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Study and Learn Brazilian Portuguese in
Salvador da Bahia, Brazil

Think Abroad visits and evaluates each Affiliate Foreign Language School (AFLS) it represents!  People of all ages and backgrounds can study Brazilian Portuguese in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. Students who attend our AFLS in Salvador da Bahia will be thrilled to know that they can take Afro-Brazilian dance courses, Capoeira, Bahian cooking, and diving lessons.


SCHOOL HISTORY:

Our Affiliate Foreign Language School (AFLS) in the city of Salvador da Bahia was founded in 1999 by a mother and daughter tandem, that initially sought to educate and tutor the various tourists in Salvador on the Portuguese language. Since then, the school has grown into a first-rate culture and language center. Today, various international accrediting bodies recognize the school’s classes and course material.

As a result of their high standards and esteemed reputation, the school has developed close relationships with foreign embassies, universities, and multinational companies like Lufthansa and Siemens. However, despite the international accolades and partnerships, the school has managed to preserve its tightly knit family oriented atmosphere. Students who attend this institution will undoubtedly have the impression that the teachers and staff at the school have a deeply devoted, and personal interest in the success of their educational experience. By far, Think Abroad is the smartest way to learn a foreign language and explore an amazing new culture!

SCHOOL LOCATION and CLIMATE:

alvador da Bahia is located on the tropical Atlantic coast of Northeast Brazil. Its close proximity to the equator allows for an abundance of sunshine and typically hot and humid temperatures year round. Temperatures average between highs of 86-79° F and lows of 75-72° F. Rainfall is heaviest between the months of March and June, however, the rain is widely viewed as a welcome refreshment to the mostly hot and humid temperatures felt throughout the region.

Due to the overwhelming influences of African cultures in the region, the city of Salvador possesses an extremely visible, and colorful cultural heritage that is unlike any other region on Earth.

Salvador’s distinct traditions are on constant display, set against the remarkable canvas of the city’s colonial buildings and 17th-18th century churches and cathedrals, that have been preserved and maintained over time by the Salvadorian people, who take great pride in their city’s unique structural design. Aside from the magnificent architecture, the city of Salvador has a rich tradition of art, dance, festivals, and cuisine that highlight the splendor, and sensuality of the city.

Soccer fans will be impressed to find that Rio has one of the world’s largest soccer stadiums, The Maracana stadium, which held up to 200,000 people during the World Cup final of 1950! Over the years though, the stadium has been required to reduce the number of individuals allowed into the stadium to meet regulatory safety standards. However, the stadium is currently undergoing renovations, and will comfortably seat 120,000 people when construction has completed.

On any given day, the sound of drums and music emanating from a Capoeira circle can be heard echoing throughout the city’s cobblestone streets. While taking in the scenery, the pungent smells of coconut cream, ginger, peppers, and spices mixed with seafood and vegetables dominate the olfactory senses of anyone who happens to be wandering through one of the city’s markets or annual festivals.

Rio is also home to the Brazilian national music of Samba and Bossa Nova. In the neighborhood of Lapa, a revival of the Sambista tradition is taking place. Samba’s renewed popularity not just in Brazil but in the world at large, has led to dozens of new clubs and live music venues opening up as a result of the public’s desire to hear Samba music.

 

THE SCHOOL and TECHNOLOGY:

To be selected as a Think Abroad AFLS, every school must offer classes that primarily focus on developing the students’ communicative skills in order to achieve the specific goals of foreign language competency and understanding. Our school in Salvador is no exception, given its firm commitment to heighten every student’s language proficiency regardless of their original starting status. When students are presented with a new lesson, they then practice the material through various, creative task-based activities to ensure long-term storage of the newly acquired information, and improve the students understanding and manageability of the Portuguese language.

The school Director states that, "Experience has taught us to pay attention to what is important to our students. Thus, our first objective is to develop each student's practical communication abilities in the Portuguese language. First, we primarily focus on speaking and listening with complete understanding. We then introduce reading and writing into the curriculum while still incorporating our speaking and listening techniques. Our classes, which are limited to just seven students, require active participation from our learners". 

    Our teachers provide numerous student-centered opportunities to practice  speaking and hearing Portuguese. We achieve this goal using a broad range of materials: structured grammar exercises including verbal and written replication; simulations; comprehension of written and spoken texts or radio broadcasts based on current affairs in the Brazilian economy, politics and society; interactive role-plays and games; interviews and, of course, Brazilian music!" - Maria Lessa, Co-Director of Think Abroad’s AFLS in Salvador.

Our AFLS is fully equipped with telephones; fax machines, and computers with immediate Internet access. Also, for students who would like to bring their own computers or laptops, the school is outfitted with WiFi capabilities throughout the entire building. All facilities and resources are available for student use during school business hours, from 8am-6pm, Monday-Friday, and occasionally on the weekends.

Currently, the school is in the process of expanding and modernizing its library to complement the needs of its students. Presently, the library has various rooms for students to relax, check email, and further study their lessons and homework in private. The school is also equipped with a kitchen for students who have an interest in learning how to cook traditional Bahian cuisine.

In addition to the kitchens and library, there is also a room designated for dance instruction for students who would like to learn traditional Bahian dances such as the Samba, as well as Capoeria, a Brazilian martial art that is disguised as a dance. Every Monday, an introductory class in Bahian dance is offered for free. However, for students who would like to enroll in a more intensive seminar of Bahian dance or Capoeira, they may do so for a separate fee. These classes are offered twice a week and have no minimum number of students required in order for the class to proceed.

 

TEACHERS

All of the staff at our school are native Brazilian Portuguese speakers, some of who are from Salvador, and all of which have university degrees in education. In total, there are nine teachers who specialize in Portuguese language education at the school. All teachers are required to go through a one-month training program prior to teaching a live class to non-native Brazilian Portuguese speakers.


All instructors are evaluated on a weekly basis through student questionnaires, and by senior staff members who assess their teaching proficiency during live, classroom sessions. Students change teachers weekly, with their new instructors receiving updates from the students’ previous teachers on the students particular strengths and weaknesses in order to continue the students’ education at the appropriate pace and level. Furthermore, all teachers at our AFLS in Salvador attend weekly faculty meetings, where they are brought up to date on the latest materials and methods in foreign language teaching. This demonstration to the commitment for constant innovation in teaching techniques is but another reason why students who are considering learning Portuguese should first consider Think Abroad’s AFLS in Salvador, Brazil.

COURSE SUMMARY

Classes and language training sessions at our AFLS are in operation all year long with courses in every level beginning each Monday, for a duration of one week, one month, or even one full year.

Before students arrive at the school, they must take an online placement test that will help the school place them in the appropriate class group that corresponds with their current skill level. Furthermore, when students arrive, they will take an oral and written exam to verify their abilities, and ensure that they are correctly placed in the proper class that matches their skill level.

Students have the option of enrolling in group classes or taking their own individualized, private classes. Group sessions have a maximum of seven students per group, all of whom share the same skill level and competency in Portuguese.

Individual classes however are tailored to meet the specific needs of the student who would like private instruction. In these individual class sessions, students may request that their instructor focus on specific language skills, verbs, and vocabulary of a subject or field that the student would like to concentrate on such as business, medicine, or law along with a vast assortment of other subjects that may be covered in the student’s individual lesson plan.

There are several different types of courses that are offered at our AFLS in terms of intensity and capability. The regular program consists of 4 class sessions daily, which total 200 minutes per day, Monday through Friday. The Intensive program however consists of 6, 50-minute class sessions a day with four classes in the morning, and then two additional classes later in the afternoon. Regardless of the course intensity, every class at every level contains grammar, reading, and writing activities as well as interactive role-playing activities for all group members. Speaking, listening and comprehension practice, with an integration of Brazilian music and lyrical understanding complement the more formal elements of the daily lesson plans.

In addition to the regular and intensive language courses that students enroll in, there is also a workshop in place where students can specifically work on their pronunciation of Brazilian Portuguese. The course itself is one week long, Monday through Friday, for 2 hours a day, and it is open to all levels. This workshop has been designed for non-native speakers who have difficulty following the rhythm and cadence of the Portuguese language, which is almost musical in its delivery. The techniques that are incorporated into the workshop are oriented towards highlighting basic grammar and phonetic principles. In this workshop, students will review and examine the basics of precise word stressing, with the correct intonation and speaking rhythm that is essential for adequate pronunciation of Brazilian Portuguese.

The goal of these exercises is for the unfamiliar sounds of non-native speakers to become recognizable to native ones and vice-versa. Through this intensive training, students will be able to distinguish, recognize, and reproduce the very same rhythmic cadences of native Brazilian Portuguese speakers, as well as communicate with natives in the same exact manner, as they would speak with one another. At the end of this course, students will have much more confidence in their ability to effectively communicate with, and understand native Brazilians.

The students who attend our AFLS are a diverse collection of individuals from all over the world who share a common interest in learning the Portuguese language and experiencing the rich Salvadorian culture. Students in attendance represent a multitude of cultures and countries from around the world such as the USA, Germany, Switzerland, China, and Australia among others. Consequently, In addition to learning Portuguese, each student who partakes in a Think Abroad course in Salvador will undoubtedly make life long international connections with people from all around the globe.

CELPE-BRAS EXAMINATION AND PREPARATION

The CELPE-Bras (Certificado de Proficiência em Língua Portuguesa para Estrangeiros) is the only officially recognized diploma of Portuguese language studies for foreigners. The Brazilian Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC) established the exam in cooperation with the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MRE). It is internationally recognized as proof of competence in the Portuguese language.
The test examines written and spoken communication skills in Brazilian Portuguese in different every day situations. Once having taken the exam you will be placed in one of the following levels:

-
Intermediário

- Intermediário Superior

- Avançado

- Avançado Superior

Celpe-Bras Course description:

A Think Abroad AFLS professor will prepare you for the examination, using all types of texts, radio and TV reports, interviews, and picture material to develop your listening, reading comprehension, speaking, and writing ability. This course focuses on both the written and spoken aspects of the Portuguese language and gives you the means to deal with any situation you might encounter in the CELPE examination.

CULTURE and SOCIAL ACTIVITES:

Our AFLS in Salvador prides itself on providing students with a wealth of opportunities to dive into the local culture through exposure to cultural significant music, art, dance, and cuisine. Students also have the option of taking complimentary trips to regional folklore festivals, cinema screenings, fruit and vegetable markets, soccer games and folkloric ballet performances. Afro-Brazilian dance courses, Capoeira, Bahian cooking, and diving lessons are also offered by the school and offer another context for students to enhance their current Portuguese language abilities.

In addition to these activities the school also organizes and hosts a monthly international cultural exchange meeting at a local bar or restaurant where students and native Brazilians can practice their foreign language abilities and learn about other cultures in a fun, and informal setting. All activities and excursions are provided as a courtesy by the school; however, students are expected to pay for their own transportation and entrance fees, which come at an affordable price.

ACCOMMODATIONS:

Home-stays in Salvador are thoroughly evaluated by Think Abroad staff, through personal visits, and interviews of each prospective home-stay family. In some instances, a Think Abroad employee will spend a night with the family to ensure that all accommodations and facilities meet the requirements and standards for all Think Abroad
home-stays. All families must fill out forms and pass a background check prior to being considered for home-stay accountability.

More often than not, all homes are capable of being compliant and agreeable with most students. Families provide free breakfasts for their guests, and in many instances, the bond between host family and student remains strong even after the student has returned to their homeland. The home-stay is an excellent option for students who would like an authentic experience of living with a native Salvadorian family.

All families must fill out forms and pass a background check prior to being considered for housing students. More often than not, all homes are capable of being compliant and agreeable with most students.  Families provide breakfast and dinner for their students in this setting.  In many instances, the bond between host family and student remains strong even after the student has returned to their home country. Please read Think Abroad’s article about living in the homestay setting. Most homestay families in Florianopolis are located less than 20-minutes by foot to the school.

In addition to the accommodations provided, students will also have continuous opportunities to speak and practice their Portuguese language abilities. In the event that a student would like to switch their home-stay situation, they are more than welcome to do so, but it must be within one day of arrival depending on the availability of other home-stay families. But whatever your language travel needs might be, Think Abroad has the perfect immersion experience for you!

In the event that a student would like to switch their home-stay situation, they are more than welcome to do so, but it must be within one day of arrival depending on the availability of other home-stay families. But whatever your language travel needs might be, Think Abroad has the perfect immersion experience for you!

Contact us for pricing details

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

  • AIRPORT PICK-UP: The school provides an airport pick-up service for a fee of 70 Reales. Students are encouraged to make use of this service, particularly if they do not speak any Portuguese. Students are picked up by school staff that will then lead them to their housing accommodation, along with giving them a brief tour of the school and the surrounding neighborhood
  • CELLPHONES:  Cell phones are very easy for students to purchase. They simply buy a SIM card, which will provide them with minutes and text messages once it is inserted into their cell phone. Each SIM card is approximately $15 to purchase, and once all minutes and text messaging capabilities are exhausted, students simply pay an additional fee for more service.