Português para principiantes
Severino J. Albuquerque, University of Wisconsin
Copyright Year: 2016
Publisher: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Conditions of Use
This textbook is designed to present a thorough introduction to the grammatical structures of Brazilian Portuguese through a scope and sequence directed mainly to English speaking learners of Portuguese as a second language at the introductory... read more
This textbook is designed to present a thorough introduction to the grammatical structures of Brazilian Portuguese through a scope and sequence directed mainly to English speaking learners of Portuguese as a second language at the introductory level. The text, however, also includes punctual acquisition pointers for Spanish speaking learners. As such, it includes a detailed set of preliminary lessons that introduce the basics of Portuguese pronunciation, orthography and pragmatics. The lessons enshrined in the main section of the text begin by introducing grammatical objectives and move on to include very specific speech functions and introduce relevant sets of vocabulary words. Practice opportunities are provided following the introduction of each grammatical and functional topic. The vocabulary section is further supplemented by a set of recordings that illustrate the pronunciation of each word. Additionally, each lesson is capped by a dialogue that incorporates the materials presented, and provides additional opportunities for listening comprehension, written expression and explicit grammar recognition trending towards the communicative. The book provides an extensive appendix about the Portuguese verbal system, but there is not a general unified glossary of the vocabulary presented. Vocabulary is only presented in each discrete lesson.
Grammar, vocabulary and supported materials (readings, recordings) are consistently formatted, annotated and glossed (where necessary). It seems great care has been taken in presenting a carefully curated text that is free of typos or erroneous information.
The overall content is up-to-date and is aligned with the most widely accepted scope-and-sequence approaches to the teaching of Portuguese. The supplemental materials are, understandably, more aligned with presenting a balanced view of cultural topics related to Brazil, but perhaps it would be useful to include a few more non-traditional themes, such as technology and modern communication, as well as further information about the importance of Portuguese in the context of an increasingly globalized world from more recent sources.
The explanations are clearly written and edited consistently throughout the book, although –as happens in most language textbooks- they assume learners possess in-depth knowledge of grammatical terminology. Within these constraints, the book remains consistent in tone and format from lesson to lesson and presents descriptions and explanations of Portuguese grammatical structures in a succinct, uncomplicated manner, relying strongly on marked up and glossed examples to illustrate each one.
The information within each lesson is presented in a consistent fashion across all 34 lessons by identifying learning objectives for each lesson at the top and unpacking them in a similar fashion from lesson to lesson: The grammar is introduced, practice opportunities are given, then vocabulary is introduced and related activities are presented. The dialogue at the end of each lesson seeks to both integrate and illustrate the concepts and materials introduced in its corresponding lesson and affords the learner additional opportunities to practice them in collocation and in light of different linguistic skills.
The material is presented in chapters of roughly equal length, taking into account the complexity of the grammar and vocabulary being tackled. The text manages to present a very detailed description of overall grammar usage within each chapter, covering both morphology and functional applications of each topic. Vocabulary sections are also presented within idiomatic expressions and phrasal verbs where appropriate. Since each chapter section contains practice opportunities throughout, it would be easy to adapt the text to challenging class schedules or use specific sections as remedial or supplemental materials for more advanced classes.
The chapters are organized taking into a scope-and-sequence that supports and scaffolds the learning of Portuguese by unexperienced learners, the different grammatical topics are presented in increased order of complexity and are sequenced to underpin more difficult constructions and reciprocally support each other along with the relevant vocabulary selections that accompany each of them.
The interface provided for the navigation of the book complements the compact format of each individual chapter. It might be desirable to split the grammar and the vocabulary of each lesson into different pages to cut back on the need to scroll down for prolonged periods, but as the book includes 30+ lessons this might not be the best solution. Another idea would be to group lessons into modules of 5 to make the drop-down index more approachable. The ability to move back and forth across pages at any point is quite useful. Again, in thinking of the Appendix, there is another opportunity there to break the content into discrete pages that would make it easier to locate specific information. It would also help to have a more informative TOC that would help the user identify the materials covered in each lesson more readily.
The text is free of grammatical and spelling errors.
The basis of the text is very comprehensive when it comes to its coverage of the subject matter, however it would be great to incorporate more contemporary issues (and, potentially, more examples of evolving usage) in future revisions. Likewise, given current technological affordances, it would be great to see improved sound quality as well as the addition of visuals, and video in future revisions.
Português para principiantes is an approachable, thorough and well-organized textbook that might be best suited to adult classroom and self-learners. As is, it could definitely be successfully implemented as the main grammar text for a basic through intermediate Portuguese sequence if supplemented with additional relevant related realia.
This book is a re-work of a 1964 publication, with emphasis given to Brazilian Portuguese. The four preliminary lessons introduce the different sounds of vowels and consonants, stress and pronunciation of words, the formation of plural nouns and... read more
This book is a re-work of a 1964 publication, with emphasis given to Brazilian Portuguese. The four preliminary lessons introduce the different sounds of vowels and consonants, stress and pronunciation of words, the formation of plural nouns and adjectives and an introduction of the formal and informal address. The main body of the text consists of 30 lessons, each include learning objectives, a grammar section, several practice exercises, vocabulary and audio for vocabulary words and expressions. After each chapter there is a dialogue presented in audio and script forms, followed by comprehension exercises. There are short texts included for reading practice accompanied by reading comprehension exercises. The appendix has conjugation tables for regular and irregular verbs. The grammar section is explained in English and examples given include words and sentences with a translation to English. The audio for some of the dialogues doesn't play, and vocabulary audio doesn't work in some of the words.
It is a textbook designed for grammar acquisition. It is an effective beginners manual.
The grammar is presented in a way that is relevant, but some of the vocabulary and examples are outdated.
English is used throughout the text to explain the grammar sections and provide instructions for exercises. Directions are easy to understand.
Each lessons is presented in a consistent form, and it is easy to follow.
Each lesson can be studied as a separate unit or module.
The structure of the text is clear, and the progression of the topics allows easier acquisition of the language.
The book doesn't present navigation problems since it is mostly text, but some of the audio doesn't play. The practice exercises with fill in the blank activities, and other interactive features seem to be working well.
There are a few typos, but no grammatical errors.
The text doesn't have a cultural focus. It is a grammar textbook for the most part.
Portugues para Principiantes is a good introductory manual for grammar and vocabulary acquisition. It could be paired with activities to enhance language proficiency and cultural awareness. It is overall well-suited for beginners.
Português para principiantes is a re-working of a 1964 edition by the University of Wisconsin Extension Division ("Preface") and overall shows its datedness. The authors intend this book to be used “in conjunction with a variety of approaches to... read more
Português para principiantes is a re-working of a 1964 edition by the University of Wisconsin Extension Division ("Preface") and overall shows its datedness. The authors intend this book to be used “in conjunction with a variety of approaches to the teaching of beginning Portuguese” (4). The manual is organized in four preliminary lessons followed by 30 lessons, each focused on grammar description. The vocabulary in each lesson is random and not contextualized in a social situation. The sentences illustrating grammar points are likewise random. Practice exercises throughout the book are translation and sentence rewriting. Online features of the book include fill in the blanks and audio files of isolated words and short dialogues. There are no images except in the cover. Cultural content is minimal. The book includes some short texts, mostly not authentic, and the authentic texts do not include bibliographic attribution. There are Appendices with verb charts. The book follows the Brazilian Portuguese variant although in a prescriptive fashion. For instance, the authors explain that “[t]he word “you” (singular) in Portuguese which denotes greatest familiarity is tu. However, in Brazil its use is limited and often ungrammatical (used with the wrong verb conjugation). Due to this restricted use, this text will not include it…” Nevertheless, “[t]he student should learn to recognize [it]” (40). The text does include it in the Appendix. No mention is made to the fact that the “tu” form of the verbs is common in the European (referred to as “Continental”) and African variants of Portuguese. Proficiency guidelines are absent from the methodology considerations.
Presentation of grammar and grammar progression follows the structure of a grammar book, not a language learning manual - for instance, prepositions are introduced toward the end of the book after the subjunctive mode; the content and language structure of non-authentic texts are limited and/or problematic (such as the reading on Portugal).
Some of the vocabulary is dated: "O nosso toca-discos não funciona, mas o toca-discos de Marta funciona" (123), but overall the vocabulary is not grounded on and organized around relevant social communication situations or clusters of social life. The content of the non-authentic cultural texts is simplistic for a College audience and outdated (such as the cultural text "Portugal").
The text employs simplified grammar jargon. English is used throughout the book except on cultural texts.
The lessons can be easily used as modules.
The organization is clear, although the progression of grammatical topics and vocabulary is not always logical and the vocabulary is not organized.
The book is text only. The only advantage of the online book is the use of interactive fill in the blanks exercises and audio files.
I found a few typos such as "Brails" (366).
Low cultural relevance. The objective of the book is to present grammar structures.
Português para principiantes is a descriptive/ at times prescriptive grammar book that encompasses beginner-level structures and advanced-level structures (such as all the tenses in the subjunctive mode) in non-standard language learning procedure. The methodology is not communicative and the cultural relevance of the book is low.
Table of Contents
- First Preliminary Lesson
- Second Preliminary Lesson
- Third Preliminary Lesson
- Fourth Preliminary Lesson
About the Book
Português para principiantes is a time-tested text which can be used in conjunction with a variety of approaches to the teaching of beginning Portuguese. This media-rich text is designed to provide learners with a solid grammatical basis for using Brazilian Portuguese as well as regular opportunities to practice and improve their ability to read, speak, and understand the Portuguese language as it is used in contemporary Brazil.
About the Contributors
Severino J. Albuquerque is a Professor of Portuguese at UW-Madison, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Portuguese language and Brazilian literature and culture. His main area of research is contemporary Brazilian theatre and gender. He is the author of Violent Acts: A Study of Contemporary Latin American Theatre (1991); Tentative Transgressions: Homosexuality, AIDS and the Theater in Brazil (2004); editor of Joaquim Nabuco e Wisconsin: Conferências nos Estados Unidos (2010); and co-editor of Performing Brazil: Essays on Identity, Culture, and the Performing Arts (2015). He has also published numerous articles in journals and critical anthologies. He is co-editor of the Luso-Brazilian Review (Brazilian literature and culture); Brazilian theater and drama editor for the Handbook of Latin American Studies of the Library of Congress; and an editorial board member of the Latin American Theatre Review. Albuquerque's book, Tentative Transgressions, was the recipient of the 2005 Roberto Reis Award of the Brazilian Studies Association (for best book on Brazil published in English between 2003 and 2005) and the 2008 Elizabeth Steinberg Award for best book published by the University of Wisconsin Press between 2003 and 2008.