Introductory Portuguese Language


This course is for students who have no previous knowledge of the Portuguese language, that is, true beginners. It helps them acquire basic linguistic structures and develop conversational competence.

The four language skills - speaking, listening, reading and writing - and knowledge of the cultures and traditions of Portugal, Brazil and other former Portuguese colonies are integrated into the four class hours per week.

Language learning is reinforced through in-class practice, audiovisual activities, aural and reading comprehensions, homework assignments and independent work. Attendance at all lectures is strongly recommended in order to benefit from interactive activities which help develop communicative skills and ensure steady progress.

There is extensive exposure to Portuguese in class so that students become acquainted with its sounds and rhythm and start building the vocabulary and grammar they need to express themselves in this language. We begin by learning how to greet people, introduce ourselves and provide basic personal information such as occupation, nationality and phone number.

We journey through the Portuguese-speaking world to discover how to talk about locations (e.g., the city and house where we live and the place where we work) and how to give and ask for directions to go from one place to another. We then learn to talk about the food we like and how to order it at a restaurant, how to describe the physical appearance of people as well as their personality and how to shop for clothing and describe what people are wearing. Lastly, we learn to narrate the activities of our daily routine and how to break away from it by making invitations to different types of social events.

Lessons are interactive, with opportunities for you to practice in pairs, small groups or the whole class.

Note: Students with prior knowledge of Spanish and other Romance Languages at any level are allowed to take this course.

Availability 2024

Not taught in 2024




Prescribed Textbook: Ponto de Encontro: Portuguese as a World Language. The text comes with CDs and online activities

Recommended Reading

A rich repository of electronic materials that will help you study and practice your Portuguese will be available via Canvas


Coursework + exam


LATINAM 101: 15 points