“My homeland is the Portuguese language.”
If you think that language learning is just about vocabulary, grammar, and a touch of pronunciation, then you would be wrong. Obviously these things form the backbone of any language, but when learning any second language you also need to take into account the relationship between the language and culture.
By doing so, your proficiency in the new language will improve because you will understand more about how the history and culture have shaped the language that we are left with today. It doesn’t matter if you want to learn Italian, Arabic, Korean, or Portuguese.
In fact Portuguese is one language where the history is of particular importance. This is due to the way that it spread to different parts of the world in the 15th and 16th centuries with various Portuguese explorers such as Vasco da Gama, Ferdinand Magellan, and Pedro Alvares Cabral.
When it comes to education and learning, the city of Chicago is an epicenter.
This Windy City is the third most populous in the Unites States, and the most populous in the midwestern U.S.!
At first glance, it might seem that Chicago and Portugal are worlds apart. But Portugal is a country that is becoming more and more attractive, not just for sun-loving holidaymakers or pensioners seeking tax relief.
Add to that an important diaspora of Brazilian and Portuguese Americans.
Lisbon is also a Latin-language capital of a unique kind, with an extremely rich culture.
Pessoa, Andrade, Cardoso Pires, Abeleira and others have made all the beauties of Lusophone literature resonate, while the philosophical thought expressed in this foreign language can count on the Brazilian Corrêa de Oliveira who proudly credits the Lusitanian Antero de Quental.
Where can you learn Portuguese in the Windy City?
But to take advantage of all of this knowledge and all of these pearls of wisdom, it is still necessary to be able to understand them!
Therefore Portuguese classes in the U.S.A have been steadily growing for a while, and Chicago is a city that definitely follows this trend.
You can read a translation, but these never full live up to the original in its original form. So why not learn Portuguese? Not just to be able to read the literature, but also to add a huge benefit to your resume which will make you stand out from the crowd.
You now no longer need to concern yourself with finding a language school closeby that offers language courses in Portuguese.
Superprof lists plenty of private Portuguese tutors in Chicago who can go to your home to teach you the language of Camões.
You can therefore be in control of who will be your companion in your learning experience. Aside from being able to choose a Portuguese teacher who meets your criteria and who will help you achieve your goals, you can find someone who fits your budget. This is because each tutor can choose the price that they charge. Therefore you will find a range of prices available to you, although the more experienced native speakers will often charge more.
Each teacher specifies their geographic location so you can find someone close to where you live in Chicago.
What’s more, classes will be tailored perfectly for your learning style and objectives. It doesn’t matter if you are a complete beginner, or an intermediate level student looking to advance your language skills, the Portuguese lessons that you take will be designed with you in mind.
Most tutors offer the first class for free which allows you to decide if the chemistry is right in order to allow you to reach your goals. Remember, defining you criteria and objectives beforehand is imperative. After all, someone who only wants to have a conversational level in order to be able to communicate with a native speaker in Rio de Janeiro or Lisbon will need a much different approach to someone who wants to be fluent in Portuguese in order to move abroad.
You can find private lessons in the whole of the United States, you just need to search Portuguese lessons in Boston for example!
The homeland of Jennifer Hudson is not particularly close to the Iberian Peninsula. The Atlantic Ocean seems as far as the White House is near.
Faced with growing demand, there are however some schools offering students Portuguese education across the country, from Portuguese classes in Miami, to Chicago, and beyond.
In fact, Chicago is one of the best equipped cities in the United States.
Portuguese is also part of the 5 romance languages with a dedicated portal on the website of the University of Chicago.
As a romance language, Portuguese developed from Latin with its earlier form as Old Portuguese. Cervantes once said that Portuguese was “the sweet and gracious language” and many other famous literary figures have also praised the language for its “sweet” feature.
Brazil even has a Museum of the Portuguese Language in its largest city, São Paulo. It is the first ever language museum in the world!
The department page should be added to your “favorites” if you want to stay abreast of Lusophone academic information.
For children, these programs offer kids the opportunity to learn Portuguese in the Windy City:
Portuguese is a part of Brazilian culture just waiting for you to discover!
Portuguese is an offical language spoken in 9 different independent countries. Speaking it will allow you to have a conversation with over 220 million native speakers on 4 continents.
It is therefore hardly surprising that the language has become more popular at universities across Chicago.
Chicago has the peculiar ability to attract people from across the country to study in its higher education institutions.
The diversity of programs and pathways available is therefore very wide ranging in the Windy City.
With direct flights from O’Hare International Airport to São Paulo every day, your Brazilian experience could start sooner than you thought
The University of Chicago is of course at the heart of learning in the city.
Present in their romance language department, Portuguese courses have not been forgotten: not only is there a graduate degree in Luso-Brazilian studies, but there are also opportunities for exchange and teaching programs.
An exchange would be highly recommended. The opportunity for immersion is one that shouldn’t be passed up when it comes to learning Portuguese. Not only will you learn how the language you have been taught is used in everyday life, you will improve your fluency through constant practice which isn’t always possible in the classroom.
The degree program makes it possible to study the language both practically and academically.
All periods of Iberian and Latin American cultural history are covered which means that you have a diverse variety of literature, theater, visual arts, and intellectual production, all at your fingertips.
Their particular fields of strength are:
The program also proposes joint study of Portuguese and other Romance languages.
If you don’t fancy taking a language program for your major, the University of Chicago also offers a minor in Portuguese as a part of their BA program in Romance Languages and Literatures. Through this program you can study Portuguese in conjunction with French, Spanish, Italian, or even Catalan.
The university option is particularly effective as it can offer a practical and academic study of the language through rigorous study and application. Similar programs can be found elsewhere in the Unites States, such as for those who would like to learn Portuguese in Los Angeles, for example.
For all beginners, learning a language requires different options and support structures to facilitate the learning process.
Obviously you can find plenty of websites to help you practice what you learn in your language course, for example resources to practice and build your Portuguese vocabulary.
But you can also find other options relating to how to go about learning Portuguese.
Similarly to learning Portuguese in New York, there are other ways to study Portuguese in Chicago, both practically and academically.
The UIC (University of Illinois at Chicago) Department of Hispanic and Italian studies provides great links to non-academic sites regarding Brazilian and Portuguese culture in Chicago.
The university also has it’s own curriculum for studying the romance language as a part of its degree program.
Degree programs are available for those looking to include Portuguese and romance language study as a part of their higher education. A university degree is ideal for those looking to pursue an academic and intellectual study of the language.
If you’re less inclined towards academia, and more interested in practical application, the university lists plenty of cultural meet ups for both Americans and native speakers around the city.
Many of the listed meet ups can be found online through social media sites like Facebook and meetup.com
For a more general overview of Brazilian Culture in Chicago – BrazilChicago maintains a current calendar of upcoming cultural events throughout the city, as well as Brazilian and Portuguese related news articles for the interested Lusophone.
Their website may be your premiere source for Portuguese cultural learning in the Windy City!
The emphasis is on culture and social interaction, with plenty of opportunity to practice and develop your linguistic skills and understanding.
Also be sure to check out the Consulado-Geral do Brasil in Chicago for more cultural information and event planning.
It’s up to you to define your goals! Cultural meet ups can be a trial to explore and gage your interest in Portuguese, but may not be intensive enough for those looking to become perfectly bilingual.
You just have to turn your desires into reality! Do not wait to become a brilliant lusophone!
As always, these options are usually available in one form or another across the country. You can discover where to take Portuguese classes in San Francisco here.