A question for students of Portuguese: What’s your personal study regimen? Are you using a particular textbook, taking a university class, seeing a private tutor, finding videos on youtube, listening to a podcast, working through Pimsleur or Rosetta Stone? Have you tried one method but gave it up, only to find something better? What has worked for you, and what hasn’t? And how often do you study? Have your study habits changed as you’ve gotten more advanced?
Here’s my regimen for the last few months:
- Once a week, I go to a 2-hour class with a private tutor that I’ve been working with for a year and a half. The class consists of me and one or two other students, all of us at more or less the same level, so it works out well. We meet at a local library and spend the first half of the class conversing about our week, the news, Brazilian culture, anything that comes up. For the second half of the class we work out of a textbook, reading aloud, doing oral exercises, and reviewing homework. We spent the past year working out of Avenida Brasil 2, an intermediate textbook which I absolutely hated, but after finishing it we’ve moved on to Português via Brasil, an advanced text that I like much more. (My tutor now uses Muito Prazer with her beginning/intermediate students). The biggest thing I get out of the class is regular conversational practice. The small group format is great because everyone gets a chance to talk, both with the tutor and with each other. And the fact that I can understand about 80% of what my tutor says reassures me that even though I still find listening to newscasts, films, songs and recorded speech challenging, in the context of a real conversation with a real person, I actually understand more than enough to get by.
- At home, I spend some time every few days working on my homework from Português via Brasil, plus some additional exercises from the Modern Brazilian Portuguese workbook.
- Every day, I try to do some kind of listening. Usually this involves watching a newscast from Globo Rural, since I’m interested in environmental issues in Brazil. Other times I watch a video posted by StreetSmart Brazil or Learn Brazilian Portuguese on Facebook.
PortuguesePod101.com. I bought a subscription a while back so I could review it, then used the site regularly for a month, working through most of the high intermediate lessons. I don’t use it as much anymore, but I do like that they have a huge library of audio to listen to. Ditto for ClicaBrasil.
- Every few days I do some kind of reading, usually a newspaper article or blog post that I find on Facebook (I suscribe to several Brazilian environmental groups).