By Ruth Faulkner, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Portuguese for Foreigners language school, Caminhos Language Centre, not only follows a communicative approach when teaching Portuguese to their students at their school in Ipanema, but also includes numerous extra activities and interaction opportunities to aid learning in and outside the classroom, giving their students a full experience of Brazil and its culture.
Considering themselves a “new Portuguese school,” in style, students at Caminhos can attend free activities helping to immerse them into Brazilian lifestyle and the city of Rio alongside their standard courses.
Bart Bijen, founder of the Caminhos Language Centre, explained their unique strategy: “We offer the total Rio Experience. A person wants to learn Portuguese but doing four hours per day five days a week in a classroom is boring.”
Adding, “At Caminhos you have the chance to get to know Rio, do sports, dance, meet friends while learning Portuguese. And you will learn faster as you will be practicing your Portuguese while learning. And all these activities are a hundred percent free.”
From samba and beach volleyball to cooking and capoeira, their additional activities help students make friends, converse in Portuguese outside class and to get a genuine Brazilian experience. To highlight their many additional aspects, the school changed their name from Casa do Caminhos to Caminhos Language Centre.
Recent student Alexandre Labat commented on Trip Advisor about his experience at Caminhos, saying: “I first came here to learn Portuguese then I found out that this school had so much more to offer! This school is like a big family where everyone is accepted no matter what level of Portuguese they have.”
The classes themselves are collaborative, with students encouraged to converse in Portuguese from day one. Small group classes (4-10 people) facilitate the opportunity for teachers to focus on students’ needs and classes are shaped around conversations on important topics, featured text, music and videos. The curriculum also boasts a wealth of information about Rio’s rich culture and Brazilian traditions.
Founded in 2009, the Ipanema-based school started with an extra purpose on top of the teaching of foreigners in Rio; to offer free educational and cultural programs for underprivileged young Brazilians.
Since its foundation the school has invested over R$600,000 (approximately US$200,000) in social projects which transformed the lives of many children and teenagers. The social program, Mais Caminhos, provides on-site education courses, scholarships and an exchange program, and a family program that supports children and young adults whose home situation is precarious.
The school has also now launched a new social program to continue its contributions to society and are currently building a new Eco farm in Nova Friburgo, called Eco Caminhos. Eco Caminhos aims to build sustainable housing, using new technologies, and to self-cultivate organic crops.
From this month the project begins offering volunteering opportunities, in exchange for food and accommodation. In the future the project hopes to work with the Caminhos Language Centre to offer students the chance to learn Portuguese and the opportunity to volunteer with combined activities.
*This is a Sponsored Article by Caminhos Language Centre.