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Challenges of Foreign Language Teaching and Sustainable Development Competence Implementation in Higher Education

Abstract

The article aims to emphasize the role of foreign language teaching in fostering sustainable development competence in higher education. Foreign language classes enable students to analyze actual topics about sustainable development, to discuss problems, to share personal emotions and experiences. English as a foreign language curriculum aims to build students’ basic language communicative skills with the focus on sustainability, communication for the enhancement of sustainable development competence. The present paper aims to analyze the correlation of sustainable development competence between English as a foreign language studies in the system of higher education. The article overviews the importance of the sustainable development competence development on the theoretical level as well as introduces the practices of the importance of sustainable development competence elements in foreign language classes on the empirical level. The research was planned and performed in 5 universities of Lithuania, in which the respondents studying English (average age of participants was 22 years old) expressed their opinions on the sustainable development topics and usefulness of sustainable development competence. The results of the research demonstrate that students are more engaged in topics and materials on sustainable development and it is challenging for pedagogues to constantly update their materials, to apply innovative English as a foreign language teaching strategies related to sustainable development in foreign language classroom. Therefore, the research findings with the embedded elements for sustainable development competence development encourage educators to search for innovative ways of English as a foreign language teaching in higher education.

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