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FAQ

Frequent Asked Questions

Classes

Which is better for me: private lessons or group classes?


It really depends on what kind of person you are. Some students are shy and feel easily intimidate by others. Others feel better learning from other people’s experience and mistakes. In the end it comes to how much time and money you have available. Ideally the best way to go is private lessons in the beginning, for a solid foundation of grammar and pronunciation, then followed by group classes to get exposed to other people’s experience, thus expanding your vocabulary.

How long will it take for me to become fluent?

Unfortunately there is no magic number here. Some students, due to many different reasons, progress faster than others. What is most important is that the student does not rely only on the class, for two hours a week of Portuguese is not enough. Our instructors will provide you with many different tools for you to study and learn outside the classroom.

How much grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation will I get?

Learning a language takes the unique combination of all three aspects. We make sure our students listen, speak, read and write in every class. Through the assignments the instructors give, the student will also expand vocabulary, as well as gain a better understanding of grammar.

Do you give homework? What other assignments do you give outside class?

Besides the exercises on the book we also give the students assignments: compositions, internet research and access to audio/video that will expand the student’s exposition to the language.

How do I know if I am progressing? Do you grade your students?

You will know you are progressing when the instructor advances you to the next level. After requests from our students we started grading them so they can see what needs to be improved.

I have no interest in Brazil but in Portugal. Since it’s so difficult to find a Portuguese tutor, would I be OK learning from a Brazilian?

That could be an issue at first. Portuguese people have enough exposure to Brazilian Portuguese through TV, music and cinema, but the reverse is not true. Portuguese can easily understand Brazilians, but you might find difficult at first to understand them. The written form of both “variations” were unified in January 2009, which helps a lot the communication between both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. If you are worried about that, the good news is that we do have an instructor from Portugal, so please consult us for class availability.

My friends are all from Rio de Janeiro, will I have problems learning from someone who is not from there?

If you are from Chicago, do you have problems understanding someone from South Carolina? The same applies here; the difference is basically the pronunciation of two letters, that’s it. Once you are comfortable speaking the language, it’s easy to make a transition to different accents. Can’t you do the British accent yourself?

How effective are online private classes?

Online private classes have shown to be more effective than regular in-person classes. Here are a few reasons:

1. The student can take the class anywhere with a reliable internet connection. Classes are harder to miss, but when that is necessary, the flexibility guarantees a better attendance rate than group classes.

2. The individual attention makes you learn more and faster. It is pretty common for the student to cover 2 levels of group classes with one package of 10 private sessions.

3. Take your notes everywhere with you. The chat log keeps all the communication, notes and files exchanges between the instructor and the student.

Student with Previous Knowledge

I have traveled to Brazil/Portugal. Do I need to take Portuguese I?

Most definitely. The whole world is exposed to English on a daily basis but that does not mean everybody speaks the language. On Portuguese I you will learn the basic concepts of that language that will be crucial throughout the learning process.

I speak Spanish fluently and can understand Portuguese. Can’t I just join the conversation class?

Not if you want to learn the language. With Spanish you can somewhat communicate with Brazilians, but with limitations. You need the foundations of the language to learn and internalize the boundary between both languages, and that can only be achieved by learning and practicing.

Enrollment

How do I enroll?

Enrolling is quick and easy! Simply click on the button ENROLL in each class description and follow the steps.

What if there is not enough students to form a class?

The minimum to form a class is five students. In the rare situation when only two or three students are enrolled, we will offer them the possibility of starting the class, but with fewer sessions. Each student will end up have much more individual attention from the instructor, thus increasing the learning experience. We make sure we offer enough sessions to have the students ready for the next level class, which will be more likely to have the required quorum.

Payment

How do I pay for the classes? Do you take credit cards?

You can pay with credit cards through our website, or by cash and checks at our office.

What is your reimbursement policy?

Students who cancel before the second session are entitled a 80% refund. After the second session the refund is equivalent to 50% of the remaining balance. Another option is to use the balance as credit towards a future class, after paying a fee of 20% of the remaining balance.

What if I miss a class? Do I get a make-up class?

Private students are entitled to a free make-up class if they cancel 24 hours in advance. Group students can get a make-up class, but they will be charged at our regular rate.

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