Portuguese Language and Culture

Why study Portuguese?

Portuguese is the fifth most spoken language in the world today.

Altogether, Portuguese is the language of approximately 200,000,000 people.

Portuguese speaking populations are spread throughout Europe, South America, Africa and Asia.

Portuguese is the language of Portugal and Brazil, as well as the official language of the Cape Verde Islands, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome e Principe, Angola, Mozambique, and East-Timor.

It is also still spoken in Goa (India) and Macau (China). Galician is a variety of Portuguese spoken in Northwest Spain.


Course Description:

The purpose of this course is to build vocabulary and grammar knowledge. We will develop proficiency in Portuguese through a communicative and cultural approach to language learning. Emphasis is placed on the development of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, and on acquisition of the fundamentals of applied grammar knowledge. Cross-cultural understanding is fostered and real-life applications are emphasized throughout the course.



Continuous/tutorial evaluation:  Evaluation will be a continuous process, although students will have quizzes and an oral and written final exams.

Class participation = 20%*; homework = 15%; quizzes + written exam = 25%; oral exam = 15%; visit day = 10%; cultural presentation = 15%


Class participation:

In-class grade reflects attendance, preparation for class, and the effort made to answer questions (in Portuguese) and to take part in both class and group activities, as well as the effort to use the Portuguese language. 



Homework is assigned every day. Answers to exercises will be provided. Self correct these assignments in contrasting ink before you hand them in. Do not hand in work as your own if you have copied the answers.  Students who do not self correct assignments will not receive full credit. Homework will be collected and graded randomly, at the discretion of your teacher. It is therefore in your best interest to prepare assigned pages every day. Only homework handed in on the day it is due will get credit. No late work of any kind will be accepted. Hand in your work on time!


Quizzes and written exam:

Are based on pages assigned from the textbook and on special information given by the teacher. The quizzes announced on the syllabus will take about 15-20 minutes. There is also a cumulative Final Exam at the last day of classes.


Oral exam:

Will be scheduled in 10 minute blocks during which time you and a partner are asked to speak with your teacher using grammar and vocabulary that has been studied in class. Your teacher will provide you with all necessary information for this exercise. You will be graded on pronunciation, comprehensibility, fluency and pace, content and syntax, and grammatical competence.

Cultural presentations:

Will be done in groups (three students maximum) and will be graded on language use as well as content/research. The presentation will last about 15 minutes with the speaking balanced among members of the group and an additional 5 minutes to answer questions.


Keep all returned graded work until you receive your final grade.


Make ups:

Will not be given for any graded work without a prompt, VALID excuse, and will be scheduled at the teacher's convenience. This includes tests, compositions, homework and class work.



Tavares, Ana. Português XXI. Lisboa: Lidel, 2004.



4 hours/day.



Ana Moutinho, acmout@ufp.edu.pt