The article is focused on the role of English language proficiency in the process of intercultural communication and professional development in the world of jobs and professions. It is shown that in the system of professional skills, which is traditionally divided into “hard” (connected with professions and special functions that employee performs) and “soft” ones (connected with communicative and interpersonal skills) English language proficiency performs a unique role in professional development of modern employees form different spheres. Alongside with the importance of the both types of skills there is a tendency with growing demand for soft skills, which might be crucial in success in career development. English language proficiency becomes an essential skill in a number of jobs. A traditional look at English language proficiency seen as “hard” skill of linguistic professions, including translators, English language teachers, etc. is being changed and undergoes the further process of modification. The following situation is determined by a number of factors with the major ones coming from the spheres of technology and international communication. The first factor is “communications revolution” (D. Gradoll), the second factor is the growth of information with its rapid deterioration and renovation. A complex of these highly interconnected factors boosts dynamic changes in the world of jobs and professions, which is marked by the international professional mobility, and the necessity of life-long learning. In these circumstances due to the need of employers and employees to update and enlarge professional knowledge, English language proficiency becomes a key characteristic of professional qualities not only for “white” collars (employees traditionally engaged in managerial or clerical positions) but also for the “blue” collar labour market segment (professionals mostly connected with manual work). Still the question about the place of English proficiency and its level is under discussion. Due to the central idea of soft skills, communicative skills build a core of it. It becomes evident that in some jobs of the “blue” collar sector, English level proficiency performs a linking role between hard and soft skills, and acquires a tendency to the further raise of importance the both communicative and cognitive skill in English language proficiency. The other important question here deals with the necessary level of English language proficiency. The description of soft skills points out the key idea of achieving communicative and interactive result. The comparison of descriptors of CEFR and the essential indicators of soft skills shows that the ground for efficiency is dependable on the level. Efficient communication and interaction start with the level B. The questions discussed in the article cover some primary points of the problem, and are aimed at further continuation and research on the question. Thus there appears a vast field for the further research in linguistics, intercultural communication, pedagogy, management. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to point out a key and linking role of English in the complex of professional skills of professionals of different segments and spheres of labour market. Methods: literature research, analysis, interpretation, reasoning. Conclusions: the article shows that proficiency in English being essential in the system of professional skills of representatives of the modern “white” collar and “blue” collar segments performs a linking role between soft and hard skills in professional competence, still it's becoming more evident that there appearing more jobs and occupations where English language proficiency becomes a hard skill. This happens due to the dynamic changes in data production, its permanent deterioration and necessity in updating. The positions mentioned above open new questions to further studies in management, linguistics, intercultural communication, pedagogy in direc

Российский университет дружбы народов (РУДН)
  • 1 Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)
Ключевые слова
English language proficiency; soft skills; hard skills; link; white collar sector; blue collar sector
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