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Learn the Portuguese Language in Beantown

By Jon, published on 01/01/2018 Blog > Languages > Portuguese > Where to Study Portuguese in Boston

“Portuguese is the most voluptuous language, the most shimmering in Europe”

– Blaise Cendrars

One of the oldest cities in the United States, Boston is the capital and the largest city in Massachusets.

With more than 600,000 inhabitants, it is a vibrant urban society, where everyone can find happiness.

Brazilian and Portuguese American origins are numerous, and the presence of a beautiful community of Portuguese speakers in Boston is attested by the blooming of many cultural groups in the city.

There are many reasons to take Portuguese lessons in Beantown: it is a Latin language relatively easy to assimilate for speakers of Spanish, French or Italian, and Portugal is an increasingly popular holiday destination – as well as Brazil and its famous Rio de Janeiro, or epics in the Angolan nature.

Now that you have made the decision to take foreign language lessons in Boston, we need to find out where, exactly!


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The Teaching of Portuguese in Beantown

In general, Portuguese is not a common language taught in grade school or high school. Children are more likely to discover French or Spanish at this level, both are languages that can benefit and facilitate the learning of Portuguese in the future!

Fortunately, motivated children and families determined to have their offspring understand Portuguese can rely on independent language schools when the desired option is absent from public schools in the sector.

Studying Portuguese at a language school could be a great extra-curricular activity to compliment the study of French or Spanish in the American school system. 



The first American lighthouse was built in Boston Harbor in 1716.

The Boston Language Institute offers seven levels of Portuguese study and training:

  • Portuguese Language and Culture Level 1

This course aims to provide beginning students with a practical command of the vocabulary and grammar of the language. Topics include phonetics, expressions of time and quantity, subject pronouns, articles, possessives, interrogatives, and the present indicative of common verbs. Information about Brazilian culture is integrated to enhance student appreciation and use of the language. (Ponto de Encontro: Portuguese as a World Language, second edition, Preliminary Lesson – Lesson 2)


  • Portuguese Language and Culture Level 2

Topics include prepositions, contractions, and irregular and stem changing verbs, demonstrative and reflexive pronouns, adverbs and the Preterit Perfect tense of regular verbs. The integration of Brazilian culture continues by identifying and comparing family members and structures. (Ponto de Encontro: Portuguese as a World Language, second edition, Lessons 3-5)


  • Portuguese Language and Culture Level 3

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to use the preterit perfect tense of regular and irregular verbs, direct and indirect object nouns and pronouns; tag questions; prepositions “por” and “para”; use of the preterit imperfect. Topics will include clothing, shopping, consumer goods and markets. (Ponto de Encontro: Portuguese as a World Language, second edition, Lessons 6-7)


  • Portuguese Language and Culture Level 4

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to compare people and things; pronouns after prepositions; reflexives verbs and pronouns; impersonal subject; use of the preterit perfect and imperfect; interrogative pronouns; imperative mood (commands); review and additional use of prepositions “por” and “para”. Introduction to personal infinitive. Students will also learn about popular holidays in Brazil and how to accept and decline invitations. (Ponto de Encontro: Portuguese as a World Language, second edition, Lessons 8-9)


  • Portuguese Language and Culture Level 5

This course introduces more advanced topics such as the present, past and future subjunctive. Students will learn how to use certain verbs to express doubt and uncertainty, emotions, wishes and hopes. Topics will include discussing making travel arrangements and itineraries. (Ponto de Encontro: Portuguese as a World Language, second edition, Lessons 10-12)


  • Portuguese Language and Culture Level 6

This level will introduce more advanced topics: the future tense of indicative, the conditional; reciprocal verbs and pronouns; past participle and passive voice; present and past perfect. Review of the subjunctive. (Ponto de Encontro: Portuguese as a World Language, second edition, Lessons 13-15)


  • Conversational Portuguese

This program is designed for students who are already proficient in the skills taught in Levels 1-6 and who want to increase their conversational abilities. Conducted entirely in Portuguese, this course provides students with an opportunity to markedly improve their speaking and listening skills. Magazines, video and audio resources designed to provide practical opportunities for vocabulary and skill development are selected to match student interests. Grammatical topics are addressed as needed.

Also find other institutions of this kind elsewhere in the United States, to take Portuguese classes in New York or Portuguese classes in Chicago for example!



University Takeover to Promote the Brazilian Language

Portuguese & Brazilian Cultural Studies at Boston University

With Portuguese, you can speak with the nearly 220 million people of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Portugal, and East Timor.

Nearly 199 million of these Portuguese speakers are from Brazil alone, the fifth most populous nation in the world and, with the eighth largest GDP, one of the more prominent emerging economies. Its growing international significance is further reflected in its selection to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

The study of Portuguese is also your gateway into a world-wide culture offering vibrantly interesting literary, cinematic, musical, and visual production, including winners of the Palme d’Or and the Nobel Prize.

The Portuguese Program in the Department of Romance Studies offers a full sequence of language courses (LP111, LP112, LP211, and LP212) to develop students speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills, as well as provide an introduction to the culture of the Lusophone world.

They also offer an Intensive Elementary Portuguese course which is equivalent to one year of college-level Portuguese and a great way for Romance-language speakers to get a head start on completing the full two-year sequence.

While still in the planning and approval stages, the Portuguese Program will soon offer an inter-disciplinary minor which will build upon LP111, LP112, LP211, and LP212, and include other upper-division language courses.

Minors will be encouraged to take courses both in the Portuguese program and in other departments and programs with many of the Boston University faculty that offer relevant courses, such as the Departments of History and Political Science.

It’s a great way to test your motivation for learning Portuguese!



Private Structures Teaching Bostonians the Portuguese Idiom

The Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers work with and for the Brazilian, Cabo Verdean, Portuguese and other Portuguese-speaking communities to increase access and remove barriers to health, education and social services through direct services, advocacy, leadership and community development.

MAPS in its present form was created in 1993 by the merger of two agencies: the former Somerville Portuguese American League (SPAL) and Cambridge Organization of Portuguese Americans (COPA), which had served area Portuguese speakers separately for more than 20 years.

They merged to improve service provision and further unify the Portuguese-speaking community, including immigrants from eight countries around the world.



Boston is home to the oldest public park in the U.S.

The Brazilian Club of Boston College (BCBC) is a student organization committed to sharing Brazil and its culture with the Boston College campus, as well as reaching out to the Brazilian intercollegiate network and the surrounding Brazilian communities.

As a club, they hold events to exhibit the lively traditions of Brazilian food, folklore, music and dance as well as raising awareness of political and social issues concerning Brazil and its global position.

Working with the ever-growing Brazilian population in the greater Boston area, they wish to ease the hardships that Brazilians and Brazilian-Americans face in the United States and celebrate their triumphant accomplishments.

The Brazilian Club of Boston College works to create a sense of close companionship within the club. They welcome anyone with a love of, or interest in Brazil and Brazilian culture into their amizade.


Bostonian Lusophone Associations

The Boston Portuguese Festival aims at contributing to the dissemination of the Portuguese culture and heritage in the capital city of Massachusetts, combining its contributions of the past with its contemporary manifestations.

The purpose of the BPF is to provide a framework where all interested parties may unite and channel their efforts in promoting Portugal and its culture, not only to the Portuguese-American public, but also to the American community at large. 

Their annual program brings to the Greater Boston area a showcase of the most expressive components of Portuguese culture and present-day reality, namely in the fields of Literature, Music, Cinema, History & Current Affairs, Science & Technology and Heritage.


The Niche of Private Lessons

Boston’s areas are open to Portuguese-language private classes at home.

This is undoubtedly an excellent and personalized way to learn, provided you find a talented teacher you like.

First, find the right tutor. Be aware that, most of the time, the first hour of class is offered, so don’t pass up the opportunity!

It will also be an opportunity to make a choice between academic Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese, using slightly different standards.

Then, a healthy collaboration from master to pupil will make rapid progress possible, in an atmosphere relaxed and serene.



In turn-of-the-century Boston, you didn’t need to take a test to receive a driver’s license.

The ideal is to favor a native (who can also come from Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique or Timor)!

You will then be able to correct your pronunciation defects and tonic accent errors. In addition, grammar and conjugation can be mastered easily, while you learn a lot of vocabulary according to your Portuguese conversation classes.

There is a good chance your tutor will give you a taste of the Lusitanian civilization.

They will help you to discover masterpieces of Portuguese letters, but also local specialties, and will not fail to indicate to you the best places to perfect your lusophilie.

To complete everything and crown your individual training in linguistics, you only need to plan an immersion stay, in Brazil for example, where the beaches of Copacabana will look like paradise!

Find teaching solutions identical elsewhere in the United States, to take Portuguese classes in Los Angeles for example …



Alternative Digital Linguistic Methods

The Net is fiercely competing with the good old manuals available in bookstores: the Rosetta Stone method (despite its digital shift, with CD-ROM, etc.) or the works of “easy Portuguese”.

To prepare for your next trip or to savor the delights of Portuguese-speaking literature, it may be a good idea to connect to your Bostonian computer to discover a way of learning modern Portuguese: e-learning.



Beantown really is about baked beans.

Some programs (and they are more numerous) no longer hesitate to use online Portuguese courses or applications for smartphones.

It can be an interesting complement to prepare and revise  (with a specialization for the typical Brazilian dialect aspects).

Finally discover where to take Portuguese classes in San Francisco …



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