By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Anyone finding themselves in Brazil to live or work, or even vacation, will quickly realize how little English is spoken here, and how important it is to be able to speak Portuguese fast. To that end, Português Carioca is a language course for foreigners in Rio de Janeiro (with classes in Leblon and Barra da Tijuca) whose number one goal is learn to speak Brazilian Portuguese.
The school’s focus does not simply offer Portuguese lessons with a lot of grammar and very little spoken language training. Their Portuguese courses are intended for those from all nationalities who really want to learn to speak Brazilian Portuguese for use on the Rua (street).
The director of Português Carioca, Márcia Håberg, originally from Rio, is also one of the Portuguese teachers at Português Carioca language school. She lived abroad for years and knows exactly what it’s like living in a foreign country without understanding a word.
She explains: “We have 110 students. Most of them are expats from all around the world living, studying or working in Brazil. The ones that study at our school want to learn to speak Portuguese as fast as possible.”
“Our school is for those whose speaking comes is the first priority, as the other language skills will come gradually as part of the learning process.” Håberg also adds that, “If you do not want to focus on speaking Portuguese in the first place, then you should choose another language school than ours.”
The school’s website states that through Português Carioca students are able to communicate in Brazilian Portuguese in different situations during the Portuguese classes in the Carioca way. The books used during the Portuguese classes, also developed by Márcia Håberg, bring up both formal and informal Brazilian Portuguese language with focus on the latter.
The focus seems to work well, and Håberg says, “[I recently saw a] former expat here who wrote that she had noticed that the expats studying at Português Carioca talked much faster and better Portuguese than students who studied at other Portuguese schools in Rio. That made me feel very happy and proud, since that is exactly what our school is about.”
Adding, “To learn to speak Portuguese fast by repetition and automatization (learn by doing). The students often tell me that they get tired of speaking so much in our classes, but at the same time they experience fast progress in their speaking skills, which motivates them to further effort.”
However the school’s website also acknowledges that students are different from each other, and there are students who don’t feel comfortable speaking Portuguese in front of others. There are students who prefer to learn Portuguese within a group and students who prefer to study online and so they have tailor-made classes to attend all kinds of students.
* This is a Sponsored article for Português Carioca.