Having spent my entire day learning Portuguese, I thought I would come here and write an entry for my blog about…Portuguese.
Yes, I’m just simply going Portuguese crazy right now.
I’ve always self-studied Portuguese; listening to songs, watching films (difficult! I have a tendency to zone out when I don’t understand), reading books, studying grammar and practicing speaking with Fernando. My desire to learn Portuguese has always been there although looking back, maybe the urgency wasn’t so strong. My job is all in English. My friends can all speak English. Maybe I never felt that ompff to really master the language.
However, since I’ve started having Portuguese classes, I have never studied so much in my life. Every day, I’m dedicating at least three hours to studying. Writing, reading, constructing new grammar, revising and exploring new vocabulary, insisting that Fernando and I speak in nothing but Portuguese. I’ve suddenly realised the importance of having Portuguese classes – they’ve structured my progress, I can monitor my performance, I have targets to achieve. And I love a good target. This is what really drives me. Plus, I understand my teacher, but I really want to be able to talk with her without my speech being sprinkled with lengthy pauses, wrong vocabulary and littered with mistakes. I want fluency and I want it now.
I’ve been having classes for 6 weeks now I think, just one class every 2 weeks but that’s enough. She sets me plenty of homework, and I mean plenty so I have enough to do in between classes. She also sends me links to videos and songs that I can use to practice my listening and increase my vocabulary.
She is, by far, the best teacher ever. If you need a good teacher in São Paulo check out Sampa School. It’s amazing.
She uses textbooks for homework but our classes are all about discussions relating to particluar grammar points and giving me the chance to really use the language. These classes I find really effective. Already I’ve noticed a significant improvement in my Portuguese and this is spurring me on even more. So much so that I’ve had enough of writing this entry and I want to get back to studying. The geek within me has been unleashed.
In case you’re wondering, I’m currently using the following textbooks:
Bem-vindo! and Falar…Ler…Escrever
These books are great to practice all aspects of Portuguese. My teacher uses additional supplements as well but these are random and specific to my needs at the time so I’m not sure where she gets them from.
So the Portuguese…so far, so good. I’m even dreaming in Portuguese now although it’s very frustrating as more than often I don’t understand what is being said, nor can I respond!