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Follow These Tips to Give Lessons in Portuguese

By Yann, published on 16/10/2018 Blog > Tutoring > Advice for Tutors > How to Give Portuguese Lessons

The ability to speak more than one language is marvellous!

Not only because of the wonderful mental and psychological benefits it brings but because native speakers of other languages are exactly what our country needs!

Well, not exactly. What we need is language instruction so that we remain competitive on the world stage.

And you, with your fantastic language skills, will help us get there! How?

It is no secret that we English speakers have grown complacent in our language studies.

Inasmuch as anywhere in the world we might wander, there will be someone who understands our language, why bother learning any others?

Turns out, we’ve been selling ourselves short and now, there’s a mad scramble to catch up.

In fact, the British Council has compiled a dramatic report to that effect, closing it with the urging that students in secondary school should sit GCSEs in foreign languages.

That means that there is an urgent need for teachers of foreign languages within the British public school system!

Although Portuguese was not among the top 5 languages students selected, it does make the list of the top 10 languages Britons should study in order to remain economically stable in the years to come.

Neither the report nor the recommendation specified whether one should study Brazilian Portuguese or European Portuguese but that is just a small oversight.

Your Portuguese language skills and teaching ability will make that determination in their stead!

Whether you are a Portuguese native speaker or claimed Portuguese as your major and wrote your doctoral thesis on the life and works of Mário de Carvalho, it is time for you to consider giving lessons in this language you love!

What Qualifications do I Need to Give Portuguese Lessons?

Be sure to have the proper certifications before becoming a Portuguese teacher You must have proper credentials to teach Portuguese in some situations Source: Pixabay Credit: Clkr-Free Vector Images

What an excellent first question! The answer to it is nowhere near as concise…

Essentially, you may teach in any type of venue but, depending on the one that calls to you, you may have to go through a certifying process.

No matter what, if you intend to work with children – in a school setting, in a language training centre or as a freelance tutor, you must submit to a DBS check.

Beyond that…

  • If you hail from Portugal and were a teacher there, you will have a bit of an easier time getting your teaching certification in our country than if you were a teacher in Brazil, or have never led any instruction.
    • Should you decide on a language training centre as your preferred place to give Portuguese lessons, you would not need a teacher certification.
  • If Portuguese is your mother tongue, you will most likely have to prove your English speaking ability, most likely by presenting your IELTS or TOEFL certificate.
  • If you are native to Great Britain, you will certainly have to prove your Portuguese language ability.
  • If you majored in Portuguese language studies at university, you may simply show your transcripts, which will satisfy both your higher education and your language requirement.
    • However, if you happen to be in possession of a CAPLE or CEPLE-Bras rating, that would work very well, too.

Bottom line: if you teach in any of Britain’s or Scotland’s public schools, you must have proof of your language ability, proof of higher education and a teacher certification, and a DBS check.

Should you decide to teach Portuguese at university-level, you would not need a Qualified Teacher certificate or a DBS check, but you would have to have earned higher than a bachelor’s degree in your field of study.

A coffee shop or library would probably be a more conventional place to give Portuguese lessons You may give Portuguese lessons anywhere you and your student feel comfortable Source: Pixabay Credit: Sasint

Where Can I Give Portuguese Language Courses?

Another great question!

As alluded to in the segment above, you have your choice of locations to teach Portuguese language and culture, provided you meet the qualifications of any of the positions.

Many bilinguals and native speakers choose to teach foreign language independent of any institution or organisation because doing so gives them the freedom to build their curriculum as they see fit, set up their own schedule of lessons and put the language learning focus where it needs to be.

For example, someone preparing for a holiday in Lisbon does not need to know how to conjugate irregular verbs; they would only need conversational Portuguese.

The downside to helping people learn a new language without support and oversight from an established entity is the constant hustle for students, rushing to meet them here or there and having to fight for credibility – at least at the start.

As you progress in your teaching venture, your students would leave rave reviews on your profile page…

You don’t have a profile page?

Why not head directly to Superprof and join the more than 500 Portuguese tutors, scattered across the country, who give lessons both online and face to face!

In fact, giving online lessons in Portuguese is one of the best ways to beat the overhead blues: all you really need is a reliable internet connection, a webcam and a quality headset and microphone – so that you can hear and be heard.

In spite of the convenience brought by this technology, some Portuguese teachers would rather teach in a school or language training centre – and there is certainly nothing wrong with that.

The pay would be more steady and the hours more regulated… but then again, your teaching would be regulated, too.

I guess that balances out…

How Do I Set a Price for My Portuguese Lessons?

You’ve decided to teach Portuguese independently? That’ll be so much fun!

But it will also be work: establishing your curriculum – one for every need because not every student will be the same.

You will also have to prepare materials; maybe a few Powerpoint presentations, some flashcards or maybe make use of other resources available online (see below for more).

You may even have to buy a few Portuguese textbooks and workbooks for your students to learn with.

And then, you have to decide who your audience will be.

Will you focus on exam preparation? Will you work strictly with university students or would you rather teach young children in an immersion type of curriculum?

You might also consider teaching business Portuguese if there are any international companies in your area.

And let’s not forget teaching Portuguese conversation to those merry holidaymakers!

As you can clearly see, not every Portuguese lesson is the same: some will merit more money per hour while others won’t even last an hour.

To muddy the waters even further, we must consider that what type of Portuguese you teach and to whom is perhaps the least of your considerations when setting your prices.

Your geographical location is perhaps a much greater factor than any other aspect of teaching any language when it comes to determining your price per hour of instruction.

If you live in a London, Manchester or Glasgow, you may charge up to £50 per hour without batting an eye. However, prices such as those won’t bring you many students in Brighton, Blyth or Bushey.

Bottom line: check around; find out what other Portuguese tutors are charging and price yourself competitively.

Don’t price yourself too low, or else people will perceive the value of your instruction to be poor, no matter how good it is.

Take time to prepare before each lesson; it will help you so much! Preparing for each Portuguese lesson is vital to your success as a teacher Source; Pixabay Credit: PicJumbo

How to Prepare for a Portuguese Course?

First, consider your students: what do they need?

In the case of the happy holiday revellers, you would focus on vocabulary – words and phrases related to food, shopping and travelling would be suitable. And Portuguese pronunciation would be essential!

Students aiming for fluency would need to know about on grammar rules, reading and writing. You should give them plenty of class time to practise their Portuguese speaking, too!

Teaching smaller children your native language simply involves teaching them new words – days of the week, colours and other common words; they will pick up grammar as they go along.

Two critical aspects of planning your language lessons, no matter if you teach individuals or groups of students: always formulate a lesson plan and always keep a teacher’s journal.

Such a journal permits you to record impressions: what worked in class, what didn’t, concerns you have over any student and how their overall learning experience is shaping up.

This diary is meant to help you grow and improve as a teacher; a vital aspect of being an educator.

Other tips for preparing for your lessons: make sure you have everything ready – textbooks and handouts, and make sure that any equipment you will use during your lessons, such as a whiteboard or computer with projector, are functioning properly.

Final suggestion: don’t forget your enthusiasm and radiant attitude!

Find out more about preparing your Portuguese lessons.

Useful Resources for Giving Portuguese Lessons

Learning Portuguese is no different than studying different languages – whether someone wants to learn German, learn Spanish or even Mandarin, the wealth of resources available for them to gain proficiency in any language they choose is astounding.

You, who knows all about learning a language, will surely make use of these in the course of your lessons.

Why not introduce your students to Portuguese culture by showing a few good films?

As you well know, Portuguese culture (and Brazilian culture!) is rich with history, tradition and vitality. How better to demonstrate all of your country’s best qualities than through evocative films?

Doing so will also give your students the chance to hear the country’s official language, spoken in dialogue – what a way to build their listening skills!

Another way would be through podcasts and videos. In fact, YouTube has several Portuguese language channels that you might recommend your students subscribe to.

There are so many resources you might consider using in the course of your language course!

Whether you teach in a classroom or one to one in your home, to beginners or those nearly fluent, this Romance language deserves far more credit than it gets.

We’re so glad you’re actively considering helping people learn how to speak it!


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