Placement in a specific level is determined by language proficiency. All students, except for complete beginners, take a language assessment prior to the start of the program. The language assessment is not part of the application process.

Explore our course catalog to see the courses offered in past years.

Level 1 Beginning Portuguese

PGSE 3101-3102-3103
This course sequence is designed for students with no previous classroom instruction or functional ability in Portuguese, and little or no experience in another Romance Language. Students are exposed to intensive grammar instruction to develop their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Most students completing this course sequence will be able to initiate, sustain, and close a conversation dealing with familiar topics, and will be able to write short narratives and read authentic texts based on specific reading strategies. They will notice a tremendous difference in terms of comprehension from week 1 to week 7, and by the end of the program they will create with the language to a certain degree, combining elements to communicate personal meaning and satisfy relatively simple social demands with confidence, often in a reactive mode. Students in this course will also be able to better understand the complexities of the target language culture. Based on data gathered during the previous Portuguese School summers, the majority of students completing this level achieved Intermediate levels in the final oral assessment.

Level 1 - Beginning Portuguese for Spanish Speakers

PGSE 3151-3152-3153
This course sequence focuses specifically on issues that arise when Spanish-speakers learn Portuguese. Because of the similarity between the two languages, typically Spanish speakers progress through Portuguese language classes at an astonishingly fast rate. In addition, with work on vocabulary and specific structures, they are able to communicate at a higher proficiency level in a shorter period of time. In this program, students not only have proficiency-oriented instruction to develop their communication skills, but they are also constantly challenged to improve their pronunciation and intonation in the target language. As they develop their sensitivity to recognize the differences between Portuguese and Spanish, they become more and more conscious of the need to sustain communication in a ‘patrol/controlling’ mode. Therefore, they are constantly stimulated to use the language with more confidence, aiming at fluency and, at the same time, accuracy. Depending on their proficiency, students with some limited formal instruction in Portuguese may also place in this level. Based on previous Portuguese School summers, the majority of students completing this level achieve “Intermediate High” to “Advanced Low” levels in the final oral assessment.

Level 1.75 High Beginning Portuguese

PGSE 3195-3196-3197
This course sequence is intended for students who have usually completed one semester of Portuguese, and it is designed to expand the PGSE 3195 & PGSE 3196 courses. In this program, students will develop their cultural background of the Portuguese-speaking countries nowadays, to better understand their diversity and complexities. Through different culture units, students will be able to enrich their experience as they heighten their awareness of the Lusophone artistic production, engaging in interesting class discussions, participating in dynamic and creative activities, and developing projects either in groups or individually. The interpersonal and in-depth exchanges will help them grasp the target language culture, as well as develop fluency as they are exposed to authentic texts in Portuguese, which will reinforce what they are learning in the grammar class, as they start becoming more confident while using a more structured argument to convey meaning.

Level 2 Intermediate Portuguese I

PGSE 3201-3202-3203
Students enrolling in this sequence will have completed successfully one year of Portuguese and will have a proficiency level of “Novice- High,” according to the ACTFL proficiency guidelines. In this class, they will strengthen their knowledge of grammatical and syntactical structures and improve their mastery of the language while increasing vocabulary and functional communicative ability.They also start developing the ability to sustain communicative exchanges using connected discourse of paragraph length, diminishing increasingly their pattern of errors. Most students successfully completing this sequence will emerge with a proficiency level of “intermediate high.” Depending on motivation, effort, and previous knowledge some students may progress to a level of “advanced low” or “advanced mid” during this sequence.

Level 3 Intermediate Portuguese III

PGSE 3301-3302-3303
Students enrolling in this sequence will have completed at least three semesters of study in Portuguese and will typically have a proficiency level of “Intermediate-High” (and occasionally at least “Intermediate-Mid”), according to the ACTFL proficiency guidelines. Many times, students enrolled in this level have also participated in study abroad programs in countries where the target language is spoken, besides their traditional exposure to Portuguese at college. Students will engage in intensive language instruction to strengthen their knowledge of grammatical and syntactical structures, as well as improve their mastery of the language while increasing vocabulary and functional communicative ability. Students completing this sequence will participate actively in in-depth conversations on topics of both personal and public interest, using and combining a variety of communicative devices to satisfy linguistic needs. They may also develop a discourse in a more professional level. By the end of the program, students tend to achieve a proficiency level of “Advanced-Low” or “Advanced-Mid”. Depending on motivation, effort, and diligence, some students will progress to “Advanced-High” during this sequence.

Level 3.5 Advanced Portuguese I

PGSE 3398-3399-3400
Students enrolling in this sequence will have completed successfully three to four semesters of study in Portuguese and will have a proficiency level of “Intermediate-High” or “Advanced-Low” according to the ACTFL proficiency guidelines. Students enrolled in this level are able to watch authentic TV programs, read authentic texts and communicate with Portuguese speakers on several different familiar topics. In this level, they will continue to strengthen their knowledge of grammatical and syntactical structures and will continue to master the language, while increasing rich and diverse vocabulary through extensive reading. They will also learn how to deal with linguistically unfamiliar situations, which usually help them cope with complicated communicative exchanges. They will practice writing and speaking at different registers as well, studying cultural and literary texts in depth. Students completing this sequence will emerge with a proficiency level of “Advanced-Mid or High”. Depending on motivation, effort, and diligence, some students will progress to the “Superior” level during this sequence. This course sequence is not offered every summer.

Level 4 Advanced Portuguese

PGSE 3401-3402-3403
Students enrolling in this sequence will have a good foundation of Portuguese after usually the equivalent to two years of study, and will have a proficiency level of at least “Advanced-low,” according to the ACTFL proficiency guidelines. In this sequence, students will continue their linguistic development through the study of specific cultural aspects that enable them to increase vocabulary, as well as language proficiency while learning more about the Lusophone world. Classes are designed to enable students to practice written and oral language addressing different registers, and they will also explore literary texts in depth. They tend to participate intensively and effectively in formal and informal conversations, on topics related to their professional areas and scholarly interests, but also on unfamiliar topics that demand a more focused and elaborated pattern of discourse to convey complex meanings. Most students who successfully complete this sequence will typically develop skills at the “Advanced-High” and, occasionally, they might achieve the “Superior” level of proficiency.