How are the levels divided?
How long does each level take to complete?
How long before I am fluent?
Can I hire you as a private tutor and have less structured classes?
What do I need to get started?
Why study Portuguese?
What is your teaching philosophy and methodology?
Why learn from you?
Is your schedule flexible?
Is there a cancellation policy?
Why should older students study Portuguese?
Can you teach Portuguese to children?
What is the meaning of life?
Can you teach to specific areas of interest, i.e. business?
Can we integrate literature, cinema and music in my Portuguese classes?
Do you offer in-person classes?
How are the levels divided Our Portuguese course consists of 6 levels, which are based based on the Common European Framework of References for Languages, a standard commonly used to set the contents of each level. The final two levels shown below are student directed and will be advanced studies in an area of the student's interest. Subjects can be anything from literature, music, business, politics or law.
Level One: Basic 1
Meet and greet. Introduce self. Can ask questions and understand answers about personal details. Can use basic phrases to satisfy basic, concrete needs. Can interact on a basic level, provided pace is slow.
Level Two: Basic 2
Can communicate about familiar and routine matters. Can describe things in simple terms. Can understand direct communication concerning simple tasks, such as shopping and employment.
Level Three: Intermediate 1
Can understand main points in familiar topics in natural speech. Can express hopes, dreams, plans and experiences. Can address most situations arising during travel. Can write simply but coherently.
Level Four: Intermediate 2
Can understand main ideas in reading complicated text, including in specialized fields. Can interact normally with native speakers without undue strain on either side. Can write complex texts, can express opinions and abstract ideas in writing.
Level Five: Advanced 1
Can read a wide ranger of complex texts, and understand implicit meaning. Can communicate fluently and spontaneously without obvious struggle. Can write detailed texts, with good, cohesive structure on complex subjects.
Level Six: Advanced 2
Can understand virtually everything heard and read. Can summarize information, and reconstruct arguments and presentations. Can differentiate fine shades of meaning, even in complex situations.
Further Study: Student Directed Advanced Study in areas such as literature, politics and business. Advanced students who complete level six study Portuguese for native speakers from material made for native speakers. How long does each level take to complete? Each level takes an average of 20-25 hours to complete for a student with an average level of aptitude and prior experience, 15-20 hours for a fluent Spanish speaker. How long before I am fluent? The time it takes to learn Portuguese depends on how much time you have, your budget, your goals, and your experience level. A beginner can become conversational in a matter of months and fluent within 2 years, depending on dedication and time. A Spanish speaker can become fluent in about half that time. I recommend 2-3 lessons per week, with some time set aside for homework and practice exercises. Can I hire you as a private tutor? If you would prefer less structured tutoring sessions, you can hire me or any of my teachers as a tutor. What do I need to get started? Just an Internet connection, a computer or smart phone, a web camera (optional), and a desire to learn Portuguese! Then contact me for a free session and we can get started. Why study Portuguese? Brazil is the largest nation in Latin America and the 6th largest economy in the world, having just passed the UK in 2012. While most economies are currently stagnating, Brazil's is booming. The next Olympics and World Cup will be held there, and Obama recently visited Brazil asking that American companies be considered in helping build the infrastructure needed for these major international events. Brazil may be admitted to the G8 soon, and is widely recognized as one of the four biggest up-and-coming economies, often described as the BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India and China. Brazil has some of the world's greatest beaches, some of the grooviest music, and some of the most cosmopolitan cities in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Oros. Portuguese is the 5th most spoken language in the world. Its is spoken in countries not only in South America and Europe, but several countries in Africa, Southeast Asia, and even the Chinese province of Macao. Portuguese is the second largest Romance language, second only to Spanish, and has more native speakers than French, Italian, and German. And as a Romance language, learning Portuguese is helpful in learning Spanish, French and other Latin languages. Why learn from you? There is a true difference in learning a language from a trained, professional teacher, and learning from someone who just happens to be Brazilian or Portuguese and knows how to speak the language. Many journalists and other professionals offer Portuguese lessons but do not know how to teach, and are unfamiliar with theories of how students learn and acquire languages. I have a Bachelor's degree in the teaching of Portuguese and English, and I hold an advanced degree in applied linguistics. I was the pedagogical supervisor of the Portuguese and English programs at a language school in Brazil, and was responsible for the curriculum, the classroom materials, and the training, hiring and firing of the teachers. I have taught Portuguese for over 10 years in a multitude of schools from Fortaleza, Brazil to Beverly Hills, California. I love to teach, and have helped hundreds of students learn Portuguese. I use my own materials, which I have developed over my many years of experience, and are provided to all students for free. My Portuguese classes are fun, dynamic and interactive. If you are motivated to learn and are willing to put in the time outside of class, I will provide homework and exercises. However, many students don't have the time, and so we can also do everything within the class time if you prefer. What is your teaching philosophy and methodology? The most common teaching methodology is Audiolingualism, which is seen in language CDs, books and most classes, and involves memorization and repetition. Audiolingualism is boring, inefficient and ineffective. You do not learn to communicate in any meaningful way, and are unable to respond to new vocabulary and situations that you haven't already memorized and rehearsed. I do integrate some Audiolingualism in my curricula for older students and children, who benefit more from repetition, but I use it in conjunction with other teaching styles and never rely on it exclusively. I primarily use the communicative approach, which focuses on interaction, communication and fluency over memorization. You will still learn plenty of vocabulary and grammar, but you will learn it in context as you learn how to truly communicate. You will learn to understand and be understood. We will learn to speak, read, write and listen, the four 'skills' of language learning. Is your schedule flexible? One of the main advantages to studying Portuguese online, is the flexibility it affords you. I schedule classes 7 days a week, from 8a.m. to 9:00p.m. PST. I have many students who have classes during their lunch hour at work, and many others who schedule classes for evenings and weekends. Of course, these time slots are the first to go, so weekday, daytime slots are generally more available. Is there a cancellation policy? I ask that if you are unable to attend class, you give me at least 12 hours notice. We all have emergencies and unexpected obligations, and I am sensitive to this fact, but please let me know as soon as you are able. I will try to avoid charging for missed classes, but I may have to depending on factors such as demand for that time slot. Why should older students learn a language? Studies show that age is not a factor in language acquisition, though older learners may benefit from different teaching styles than younger learners. Studies also show that studying a foreign language exercises the brain, and can delay symptoms of dementia four to five years. Also, Brazil is still an affordable destination compared to places like Europe, and cities like Rio offer all the comfort and conveniences of any developed country. Can you teach children? I currently have students as young as five years old. I have taught languages in Brazilian public schools and have experience teaching children. Early childhood is the best time to learn a language. What is the meaning of life? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, 'life' means: the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death. Hey, I'm a language teacher, not a philosopher. Can you teach to specific areas of interest, i.e. business? I have tailored my Portuguese lessons to various audiences, such as business people, lawyers, doctors, actors, immigrants and tourists. I am happy to incorporate specific vocabulary and jargon, as well as lessons in your area of interest in your Portuguese classes. Each students class will chart a different path, depending on prior abilities, dedication and goals. Can we integrate literature, cinema and music in my classes? I love to read and discuss Brazilian literature and have had many classes where I used Brazilian literature, television clips, movies and music as teaching aids. Fun and interest are both motivational factors in language learning. Do you offer in-person classes? I do teach in-person Portuguese classes to those who reside in or are willing to travel to the Pasadena area of Los Angeles, California. Many local students outside of this immediate area choose to learn over Skype, as the prices are somewhat lower, and there is no commuting necessary.