You may have heard someone say they were going to take an instrumental English or Spanish course before an exam. Or that he preferred this course to improve the curriculum more quickly. But do you know what that is? From some common questions, we will explain here what an instrumental language course is and let you in on this modality!
After all, what is an instrumental language course?
This type of course is shorter than conventional models. In it, you learn the language in a more technical way, more focused on reading and writing. Therefore, the lessons teach some strategies to master the written form of the language more easily. However, without needing further study.
Thus, this modality is widely used by those who are going to do some proficiency test, but who do not have much time to learn the language. In the same sense, some instrumental courses can be focused on specific areas.
If you are taking an exam for a master’s degree in Communication, for example, you can attend a course with an emphasis on the most used terms and expressions in this area.
In short, the instrumental course allows the understanding of a language. In other words, it gives you the tools to make a person able to read and write in that language, even without mastering it.
But what is the difference between a conventional and an instrumental course?
Traditional courses work on language learning from four bases: writing, reading, speaking and listening (or understanding). This methodology allows you to understand the language as a whole, studying gradually until you reach fluency.
The instrumental course, in turn, focuses more on just two of these bases: reading and writing. That’s because it is used for specific purposes. That is, for a test, or for work, for example. In such cases, there is not so much need to master the spoken form of a language, since you will only use the written form.
Thus, in the instrumental course you will have a deeper understanding of the structure and text interpretation bases. In addition, you will learn reading techniques, grammar rules and also a specific vocabulary for the purpose of your course.
Is it worth taking an instrumental language course?
This is a question that has no definitive answer. Everything will depend on what your intentions are when learning a new language. This does not mean that one methodology is better than the other. Much less do they exclude each other.
If you are going to use the language only for a test or to apply in your work environment, the instrumental course does its job well. In this case, it is worthwhile both for practicality and for the time saved. With the instrumental, you will learn that a few words are the most used in a language and, focusing on them, in a short time you will be able to read and write texts.
However, if you want to learn a new language for an exchange, a trip, or to work abroad, an instrumental course will be little for your need. As you will have a complete immersion in the language, just knowing how to read and write will not be enough. In this case, the part related to speech, taught in conventional courses, will be just as important.
It is also important to remember that if you are going to do the instrumental for a test that can provide you with an international trip later, you will need to go back to class to learn the content related to pronunciation. In some cases, if you learn the instrumental first, you may find it difficult to fix a correct pronunciation. This is because you will have already “created” a way of saying a certain word in your head.