BA Spanish and Portuguese

Year of entry: 2024

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
Available as a free choice unit? No


This is an advanced Portuguese language course for students who have completed SPLA52040 Portuguese Language 4 before the final year. It is designed to allow students with near-native proficiency in Portuguese to put their language skills to work through the completion of three independent projects: a 20-minute oral presentation in Portuguese, a translation project, and a Portuguese-language extended essay. Students enrolled in the course will decide the topics of the assessed elements on the basis of their academic and vocational interests and in consultation with their tutor. Students will report and gain feedback on their progress in weekly hour-long tutorials. Tutorials may also be used to practice informal and formal topics of advanced conversational Portuguese, with feedback provided. 


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).  


This course aims to: 

  • Consolidate students ability to learn independently 

  • Help students to set their own learning targets 

  • Train students to analyze and critique their own work  

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this course students will be able to: 

  • Confidently display their proficiency in the target language, using both written and oral skills 

  • Further develop translation skills and approach the task of translation in a critical manner 

  • Equip themselves with the strategies to maintain and extend their skills in the target language in the future 

  • Become more self-aware and self-critical in the field of language learning and language development 

Intellectual skills

By the end of this course students will be able to: 

  • Explore issues and subject matters of interest to the student with a high level of linguistic and intellectual sophistication  

  • Conduct independent research using primary and secondary materials in Portuguese 

  • Construct a lengthy essay in Portuguese that is clearly structured, well supported using primary and secondary materials and which demonstrates excellent understanding of the subject matter concerned 

  • Translate a lengthy piece of sophisticated Portuguese or English  

Practical skills

By the end of this course students will be able to: 

  • Identify and make use of a broader, more sophisticated range of Portuguese-language materials 

  • Better manage their own pace of learning  

  • Learn independently more effectively 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

By the end of this course students will be able to: 

  • Work in a sustained fashion, and in detail, on a single project or topic 

  • Evaluate and draw on a range of primary and secondary sources 

  • Appreciate and explain subtle differences in cultural understanding 

Employability skills

Motivation: be able to act on initiative, identify opportunities
Oral communication
Verbal communication skills: be able to express ideas clearly and confidently in presentation and speech
Written communication
be able to express oneself clearly in writing
Translation: gain more specific expertise in the task of translation and mediating between languages

Assessment methods

Assessment Task Formative or Summative Weighting within unit (if Summative)
Translation Project and commentary  Summative  40%
An extended written essay in Portuguese on a topic of the student’s own choice  Summative  40%
Oral presentation in Portuguese on either the extended essay or the translation project, making appropriate use of audio-visual materials, with questions taken at the end  Summative  20%

Feedback methods

Feedback Method Formative or Summative
Oral feedback on an individual, weekly basis  Formative
Written feedback on the translation project   Formative and Summative
Written feedback on the oral presentation  Summative 
Written feedback on the extended essay  Summative 


Recommended reading

N/A; students are encouraged to consult as many Portuguese-language sources as required for their independent learning. The instructor will make suggestions regarding relevant materials as necessary. 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

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

Additional notes

This unit is only available to students on a Portuguese degree programme who have taken SPLA52040 before the final year of their degree.  

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