Iraqi EFL Pre-service Teachers' Awareness of Using Soft Skills for Their Career Development


The current study makes a survey of the significance of soft skills in students' lives both at and after college. It discusses how soft skills complement professional's skills, which are the requirements of a job the student is prepared to do. The study urges instructors to assume extraordinary liability with respect to soft-skills, because during the students' university time , instructors have major impact on improving their students' soft skills. Soft skills satisfy an essential part in shaping the students' personality. The study is an attempt to assess the Iraqi EFL pre-service teachers' awareness of using soft skills in developing their career, thus the study aims at :1-Assessing Iraqi EFL pre-service teachers' awareness of using soft skills in developing their career.2-Finding out the differences among the domains of soft skills.Two hypotheses have been tested as follows:1-Iraqi EFL pre-service teachers , have an awareness of using soft skills in developing their career.2-There are no significant differences among the domains of soft skills. The random sample of the study consists of 132 students from the four academic stages of the Department of English at the college of Education for Humanities / University of Diyala for the academic year (2014-2015). Four domains of soft skills, namely ; interpersonal skills; personal skills; self-management skills and communication skills are concerned. In order to achieve the aims of the study and to test its hypotheses , a questionnaire is constructed to measure the EFL college students' awareness of using soft skills. The questionnaire covers eight scales that contain (36) items which are measured using a five _points Likert - type scale anchored by 1=Never to 5= Always measure the following four domains ; interpersonal skills(7) items, personal skills (8) items. Communication skills (14) items, and self-management skills (7) items. The questionnaire is exposed to a jury of experts for the purpose of ascertaining its validity. Two methods are applied to calculate the questionnaire reliability coefficient.The results of the study have revealed that :1. Iraqi EFL pre-service teachers have an awareness for their career development .2. Based on the four domains in the questionnaire , students share the same opinions which is the domain ''personal skill'' which is received the first interest according to others. While the domain of'' self-management skill'' is received the lowest one as the following ; personal skill is received (W.M. =3.68 , W.P.=73.6%). While , self-management is received (W.M.=3.55 ,W.P.=71.17%) 3. In the light of the students' responses, the results of the study showed that dissatisfaction in some soft skills competency indicates that students communicate with people whose intellectual level is lower than them, also students' decisions are affected by others' social appearance. In the light of the results obtained, a number of recommendations are put forward.