English Trainee Teachers’ Perspective on Soft Skills Development in Ukraine
Author: Olena Chukhno
Keywords: English trainee teachers, higher education, professional teacher training, soft skills
The integration of soft skills in training pre-service teachers ensures higher academic performance and provides them with better career opportunities. However, many university teachers pay insufficient attention to developing soft skills in higher education. The article aims to investigate the correlation between the soft skills included in professional teacher training and undergraduates’ viewpoint on soft skills development at university. The authors formulated three research questions: (a) How do English trainee teachers assess their soft skills? (b) How much attention, in students’ opinion, do teachers pay to develop soft skills? (c) Is there a gap between teachers’ work on developing students’ soft skills and trainee teachers’ expectations? To answer these questions, the researchers analyzed the empirical data received through a questionnaire. The questionnaire was completed by 153 English trainee teachers studying at H.S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University, Ukraine. The respondents answered two close-ended questions regarding the level of soft skills they believe to possess and the amount of time devoted to soft skills development. The findings suggest that most students consider the level of their soft skills intermediate or high. Nevertheless, a significant number of the respondents still feel that teachers pay insufficient or hardly any attention to improving these skills. It is necessary to conduct further research to analyze university teachers’ viewpoint on improving students’ soft skills and organize the development of soft skills which would meet trainee teachers’ expectations.