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ESL Worksheets: Soft Skills, Hard Skills - Two Parts of the Same Coin

Level: ESL High-Intermediate

Objectives: discuss the difference between hard and soft skills, define and give examples of soft skills; emphasize the value of soft skills at a workplace
Teacher Notes:
Write ‘unemployed’ and ‘unemployable’ on the board and ask to explain the difference.
An unemployed person has qualifications and skills required to perform a job. Being unemployed is a rather temporal condition which can happen (for example) due to lay-offs, economic recession or personal reasons (relocation, a leave taken to care for a family member, etc.)
An unemployable person lacks either qualifications or skills required to perform a job. Even if there are job openings, this person will have a hard time to get hired.
While many potential employees have the same qualifications (e.g.: a college degree) and have strong technical skills (e.g.: can write a programming code), they often need to improve their personality-specific skills (motivation, attitude, work ethic, etc.) Soft skills need to be taught as well as hard skills because they could be culture specific.
Hand out the worksheet. Students play Find Someone Who... looking for classmates who fit descriptions of professional behavior 1-15. Direct students to identify 2 groups of skills: hard and soft.
Students match examples of professional behavior 1-15 with the corresponding soft skills (e.g.: ‘passionate’ means ‘excited about the job’).
Students go over the examples of jobs and identify hard and soft skills for each of the jobs.
Wrap up with the discussion questions.

Student Handout


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ESL Worksheet Soft Skills Hard Skills - Two Parts of the Same Coin.pdf

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