If you are looking to learn English to pass a masters or doctoral proficiency exam and have already searched for it on the internet, you may have discovered that there are a number of different learning methods. These techniques focus on different skills and objectives (writing, speaking, reading, or listening) and are given different names: English for Tourism, Business English, Academic English, etc. And among so many processes to learn the new language, you may have come across the expression Instrumental English.
But, after all, what does English Instrumental have of different from Conventional English, which is taught in courses all over the country? If you want to understand the characteristics of this method and find out why it is much more efficient for those who want to learn English for the masters or doctorate proficiency test, this post is for you. Check out!
What are the technical differences between English Instrumental and Conventional English?
Before we explain the difference between the methods, it is necessary to clarify how the studies of foreign languages are classified. According to experts in the subject, the whole language is divided into 4 skills: speaking, listening, writing and reading.
This division is essential to understand the distinction between Conventional English and Instrumental English (or Technical English): while the Conventional English course, also called Conversation, works the 4 skills, English Instrumental gives emphasis to just one, reading .
But why is there a need to work only on reading?
This differentiation of the two methods occurs because there are different demands for learning. Most people looking for Conventional English courses seek to learn the language to communicate through the 4 skills. They are people who will need to use English in everyday situations – whether abroad, at work or some other activity – and therefore need to be able to express themselves in every way.
Instrumental English, however, supplies the need for those who need to learn English for a specific purpose of reading English texts, such as passing a masters or doctoral proficiency test. Therefore, it is focused only on this ability, since in this case what is needed is mainly to read academic and technical articles with more agility.
What is the advantage of each method?
One methodology can not be said to be better or worse than the other because they serve different purposes. What you need to know is which one is right for you.
If you are looking to learn English for a tour, exchange, study or work abroad, a Conventional English course is perhaps the most appropriate as it will provide a balanced learning of the 4 skills. However, it must be borne in mind that by working on reading, writing, listening, and speaking, it takes more time to realize the learning outcomes.
Instrumental English, because it is aimed only at reading practice, offers a more specific but much faster learning, considering that this is the easiest skill to master. This is because the most common words in the language make up most of any text. For example, if you select the 250 most frequently used words in English, they will make up 60% of written material. If you select the 1000 most common, this will equal 70% of any text. If you add that amount to the cognates, that is, to words that are similar in both languages (as possible and possible), you can reach 95% understanding. Thus, with the knowledge of just over 1000 words, we can understand almost all of a text in English.
So in some cases, if the student practices English Instrumental daily, it is possible to see the first results in as little as 10 days, while in English Standard you need months of practice to reasonably understand the 4 skills.
So before choosing an English course, see which methodology best applies to your goal. In combination with your effort and persistence, the right technique can help you succeed.