There are a wealth of reasons as to why people wish to study an additional language.

In an ever-changing economic climate, most companies across the world now prefer to hire bilingual and multi-lingual employees. 

Due to an increasingly global approach to business, companies are attracting partnerships and investments from different countries across the world.

Job posts often specify preferred language skills, and with Portuguese being accredited as the sixth most popular spoken language in the world, with over 230 million native speakers globally, you will often find job advertisements that require an effective level of proficiency within the language itself.

Often, companies pay subsidies for their employees to embark upon structured lessons to enhance their language skills. 

Other times, there is an expectation that employees must start their job posts with a certain level of language speaking ability, especially with companies that have a large business influence in Portugal and Brazil.

If you feel you have some way to go in developing your Portuguese speaking abilities, then fear not, for there are a range of opportunities across New York City.

Famous for being one of (if not the most) diverse cities in the United States, with over 600 different languages spoken in the metropolitan area; it is a city with a large selection of educational institutes and linguistic schools to support people with their language skills.

So, where to start?

It can often be a little overwhelming when setting out in finding the perfect language tutor.

Let's have a look at some ways into looking for the best opportunities across NYC.

Portuguese Tutors in New York City

There are a wealth of tutors who offer their services as specialist language educators on the Superprof website, and they are available across The United States.

Each of these ranges from varying levels of teaching experience and their profiles can be examined prior to reaching out.

Firstly, it is important to distinguish a set amount of factors including hourly rate, personal availability as well as one's commitment to commuting to and from lessons each week/fortnight.

Are your tutors' homes a little too far away? Or, could the sessions be carried out in a public place a little closer to home?

Establishing this with your tutor is important, as you could be wasting valuable learning time that may eventually affect the longevity and consistency of lessons going forwards. 

Also, each tutor will usually highlight the number of years they have been working in their profession as a specialist language mentor. 

An additional factor is establishing what style of Portuguese they specialize in teaching.

A man contemplates upon the skyline.
New York is amongst one of the most populated cities in the USA. There are thousands of language tutors to help you on your way. (Source: Visualhunt)

Portugal or Brazilian Portuguese: Establishing the Differences

Firstly, pronunciation is a key difference between the two.

Mainly, the verbal use is said to sound more extensive (longer) when it comes to Brazilian Portuguese, whereas those from Portugal have a tendency to pronounce with a softer, shorter tone.

Some of the vocabulary is also said to be spelled differently, and some of the grammatical rules can contrast from each other.

Furthermore, European Portuguese is said to be more formal out of the two.

And the motivations of the student must be considered before deciding which style of Portuguese it is you wish to learn.

If it's due to an interest in literature, the European style is often favored.

However, Brazil is famous for its musical influence across the world, and music such as Samba and Bossa Nova would be better understood if the student decides to learn the language from a tutor that originates from Brazil.

The country is home to countless idyllic coastlines and beaches, with it being one of the most visited Southern American countries. It is also especially popular for American citizens, and it isn't alone visited by New Yorkers, with people from Boston, Chicago, and Houston visiting in high numbers every year.

The Brazilian flag.
Brazil is home to the largest concentration of Portuguese speakers in the world. (Source: Visualhunt)

Hiring a Portuguese Tutor: Is it Worth it?

This approach to language learning is often said to be the most effective and financially manageable approach to learning for most students.

It's known to be the most effective method because you are the sole concentration of the tutor, and therefore additional support that may be given to fellow students doesn't exist, as it usually would in a structured, classroom learning environment.

Also, language learning with a one-to-one tutor offers accountability toward the student and their learning.

Why?

Well, hiring a personal tutor is a commitment, and in doing so, you are hoping to develop your ability to execute something, whether this is language learning to mastering a new instrument; personal tutors are hired upon a range of subject/practical-based areas to improve a specific skill.

It would be a waste of both time and finances if the student doesn't take this seriously.

Also, experienced tutors will often set directed study for their students, to ensure they are partaking in regular learning between each scheduled tutoring session.

A one-to-one language tutor also offers the opportunity to receive regular feedback.

Considered to be one of the most effective teaching strategies, a student must receive an ongoing and immediate response within their learning.

You may be pronouncing something wrong, and to ensure this doesn't turn into a bad habit, your tutor will pick up on this, offering immediate feedback to right any potential wrongs that may well get picked up along the way.

 

I think it's very important to have a feedback loop, where you're constantly thinking about what you've done wrong and how you could be doing it better...

- Elon Musk

 

Language tutors often carry certified qualifications that accredit their ability in teaching within their learning area.

Yes, your tutor may not need to carry a master's in modern languages from Harvard University, in fact, they may not need a structured qualification at all.

There are various styles and approaches when it comes to learning, and individuals all learn in unique ways.

Also, you may wish to be fluent in the Portuguese language, but your motivations may stem from the wish for verbal and listening development; it could be so you can converse with a close friend or loved one's family for instance.

If this is the case, you would expect your tutor to structure each lesson in accordance with these preferences.

Also, the opportunity to have someone around you speaking Portuguese is a great way of developing your confidence when speaking. 

Learning a new language requires the student to feel confident when attempting out new vocabulary and sentence structures.

It can often be a little nail-biting when doing so for the first time.

A regular tutor should help you accomplish and surpass such barriers so you feel a sense of confidence and vigor when you are talking Portuguese with new people.

A student ponders over their work.
Learning a new language can be a tricky business. It requires perseverance, effort, and consistency. (Source: Visualhunt)

Learning How to Speak Portuguese

The rise in popularity of learning Portuguese doesn't alone exist in NYC, but residents of Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles are now more inclined to choose the language over Spanish or Mandarin.

If you're looking to hone your language skills as quickly as possible, you must embody various learning strategies within your schedule to ensure you are continuously finding opportunities to practice.

Sometimes, you may finish your directed studies a few days before your next tutoring session, yet, this shouldn't act as prevention between further learning opportunities.

Some additional ways you can continue re-enforcing your understanding could be to:

Watch an international film. A range of current and pre-existing, Portuguese spoken language films are available at your disposal. With a number being available on such platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime, both movies and television series' can be viewed if you have a monthly subscription.

Building your community. Of course, having a one-to-one Portuguese tutor is an excellent start, but that teacher will encourage you to create new friends/acquaintances that may well be in the same position as you.

This will help to enhance your speaking and listening skills, and a regular catch up at your local cafe will only generate further confidence when conversing in a new language.

Use online platforms such as Youtube. There are a wealth of online language tutors that post videos and other content online. Although it is not advised to use such content as a replacement for a one-to-one tutor, it is certainly an approach that will continue to support you in your development.

By simply subscribing to various channels, you can also be informed when new material has been uploaded online.

There has also been an ongoing discussion in which scientists and specialist linguists discuss the most effective approaches to learning a new language.

The main theme surrounding these arguments is largely down to the individual, and the most effective way in which they endorse and remember information.

Your memory may work more effectively if your learning is centered around a kinaesthetic approach (active-based learning), whereas some students may learn more effectively through the use of vocabulary memorization.

Again, it is down to the individual involved, and the best way of identifying an experienced tutor is if they assess your learning habits, identifying which approaches work most effectively, whilst using this knowledge as a guide for the stylistic, pedagogical approach and content of which they will cover during each tutoring session. 

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Christopher