21G.820 | Fall 2014 | Undergraduate

Portuguese Advanced Conversation and Composition


Course Meeting Times

Seminars: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session


21G.804 Portuguese IV or MIT students need the instructor’s permission.

Course Description

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.

We will review the finer aspects of grammar along with activities that target vocabulary enrichment and further oral and written proficiency, while analyzing newspaper and magazine articles, literary texts, films and music. We also use a range of resources and materials from the Internet to initiate different oral activities. Writing is practiced through frequent essays and short compositions. Each assigned reading, web research, or movie seen will be followed by class discussion.

Class will be conducted entirely in Portuguese.

Required Textbook

Lima, Emma, and Samira Lunes. Português Via Brasil: Um Curso Avançado Para Estrangeiros. Editora Pedagogica E Universitaria, 2005. ISBN: 9788512543802.


Morales, Wagner. Preto contra branco. 2004. YouTube. Accessed March 25, 2015. Posted by CMV DF. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_xkDHHGWx8

Silveira, Breno. Dois filhos de Francisco. 2005. YouTube. Accessed March 25, 2015. Posted by Colatina Filmes E Desenhos Online. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9R7GYs-AJfU

Walker, Lucy. Lixo extraordinario. 2010. YouTube. Accessed March 25, 2015. Posted by Olivio Britto. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61eudaWpWb8

Salles, Walter.  Central do Brasil. 2008. YouTube. Accessed March 25, 2015. Posted by Frabricio Gianini. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzlamJXfllM

Evaluation / Grades

Grading is based on frequent relatively small evaluations rather than on one or two major exams.

Class preparation, attendance, and participation 20%
Homework sets 10%
Short essays 30%
Exams 20%
Oral presentation (15 minutes) 20%

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is defined by the Center of Academic Integrity as “a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to five fundamental values: Honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility.” If you haven’t done so yet, please read the MIT Academic Integrity Handbook.

Learning a foreign language is not something that typically occurs in isolation. Communication and practice are essential. Therefore, working with others is highly encouraged. However, there are cases in which collaboration is tantamount to cheating. There follow some examples of what is allowed and what is not in our class: having your pronunciation corrected by a native speaker before an oral presentation is perfectly acceptable. They won’t utter the words for you in class. Using a spellchecker is valid if you are writing a text, but having a text edited by another person before submission is clearly a different matter. To a certain extent, the editor is the coauthor of the text. Likewise, the use of dictionaries is recommended, but no translation program may be used. In a few words, obtaining help from people or online resources is allowed as a way of enhancing your learning, but should be avoided altogether if as a result of it, the work submitted is not an accurate representation of the student’s progress or capacity. If that’s the case, it will be considered academic dishonesty.

Course Info

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