Course Description

Course Name

Beginning Portuguese Language: Oral and Written Comprehension and Expression

Session: VFPU1120

Hours & Credits


Prerequisites & Language Level

Note: A placement exam will be required when you arrive on site.



This course aims to develop language competence and covers all aspects of language learning with emphasis on oral communication and written skills. The course addresses various language modules - grammar, vocabulary and culture - to develop the four areas of language acquisition: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Activities will focus on helping students gain communicative competence in basic social situations and on equipping them with the vocabulary to discuss Brazilian contemporary events in basic terms.


This course will help students acquire linguistic competence at the beginning level. By the end of the course, students should be able to engage in basic conversation and discuss simple aspects of Brazilian culture.

  • Identify essential information in basic texts, in oral or written interactions;
  • Identify formal and informal communicative situations in Brazilian culture and use the adequate forms of address;
  • Formulate simple questions and answers in familiar and immediate contexts;
  • Make requests and express preferences and opinions;
  • Describe, in a simple way, people, objects and places;
  • Read and write simple texts about everyday events;
  • Produce simple texts (oral and written) about oneself, family and friends;
  • Use a basic vocabulary about personal information and common situations of daily life;
  • Spell words and count;
  • Use some basic textual connectors for sequencing words, phrases and sentences;
  • Use simple grammar structures of verbal and nominal agreement.



  • Greetings: first contact, names, nationality, address, occupation, numbers up to one hundred.
  • Meeting with people: classroom, leisure activities, schedules.
  • Eating and drinking: restaurant, bar, invitations, food.
  • Hotel and city: hotel reservation, service problems, orientation in the city, road signs.
  • Living: houses and apartments, real estate, decoration, classroom, housing.
  • the day to day life of Brazilians, Brazilian calendar, poetry and art.

Grammar points:

  • Verb tenses: Present (presente do indicativo), future (ir + infinitivo), past (pretérito perfeito), gerund (presente progressivo).
  • Verbs to be (ser/estar) and regular verbs of first conjugation (-ar); modals and regular verbs of second conjugation (-er), to have (ter), to like (gostar de), to go (ir). regular verbs of third conjugation (-ir), to prefer (preferir). To stay (ficar), to do (fazer).
  • Frequent irregular verbs ( -ar , -er, -ir).
  • Gender of Nouns, definite and indefinite articles;
  • Personal Pronouns (subject and object);
  • Possessive Pronouns;
  • Demonstrative pronouns;
  • Prepositions: place, direction/movement; em + articles; de + articles
  • Comparisions: Superiority. inferiority and equality
  • Time expressions.


Course textbook: LIMA et al. Novo Avenida Brasil 1. São Paulo: EPU, 2010. Textbook, articles, short stories, comics, songs and other materials related to the classes' themes (other than the course textbook) will be made available for the students as online resources or provided as photocopiable activities.


To be approved, the student must earn a minimum score of 70%. The approval is based on the integrated performance foreseen in:

  • Engaging in daily classroom activities (oral and written);
  • Portfolio;
  • Tests;
  • Midterm and final exam;


  • Classroom activities: 20%
  • Portfolio (3): 20%
  • Tests (6): 20%
  • Mini Project (1): 10 points to be averaged with the tests final score
  • Midterm exam (1): 20%
  • Final exam (1): 20%


  • 75% of class attendance is required. In case of an injury or sickness the absence of the student will not count if he presents a medical certificate. In this context, the classroom assignments will be sent via e-mail to him/her. When the student returns to class, the professor is instructed to pay extra attention to him/her in the process of catching up with the class.
  • Possibility of dropping or adding classes: Please note that courses are determined prior to the student's arrival on-site.

*Course content subject to change