Curso de Português, Learning Portuguese

Curso de Português

Author: Antonio Fornazaro
Publisher: Linguaphone
Publication date: 1987
Price: £179
CEFR levels: A1-B1 (Beginner to Intermediate)
Components: Textbook (344 pages), Handbook (382 pages), 8 audio CDs
Number of hours: 85-100
Syllabus:
Grammar
 Nouns
⦁ Present tense – regular and irregular verbs
⦁ Articles
⦁ Subject pronouns
⦁ Possessive adjectives
⦁ Preposition + article
⦁ queria (would), podia (could)
⦁ Adjective with noun and pronoun
⦁ Direct object pronouns
⦁ Imperatives
⦁ Comparatives
⦁ Demonstratives
⦁ Preterite
⦁ Indirect object pronouns
⦁ Imperfect
⦁ Plurals of nouns and adjectives
⦁ Past participles
⦁ Indefinite and negative pronouns
⦁ Reflexives
⦁ Present subjunctive
⦁ Pronouns
⦁ Future subjunctive
⦁ Agreement of noun, adjective and verb
⦁ Future
⦁ Superlative
⦁ Imperfect subjunctive
⦁ Conditional
⦁ cujo (whose)
⦁ Passive voice
⦁ acabar de, já, nunca, desde, há/faz, ter + past participle (have/has + past participle)
⦁ Object pronouns
⦁ Pluperfect
⦁ Inflected/personal infinitive
⦁ Object pronouns with the future and the conditional

Vocabulary
⦁ Meeting people
⦁ Professions
⦁ Numbers
⦁ Nationalities
⦁ Greetings
⦁ Time expressions
⦁ Expressing likes and dislikes
⦁ Telephone language
⦁ Telling the time
⦁ Days of the week
⦁ Buying tickets
⦁ Making appointments
⦁ Months of the year
⦁ Directions
⦁ Introducing people
⦁ Everyday activities
⦁ Food and drink
⦁ Shops
⦁ Colours
⦁ Clothes
⦁ Media and current affairs
⦁ Motoring
⦁ Weather
⦁ Staying in a hotel or on a campsite
⦁ Holiday activities
⦁ Banks
⦁ Eating out
⦁ Parts of the body
⦁ Ailments
⦁ Entertainment
⦁ Shopping for food
⦁ Applying for a job
⦁ Renting or buying a house or flat
⦁ Engaging tradespeople
⦁ Emergency services
⦁ Business language
⦁ Sports
⦁ Christmas
⦁ Travelling by plane

Publisher claims

The course teaches how the language works and how to use it through practical topics and everyday situations, using the Linguaphone method of listen, understand, speak. It teaches over 2000 words. They claim it covers Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels (but don’t refer to the CEFR in this claim). The Textbook is written in Portuguese and contains the audio text, pronunciation sections and written and spoken exercises. The Handbook is written in English and contains bilingual wordlists, grammar and vocabulary explanations and instructions for the activities. Rather than learning vocabulary and phrases, you learn to express thoughts and feelings, understand native Portuguese speakers and be able to speak Portuguese.

Strengths

The course focuses on European Portuguese. There are recurring characters (Portuguese Manuel and his Brazilian friends Ricardo and Maria Luísa) who appear in many of the units. The Brazilian characters are used for receptive language, not productive.
The course is structured and there is clear progression. By the end of the course the dialogues and reading passages are longer and the speed of the recordings is faster.
There is a variety of activities, which develop the four skills and grammar.
The book comprises 40 units and 8 CDs, which gives through coverage of vocabulary, grammar and listening.
There are regular reviews every five units and a test every 10 units. The test is timed and gives a score at the end.
The themes of the units focus on functional language and there is a good progress in the level of the vocabulary.
The units are structured: new vocabulary is presented through dialogues, there is  a pronunciation activity, and the grammar is taught towards the end of the unit.
The methodology is very clear and the instructions in the Handbook are useful.
The Handbook also contains an index of the grammar and a Portuguese wordlist indicating where the word appears in the Textbook, which makes it easy to locate where the word appears.
There is good coverage of pronunciation skills.
There are useful language and culture notes.
It gives a good grounding in the language necessary for the GCSE, CIPLE or DEPLE exams and makes a good revision course.

Weaknesses

The course is very dated. It was published in 1987 and the only change that has been made to it is to convert the original cassettes to CDs. The artwork is old-fashioned and there is no reference to technology.
The design of the book is uninspiring. It is text heavy with black and white artwork.
The course is very expensive considering that nothing has been changed since 1987. It is disappointing that Linguaphone haven’t invested money into updating the course.

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