BA Linguistics and Portuguese

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Portuguese Language Project

Course unit fact file
Unit code SPLA52060
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Spanish and Portuguese
Available as a free choice unit? No


The course unit consists of advanced study of translation from and into Portuguese, conversation in Portuguese, and the writing of essays in Portuguese. Building on the students’ experiences in their year abroad, the course will improve their ability to communicate with a high level of fluency, accuracy and confidence in Portuguese, and to recognise and reproduce different registers of language accurately when speaking, listening, reading, writing, and translating to and from Portuguese. Methodologically, the course is organised around contemporary topics, and combines oral and listening exercises, conversation, reading, translation (from Portuguese to English and from English to Portuguese), and essay writing. 


Available on which programme(s)? 

Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies 

Portuguese joint honours 

Available as Free Choice (UG) or to other programmes (PG)? 

No. This course is not available as a free-choice option or to Portuguese Erasmus students. 


Pre-requisite units 

SPLA52040 or equivalent (for visiting students only).  


  1. to enable students to communicate with a high level of fluency, accuracy, and confidence in Portuguese through oral, aural, and written exercises (prose and translation); 

  1. to enable students to produce texts in Portuguese with a detailed knowledge of all areas of grammar and syntax; 

  1. to improve translation skills by increasing students’ sensitivity to issues of register, style and perspective when translating to and from Portuguese across a range of genres.   

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students should be able to perform at Level C1/C2 of the Common European Framework. Assuming that all classes have been attended, coursework completed and a considerable amount of private study undertaken, students will have demonstrated an ability to: 

  • Understand with ease virtually everything heard or read 

  • Communicate very fluently and appropriately in the target language, maintaining a high degree of grammatical accuracy and differentiating finer shades of meaning  

  • Exploit and contextualize a broad range of demanding materials in the target language and for a variety of purposes, also recognizing implicit meaning 

  • Apply effectively and appropriately their language skills in a professional context 

Produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects 

Knowledge and understanding

Students should be able to demonstrate: 

  • A good working knowledge, both practical and theoretical, of written and spoken Portuguese including different registers of language 

  • An understanding of the language in its broader cultural context 

  • A broad knowledge and a critical understanding of the cultures and societies of the Lusophone world 

  • An ability to translate to and from Portuguese in a variety of different literary, journalistic, and semi-specialist genres 

  • Intercultural awareness, understanding and competence 

Intellectual skills

This course develops abilities to: 

  • Use language creatively and precisely for a range of purposes and audiences 

  • Engage with and interpret layers of meaning within texts, whether they are verbal only or multimodal 

  • Organise and present ideas within the framework of a structured and reasoned argument 

  • Engage in critical and analytical thinking 

  • Develop critical, research and problem-solving skills 

Practical skills

These include: 

  • Use and present material in the target language in written and oral forms in a clear and effective manner 

  • Ability to manage own learning 

  • Use target language source materials appropriately 

  • Write and think under pressure and meet deadlines 

  • Access electronic resources and use information and communication technologies (ICT) appropriately 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

These include: 

  • Communication and presentation skills: oral, written and IT 

  • The ability to work creatively and flexibly with others as part of a team 

  • Mediating skills and qualities of empathy 

  • Self-reliance and adaptability 

  • Intercultural skills and cultural awareness 

Employability skills

Written communication
Generally, communication skills are developed through frequent presentations and teamwork; self-management skills are promoted through independent work; critical, research and problem-solving skills mainly through reading and translation, and IT skills through web and computer assisted language learning.
In order to promote intercultural skills and cultural awareness the course syllabus includes a variety of contemporary topics, which build on the experience of the Year Abroad, touching on issues such as social inequality, gender roles, child labour, and linguistic prejudice.

Assessment methods

Assessment task  

Formative or Summative 


Weighting within unit (if summative) 

A written examination 




A written examination 




An oral examination 




Students will also be expected to submit a piece of work (either a translation or an essay) as requested by their tutor every week. 

Formative, although its completion is essential in order to gradually get the necessary preparation for the final exam. 




Resit Assessment

Assessment task  


A written examination 


A written examination 


An oral examination 


Feedback methods

Feedback method  

Formative or Summative 

Regular individual written feedback on completed and marked assignments and oral presentations plus face-to-face discussion if desired. 


In-class comments on homework, presentations and other exercises. 


After each of the scheduled assignments, global feedback on frequent errors or omissions to indicate problem areas and allow questions and discussion (delivered orally in class/posted to blackboard/as a handout) 


Peer feedback to be facilitated by the collaborative group work and pair work used in these classes to practise presented language. 


Regular individual written feedback through feedback sheets.  


Recommended reading

- Amélia Hutchinson and Janet Lloyd, Portuguese. An Essential Grammar (Routledge). 

- Mário A. Perini, Modern Portuguese: A Reference Grammar (Yale) 

-  Evanildo Bechara, Moderna Gramática Portuguesa. 

      - Celso Cunha and Lindley Cintra, Nova Gramática do Português Contemporâneo. 

      - It is also advisable to acquire a monolingual Portuguese Dictionary such as Dicionário Aurélio or Dicionário Houaiss. 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 33
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
David Bailey Unit coordinator
Jose Peixoto Coelho De Souza Unit coordinator

Additional notes

In order to meet the learning outcomes students are required to engage in regular independent language learning devoting an average of ten hours per week to work on the various language skills. 

This module offers the opportunity for students to contribute to a newspaper twice a year and to participate in a variety of social events such as the Café Lusófono, which takes place five times every semester. 

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