Since 2009 I have been working with a fantastic group of colleagues on an online video project that we have called “Conversa Brasileira“. Conversa Brasileira is designed to help intermediate and advanced-level students of Portuguese to study and analyze the speech of Brazilians, to see how they really talk in everyday situations.
We received an International Research and Studies Grant from the Department of Education to help pay for the expenses involved. If I do say so myself, the materials are pretty cool. We got exactly what I had hoped to see, lots of brief video clips that show Brazilians talking in various natural situations. The materials are enhanced with translations, transcriptions, commentary, notes, blog posts, and analysis, all to help the serious student who wants to dig a little deeper. I love how no matter what level of Portuguese you are at, a learner can get something out of these video lessons.
I’m writing the post today because we just finished our final lesson 35 “pop-up” analysis recording session. We still have work to do to release the final lessons, but the recording session clearly had a sense of “saudades” knowing that it was our final recording session. I don’t know where to begin when it comes to thanking people. There are tons of people at the University of Texas who have contributed with their expertise to create the site, record the videos, and digitize the clips. The “actors” have all been fantastic, and have come across as super performers in the videos. Students and users have added amazing insights. And my online partners have become lifelong friends.
As to language learning, I am more convinced that ever that language learners love to compare, contrast, analyze, and associate. It’s all part of becoming proficient and it’s a gigantic part of Conversa Brasileira. The materials teach students how to look for details and notice things that would otherwise fly by unnoticed. So, consider this post an invitation to jump in and participate in our Conversa Brasileira.
In the photo from left to right: Orlando Kelm, Joao Valentino, Jacob Weiss, Denise Palmiere.