I help non-Portuguese speaking people who love the country and the language and feel frustrated with the courses they’ve taken because those courses don’t help them understand or speak in real life.
This happens because the Portuguese you learn in these courses is too academic, and no one tells you about Accent, that is, no one tells you how to hear and how to speak.
And then you get frustrated and say things like “I’ve done the whole course! Yet I can't string a sentence together, and I don’t understand a word they say to me!”
I know because you've said it to me many times about the courses you've just finished, either online, or with books, or in schools.
I can help you with this by showing you the importance of Sound.
That means that I will help you to speak with Accent: accentuating words the way the natives do, so you sound like them, and you speak Portuguese, not what it looks to you that a certain word should sound like.
I will also help you to listen and identify the sounds as meaning, not gibberish.
This can be both fun and easy
Languages aren’t spoken the way they are written, especially if the person who is reading them comes from another language.
Every language has a sound of its own, and so does Portuguese.
Portuguese letters and words have a Portuguese sound.
You need to learn the sound of Portuguese.
I can also teach you common Portuguese expressions, day to day things that you won’t find in any books: the native speech. The sort of things that will make you understand local jokes and roll with the conversation because you understood the meaning. The real native speech.
What you will get is (finally!) communication.
If you can understand what you hear instead of hearing only gibberish, and you can reply with the correct accent so you are understood, we have communication!
That is what any language learner wants.
Also, if you can confidently use a few expressions you know are common to daily speech, your confidence will increase.
My name is Grace Margarido, and I’m a Portuguese teacher.
I love the Sea. In that, I couldn’t be more Portuguese. Fortunately, I live near it, and I visit it often. I don’t think I could live away from it. Something inside me would wither and die.
I also love reading, and I love the cold Seasons: Winter most of all. I love the rain, and the cold, In that, I’m not Portuguese at all!
I’m a bit of a hermit, so I treasure my alone time, but I love spending time with my parents and with the few friends I have.
I’m a quiet sort of person who would rather spend the afternoon walking on a deserted beach or in a beautiful wood, or quietly with a loved one reading or watching a movie while it rains outside.
For a clearer vision, my idea of hell is one of those gigantic department stores.
I teach students of Portuguese who are frustrated because what they learn in the books and in their courses doesn’t serve them in real life.
I teach you Accent, which allows you to communicate in real life.
If you wish to take it further, I can give you a whole course on Common Expressions you’ll hear often,
If you wish to take it further yet, you can have a course on Familiar Portuguese: expressions that are common in the Portuguese language but normally only a native would know and understand.
Until now, this has only been done 1:1 classes, though I post about it in my blog as well. and talk about it in my Newsletter.
I have a college degree in History and Archaeology.
I spent 5 years teaching History in various schools in Portugal, after which I spent about 18 years being a translator English/Portuguese Portuguese/English.
I worked for book publishers, private entities, lawyers, medical doctors, you name it.
But I wanted to do something that was closer to my field of study and teaching, so when the opportunity appeared to teach Portuguese online I took it.
After almost 6 years of teaching Portuguese online, I find that what is really needed at this point is not another Portuguese teacher, but a Portuguese Accent teacher,
You see, when I started teaching Portuguese online, I did it pretty much the same way every teacher does it: following the levels established by the EU and the contents they indicated,
I made sure that my students met the requirements to pass to the next level in fields like grammar, vocabulary, verbs, articulation of the language, reading, writing and speaking abilities.
I tried to make the classes as fun as I could, all the materials were my own.
And because I’m very good with Photoshop, at least they weren’t photocopied books. I also used to search through the various online papers and news channels for material that could be used for class, and so break the monotony a bit.
However, after about 5 years, I really felt that I was cheating my clients.
They came to me in search of a Portuguese teacher.
Could I honestly say that when they were done with me they could speak Portuguese?
They could read Portuguese and they could write Portuguese, They could hear Portuguese, but took their time making out what it meant. And they could speak Portuguese… but the accent was often wrong, and they did it slowly.
Where was I failing?
It was the SOUND that was failing.
I needed to teach them how to hear Portuguese and make sense of it.
For that, they needed to learn the sound of each letter in Portuguese, and Accent.
Once they started to use the right sound and accentuate in the right places, their speech was perfect. And once they trained their ears to recognise the right sounds and those became familiar to them, they understood everything!
It was… wonderful!
And so empowering!
That is when I decided to shift from teaching the language itself to teaching accent and common expressions.
I don’t think the online world needs another Portuguese teacher.
I think the online world desperately needs a Portuguese accent teacher.
Of course, the problem with becoming a Portuguese accent teacher is that there is nothing written anywhere, including the rules of accentuation. Not as such at least.
What I had to do was pick up a grammar (in fact, several grammars) and systematise what was sprinkled all over the whole text.
Also, no one ever thought of doing this for foreigners.
You see, you don’t need to do a chapter for Portuguese people about the effects of “H”:
- when in the beginning of a word it’s silent;
- when followed by “N” has the same sound as the “N” in “onion”;
- when followed by “L” has the same sound as the “LL” in “million”.
Portuguese people already know this, from the time they learned their first letters. It’s not written in any grammar.
But if you want to teach non-Portuguese people how to sound correctly, you need to include this.
And many other things like this.
No one told me how to do this.
It wasn’t written anywhere.
It was a voyage of discovery, of love, of delving deep into my own language and of putting myself in the shoes of Isabeau: in my mind, a girl who is trying to learn Portuguese and who shows me the problems for which she can’t find a solution unless I provide it.
She and I are still learning and finding new challenges every day 🙂
What you get from me that you won’t get from other Portuguese teachers is that I will teach you how to listen and how to speak.
I will teach you native speech.
And because I have this thing (you may want to call it a superpower) I’ll make it very easy for you.
You see, I’m bloody good at spotting patterns
I know you still don’t see the relation, but it exists, and it’s going to make your life a breeze.
Because of this “power” of mine, I discovered what you might call “shortcuts” to learning Accent.
Without all the super-girl talk, what happens is that I discovered certain patterns that never fail to happen. That makes your life infinitely easier and your learning much faster.
Remember when they told you that in Portuguese all diphthongs stress the first vowel?
Of course you don’t, because it never happened. No one ever told you that.
Nevertheless, it’s true. And I’m here telling you, because it’s a little “shortcut” that never fails.
Now do you begin to see the relation between my “power” and the advantages of training with me?
I can teach you and show you how to use so many of these shortcuts that I systematised and that will make learning and speaking Accent so much easier and faster!
Please note that I’m not saying it will be miraculously quick, 2 weeks or whatever silly deadline you want to think.
Everything depends on how far you’ve come on your own and how well you speak Portuguese already. It will be different for each person.
What I am saying is that you can do it faster and better with me than alone!