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.

I. Goals

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

The main objectives guiding the program are to:

  • introduce students to the language and culture of the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world
  • promote the development of students' communicative competence in the target language
  • 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) Proficiency Guidelines 2012, Portuguese 2030 seeks to increase students’ Portuguese-speaking ability to an intermediate-low to intermediate-mid range proficiency level via the Course Objectives outlined below.

People with intermediate level proficiency can “create with the language when talking about familiar topics related to their daily life. They are able to recombine learned material in order to express personal meaning. Intermediate-level speakers can ask simple questions and can handle a straightforward survival situation” (ACTFL).

For additional details of what this entails refer to the Proficiency Objectives section of the BLP website.

II. Course Objectives for PORT 2030

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. Use Portuguese:

in order to:

  • talk about oneself and one’s immediate vicinity
  • give advice and tell people (politely!) what to do
  • complete a transaction (such as ordering food, making reservations, etc.)
  • express doubt, emotion, and desires
  • debate a variety of sensitive topics
  • ask relevant questions about a given topic


  • the present, past and future tenses
  • indicative and subjunctive moods
  • structures expressing likes and dislikes as well as comparisons
  • a variety of prepositions and prepositional phrases

B. Cultures: gain knowledge and understanding of Luso-Brazilian cultures.

C. Communities: participate in a community of language learners and in a multilingual world.

D. Comparisons: make informed comparisons between English and Portuguese and themselves and others.

E. Connections: connect this course to other courses and self to others.

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 and oral work.

B.    Cultures Objectives via their ability to demonstrate these points in discussions as well as reflectively in other written work and exams.

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

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

E.    Connections Objectives via their class participation work and through their 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%:    Listening Comprehension Quizzes                              
  • 10%:    Oral Exams
  • 10%:    Skit
  • 15%:    Essays
  • 10%:    Participation and Attendance
  • 10%:    Homework and Quizzes

C.    Expectations for each category are as follows:

See calendar for assignment due dates.

Unit Exams (20%): Two written exams (provas), worth 10% each, will be administered during the semester.  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.

Skit (10%): In groups of four, students will write and perform an original skit based upon the play O pagador de promessas or one of the themes of lessons 10-15 in Ponto de encontro. Skits should be around 10 minutes, and the theme must be pre-approved by your instructor.

Essays (15%): Students are required to complete three short compositions based on themes covered in the textbook. Each composition assignment will involve a two-step process: a rough draft in class, and a final version prepared at home. Final compositions should be typed, double-spaced, 12-point font size, with 1-inch margins, and contain around 150-200 words. Electronic submissions are not permitted. The compositions are evaluated for accuracy and content. You won’t have to rewrite your work, unless your instructor decides differently. Attention: Collaboration and the use of translation programs are unacceptable.

Participation and Attendance (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.

Homework and Quizzes (10%):  Online exercises, periodic homework assignments and occasional pop quizzes are included in this category.

V. Policies and Expectations:

See the Course Policies section of the website for more information regarding:

  • Attendance: As a skills-based course, regular attendance is required for successful completion of the course. Excessive absenteeism may result in withdrawal from the course.
  • Language Use: Portuguese is the language of the classroom, for instructors and students.
  • Code of Academic Conduct: Students are to abide by the Code of Academic Conduct of Tulane University. Violations will be brought to the Honor Board.
  • Disability Accommodations: Students who present documentation from the Office of Disability Services will be fully accommodated.
  • Late or Missed Work: Late or missed work will not be accepted, unless the student has extenuating circumstances and has communicated with the instructor in advance or within 24 hours of the missed assignment.
  • Cell Phones: Cell phone use during class time is rude, distracting and prohibited.  The only exception to this policy is when professor allows access to online dictionaries.


VI. 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. See the textbook information under the Additional Resources section of this website for information on how to use the textbook and on-line materials to their fullest.

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