My experience teaching Portuguese online

My experience teaching Portuguese online

Last year Mother Tongues started offering language classes for children whose home language was Italian. Those classes were held in a couple of spots around Dublin.
Due to the Covid restrictions, we couldn’t go on with this face to face classes. We moved everything online and, in June, we opened classes of Spanish and Portuguese too. Despite the new challenges that the online teaching brought to the teacher and to the admin, we looked at the bright side and not only could include children from other Irish cities, but and even from other countries!
 
This is the testimonial of Inês, our Portuguese teacher, who is very much excited to start this new term of online lessons.
ines pascoa baptista

Dublin, Ireland. March 2020.
We were told by the government we had to stay home and slowly, but steadily all our extracurricular activities started to be held online.

Mother Tongues took this opportunity to launch the European Portuguese classes for children online and I was extremely happy to be the chosen teacher for this specific class.

Although the experience might sound terrifying at first: 5 children, online… I must say it was amazing to see the children engaged and happy to realise that other kids on other parts of this special island or other parts of the world spoke the same language they did and their parents did.

We started with the basics and as weeks went by, I introduced some more difficult topics, always using videos or images that the children could relate to.

We started with syllables – what they are, how they can be put together and how interesting it is that we can create new words from just these small groups of two letters; then we learned all about diphthongs – videos helped a lot at this stage and the fact that some diphthongs have funny sounds was quite entertaining for the children.
Third week was gender and plurals  – any Portuguese native knows that plurals are tricky and here we had a couple of giggles trying to understand why they are so different. Last but not least, on our last class we talked about the diminutives – this class was amazing because they ended up creating diminutives themselves, completely different ones from those on our exercises.
For me as a teacher, that was a major achievement and a great way to end that cycle of classes!

Now, starting in September we have a new cycle of classes (and another one starting in November) and I can’t wait to start! 

Inês Pascoa Baptista

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