Beginning Brazilian Portuguese CD-ROM

by Rosângela Silva, Ph.D.

Beginning Brazilian Portuguese CD-ROM is comprehensive multimedia language courseware. This 2 CD-ROM package is the equivalent of a textbook and workbook, with audio and video.

It can be used either by independent learners or by students in a traditional or self-instructional classroom setting, and covers material equivalent to a one-year college course.

What's Inside:

See it in action and learn more about all of the exciting features of Beginning Brazilian Portuguese CD-ROM.

Watch an example video on YouTube
(Note that this does not include the text, translations, and footnotes from the full lesson)

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About the Author

Rosângela Souto Silva received an M.A. in Portuguese Linguistics and a Ph.D. in Applied Portuguese Linguistics with a certificate in SLATE (Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education), both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her professional experience includes Portuguese language instruction, Portuguese course development and supervision, and Portuguese Language Instruction Program directorship. She has developed, taught, and supervised Portuguese courses ranging from beginning to advanced levels for a variety of orientations, including Portuguese for speakers of Romance languages and Study Abroad Programs in Brazil. She has also published and presented conference papers on several areas of Second Language Acquisition (SLA), including cross-cultural pragmatics, bilingualism, language teaching and discourse analysis. See the Author's website and CV for more information.

Author's Introduction to the CD-ROM

Introduction by
Rosângela Silva, Ph.D.

Beginning Brazilian Portuguese (BBP) provides language instruction for use in and outside the classroom, as class supplement, or as a self-instructional tool. BBP includes 20 lessons. Each lesson consists of a dialogue and/or text, footnotes with grammar and cultural notes, and several types of exercises. Although learners are free to use the material according to their own learning strategies, BBP includes a Suggested Activity List, which takes into account recent findings in foreign language learning research. Initially, learners listen to Portuguese spoken by native speakers both in videos and in audio recordings. Videos are particularly rich because they can also offer paralinguistic features such as gestures and facial expressions.

After trying to get as much as possible from the oral and visual sources, learners listen to the text while following its written form. This mode allows learners to listen to the whole text, as well as to sentences and words individually, if desired. At the word level learners have links to footnotes about grammar and culture, all explained in English, and presented in ascending complexity from lesson 1 to 20. In addition, at any time learners have access to the English translation of words and sentences, although the lesson texts are in Portuguese only.

When learners are confident about their general comprehension of the lesson text they go through several exercises which offer immediate correction, and can be repeated as many times as desired:

  • 'Flashcards' help learners review and expand vocabulary;
  • 'Multi' and 'Cloze' expand learners' grammar and vocabulary;
  • 'Dictation' tests learners' writing skills and points out particularities of the language such as accent marks;
  • 'Pronunciation' allows learners to compare their own pronunciation to that of a Brazilian native speaker. In contrast to the traditional classroom setting, where the learner has the native pronunciation available only few hours a week, this interactive multimedia language tool offers the learners native pronunciation at any time and as much as desired.

Taking into account the role of music in foreign language learning, some lessons include original songs by Kaia on the topics of the lessons. Learners will be able to memorize them and sing them along with the singer. At the bottom of each lesson, learners make sure they learned what was expected from them in that particular lesson by checking the lesson summary. Finally, the link 'further practice', as the name suggests, gives the learners the opportunity to go beyond and explore the language on their own. BBP indeed makes the language learning process much more fun. This motivating material has been constructed with thorough consideration of recent research to ensure an effective means of learning a foreign language.


Table of Contents

Story line

The lessons in this Portuguese course present the experiences of Helen, a 19-year old American girl, in Brazil. Helen is an undergraduate exchange student who goes to Recife, Brazil, to study for a year at a Federal University (Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, UFPE). Helen knows Portuguese well because she studied it at the University of Illinois and she always practiced it at home with her father, who is Brazilian. Helen's mother is American and speaks very little Portuguese.

In Recife, Helen lives with a typical Brazilian family in one of Recife's residential districts, called Boa Viagem. The family lives in a beautiful building by the beach. The father, Antonio, is 50 years old. He is a lawyer. He works in an office downtown and teaches at UFPE. The mother, Rita, is 54 years old. She is an architect and works in an office downtown. Their son, Pedrinho, is 21 years old and is a senior at UFPE, where he studies computer science. The grandmother, Elvira, who is Rita's mother, is 83 years old and lives with the family. Finally, the maid, Isabel, is 30 years old. She has worked for the family for more than five years. Pedrinho's sister, Shirley, is 25 years old and lives in Maceió, the capital of one of the neighboring states. She is married to Alexandre and they have two children, Andrea and Rafael.

The main characters in the story are Helen and Pedrinho. Pedrinho is Helen's primary resource on matters of language and culture. In each lesson, they do things together and Helen learns more about Portuguese and the Brazilian culture. The story begins when Helen arrives in Recife and Pedrinho picks her up at the airport. Join Helen and Pedrinho in these adventures!

Supplemental Materials

System Requirements

 To run the Critical Languages Series CD-ROM software, your computer will need to meet these requirements:

  • Windows XP, Vista*, 7*, or 8*
    Products have been tested to work on Windows XP, but we can no longer recommend it due to the end of support by Microsoft.
    *Windows Vista 64, Windows 7, and Windows 8 require a downloadable update
  • CD/DVD-ROM drive
  • 9MB hard drive space
  • Microphone recommended

This disc requires a PC and will not play on a standard audio CD or DVD movie player.

Register Your Purchase

Beginning Brazilian Portuguese CD-ROM is being used at Skidmore College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Rice University, Florida Southern College, the Canadian Foreign Service Institute, and many other institutions and schools. .