BA Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Portuguese Language 1

Course unit fact file
Unit code SPLA52010
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Spanish, Portuguese and Latin
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit is designed as an introduction to the Portuguese Language. It aims to provide students with intensive teaching in the basics of Portuguese grammar and syntax. Strong emphasis is placed on both spoken and written language. It also aims to develop the students’ basic writing, oral and comprehension skills in the Portuguese language, through a range of written, communicative and practical exercises. The course aims to develop the students’ basic writing, oral and comprehension skills in the Portuguese language, through a range of written, communicative and practical exercises. 


Only open to level 1 Portuguese students.


It aims: 

  • to provide students with materials leading to the acquisition of a solid understanding of Portuguese grammar and syntax; 

  • to enable students to communicate adequately in Portuguese through a range of written, oral, and comprehension exercises; 

  • to enrich the understanding of the language through the study of oral and written texts of different speech genres. 

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course, students will have developed: 

  • active and passive knowledge of the basic grammar structures of the Portuguese language 

  • an ability to communicate effectively in written and oral Portuguese.  

Knowledge and understanding

  • Passive and active knowledge of basic grammatical structures of the Portuguese language. 

  • An awareness of and responsiveness to the nature and extent of cultural diversity in the Lusophone world. 

  • The ability to understand and produce texts of different speech genres, through the use of knowledge of grammar, vocabulary and basic cultural awareness.  

Intellectual skills

  • The ability to develop powers of analysis and use them to solve problems. 

  • The ability of working independently on a portfolio. 

  • Decision making  

Practical skills

  • An ability to communicate in written and oral Portuguese. 

  • The ability to manage time and work to deadlines. 

  • The ability to participate in pair and team work. 

  • Creativity  

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Communication and presentation skills, both oral and written through presentations and teamwork.  

  • Self-management and study skills, including learning how to learn through self-reflection activities and self-evaluation.  

  • Self-confidence. 

  • Role adaptability.  

  • Computer literacy. 

Employability skills

Problem solving
Generally, communications skills are developed through frequent presentations and teamwork, self-management skills are promoted through independent work, creation of a language portfolio, problem-solving skills through translation and role-plays, and IT skills through web and computer assisted language learning.

Assessment methods

Assessment Task Weighting within unit
Written examination 1 (end of semester 1)  25%
Oral examination (end of semester 2)  25%
Written examination (end of semester 2)  50%
Students will be expected to submit a piece of work as requested by their tutor every two/three weeks.  This coursework is formative and it does not count towards the final course result. However, it is essential to do it consistently in order to gradually get the necessary preparation for the final exam.


Feedback methods

Students will regularly receive individual written feedback on completed and marked assignments and oral presentations plus face-to-face discussion if desired. Besides, the tutor will provide in-class comments on homework, presentations and other exercises. 


Additionally, global feedback (delivered orally in class/posted to Blackboard/as a handout) on frequent errors or omissions will be provided to the whole class to indicate problem areas and allow questions and discussion.  


Finally, the collaborative group work and pair work used in these classes to practise presented language also facilitates peer feedback. 


Summative feedback on Semester 1 examination will be given in the form of the mark given and/or a general description on how the group of students performed in the exam. 

Recommended reading

Set Text:
Anna M. Klobucka, et al., Ponto de Encontro. Portuguese as a World Language (London: Prentice Hall, 2007) 
Language handouts to be provided in class.
Recommended Texts: 

Amélia Hutchinson and Janet Lloyd, Portuguese: an Essential Grammar (London: Routledge, 1996).  
R.C. Willis, Essential Course in Portuguese (Any edition)  

Dictionaries: Collins, Oxford or Novo Michaelis 





Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 88
Independent study hours
Independent study 112

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Jose Peixoto Coelho De Souza Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Students will be expected to engage in regular independent language learning, and we provide guidance to help you develop your expertise as an independent language learner.  You are encouraged to use the facilities in the Language Centre, which include on-line material, grammar and reference books, language laboratories, self-access materials and satellite TV. 


The Independent language learning, undertaken by all students, will form the basis for the oral examination at the end of the second semester. Additionally there will be one individual meeting per semester with a language tutor to monitor the progress of the portfolio and get personalized feedback. 

Students will be encouraged to contribute to the Portuguese Newspaper as well as attending cultural activities such as Café Lusófono (a place to meet other students and native speakers of the language) and film screenings. 

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