Students who strive to become fluent in a language have to put in the time and effort to master the language. Some studies have revealed developing fluency may be easier for younger learners. Here is how learning Portuguese may look for an adult learner and a young adult learner.
Portuguese is spoken by nearly 270 million speakers around the world. It’s most common in Brazil, Portugal, and parts of Africa. It’s a Romance language, along with Italian and Spanish. Some Portuguese words may sound like French, Spanish, or Catalan.
Some students may find it challenging to master this unique language. One of the biggest challenges to students learning to speak Portuguese is how varied the dialects and accents sound. The most significant divide is how native Brazilians speak the language compared to how native Europeans from Portugal speak and pronounce words and phrases in Portuguese. Additionally, students may stumble on the sounds and consonant pronunciation when learning.
Reasons To Learn
Despite the challenges, it’s still worth the challenge to learn to speak Portuguese fluently. Students can learn Portuguese to connect with people in the United States from Brazil, Portugal, and Africa. They can also take their Portuguese skills abroad when traveling to gorgeous Portuguese-speaking locations.
If you know a second language, such as Portuguese, you may also be able to market yourself more successfully when applying for new business, customer service, teaching, marketing, and technology jobs. Additionally, speaking Portuguese may also help students who want to master more similar languages, such as Spanish and Italian. Students that want to speak three, four, or more languages can focus on the Romance language family including Portuguese.
The Young Adult Learner
Experts have suggested that learning a new language may be easier for younger learners. Some researchers have found that learning a second language is easier for those under 18. Teens and young adults can become more fluent and develop stronger skills in Portuguese than older adults. One reason is that teens have more access to formalized lessons since they are still enrolled in high school. Additionally, teens have more time to devote to serious language study. Teens and young adults may not have to worry about stressors like bills, rent, kids, and work. This means they can focus more on developing fluent skills in Portuguese or another language.
The Adult Learner
Adult learners can still master the Portuguese language. Adult learners may benefit from more intense language learning like full immersion. Adult learners may struggle with mastering the pronunciation and accent during their studies in Portuguese. Younger students may be more successful in mimicking a native’s accent and pronunciation of words than adults. Adult learners may also have to build up a larger bank of vocabulary and phrases in Portuguese due to their understanding of complex concepts. They’ll need more language skills to explain their ideas than a much younger student who may have started with a shorter bank of vocabulary words.
Strategies and Tips in Learning Portuguese
Both young adults and older adults can benefit from language learning strategies and tips when studying Portuguese. Students can make progress towards fluency and a true understanding of the language. One helpful way to get more language skills in Portuguese is to make a new friend who speaks the language. Develop your conversational skills by only speaking in Portuguese with your friend. Take cues from your friend regarding accents and pronunciation.
Today, it’s also easy to find content online in Portuguese. Language students can choose to watch television shows and movies produced in Portugal and Brazil to get listening practice in the language. Some language learners make significant gains when they start playing games in the second language. Students can look online to find games designed in Portuguese and practice playing the game a few minutes a day to learn more vocabulary and grammar.
Young adult and older adult students both have the opportunity to become fluent speakers of Portuguese with the right program and right approach. A common way to develop fluency is to start an immersion program in the language. Educational programs designed in an immersive style immediately expose students to all parts of the language learning experience.
At Middlebury Language Schools, students can enroll in quality language instruction that uses the 24/7 immersion method. Learn more about the 7-week summer Portuguese School in Vermont and see how it could enrich your life and educational goals.