Why study Portuguese
If you are planning to visit Brazil for the spectacular Carnaval celebrations, your visit will be enhanced by a knowledge of Portuguese. You will discover that Portuguese is more than the language of the samba and Carnaval. With approximately 170 million native speakers, Portuguese is one of the most prolific languages in the world. It is second (after Spanish) as the most spoken Romance language, with an estimated 150 million Portuguese-speaking people living in Brazil, and about 10 million in Portugal.
The Portuguese language
Portuguese is one of the “Romance” languages, descended from the Latin which was spoken in the Roman provinces of Lusitania and Gallaecia (now Portugal and the Spanish province of Galicia). Between 409 AD and 711 AD the Portuguese language adopted a range of words used by invading Germanic tribes. When the Moors conquered the Iberian Peninsula, Arabic became the official language although the majority of the population still spoke Romance. Portuguese spread worldwide in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries due to a combination of colonialism and commercialism which saw Portuguese language and culture reach such outposts as Brazil, Goa, parts of India and Macau in China. Portuguese was the lingua franca on the island of Sri Lanka for about 350 years and Creole languages based on Portuguese also appeared in many varied locations around the world, especially in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.
Areas of study:
* Introductions, greetings, leave-taking etc
* Giving personal details such as address, phone/fax number, occupation
* Small talk, weather, health etc
* Basic telephone skills, ordering food and drinks
* Catching a taxi and using public transport
* Asking for and understanding directions
* Prices, quantification, booking a hotel
* Inviting guests home, dates, months etc
* General knowledge of common practices and customs
* The etiquette of social and formal functions
* Cross-cultural awareness skills
Level 1A 0-20 hours of prior study
For students with very little or no previous knowledge of the language. You will learn to talk about yourself: name, professions, likes and dislikes, your family, your home and your daily activities.
Level 1B approx. 20 –30 hours ofprior study
For students who have immediate survival skills and who can ask questions or make simple statements using short memorised language. You will learn more complex verb structures: what you can do, what to do and must do, as well as describing people, places and objects.
Level 2 40-50 hrs of prior study
For learners who have immediate survival skills and who can ask questions or make simple statements. You will learn to talk about actions and situations in the past and the future and conduct simple discussions on topics such as transport, tourism, hobbies, cinema and the media.
Level 3 50-70 hrs of prior study
You will develop your skills in expressing your opinion and build up your fluency in speaking. You will have the chance to consolidate your vocabulary so you can feel more confident in talking about your own day-to-day activities and interests, as well as conduct simple discussions on general current affairs subjects.
Level 4 70-80 hours of prior study
For students who can ask and answer general questions, initiate and respond to general statements, maintain conversation and express their own opinion on a range of issues. You will explore a wider range of resources in the language - texts, songs, film clips, news reports etc. to increase your vocabulary and your familiarity with contemporary life in the target country. You will cover more complex grammatical points to improve your comprehension and fluency.
Level 5 80-90 hrs of prior study
For students who can express their opinions with confidence and with considerable control, in situations including current events, work, family and personal information, hypothetical issues etc. You will be able to understand more complex written texts, improve your comprehension of spoken language in films, documentaries and the media and consolidate your fluency in spoken language, as well as revising problematic grammatical points.
Level 6 100-120 hrs of prior study
For students who feel confident with expressing themselves in the language across a wide range of situations and who wish to extend their competency and accuracy. You will have the opportunity to focus on specific skills, such as extending your vocabulary in given areas, improving your written language for different contexts, developing a better understanding of particular cultural and social issues in the target country.
Level 7 Conversation and Grammar
100-150 hrs of prior study
This course offers students the opportunity to revise some of the more problematic aspects of grammar and to become confident with expressing themselves in the appropriate register to use in everyday situations. The topics covered may be adapted to reflect the specific interests of the students in the class.
Level 8 Advanced Conversation
200+ hours of prior study
For relatively fluent speakers of the language. You will have the opportunity to participate in discussions covering a broad range of subjects which are chosen in accordance with the specific interests of the group. Typically, these subjects range from traditional practices to contemporary political and social issues and you will also be encouraged to share your own special areas of interest or expertise with the other members of the class.