Advancing 21st Century Skills in English as a Foreign Language Courses through the Values and Knowledge Education (VaKE) Method at HEIs
Mariam Kilanava (Georgia)
This presentation explores the Values and Knowledge Education (VaKE) method, which is a didactical approach aimed at advancing 21st-century skills and values among students in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) courses at higher education institutions (HEIs). The VaKE method is dilemma-based, focusing on improving value aspects in courses and making the teaching and learning process more fruitful. This integrative approach is suitable for teaching the four basic language skills by combining moral and dilemma-based connected aspects, encouraging critical thinking, group work, and reflection on values. The method facilitates discussions on relevant topics and provides knowledge relevant to the topic. VaKE is frequently applied in EFL courses at HEIs to teach students to collaborate, solve dilemmas connected to moral aspects, and think critically.
The VaKE method’s focus on dilemma-based communication and value aspects makes it a suitable teaching approach that can be applied to a wide range of topics, including individual cases and broader spectrums such as Sustainable Development Goals. The presenter will provide a comprehensive description of the VaKE method, its benefits for HEI students, and specific examples from EFL courses.
Mariam Kilanava is an Associate Professor at Georgian State Teaching University of Physical Education and Sport. She holds a PhD in Translation Studies and leads English as a Foreign Language and ESP courses. Mariam is an accreditation expert for HEI programs at the National Center For Educational Quality Enhancement in Georgia, a CPD trainer at European University, and an active member of the international association IATEFL (the UK). She regularly presents at different international conferences and is a Handbook chapter author within the ERASMUS+ Handbook – VaKE. Mariam’s research interests include innovative EFL teaching methods, Digital humanities, HEI quality assurance, and continuous professional development.