
14.15–14.45 Employee personality and its suitability for a profession and an organisation
Mirolanda Trakumaitė, consultant, "OVC Consulting"
14.45–15.00 Q&A session
15.00–15.30 Coffee break
15.30–16.45 Group workshops:
  1. Translation at the Lithuanian Language Department of the Directorate-General for Translation, European Commission: how is the profession changing? (Rita Dedonienė and Sigita Stankevičienė, European Commission)
  2. Training translators of specialised texts (Lucja Biel)
  3. MA research papers: what is new in Translation Studies (Christina Schaeffner)
16.50–17.30 Presentations of discussions. Conference closing. (Prof. Nijolė Maskaliūnienė and Rita Dedonienė)
Note Simultaneous interpretation into Lithuanian will be available for the morning-session presentations in English.

Project coordinated by Faculty scholar receives Baltic Research Programme funding

On 26 September, the results of applications for the first Baltic Research Programme were announced by a panel of experts that selected 7 projects out of 130 applications. The projects will receive € 6 million in funding throughout several years.

Among the selected projects are two projects coordinated by the University of Tartu, and researchers from Vilnius University are participants in one of them. One of the two selected projects is titled "Academic writing in the Baltic States: rhetorical structures through culture(s) and languages" and is supervised by associate professor Jolanta Šinkūnienė, a scholar at the English Philology Department of the Institute of English, Romance, and Classical Studies.

The Baltic Research Programme is a joint research programme of three Baltic states, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. The Programme is funded under the 2014-2021 financial mechanisms of European Economic Area (EEA) states (Island and Lichtenstein) and Norway. The aim of the Programme is to fund scientific research as a form of regional cooperation. There will be three calls for applications for the Programme: in 2018, a call for applications was announced Estonia; in 2019, Latvia will conduct the application selection process; in 2020, the call for and selection of applications will take place in Lithuania.

Click to find out more about the Baltic Research Programme and the results of the 1st call for applications.

Manuscript of Samuel Boguslaus Chylinski's Lithuanian translation of the Bible published as a facsimile

Dr Gina Kavaliūnaitė-Holvoet, researcher at the Department of Baltic Studies of the Institute for the Languages and Cultures of the Baltic (BKKI), has prepared a facsimile of the manuscript of theChylinski Bible, the first translation of the Bible into Lithuanian. The book is published by Vilnius University Press and is titled (in Lithuanian and Latin) “Samuel Boguslaus Chylinski's Bible, Vol. 2: The New Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Rendered into Lithuanian by Samuel Boguslaus Chylinski. A Facsimile of the Manuscript in Lithuanian = Biblia Lithuanica Samueli Boguslai Chylinski. Tomus 2: Novum Testamentum Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Lithvanicâ Linguâdonatum a Samuelo Boguslao Chylinski. Manuscripti Lithuanici imagines digitales“, Vilnius: Vilnius University, 2019. 

A website dedicated to the first Lithuanian Bible,, has also been launched. The website will be supplemented and improved in the future.

The publication of the Chylinski Bible was funded by the Lithuanian Research Council under the project “The research and facsimile and interactive digital publication of Samuel Boguslaus Chylinski's New Testament” (contract No LIP-022/2016). The project brought together an international team of researchers, including Dr Rūta Čapaitė (Vilnius), Mgr Bartłomiej Kowal (Warsaw), Mgr Valentinas Kulinič (Vilnius), Dr Wolf-Dieter Syring (Buxtehude), Dr Felix Thies (Frankfurt am Main), and project supervisor Dr Gina Kavaliūnaitė (Vilnius).  

IMG 5595

Modernisation of ESP teaching at Vilnius University

Members of the Institute of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Philology, spent the last weeks before the new academic year developing and updating the descriptions of ESP courses taught to students of various study programmers at VU.

The centerpiece of this process was training concocted by Dr Johan Fischer, Director of the Centre for Languages and Transferable Skills at the University of Göttingen, who has over 25 years of experience in ESP. During the training, lecturers of the Institute of Foreign Languages focused on the task-based-learning (TBL) approach to language learning.

We interviewed Dr Fischer about TBL and its advantages as a learning strategy.

– Could you tell us how task-based learning functions?

The aim of TBL is for students to experience real, lifelike situations during English classes. These are tasks that the students will encounter later in their studies when they will be conducting research. One has to think of realistic, daily situations faced by students and researchers, and to adapt language learning to these situations. The most important aim of such learning is to ensure that students feel free and confident when communicating in a foreign language about their studies and about research in their field. TBL also takes into account what aspects of language use could be improved and what else can be learned in English lessons of this type.

TBL has been introduced at Göttingen a decade ago, and we constantly review and refine it based on the needs of students. All my colleagues who used to base their teaching of traditional methods of language teaching switched very quickly and enthusiastically to task-based-learning. I can feel the same enthusiasm at Vilnius University.

When TBL is applied, the teacher also learns from his/her students, and learns a lot of diverse information. TBL is not about cramming grammar, and is not as boring as some other methods. The aim is to get students to see the learning process creatively. Students are much more motivated to look for creative solutions and to present in a foreign language that which is interesting to them and relevant for their studies and future work, including their achievements, research, and discoveries.

– How is task-based learning different from regular learning using a workbook and role play?

The Companion Volume to the Common European Framework of Reference, published in 2018, emphasizes that linguistic competence is crucial for creating a common European education sphere. This document underscores the importance of person-centered language learning and teaching that would help each student to express his/her thoughts and personal ideas. This style of learning does not aim to simulate stereotypical situations. Learners are encouraged to present their thoughts and interests, and to talk about things that are relevant and important to the learners themselves.

– Is the method of learning the only difference, or is there also a difference in examinations and assessment?

I visited Vilnus University in early summer to conduct a professional training course for the lecturers of the Institute of Foreign Languages of the Faculty of Philology. During the training, we learned to apply task-based learning. We are now continuing this work and preparing assessment tasks that would reflect and supplement this learning method. We are developing a new structure of examination that would be different from regular language examinations.

We avoid basic grammar tests and seek to teach students to communicate information about their study and research subjects as well as their thoughts to a specific audience. We also aim to restructure the courses so that students could work in groups throughout the semester, and the final assessment would also be related to their group work and field of research. The exam primarily focuses on productive skills, i.e., writing and speaking, although they are closely related to listening and reading, as the students will have to prepare spoken and written material in groups using authentic sources, e.g. videos and text.

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