21G.801 | Fall 2011 | Undergraduate

Portuguese I


Course Meeting Times

Classes: 4 sessions / week, 1 hour / session

Required Books

Klobucka, A., C. de Jouët-Pastré, et al. Ponto de Encontro: Portuguese as a World Language. 1st ed. Prentice Hall, 2007. ISBN: 9780131894051.

———. Brazilian Activities Manual for Ponto de Encontro: Portuguese as a World Language. 1st ed. Prentice Hall, 2007. ISBN: 9780131894082.

———. Answer Key to Student Activities Manual for Ponto de Encontro: Portuguese as a World Language. 1st ed. Prentice Hall, 2007. ISBN: 9780132393461.

Whitlam, J., V. Davies, and M. Harland. Harper Collins Portuguese Dictionary: English, Portuguese Portuguese, English. Harpercollins, 1997. ISBN: 9780062734891.

Nitti, John J., and Michael Ferreira. 501 Portuguese Verbs. Barron’s Educational Series, 1995. ISBN: 9780812090345.

Whitlam, John. Modern Brazilian Portuguese Grammar: A Practical Guide. Routledge, 2010. ISBN: 9780415566438.

General Description

Portuguese I is an introduction to Portuguese for students with little or no previous knowledge of the language. All the basic grammar is covered, divided into Portuguese I and II. Basic vocabulary is also presented. Our main goal is communication in Portuguese, with special emphasis on speaking in the first semester and greater attention to reading and writing in the second, but all the other skills are also practiced. Students will also be introduced to the cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world through readings of authentic materials, including brief dialogues, music and video. The class is conducted in Portuguese, with occasional resort to English for clarity purposes.

Please see the Assignments page for an overview of the topics covered in each class session over the semester.


Grading is based on frequent relatively small evaluations rather than on one or two major hurdles:

1. Class Attendance and Participation: (20%)

Your presence and active participation are essential in each and every session. This will be the most significant part of your grade since it is through continuous class interaction with other students that your communicative abilities in Portuguese will develop and improve. Your grade will be determined daily by the quality and quantity of your preparation and participation in class discussions, activities, group work, etc.


As your progress, and that of the class as a whole, will be impeded by excessive absences, your presence in the classroom is imperative. If you must miss a class, there is no excuse for not being prepared for the next one. If you have to be absent, please contact the instructor in advance to find out what material you will miss. Each absence without an official excuse will lower your course attendance and participation grade. Any student who has accumulated more than three absences without an official excuse must see the instructor. Further absences after the warning will affect your final grade.

2. Homework and Written Work: (20%)

Students are expected to prepare the assigned materials for each class and complete the written work as stipulated in the syllabus. These assignments include:

  • Studying the vocabulary and grammar in the Ponto de Encontro text and completing any written exercises assigned.
  • Completing the exercises in the Workbook. The Workbook exercises can be checked with an answer key. You are expected to do these exercises and correct them using the answer key before handing them in.
  • You can also have extra practice by going on-line and doing the non-mandatory exercises as a review for each lesson. They can be found on the Ponto de Encontro website.
  • All assignments are to be done on the date indicated. Late work will not receive full credit. Do the homework in the order it is assigned each day. Anything marked “entregar” is to be handed in. The Workbook exercises are designed to reinforce the grammar and vocabulary introduced in the textbook, as well as to improve your listening comprehension. They are required components of the course and it’s important that you complete them right away, as soon as the material is covered. Don’t let your homework pile up. Working a little every day and frequent reviewing are more effective than a few long sessions of study at longer intervals.

3. Exams: (40%)

4 in-class tests.

4. Oral Presentation: (20%)

In addition to the written quizzes, students will make a 10-minute oral presentation in front of the class. Students may talk about a place where Portuguese is spoken or a historically or culturally significant figure in the Lusophone world. Alternatively, they can choose to talk about a personal trip_._ There will also be an individual oral test in the form of a 5-minute interview (entrevista) with the instructor.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2011