It’s often overlooked as a language, but Portuguese is actually an incredibly valuable language to learn, whether as a second, third, or even fourth foreign language.
This is because there are millions of Portuguese speakers around the world. In fact, Portuguese is considered to be the seventh most spoken language on the planet according to the British Council. This means that Portuguese comes ahead of other languages such as:
- Russian; and
With around 220 million native Portuguese speakers worldwide, it becomes easier to understand why learning Portuguese can be extremely useful.
For instance, if you can read, write, listen, and speak Portuguese then you’ll not only be able to communicate with those that live in Portugal, but you’ll also be able to communicate with people in Brazil, where Portuguese is also the national language.
Granted, there are differences between Brazilian Portuguese and the Portuguese spoken in Portugal, but learning either variation should stand you in good stead if you’re learning the language.
Despite how many people in the world speak Portuguese, it’s not a particularly common language taught in schools. Often, primary and secondary schools in the U.K. teach languages such as German, Spanish, French, and even Mandarin as a second language, leaving Portuguese out in the cold.
If you’d like to learn Portuguese, it can be difficult to find a Portuguese tutor or teacher to help structure your learning and encourage you to study as you improve your proficiency. Although it can be hard to find a tutor, it’s by no means impossible, and the below tips suggest potential places where you might find your future Portuguese teacher.
Find A Portuguese Tutor Through Schools
One of the most old-fashioned ways of finding a Portuguese tutor is to simply look for one at your local school or university.
This method of searching for a tutor makes sense on a number of different levels. For instance:
- You’ll know that a Portuguese teacher at a school or university will have the experience to teach others Portuguese as a second language;
- It’s easy enough to search online to see which schools and universities have Portuguese teachers; and
- If a prospective Portuguese teacher isn’t able to take on tutoring work outside of school, they may be able to recommend someone who can.
Despite all of the benefits that searching for a Portuguese tutor in this way can bring, it’s worth noting that there are some drawbacks to this search method.
As mentioned above, Portuguese is not a particularly popular second language and isn’t often taught in primary and secondary schools, so it may be difficult to find a teacher in your local area that’s willing to work as your tutor.
If there is a school that offers Portuguese, it may be worth seeing if they offer language classes in the evenings. Some schools, such as language colleges, sometimes offer extra-curricular language courses during the evenings, and usually, for a small fee, you can pay to attend weekly Portuguese classes where you will learn Portuguese with a group of individuals who have a similar experience level to you.
However, if you can’t find any suitable Portuguese classes through schools, it might be easier to find a Portuguese tutor through a university. For example, you might find that there are Portuguese undergraduates or graduates who are advertising tuition services, or there may even be a professor who’s a specialist in Portuguese who’s willing to teach you.
It may also be worthwhile reaching out to the university’s language department, to see if they can help you with your search and suggest any Portuguese courses that may be of use.
Should You Look For An Online Portuguese Tutor?
Seeing as it may be difficult to find a local Portuguese tutor that meets your expectations when it comes to teaching experience and budget, it may be worthwhile to broaden your search and look online for a Portuguese tutor.
Having online classes has a wide range of benefits, such as:
- You can schedule your Portuguese classes whenever suits you and your lifestyle;
- You don’t have to leave home to have your lessons; and
- You should have access to a wider pool of tutors if you’re willing to have online lessons.
Looking for tutors online can be a wonderful way to find your next tutor, as you should be able to find a tutor that matches your budget, your availability and your experience level.
For instance, if you’re new to learning Portuguese then ideally you’d like to work with a tutor who has experience coaching new Portuguese learners, so that you can quickly and comfortably work up to a proficiency level that allows you to recite the Portuguese alphabet, say and respond to basic greetings and phrases, and know common verbs and how to conjugate them.
If you’re a more experienced Portuguese learner, on the other hand, you might find it more useful to look online for a Portuguese tutor that is more experienced, who can help you with particularly difficult aspects of Portuguese grammar or can help you work on your pronunciation.
When looking for an online Portuguese tutor, it may help to turn to a site such as Superprof. Superprof has a range of Portuguese tutors who are happy to work with you either in-person or on an online-only basis. What’s more, you can look through potential tutors and compare their fees, experience levels, and if they have any specialisms so that you can make an informed choice about which tutor is right for you.
Look For A Portuguese Language Tutor At Work
Another way you can look for a Portuguese tutor is to see if there is one available at either your place of work, or whether any businesses in your local area offer Portuguese classes.
Sometimes, particularly larger companies might offer Portuguese classes to their workforce, in order to help develop the skills of their employees. Naturally, not every company will offer Portuguese lessons, but if you do work for a large business it might be worth enquiring as to whether any language courses are on offer and if so how much they would cost.
If you don’t currently have a job but are looking for part-time work, perhaps to fit around your studies at school or university, then you could also consider looking for work in a Portuguese speaking environment. Although not guaranteed, if you look for work in, say, a traditional Portuguese restaurant that you know employs native Portuguese speakers, then working there could be a way of improving your understanding of the language.
Ultimately, when you’re looking for a Portuguese tutor, you should consider the following things:
- Are there any local Portuguese tutors or teachers in your area? If not, are you happy to have online Portuguese lessons?;
- Do you know how much money you’d like to spend on Portuguese lessons, and how long you’d like to have lessons for?; and
- Have you thought about your ideal tutor and the traits they have? For example, are they a native Brazilian Portuguese speaker, or do they have over a decade of teaching experience?
Having some of the answers to the above questions in mind can really help you during your search for a tutor, whether you decide to conduct that search by looking for teachers at local schools, your workplace, or looking for tutors online.
Once you've found the right tutor for you, you'll most likely find that learning Portuguese becomes easier for you. This is because a tutor, for example, a Superprof Portuguese tutor, can provide one on one tuition that helps you to develop your knowledge of Portuguese when it comes to grammar, vocabulary, and overall comprehension.
What's more, a tutor can provide you with regular "homework" or lessons to ensure you consolidate your learning and increase your confidence when it comes to reading, writing, speaking, and listening in Portuguese.
Whether you would ultimately like to become fluent in Portuguese and sound almost like a native speaker when you talk, or you'd just like to improve your overall proficiency from beginner to intermediate, there's a tutor out there to help you.
Superprof has a range of Portuguese tutors working within their network, so you shouldn't have much difficulty finding a tutor that's right for your needs, whether you're looking for a Brazilian Portuguese native speaker or someone with years of experience teaching and has an undergraduate degree in Portuguese as a foreign language.
Simply enter your postcode into the Superprof site and specify that you'd like to find a Portuguese tutor. You'll then be matched with tutors - both locally and those that work on an online-basis - who you can then search through to find your perfect tutor.