I’m honored to finally be able to tell you all about my former Portuguese teacher, Francisca. She and I met as a result of a post in which I whined about how much I wanted a Portuguese teacher. I immediately wanted to recommend her on the blog, but at the time, she wasn’t accepting new students. Now, lucky for you, she is!
Francisca is a Brazilian Portuguese teacher with degrees in translation and PSL — that’s right, like ESL, but Portuguese! Portuguese as a Second Language! She taught big wigs in Brasilia and had students from all over the world before she needed to move to São Bernardo do Campo for her husband’s job. She makes most of her own material, and the published material that she does use is first-rate stuff. She also lived in the US for a study abroad program and is very fluent in English, so she’ll understand what you’re thinking and can explain things in English if it’s necessary. But don’t think your native language needs to be English — Francisca has had students from many countries, and native speakers of many languages. It was clear from the activities that she used in class that she was well prepared to teach Portuguese using level-appropriate Portuguese.
Now, if any of you have read more than an entry or two of my blog, then you probably know that I’m a little bit of a language/linguistics/education snob. (Just a little.) That means I am VERY picky about my language teachers and the way my classes are run, both when I’m the teacher and when I’m the student. So I was so pleased when Francisca and I started having classes together, because I finally found someone who I could go toe to toe with. She knew her stuff and wasn’t just trying to make fast cash by babbling her opinions about her native language, and most importantly, she didn’t make me watch trashy Brazilian music videos on YouTube during class. 😛
Francisca was particularly helpful in teaching me the nuances of both formal Brazilian grammar and the variety of Brazilian slang expressions. She uses a lot of activities with natural conversations in real-world contexts. They were very helpful in seeing the difference between formal and informal constructions. We also had some wonderful conversations about our countries, our cats, language, and life.
The only reason Francisca is not my teacher anymore is because we had our classes over Skype, and now my internet is too unreliable for Skype classes. But if you’re interested in Portuguese classes over Skype and in learning Portuguese with a wonderfully qualified teacher who is teaching you because she loves teaching Portuguese and not because she thinks you’re a rich gringo who is too dumb to know what money is worth, then go ahead and send her an email! Her prices are very fair. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Because the classes are over Skype, you don’t have to be in Brazil to be her student. You just have to have at least 1MB of internet speed, a microphone for your computer, and preferably a webcam (it’ll make things much easier for you, I assure you!).