BA Spanish and Portuguese

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Portuguese Language 5

Course unit fact file
Unit code SPLA52050
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Full year
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. On successful completion of this course, students should be able to perform at Level C1/C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). 



SPLA52040 or equivalent (for visiting students only). 

Available on which programme(s)? 

Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies single honours; 

Portuguese joint honours; Minor in Portuguese 

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


Available to students on an Erasmus programme 

Yes, but only to those studying for a degree in Portuguese at their home institutions and who will be at Manchester for an entire academic year. 

Medium of language 

Portuguese (and English) 



  • To enable students to communicate with a high level of fluency, accuracy, and confidence in Portuguese through oral, aural, and written exercises (including prose and translation), as well as to further develop their four skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) to a C1/C2 level. 

  • To enable students to produce texts in Portuguese of different genres with a detailed knowledge of advanced areas of grammar and syntax 

  • 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 


Knowledge and understanding

  • A broad, active knowledge, both practical and theoretical, of advanced Portuguese grammar and syntax, including different registers of language and their contexts of use  

  • 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 

  • The ability to understand and produce advanced/sophisticated texts of different genres 

  • Further 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 further critical and analytical thinking 

  • Develop critical, research and problem-solving skills 

Practical skills

These include:  

  • Advanced skills to enhance their language learning through independent study 

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

  • Ability to manage own learning 

  • Use target language source materials (written and oral) appropriately and confidently 

  • 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 

  • Further intercultural skills and cultural awareness 


Employability skills

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. 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.

Assessment methods

Assessment Task Formative or Summative Weighting within unit (if Summative)
Written exam: translation into English  Summative 25%
Written exam: translation into Portuguese + essay  Summative 50%
Oral Exam Summative 25%
Weekly written assignment  Formative  

Resit Assessment

Assessment Task
Written exam: translation into Portuguese + essay 


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. 


Global feedback on frequent errors or omissions to indicate problem areas and allow questions and discussion (delivered orally in class/ as a handout) 


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



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 advisable to acquire a monolingual Portuguese Dictionary such as Dicionário Aurélio or Dicionário Houaiss. 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 11
Seminars 11
Tutorials 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

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

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