Why is it vital to have soft skills in the workplace? Soft skills are an important aspect of strengthening one’s ability to work with others and may help you advance in your profession. Nowadays employers do pay much attention to only to hard skills but also to soft skills. 

Taking into account the importance of soft skills in our life, we have designed a lesson for your Upper-Intermediate students. The lesson is aimed at introducing the difference between soft and hard skills, honing learners’ listening and speaking skills and enlarging vocabulary. The last two tasks are optional. You can do it if you still have some time left.

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Task 1. Warm-up

A. Look at the types of skills. Can you put them into correct category: Hard skills or Soft skills?

  • Computer skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • Marketing skills
  • Decision-making
  • Organizational
  • Microsoft Office skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Analytical skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Stress management

B. Having put the skills into the correct category let’s try to give the definitions of hard and soft skills. How would you define them?

Task 2

Watch the video and compare the definitions with your own ones. Then answer the questions.

  1. What role do hard and soft skills play at work/in life?
  2. What skills do you need for your job?
  3. How can a person improve their soft skills?

Task 3

Find the definitions of new words in the dictionary and make up your own examples.

  • Glimpse 
  • Evolve
  • Obsolete
  • Instantly
  • Pace
  • At its core
  • Cultivate

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Task 4

Watch the video till 04:00 and mark the sentences true, false, not mentioned.

  1. In Arabian Aloha means breath of life — a way of treating each other with love and respect.
  2. Soft skills are vital in human culture because they serve as the foundation for community building.
  3. Emotional intelligence relates to your capacity to regulate your emotions in the presence of others.
  4. People who did a great job and had the best technical skills at work are printed in our memories best. 
  5. Robots can speak as clearly as people.

Task 5

Watch the video from 04:00 till the end. What does the speaker say about…

  • Job search process
  • Online dating
  • Convenience 
  • Danger of extinction
  • Hawai
  • Parent
  • Saving soft skills from extinction

Task 6

Fill in the gaps in the appropriate words: glimpse, evolve, obsolete, instantly, pace, at the  core, cultivate.

  1. She has ___ an image as a tough negotiator.
  2. The company has ___ over the years into a multi-million dollar organization.
  3. Gas lamps became ___ when electric lighting was invented.
  4. The lack of government funding is ___ of the problem.
  5. We can now communicate ___ with people on the other side of the world.
  6. We ___ the ruined abbey from the windows of the train.
  7. When she thought she heard someone following her, she quickened her ___.

Read as well:

Task 7

Discuss the questions using new vocabulary: glimpse, evolve, obsolete, instantly, pace, at its core, cultivate.

  • What might happen if your employer or co-worker has poor interpersonal skills?
  • Do you think soft skills can somehow be taught through courses or real-life simulations? Why (not)?
  • Why is it important to keep in mind that soft and hard skills are equally important?
  • Do you think we communicate less in real life nowadays? Explain your choice.
  • What role does EQ play in our life? Do you think children must master this skill at school?

Task 8 (Optional)

Read the statements and then discuss the questions below.

Soft skills may be learned or practiced over time.
VSSoft skills are innate or based only on our upbringing.
  1.  Which point do you agree with? Why?
  2.  Which soft skills do you think can be taught? Which can’t be taught?
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Communication skills
  • Positive attitude
  • Leadership

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Task 9 (Optional)

Study the information and complete the task.

• You must conduct two interviews for a vacant job in your organization. Examine the following profiles and respond to the following questions:
• Which candidate would you hire? Why?
• What would be more essential to you as an employer: soft skills, hard skills, or a perfect mix of the two?
1) A extremely competent employee with a great CV and a strong skill set, considerable job experience; attendance in academic conferences and high-level courses. However she  frequently quarrelled with her coworkers and had terrible relationships with everyone in her previous company.

2) Less qualified and still has skills to learn. However, throughout the interview, she proved to be a pleasant and sociable person. She seems to be very motivated and responsible. Her former employer praised her communication skills and emotional intelligence.
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Have a great lesson!

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