Required Texts:

Klobucka, Anna M., et al. Ponto de Encontro: Portuguese as a World Language. 2nd edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2013. Print.

Recommended Materials:

Dictionary: The Oxford Portuguese Dictionary, Harper Collins Portuguese Dictionary or Langenscheidt's Pocket Portuguese Dictionary.

Electronic Resources:

Textbook companion website:
Portuguese-English dictionary:
Brazilian Portuguese dictionary:
Portuguese verb conjugations:

Language Placement:

ALL students who wish to enroll in a foreign language course at Tulane must complete and submit the on-line placement form in order to receive an official departmental placement. Students must enroll in the level in which they are placed or consult with Dr. Rebecca Atencio ( for a reassessment.  If you did not do so before enrolling in Portuguese 1120, you can complete the form at the following site: and receive a placement retroactively.

PORT 1120 is an intensive course intended primarily for students with some background in Portuguese or other Romance Languages.

I. Goals:

A. Tulane University Department of Spanish and Portuguese Basic Language Program Objectives:

The main objectives guiding the program are to:
1.    introduce students to the language and culture of the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world
2.    promote the development of students' communicative competence in the target language
3.    develop students’ intercultural understanding and social conscience of problems that affect this cultural complex.

B. Course Goals:

Following the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) National Standards, Portuguese 1120 seeks to increase students’speaking ability to a novice high to intermediate low proficiency level via the Course Objectives listed below. In part, this means that students are “able to handle successfully a limited number of uncomplicated communicative tasks by creating with the language in straightforward social situations.”

II. Course Objectives for Portuguese 1120:

In addition to the Proficiency Objectives detailed on the Basic Language Program’s website for this level, the course maintains the following objectives, based upon ACTFL’s National Standards for Foreign Language Learning

A. Communication: the use of Portuguese.
Students will review and/or learn how to:

  • Exchange basic greetings                   
  • Discuss their university studies
  • Explain their family structure, relatives and traditions   
  • Talk about their homes and hometowns
  • Narrate their daily routine                   
  • Discuss their leisure time and activities
  • Talk about the weather                         
  • Complete a purchase at a store or market
  • Interact at parties and other fun events
  • Talk about what they used to do                   
  • Debate issues                
  • Express feelings and opinions; give recommendations
  • Tell a story about a past event
  • In all of the above situations, ask people questions about the topic

B. Cultures: gain knowledge and understanding of Lusophone cultures.
Through the accompanying interviews and readings, students will learn about the peoples and cultures of Brazil, Portugal, Cape Verde, Guiné-Bissau, São Tomé e Príncipe, Angola, Mozambique and East Timor.

C. Communities: participate in a community of language learners and in a multilingual world.
Through group and class work, a sense of community will be developed as students practice their communicative skills, preparing themselves to use Portuguese throughout their lives. As a group, students will explore their own notion of community as this compares to this concept in the Lusophone world.

D. Comparisons: make informed comparisons between English and Portuguese and between themselves and others.
The written activities will be the most obvious venue for the presentation of comparisons between a student’s known reality and the Lusophone world. Students will also compare ideas with each other in pair and group work based upon the conversational goals of each chapter. In linguistic terms, students will reflect on how the structures of Portuguese compare to the structures of English and other languages they know.

E. Connections: the ability to connect this course to other courses and self to others.
The different themes explored in each chapter will inform students in such a way that they can make connections between their own cultural traditions and those of some members of the Lusophone world, with particular emphasis on the ideas presented in the interviews that the students watch.

III. Outcomes:

Students will demonstrate that they have met the...

A. Communication Objectives
via their ability to produce the vocabulary and structural forms necessary for the stated conversation topics in written (exams, essays, quizzes) and oral (oral exam, skits, participation) work.

B. Cultures Objectives via their ability to discuss these points during in-class discussions as well as reflectively in the written exercises and exams.

C. Community Objectives via their class participation and oral work.

D. Comparisons Objectives via their class participation, oral, and written work.

E. Connections Objectives via their class participation and through their written exercises and written work.

IV. Assessment:

A. Grades are based on the standard 10-point scale:

    B+ 87-89.99 C+ 77-79.99 D+ 67-69.99    
A 93-100 B 83-86.99 C 73-76.99 D 63-66.99 F 0-59.99
A- 90-92.99 B- 80-82.99 C- 70-72.99 D- 60-62.99    

B. Grade Breakdown:

Your grade will be determined according to the following criteria:

20% Unit Exams
15% Final Exam
10% Oral Exams
20% Essays
  5% Listening Comprehension Quizzes
  5% Skits
  5% Individual Presentation
  5% Debate
10% Participation and Quizzes
  5% Homework activities

C. Expectations for each category are as follows.

See calendar for assignment due dates.

Unit Exams (20%): 2 communicative, essay-based exams will be administered. Each exam will include a reading comprehension activity, based on vocabulary and cultural materials related to that unit of study, activities based on grammar covered in that unit of study, and one to two essays. Language learning is inherently cumulative: each exam will focus on the material of study for that unit, with the assumption that all previously studied material will be utilized as needed.

Final Exam (15%): The final exam will be similar in format to the written exams, with a reading comprehension activity and one to two written essays, but it will also include a listening comprehension portion. The vocabulary and cultural information will primarily be drawn from the last chapters studied; however, the entire range of grammatical material studied throughout the semester will be expected to be utilized.

Listening Comprehension Quizzes (10%): At two points during the semester, students will complete short listening comprehension quizzes. The format of the quizzes will vary and may include use of the interviews utilized for a given lesson; listening to short anecdotes read by the instructor; and listening to a series of questions posited by the instructor.

Oral Exams (10%): At two points in the semester, students will engage in a conversation that includes the instructor and a classmate (5% each). Students will be graded individually, based upon their accuracy and the content and fluidity of their side of the conversation. The student may be asked to converse about their personal interests or may be asked to complete a short role play related to a practiced topic of interest.

Skits (5%): At various points in the semester, students will perform short skits (in groups of 2 to 3) to demonstrate their ability to use the material they have been studying to complete a given task (i.e. determining whether another student is a good match as a roommate; ordering food in a restaurant; explaining an illness to a doctor; completing a purchase in a shoe or clothing store). Each student will be asked to present one skit to the class for a grade. Each student will be graded based upon his/her individual contributions to the skit.

Presentation (5%): At two points in the semester, students will give short presentations to demonstrate their ability to use the material they have been studying to present a specific issue (i.e. present the schedule of a professional, narrate the life of a friend or family member). They also have to hand in written documentation of the presentation. All students will complete one presentation for a grade.

Debate (5%): At the end of the semester students will have a full class debate about a particular topic. Small groups will present their take on the designated issue to the class, and all students will then have to discuss arguments in favor of and against the issue. As a class, you will have to come to an agreement on the topic. The debate will last at least 30 minutes (including the initial presentations). Students will be evaluated based upon their individual contributions to their group’s presentation AND their participation in and contributions to the full class discussion.

Essays (20%): Students will complete a series of four writing assignments based upon activities in the textbook and manual. Each entry will be graded individually for accuracy as well as creativity. USING TRANSLATION PROGRAMS OR HAVING ANOTHER PERSON DO THIS WRITING ASSIGNMENT CONSTITUTE CHEATING AND ARE CLEAR VIOLATIONS OF THE CODE OF ACADEMIC CONDUCT.

Participation and Quizzes (10%): Active participation and regular attendance is crucial to the learning of a language. The participation grade is based both on the quantity and the quality of a student’s participation, with quality being determined by active, on-task participation in class, group and pair activities, obvious preparation of homework, volunteerism in class and overall preparedness. Excessive absenteeism will result in a substantial drop in this grade, as will tardiness and the use of a cell phone during class time.

Also, short announced and unannounced quizzes will be administered regularly over the course of the semester. Quizzes may cover any of the course materials including grammar, culture and vocabulary. No make-ups will be given; however, at your instructor’s discretion, the lowest grade may be dropped.

Homework Activities (5%): Regular completion of homework activities  is required. Students may be required to complete specific activities and/or turn in a written copy of a specific exercise for a grade. A direct correlation has been observed between final grade in the course and regular completion of the online manual exercises, with students who work regularly on the online manual generally attaining higher grades in the course.

VI. Policies and Expectations

Students are expected to abide by the Course Policies outlined on the Basic Language Program website. Click that link for detailed information.

V. Preparation

Because of the fast pace of this course, students must commit to regular preparation time outside of class, with a minimum of one to two hours preparation required for every hour of class time.

Tulane University, Spanish & Portuguese Dept., 304 Newcomb Hall, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5518