A recent study conducted by the ACS (American Community Survey) stated that 0.79 million US residents speak Portuguese whilst at home.

There are notable larger communities of Portuguese speaking citizens in California, Florida, New Jersey, New York & Pennsylvania.

Although it isn't the most commonly studied language within the American educational systems, it is still accredited as being in the top ten of secondary spoken languages across the country.

So, when it comes to high school and collegiate programs, what are the opportunities like for those looking to study Portuguese during their earlier educational years?

Well, when it comes to educational legislation and curriculum coverage, states are usually responsible for what areas of study, amongst the core subjects (Maths, English & Science) should be available to students in public schools.

Spanish is recorded as being the most popular foreign language studied in American schools, with over 50% of Americans having learned it to some capacity.

This is followed by French, Italian & German.

Although being the sixth most popular spoken language in the world, learning Portuguese in structured education within America has been far from commonplace.

FeelPortugal recently stated, however, that since 2015, there has been a significant increase in popularity amongst schools across the country offering such opportunities.

Especially in Los Angeles, due to a growing Brazilian community, the increase in diversity has impacted the languages that are available for students to learn.

The US Federal Administration also contributed to the growth in popularity of learning Portuguese in schools, having recently acknowledged it as a strategic language, and this agreement was also signed by a selection of community schools, colleges, and universities across the country.

Why is it a strategic language?

Well, Portuguese, similar to French, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, derive mostly from Latin and are considered as the romantic languages.

Much of the vocabulary, grammatical structures, and lexicon embody fundamental similarities, making them comparable in form.

Therefore, knowing one of the romance languages puts you a step ahead when learning others; making Portuguese a fantastic foundation for ambitious multi-linguists.

Regardless of age, experience, and Portuguese speaking level, American residents have ample opportunities at their doorstep to learn.

Let's have a look at some cities across the country that have multiple options for aspiring Portuguese speakers.

Portuguese Classes in New York City

A railway track overlooking the city.
NYC is considered to be one of the most multi-culturally diverse cities in the world. (Source: Visualhunt)

One of the most populous and recognizable cities, not alone in the US, but the world: New York City is proud of being one of the most ethnically diverse places in the country.

With this in mind, language enthusiasts have an abundance of educational routes to choose from.

From the department of Portuguese and Spanish language studies at New York University to the Portuguese Language Learning Institute which offers a range of courses for all levels - New Yorkers are truly spoilt for choice.

A study conducted in 2018 acknowledged over 50,000 Portuguese American citizens based in NYC, and this has increased gradually over the years.

With a percentage of these locals working in education, there are also opportunities for aspiring Portuguese speakers to hire personal tutors. 

Specialist Language Tutors in Chicago

Let's hear it for Chi-Town!

Similar to NYC, the city also boasts a vast range of ethnically diverse communities, and this is no different when it comes to Portuguese speakers.

There are ample opportunities when it comes to learning Portuguese in Chicago.

Do you have a strong interest in Latin & European cultural history?

If so, The Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences offers a program that focuses explicitly on this area.

As mentioned in the linked articles on this page, there can be various motives for one's motivations to learn Portuguese.

Establishing such motives is imperative before reaching out to tutors/language course providers.

Also, Identifying how you most effectively learn will help you to understand if a private tutor or a language program with fellow students will be right for you.

Chicago is divided into 77 separate communities, and the vastness of space may pose an issue for some, especially if you are living on the far side as opportunities are usually more concentrated within the central parts of the city.

Identifying price range is also important before deciding upon which educational path you decide to take.

Portuguese Teachers/Tutors in Philadelphia

With a high influx of Brazilians heading to Philly over the years in search of job opportunities, the North East of the city has the largest concentration of Portuguese speakers.

This area of town is home to a wealth of Portuguese patisseries, Brazilian butchers, and supermarkets.

For those looking to learn the language, you needn't travel to South America or South Western Europe to endorse the culture.

Learning Portuguese in Philadelphia has never been easier.

With a wealth of experienced tutors that can be contacted directly through the Superprof website, each comes with a range of teaching expertise to support and fulfill a student's language learning ambitions.

Philadelphian at night.
Tutors can be located within the inner city as well as the outskirts of town. (Source: Visualhunt)

Taking Portuguese Classes in Boston

Bostonians are a proud bunch, and with the city's wealth of cultural landmarks and exciting events held there, from the Boston Marathon to the world-renowned Arts Festival, there is no wonder why those from other states and countries flock there each year.

Portuguese immigrants initially settled in the East and North end parts of the city, and Boston sees steady growth of the Portuguese community per annum.

Yet, it wasn't those alone that came from Europe, for the city has a strong community of those that have traveled from Brazil, with several communities that can be accessed through online forums and group pages on social media platforms like Facebook. 

With this in mind, learning Portuguese in Boston has never been easier.

From language learning centers to personal tutors available throughout the city, the options are truly endless.

Although Spanish is the main additional language taught in the public schooling system, some establishments within the city do offer additional Portuguese classes, so the younger generation can get a step ahead when mastering each of the romantic languages. 

Houston: A Home For Language Tutors

The fourth most populous city in the nation, with an estimated 2.3 million residents, Houston is a revered spot for educational opportunities.

With a strong network of Portuguese speaking expats, there is a bustling community of Brazilians and Portuguese Americans that ventured to the capital in the earlier stages of the 20th Century.

The city has a collection of Portuguese food houses, markets, and delis, and there are also a wealth of teachers and educators that work in the educational system that speak the language fluently.

The Brazilian Cultural Institute offers a range of programs for those looking to get involved.

With courses tailored for the absolute beginner, to those with a firm understanding yet looking to reach an expert level, learning Portuguese in Houston has become increasingly popular over the years.

There are also foreign language programs available at Rice University, and upon a phone interview, students will be assessed to determine their acceptance onto the program.

Beginner, intermediate & advanced sessions take place throughout the day, over the course of eight weeks, with the student receiving a certified qualification upon successful completion.

A Portuguese flag rests upon the pavement.
There is an abundance of opportunities available to those that are looking to study Portuguese in the city. (Source: Visualhunt)

Portuguese Tutors in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is home to its very own 'Little Portugal' based in San Pedro, and the city is home to one of the largest Portuguese speaking communities in the country.

It's no wonder why learning Portuguese in LA is so popular.

The city is home to a wealth of open and like-minded people that have a taste for arts, culture as well an appreciation for living in a diverse setting. 

Due to this, English speaking residents will often form strong bonds and acquaintances with those that speak fluent Portuguese/Portuguese Brazilian (yes, there is a difference).

In doing so, they will often feel an inclination to brush up on their language speaking skills.

LA is filled with Portuguese language tutors that can offer a hand.

As discussed in the linked articles on this post, there are a wealth of benefits when it comes to hiring your own personal tutor.

And in LA, there are a plethora of tutors with varying levels of experience.

Some have very little experience in teaching but hold a strong understanding of both the English and Portuguese languages; such tutors often come at a reduced price per hour, making it more feasible for the student.

Note to consider:

Upon finding the perfect tutor, it is advised to book a set amount of lessons throughout a specified period of time.

Why?

This is because tutors often offer a reduced price when students pay for a bulk of sessions. Also, it allows for greater consistency within your schedule. If you have already committed/invested in advance, you would be less inclined to cancel sessions, and with consistency comes quicker progression within your learning. 

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Christopher