Lithuanian undergraduate students' approaches to learning English for Specific Purposes


  • Nijolė Burkšaitienė Department of Translation Studies, Institute for Literary, Cultural and Translation Studies Faculty of Philology, Vilnius University, Lithuania
  • Jolita Šliogerienė Department of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Creative Industries Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Lithuania



approach to learning; deep learning; surface leaning; English for Specific Purposes; higher education


Aim. It has been established by research that the nature of students’ learning is closely related to their approach to learning and to the learning environment in which learning occurs. In higher education environments, students’ approaches to learning have been widely investigated across different fields of study, however, little known research has focused on students’ approaches to learning foreign languages. To contribute to knowledge in this field, the present research aims to establish undergraduate students’ approaches to learning English for Specific purposes (ESP) at a university in Lithuania.

Method. The research was conducted with the participation of 111 undergraduate students, majors in 11 different study programmes, who took a mandatory course in ESP. The data were collected from the structured questionnaires; to carry out the research, quantitative methodology was used.

Results.  The analysis of students’ engagement in the study activities, their willingness to go beyond the task and their ability to self-regulate their learning revealed that the study participants demonstrated both surface approach and deep approach to learning ESP.

Conclusion. The results indicate that to guide the students towards deep approach to learning ESP at the university, their engagement in study activities should be fostered. 


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Author Biographies

  • Nijolė Burkšaitienė, Department of Translation Studies, Institute for Literary, Cultural and Translation Studies Faculty of Philology, Vilnius University, Lithuania

    Dr., Ph.D (Education Sciences). She is a professor, researcher and translator, expert of the European Commission on Quality teaching in higher education and on Validation of adults’ non-formal and informal learning in higher education, expert of the Research Council of Lithuania. Her research interests: interdisciplinary research into teaching and learning ESP, creativity and translation studies, discourse analysis, assessment and evaluation in higher education, technology-enhanced teaching and learning in higher education, and validation of non-formal and informal learning in higher education.

    She is author and co-author of over 40 research articles, (co)author of six international and national books and book chapters, (co)author of five ESP workbooks, co-editor of an international volume on ESP, co-translator of three monographs from English into Lithuanian and from Lithuanian into English.

    Internships: Bibliothèque nationale de France, site François-Mitterrand (France, 2019), Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain, 2017), Charles University (Prague, Czech Republic, 2017), Central Lancashire University (Preston, UK, 2016).

    EU-Awarded Grants / Internships: University of Westminster (London, UK, 2013), Institute of Education (London, UK, 2007), La Rochelle University (France, 2006), SOARS of University of London (UK, 2005), Institute of Applied Language Studies (Edinburgh University, UK, 2001).

    Awards: Letter of Commendation of  Erasmus National Agency for Strengthening the International Dimension in Higher Education in Lithuania (2012).  

    Nijolė Burkšaitienė has created, implemented and supervised a number of linguistic and lifelong learning projects supported by the EU Structural Funds and the European Commission. She also acts as a member of editorial boards and a reviewer of three research journals in Lithuania and abroad.

  • Jolita Šliogerienė, Department of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Creative Industries Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Lithuania

    Prof. Dr. She is a researcher and professor at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University. Her scientific interests in the domain of social sciences (education science) include linguadidactic parameters of autonomous studies, competence development in the institutions of higher education, assessment and recognition of non-formal and informal learning outcomes in university studies, second language teaching and learning. In the domain of humanities her scientific interests include discourse analysis, discourse annotated corpora, ESP studies. The researcher has published 54 scientific articles, participated as a presenter in 15 conferences. She had internships in Goteborg Academy, Tallinn Technical University, La Rochelle University, and Institute of Education in London, Oxford College, and Middlesex University. She got an award for an active participation in Erasmus program and for strengthening the international dimension in higher education in Lithuania. Her biography is included into the national Lithuanian encyclopedia for her scientific achievements. She also prepared and participated in 10 international projects.


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How to Cite

Burkšaitienė, N. ., & Šliogerienė, J. (2021). Lithuanian undergraduate students’ approaches to learning English for Specific Purposes. Journal of Education Culture and Society, 12(1), 469-477.