Portuguese for Spanish Speakers

Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Portuguese for Spanish Speakers

  • Host University

    Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina

  • Location

    Florianópolis, Brazil

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Beginning, Intermediate

  • Prerequisites

    Students must have completed 4 or more semesters of college-level Spanish to enroll in this course.

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview


    The course focuses on developing speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in Portuguese while building vocabulary, learning basic rules and terminology of Portuguese grammar, and gaining a better understanding of Portuguese speaking cultures, with a focus on Brazil, in order to communicate in an accurate, effective, and informed manner within a variety of socio-cultural situations.

    By the end of this course you should be able to do the following:

    • Express opinions, reactions and recommendations;
    • Discuss possible, probable and certain future events and situations;
    • Narrate past events and react subjectively to them;
    • Speak hypothetically about various events and situations;
    • Analyze moderately complex language data in order to draw conclusions regarding parts of speech, functional uses of grammar, etc.;
    • Recognize dialectal, social and contextual variation;
    • Understand the main ideas of moderately complex written texts (with improved skimming, cognate recognition, and inference skills);
    • Understand the main ideas of moderately complex oral discourse (with improvedrecognition of tone, content, context, intonation, etc.);
    • Maintain conversations of a substantial length (with improved fluency strategies, such as circumlocution, discourse markers, etc.);
    • Produce written work of a substantial length (with improved organization, connectors, and appropriateness of register)

    Courses will generally consist of the following components

    • Lab
    • Vocabulary and Grammar Tests
    • Homework
    • In-class Activities/ participation
    • Oral Presentations
    • Compositions
    • Final Exam

    Tests (Provas) - Vocabulary and grammar tests that focus on words, terms and grammatical concepts presented in the textbook and workbook.

    In-Class Activities (atividades em sala de aula) - You will be graded for you participation and for the activities done in class (Ta Falado, short quizzes, group exercises, homework other than the workbook, oral activities, etc.). When you miss a class, you lose all the points for that day's activity.

    Quizzes - The instructor may give the students short quizzes about important topics covered in class.

    Oral Presentation (Apresentação Oral) - Each student may be required to give brief oral presentations to the class. Students can choose the topic of the presentation. The presentations should be about 5 minutes long and include a handout with an outline of the presentation, including sources (webpages, magazine titles and dates, etc.) and a list of essential vocabulary for the other students in the class. It is a short oral presentation, so please do not use Power Point or other multimedia in your presentation.

    Compositions (Composições) - During the semester students are required to turn in three short compositions on a topic determined by the instructor.

    Final Exam - There will be a final exam during the final exam schedule. THERE IS NO MAKE-UP


    The goals of this course are two-fold. Throughout the semester, you will be acquiring knowledge (e.g. vocabulary, grammar) and you will be developing skills (e.g. reading strategies, data analysis). Therefore, course assessments are designed to reflect your progress in both of these areas. The assessments can include material not explicitly seen previously but that is closely related to the course content and tests a student's ability to apply acquired information and abilities.

    Vocabulary - You are responsible for all words and phrases on the vocabulary lists. You should know the meaning, gender and spelling of these items. Furthermore, you will be expected to use these words within a context. Therefore, make sure you know not only the English translations for the words, but also understand how they would be used in Portuguese discourse.

    Grammar - You are expected to know all grammar structures included in the course syllabus. Make sure you fully understand all formulas and rules. For verb conjugations, you will be expected to know how to conjugate not only regular verbs, but also irregular verbs and verbs with spelling changes and stem changes.

    Terminology - In order to talk effectively about language, you will be expected to know the appropriate terminology. You should be prepared to answer questions involving technical linguistic terminology and/or identify these elements both in class and on exams or other assessments.

    Sociocultural - Your instructor will expose you to different interactional contexts and a variety of dialects and their principal characteristics throughout the semester. You must familiarize yourself with this material and will be expected to recognize these features on exams and other graded assignments.

    Reading - Of the four skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking), the ability to read is typically retained for the longest period of time. With this natural tendency in mind, one of the main goals of our program is to develop strong reading skills that will stay with you for years to come. In this course, you will be given many opportunities to develop these skills, both in groups and individually, both at home and in-class. You will develop skills such as skimming, recognizing cognates, making inferences, etc. It is in your best interest to work pro-actively on developing these reading skills at home, since you will be tested on your ability to read and comprehend unfamiliar texts containing unfamiliar vocabulary and to do so with relative speed.

    Data Analysis - Our department implements a guided inductive approach to language learning. This means that you will be exposed to language data (written or oral) and will be encouraged to formulate your own rules and test your own hypotheses regarding language forms and structures. Since a substantial part of the course will involve this type of data analysis, you should expect to be tested on this skill via graded assignments and exams. In other words, you will not only be expected to reproduce language practiced in the classroom, but will also be given new data, about which you will be asked to draw conclusions.