The purpose of this article is to discuss the importance of soft skills in the context of higher education and in the context of the foreign language learning classroom. The article aims to define the notion of soft skills and to offer possible ways of grouping soft skills. It also provides ways of including soft skills instruction in the context of higher education. In addition, the article aims to propose models of implementing soft skills in foreign language learning and teaching situations and to suggest teaching procedures and activities which will facilitate the introduction of soft skills in the EFL (English as a foreign language) classroom at South East European University. The article also aims to discuss the need of including soft skills in undergraduate studies curricula and to provide arguments in favour of including soft skills. The article will also present participants’ views and perceptions, collected via survey, of the importance and necessity of soft skills for their future careers and workplaces. The conclusion will offer some practical suggestions regarding soft skill inclusion in the EFL classroom.
Emotional intelligence, a set of skills which are considered as necessary in the context of interaction with other people, was defined by a number of authors, including Goleman (1996), Gardner and Mayer & Salovey. A number of studies investigated the impact of emotional intelligence on learning, teaching and education. The focus of this article is to explore the definition of emotional intelligence and the impact that emotional intelligence and affective factors have in the context of foreign language learning and teaching. The article also focuses on research conducted with a group of 23 students and their self assessment of emotional intelligence as well as their perceptions of the ways emotional intelligence has an impact on foreign language learning. The article attempts to provide recommendations of implementing activities and teaching practices in the context of foreign language learning and teaching aiming to foster emotional intelligence development.