Dear StarTalk Participants,
Celia Bianconi and Susan Griffin asked if I would be willing to share some of the ideas and materials that we have created for the online teaching of Portuguese. I figured that perhaps one way to do this was to share these ideas here on my language learning blog. So here we go!
1. Brazilpod: http://coerll.utexas.edu/brazilpod/index.php
Here is our homepage of sorts, where we list all of the Portuguese language projects that have been created with the support of the Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL) at the University of Texas. If you get lost, or want a one stop view of our materials, this is the place to go. BTW, all of the materials at this site are provided for free, with no password restriction.
2. Portuguese Communication Exercises: http://www.laits.utexas.edu/orkelm/ppe/intro.html
Here is a collection of brief video clips where Brazilians discuss a host of topics, all transcribed and translated. Our logic was to provide a sample of various tasks, divided by level, where native speakers would model the task. In the end it is a great resource to see real people who talk about real things. I love how natural the speech is, and it is extremely difficult to find teaching materials where people are speaking naturally, and it is also reate to find all of that transcribed and translated too.
3. Tá Falado: http://coerll.utexas.edu/brazilpod/tafalado/
We created this series of audio podcasts with the idea of helping learners of Portuguese who are already speakers of Spanish. It may seem like a strange mix to combine English, Spanish, and Portuguese. However, for those of us who teach Portuguese in the United States, a large portion of our learners are native speakers of English, who have already studied Spanish. They may not even have the most polished Spanish, but still these learners draw from this knowledge as part of the Portuguese language learning experience. Tá Falado consists of around 25 pronunciation lessons and 25 grammar lessons, which all provide little hints for learners of Portuguese, using their knowledge of Spanish as a point of departure. Of all of our materials, this is the one that receives the most online traffic.
4. Conversa Brasileira: http://coerll.utexas.edu/brazilpod/cob/
I believe that as educators we are still trying to figure out how to use video for pedagogical purposes. After we created the Portuguese Communication Tasks, and although I really like them, it was clear that those video clips did not show interactions, turn taking, people responding to questions, or any of the other exchanges that happen in natural speech. As a consequence of this, we created the Conversa Brasileira series, which is comprised of brief video clips that show typical slice of life scenarios. These video clips are enhanced with optional transcriptions, translations, commentary, analysis, pdf files, and discussion blogs. Of all the materials that we have created, in my estimation, this one is the most creative. Conversa Brasileira also helps advance the way that we can use video in language learning situations.
5: Língua da Gente: http://linguadagente.coerll.utexas.edu
Our newest project, and one that hasn’t even been officially launched yet, is a new audio podcast series called Língua da Gente. At some point we hope to literally have hundreds of lessons, subdivided into beginning, elementary, and intermediate levels of difficulty. The lessons all contain short dialogs, accompanied with explanations and analysis in the audio podcast. The materials are available for free. However, as a new twist, we also will offer a subscription for a premium service. The premium service includes a mobile device app, available through OpenLanguage.com, which offers a gigantic array of new options for practice, including: line by line audio, individualized flash cards, recording features, popup translations, etc. Over time, I believe that this resource is going to be our largest online contribution to the learning of Portuguese.
In addition to these five materials, I should mention that my UT colleague, Vivian Flanzer, has also created a site called Clica Brazil, which is also available on our BrazilPod site
6. ClicaBrazil: http://laits.utexas.edu/clicabrasil/
Online materials for intermediate-level learners that includes exercises, videos, classroom activities, and a grammar bank.
And finally, although not part of the online materials, you may be interested in seeing the Portuguese course blog that I maintain as part of the my classes at UT
7. É isso aí: http://kelmbrazil.wordpress.com
Class notes, study projects, and course assignments that are used in many of my intermediate-level courses in Portuguese.
There you have it. 7 online resources that we provide for the teaching of Portuguese. Perhaps this is a good moment to thank all those who have gone to our sites, used them, and given us feedback on things. Indeed, it is a pleasure to do so, and we hope to provide even more materials in the near future.