How do you gain true fluency in a language? Eliminate the distractions and immerse yourself.
When you're surrounded by English speakers on a traditional campus, it’s difficult to keep your mind on the language you’re trying to learn. Even when you study abroad, you’ll find plenty of distractions.
A summer at the Portuguese School is an immersion in a pure language environment, from the classroom to the soccer field and all points in between. “We do have distractions here,” says Portuguese School Director Luci Moreira, “but all the distractions are in Portuguese.” These include a wide array of in-language cocurricular activities—among them capoeira, samba, yoga, and cooking—each designed to help you build new vocabulary while developing cultural fluency.
In the summer of 2012, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Portuguese School! Founding director, Carmen Tesser, visited the School and was impressed with the growth and the continued energy that drives the program, including the faculty, staff, and students. The celebration included a summer full of activities including the following participants:
- Amélia Matos Sumbana, Ambassador of the Republic of Mozambique to the United States.
- Conceição Evaristo, Afro-Brazilian writer and writer-in-residence, taught a graduate course on poetry and a module on African Brazilian Discourse.
- Rui Zink, acclaimed Portuguese writer, taught Portuguese poetry and a module on Portuguese literature.
- Álvaro Cardoso Gomes, Brazilian writer, was in residence for a month.
- All three writers delivered lectures and interacted with students on a daily basis.
- Stacey Kent, internationally known singer, and musician Jim Tomlinson were Artists-in-Residence.
By combining an immersion environment with rigorous daily classroom instruction, remarkable gains in fluency are the norm in the Portuguese School, not the exception.