If you’re studying Portuguese at school or university, you may feel as though you’re not retaining all the information that you’re being given, which may make you feel as though you’re not getting the most out of your lessons each week.
Any such concern is understandable, as learning a language is often a long process that demands a lot of commitment from the learner.
This is because, like any skill, the more you use the language, generally the more proficient you become at it. Therefore, any extended period of time away from the language may mean it takes you longer to familiarise yourself with areas such as common words and phrases.
To try and minimise any disruption to your language learning, it can be a good idea to try and revise your knowledge of Portuguese, even outside of the classroom, on a regular basis. Although this takes commitment and dedication if you’re truly set on improving your level of Portuguese, revising outside of your Portuguese course London can really pay off in the long run.
Take Time To Revisit The Key Lessons From Your Portuguese Classes
One of the most important things when it comes to learning a new language is to make sure that you regularly revise what you’ve learnt previously, whether that’s:
- Common phrases;
- Verbs and tenses; or
- More basic concepts such as the alphabet.
By revisiting previous lessons, this helps to consolidate your knowledge and helps commit it to memory, making it easier to recall the information when you need it for your next Portuguese class or encounter with a Portuguese speaker.
This is especially important if you’re new to learning the language. This is because, in order to progress with the level of your proficiency, you need to know and understand the basics of the language first. Therefore, it’s vitally important that you understand how to conjugate common verbs, what basic sentence structure looks like, and have a good grasp of basic vocabulary.
Much of this consolidation can come from simply revisiting your notes from your previous Portuguese classes. If you try and set a little bit of time aside each week to sit down and work through the notes again, you’ll find that it becomes much easier to recall the words and phrases that were taught when you go into future lessons, thus making it easier to build up your overall understanding of Portuguese.
One way to capture and revise key aspects of prior classes is to write them down on flashcards. This is because flashcards can help quickly jog your memory, and are easy enough to take out and about with you, meaning that you can revise even when you’re on the go!
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Online Portuguese Courses Are Your Friend
We live in a technology-driven age, and it’s worth making the most of that when learning a new language.
The internet, for instance, has so many resources when it comes to language learning. For instance, there are plenty of language learning forums out there where learners can ask native or experienced speakers questions they may have about a particular language.
So regardless of whether you’re learning Portuguese as a foreign language, or perhaps another language such as Spanish or French, you can often use the same forum as a helpful point of reference, as the forums cater to a huge number of different languages.
Equally, if you’d prefer to continue your studies on your own, then there are a number of different apps out there that can help you improve your understanding of Portuguese. Popular apps include the likes of:
- Duolingo; and
Although there are plenty more out there. Some apps are free, but others you have to pay for, so it’s worth researching in advance how much an app costs, and whether you’re willing to part with your money to have it.
It’s also worthwhile reading other user’s reviews of using the apps, and seeing what their experiences were like, to see whether an app would work for you.
Often, apps such as Duolingo don’t tend to command much of your time each day, meaning you can practice Portuguese in an easy, manageable way that doesn’t feel too much like hard work.
Immerse Yourself Outside Of Portuguese Lessons
One of the best ways to learn a language is to immerse yourself in that language’s culture. Ideally, this is best done by actually travelling to either Portugal or Brazil, as that way you are surrounded by the language for the duration of your stay. It also means that you have the opportunity to hear native speakers converse in Portuguese, which can be fantastic for developing your own speaking and listening skills.
However, you don’t have to travel overseas to improve your understanding of Portuguese. Below are some great ways you can continue to develop your understanding and appreciation of Portuguese outside of your Portuguese class or language course.
Watch Portuguese Films And TV
A lot of people enjoy relaxing during the evening or at weekends by sitting down and watching some TV. So why not make some time to incorporate some Portuguese programming into your weekly schedule?
If you still consider yourself to be a beginner when it comes to your proficiency in Portuguese and you’re not sure you’ll be able to understand everything the actors say, then try putting on English subtitles when watching the film or show. That way, you can still follow the plot, and you may also pick up a new word or phrase along the way.
This is also a great way to develop your listening skills in Portuguese, and learn more about how to pronounce words correctly.
Read Portuguese Books
If you’re more of a bookworm than a TV-person, then why not pick up a Portuguese novel or two and develop your Portuguese reading skills in your spare time?
If you’re still learning the language and want to read in Portuguese, you might want to try one of the following approaches:
- Buy or rent the book in both Portuguese and English, and read them side-by-side;
- Just buy the book in Portuguese, but keep an English-Portuguese dictionary nearby so you can look up any words you’re unsure of; or
- Mix and match the above approaches to see what works best for you.
Potentially, you could also look at getting an audio version of the book along with a paperback, hardback, or Kindle version, so that way you can read along while listening to how the words are pronounced in Portuguese. It may be difficult to follow the plot of the book if you’re still relatively new to learning Portuguese, so always try to think about what reading methods would most help you to develop your Portuguese skills.
Listen To Portuguese Music
Another enjoyable way to immerse yourself in Portuguese outside of class is to listen to music. Try to choose either Portuguese or Brazilian artists, depending on what variation of Portuguese you’re studying, as that way you can understand a little more about the various nuances of pronunciation.
Consider An Online Portuguese Tutor
If you’d like to consolidate what you’re learning in Portuguese classes at school or university, but feel that you’d benefit from having some further structure and motivation with your extra-curricular efforts, then you could also look at hiring an online Portuguese tutor from sites such as Superprof.
A Superprof Portuguese tutor can help you understand what areas of the Portuguese language you’re struggling the most with, whether that’s:
- Verb conjugation;
- Vocabulary and common expressions; or
What’s more, they can provide tailored exercises to help consolidate what you’re learning during your regular Portuguese classes. Just search for Portuguese tutors on Superprof’s site to find tutors that are happy to provide online, or even in-person, classes. What's more, there are a number of Superprof tutors that are able to cater to a range of experience levels, from beginner to intermediate and beyond.
Whether you consider yourself a complete beginner in Portuguese or you consider yourself a fluent Portuguese speaker, a language is just like any other skill and needs to be practised regularly in order to maintain your skill level.
As a result, having a tutor on hand can be really helpful for some Portuguese learners, particularly if they would like to practice specific skills such as their speaking skills or would like more opportunities to practice particular points of grammar.
When looking for a Portuguese tutor, just try to keep in mind that Brazilian Portuguese and the kind of Portuguese spoken in Portugal does differ slightly, so it's worthwhile taking some time to decide which kind of Portuguese you'd like to learn. That way, you can find a tutor more easily who specialises in that branch of Portuguese on a network such as Superprof.