Expatica presents its list of language schools in Lisbon and Porto, as well as a selection of online courses to learn Portuguese.
If you are thinking of moving to Portugal, keep in mind that you will have trouble integrating entirely unless you have a good grasp of the local language. You can start your relationship with the Portuguese language via an online course. Not only are online courses very convenient – you choose how to organise your time, and review challenging grammar exercises as many times as you like – but you can continue your study, no matter where you are and how often you have to travel. Another advantage is that these courses are often free.
Learning Portuguese: Online language courses
www.learningportuguese.co.uk is a user-friendly website where you can find tons of exercises for both beginners and advanced users. What is particularly valuable on the website is that it is created by a person whose native language is not Portuguese, so the information is presented in an easy and effective way. An interesting feature on the website is the section with different Portuguese accents, so you can compare pronunciation from different regions of the country.
fsi-language-courses.org has a rich database with more than forty languages. In the Portuguese section, you will find the Portuguese Programmatic Course (Volumes One and Two) and many useful links to websites which will help you practise your recently acquired knowledge and skills.
The website www.easyportuguese.com offers a textbook-like interactive menu. You can choose whether to start with basic grammar or to memorise new vocabulary. There are sections for people who just need some colloquial phrases and for others who want to gradually advance in their learning. Here, as well as on the other sites mentioned above, you can choose between European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese. To ease the process of learning, the website provides every phrase or expression with its English translation.
Once in Portugal, you can also sign up for a course at a language school. Many of them offer the opportunity to try their teaching system by email or you can sign up for a course via the school’s website.
Language courses in Lisbon
Linguas&Linguas is a language centre in Lisbon with nearly 20 years of experience in the field of language teaching and translation work. Línguas&Línguas Language School is one of the most successful schools in Lisbon today. Their Portuguese for foreigners course utilises same method used in native Portuguese classes. They also offer to arrange the client’s accommodation, if necessary. Another advantage is that the teachers provide a cultural approach to the city and the country.
CIAL was founded in 1959 as a language school for the Portuguese people. Now, with over 50 years of history, the school is one of the trustworthy language centres in Lisbon. One of their most valued services is the Portuguese course for foreigners. These groups start every month, and you can choose a group that fits your schedule and level of learning. The courses take place in one of centre’s buildings and accommodate small groups of three to five people.
CESA also offers various courses to help foreigners learn Portuguese. The centre was first opened in 1980 and since then has arranged language courses abroad for thousands of people, of all ages and linguistic abilities — from beginners to very advanced students with specialised needs. All of their specialists are native Portuguese speakers, with University degrees, who specialise in teaching Portuguese as a second language.
Language courses in Porto
Royal School of Languages is one of the schools in Porto which provides Portuguese courses for foreigners. Their mission is to be a source of quality and confidence in the communication business. As well as language courses, they also offer translation services and literature courses for advanced learners.
CEL has offered courses in Portuguese as a Foreign Language since 1986, within the framework of European training programmes. The courses in Portuguese Language and Culture run by CEL are structured around a learning system based upon the Council of Europe’s Modern Language Project and are regularly updated.
IH Porto has two branch schools in Porto. They provide general start up and continuation courses at Council of Europe Levels A1, A2 and B1 with some skills-focused courses as well, such as ‘Telephoning’ and ‘Writing for Business purposes’. Advantages of the centre are its atmosphere and the careful, individual approach towards each student.
When you arrive in Portugal for the first time, with the intent of finding employment, you can ask for orientation and language courses with your Local Municipal Authority. Once you register as a resident in the country, you have to apply in Câmara Municipal. At that time, you can ask whether they can provide materials and contacts to attend language and cultural classes. As in other countries in EU, this applies to citizens of the EU and can be ascertained in advance of arrival by Ministry of Foreign Affairs.