Social Competencies of Polish and Turkish ELT students: A cross-cultural study

Can C. , İnözü J. , Papaja K.

Konin Language Studies, cilt.3, ss.313-326, 2015 (Hakemli Üniversite Dergisi)

  • Cilt numarası: 3
  • Basım Tarihi: 2015
  • Dergi Adı: Konin Language Studies
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.313-326


Social competencies can be defined as the capabilities enabling individuals “to live together in the world” (Arendt, 1958) and they comprise aspects of inter- personal, intercultural, social and civic competencies. They are conceptualized differently in different disciplines even then no consensus exists on their def- inition (cf. Schoon, 2009). In psychology competencies of this kind are viewed as personality traits (Sarason, 1981) which can be manifested in such capabil- ities as empathy, tolerance, conscientiousness, ability to cooperate, as a dy- namic construct involving the ability to adjust to interact in specific circum- stances (Argyle, 1994; Tajfel, 1981), as people’s belief about their efficacy (Bandura, 1997), as social (Gardner, 1999) or even emotional intelligence (Goleman, 1995). In the case of pedagogy, they refer to lifelong, intercultural and social learning. Every future English teacher should realise the importance of social skills. This is because their future career as teachers they will have to hold numerous conversations, plan activities, ask questions, listen to learners, collaborate on assignments, and engage in a host of other social behaviors that allow them to connect to learners as well as other teachers and make the most of learning opportunities. The purpose of our study is twofold. First, we aimed to find out how ELT students from Poland and Turkey perceive social skills relevant to English language teaching. To this aim, we asked an open- ended question about the social skills an English teacher should have. Our second purpose was to measure and analyze social skills among future Polish and Turkish English teachers. In order to measure these skills, we decided to use the Social Skills Inventory (SSI), designed by Riggio and Carney (2003). It is a 90-item instrument which measures social skills in six domains and provides a total score to reflect a global level of social skill development indicative of overall social competence or social intelligence. The obtained data will allow us to find out what the level of emotional expressivity, emotional sensitivity, emo- tional control, social expressivity, social sensitivity and social control among fu- ture Polish and Turkish students is and what impact it may have on teaching.