21G.820 | Fall 2014 | Undergraduate

Portuguese Advanced Conversation and Composition

Instructor Insights

Course Overview

This page focuses on the course 21G.820 Portuguese Advanced Conversation and Composition as it was taught by Dr. Nilma Dominique in Fall 2014.

This is an advanced course that aims to build vocabulary competence and improve oral communication through the study and discussion of topics related to cultural aspects in Lusophone societies, primarily from current issues in Brazil. It is designed to give students extensive experience in Portuguese and emphasizes skill development and refinement in the area of critical reading and writing in Portuguese.

Course Outcomes

Course Goals for Students

  • Improvements in grammar through systematic review
  • Building and expanding vocabulary
  • Practice with writing
  • Gain an understanding of contemporary Brazil and other countries of the Lusophone world by examining literature, music and films in Portuguese
  • Gain an understanding of race relations, national identity and inequality

Curriculum Information


21G.804 Portuguese IV or permission of instructor

Requirements Satisfied

  • GIR
  • HASS


Every spring and fall semester


The students’ grades were based on the following activities:

  • 20% Class preparation, attendance, and participation
  • 10% Homework sets
  • 30% Short essays
  • 20% Exams
  • 20% Oral presentation

Student Information


Fewer than 10 students

Breakdown by Year

1/2 juniors, 1/3 seniors, 1/6 grad students.

Typical Student Background

Students had different backgrounds and interests, but all of them had some personal interest in the Lusophone culture, or were heritage speakers. All of them had spent some time in Brazil.

Enrollment Cap

Enrollment is limited to 18 for pedagogical reasons. Preference is given to pre-registered students. Continuing students get first priority, followed, in order, by declared concentrators, juniors, sophomores, freshmen, seniors, grad students, and pre-registered students who did not show up for the first two days of class without warning.

How Student Time Was Spent

During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:

In Class/Lecture

Met 2 times per week for 1.5 hours per session; 27 sessions total; mandatory attendance.

Students were required to:

  • Participate in the class discussion each session
  • Complete three in-class quizzes
  • Present their research to the class

Out of Class

Students were required to:

  • Watch four films outside of class, prior to class discussions
  • Prepare for the upcoming class by reading what was assigned and thinking of questions and comments
  • Complete five sets of exercises
  • Write three short essays
  • Prepare for their oral presentation

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2014
Learning Resource Types
Problem Sets
Written Assignments
Presentation Assignments
Instructor Insights