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Programs & Activities - Olinda, Brazil  



The Olinda Portuguese Language School teaching approach focuses on all basic language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students learn vocabulary and structure, progressing from basic to advanced conversational ability. A team of teachers, working in rotation, will personally guide you in your studies. With the assistance of audio cassettes, overhead projectors, video and other visual aids, your tutor will instruct you in grammar, correct pronunciation and the use of everyday idiomatic language.

The Olinda Portuguese Language School method places specific emphasis on language for communication through its multimedia approach, striving to bring language to life for its students. This structural/functional approach naturally teaches the structure and grammar of the language in order for the student to absorb and assimilate it through practical usage by listening, repeating and practicing . You can immediately use what you learn and will be able to communicate effectively in a variety of social, academic and business situations. You assimilate grammatical rules in a natural way by using correct speech patterns, rather than moulding your speech to fit into a grammatical rule. By using pictures and role-plays, your teachers encourage you to participate actively in the classroom and help you pick up your new language quickly.

All instruction is given in the target language, and most classes have different teachers to ensure that the student does not become overly accustomed to one voice or accent. From day one of your course, the teacher’s aim is to encourage you to speak 80% of the time. Olinda Portuguese Language School methodology stresses “practice until mastery is achieved,” encouraging practice in the target language so that the student may speak the target language clearly, fluently and with a correct accent.

Classes for international students are intended to combine a pleasant stay in Olinda with a language course and other related studies. Classes are continuous and progress from the student's start date. Courses are taught using the immersion method, which is considered to be the most effective form of language acquisition. Language lessons can be taken for varying number of hours per week, with 20 hours per week being the standard program, especially if you are going for more than eight weeks. With greater immersion in the language, clients are assured the satisfaction of reaching their goals rapidly, and generally develop greater confidence and competence in using the target language in their daily lives. Regular tests and progress reports help to keep you on target to achieve your goal.

Olinda Portuguese Language School offers different types of language programs to fit all types of educational needs. All language levels are accepted, from beginner to advanced, and your exact level is determined by a placement test to make sure we put you in the right class. Depending on the student's interest, he or she may take general language classes, workshops, skill classes and electives. Local extracurricular activities and excursions are also an important part of the program, and conducted in the local language, as well.

One of the unique things about the NRSCA program is the ability to combine language classes with an extensive choice of cultural courses. In addition to language classes, we also include cultural and social events programming in the afternoons for students to interact with each other and learn more about the host country. Furthermore, Olinda Portuguese Language School also helps to arrange with the field experts as guest lecturers/speakers in linguistics, literature, culture, society, etc.

Count on our small classes and international mix of students in bright and modern facilities. University-trained, qualified teachers and a professional curriculum ensure you make the most of your time. Whether you wish to study short or long term, we have the program for you!

Group Program
This program offers group lessons for rapid learning retention, so you can bring a little bit of Olinda back to your home country! You may take either a full-time or part-time group tuition course in Portuguese. Group tuition courses are for business professionals and other busy people who wish to learn Portuguese quickly for business or social purposes, people studying Portuguese as a hobby or for holiday and travel purposes as well as school students studying for academic purposes. These group tuition courses are popular with people who come to our school to learn Portuguese after work in the evenings or on Saturday mornings. They are designed for students who want maximum effective language learning and/or special vocabulary in Portuguese. You are taught by the Olinda Portuguese Language School method, which stresses speaking and listening. In a small group you will be able to practice speaking with confidence. Close attention is paid to the individual student's goals and needs. Dates and Fees click here

Intensive Portuguese Program
The Academic Portuguese Program can be conducted intensively, which is suitable for short study abroad programs. Instructor variety gives you exposure to a wider range of native speakers, meaningful cultural immersion, and an enriching Portuguese program. Breaks are scheduled outside of teaching hours. The content and curriculum of a two-month intensive course at Olinda Portuguese Language School are comparable to two semesters of a college language course. Olinda Language School is currently taking care of academic language training for a variety of Academic Language Programs and US-based study abroad programs.

Semester Portuguese Program
This program is aimed at those students who would like to learn Portuguese "once and for all". It follows the same structure as the Standard Portuguese Program, consisting of four hours of Portuguese study per day, Monday through Friday, in a group setting for a total of 20 hours per week.

Learning Portuguese, participating in everyday life, and the possibility of traveling around the city give the student an in-depth experience of the Portuguese language and Brazilian culture. The Semester Program is thus the perfect solution for those who wish to dedicate at least three months in the acquisition of a good grounding in both the Portuguese language as well as the Brazilian culture. In addition, students will receive approximately 12 academic credits from a US institution.

See the Course List and Descriptions for more details. please click here.

For general information on academic credit, please click here.

General Courses
Our popular courses are general Portuguese classes, providing a solid foundation in every aspect of Portuguese and helping learners produce authentic Portuguese in daily settings. The learner’s Portuguese goals will be achieved naturally and confidently in an energetic and creative environment.

These courses are designed to teach you general communication skills. They aim to improve your accuracy and fluency as you progress through all the modules of our syllabus from elementary to more advanced levels. You learn, practice, and gain confidence in using new structures, patterns and expressions in Portuguese. You are taught to function effectively in a variety of situations such as:
     •carrying out routine, general day-to-day communication
     •using Portuguese effectively for social, academic and professional purposes
     •describing experiences, expressing opinions and discussing plans
     •making presentations and interacting on various topics of general interest
     •discussing hypotheses and making decisions
     •distinguishing between finer shades of meaning so as to be able to express yourself diplomatically.

Regular courses in Portuguese Language Instruction for Speakers of Other Languages Courses are offered either full or part-time in both group as well as individual tuition formats for beginner, intermediate, and advanced students. Before starting your course, you will be given a written and oral placement test to determine your correct entry point into our syllabus. For the best learning experience, the group courses are limited to a maximum of six people per class, and class meets Monday through Friday.

During your course you will be given regular progress tests to ensure that you are on target to achieve your learning goals. At the end of your course you may continue your studies and enroll for the next course level provided you pass your progress test and there is the required number of continuing students. Non beginner students and private programs can start on any Monday. For absolute beginner, click here to see the start dates.

Specialized Group Language Programs
Olinda Portuguese Language School offers customized programs for groups to suit any type of language instruction desired. These courses are specifically designed to provide Portuguese training in areas outside the scope of our program of courses for general purposes.

Here at Olinda Portuguese Language School, we have courses that bring together Portuguese and music (special courses on percussion instruments), soccer, dance, photography, health, and volunteering.
It is important to us that students come to grasp the full reality of Brazilian life, and understand how we as Brazilians live and how we relate to the world around us.

If you are planning a business trip to Olinda, preparing to take the “Celpe-Bras” examination, or interested in organizing corporate language training for your company staff and require something more tailored to your needs, we will prepare a program that consists of lessons which are specifically designed for your particular Portuguese learning needs. Specialized instruction is available for all levels of Portuguese proficiency. Your course is customized in time, approach, content and duration to suit your wishes. Students can request a special emphasis on a particular language skill or area of expertise in Portuguese. Please feel free to contact the school and let us advise you as to which kind of course would be best for you. At the present time Olinda Portuguese Language School offers individual and group tuition in the following kinds of courses for specific purposes:

Business Language Courses
If you need to improve your business language skills, you may consider enrolling for a business language course. Upon request, Olinda Portuguese Language School’s language instructors develop individual training programs for business people and other professionals requiring industry-specific Portuguese training. Depending on client demand, we may offer you a group class or an individual tuition program.

The corporate training program provides courses with the content and teaching methods tailored to meet the needs and requirements of each client. The business language courses can be general or industry specific and offered at all levels. Classes can be conducted at Olinda Portuguese Language School's campus or at your workplace at a time that suits your schedule. The length of the training is generally determined by the client with consideration to learning requirements and expected outcomes. The course materials used are developed in-house by our academic staff.

The courses are designed to:
     •equip you with the ability to use Portuguese to maintain and further your business relations
     •enhance your ability to understand different forms of business etiquette
     •express ideas and opinions concisely
     •build profitable and lasting business relationships.

If you are a local or expatriate company executive or business professional working in Olinda, or if you need to travel to other countries in the region on business trips, this program will provide you with appropriate communication skills to help you function effectively in various business and professional situations.

Corporate Training Programs
Over the years, Olinda Portuguese Language School has built a long list of company clients who have used our services for corporate training. Training is usually given on our premises but may be arranged on yours for an additional fee. Our corporate training programs are for closed small groups of a maximum of six participants in order to maximize the effectiveness of the training. This allows the teacher to give individual attention to each course participant. Therefore, each member of the group has more time to practice speaking. Corporate language training for general purposes can be arranged for your company staff and is available in various business language training modules.

For Portuguese training in a specific business area, we can offer the following business skills modules:
     •Business Correspondence

We can also organize other specific purposes courses and tailor-made programs for the hospitality, airline and travel industries or for staff from different Government Departments. We can arrange courses for closed small groups of company staff using the Olinda Porgtuguese Language School program materials.

In terms of course requirements, all the participants should make a commitment in terms of attendance and homework. Furthermore, post-course evaluation is conducted to monitor the effective use in the company environment of the Portuguese skills learned in the course. Please feel free to contact us at your convenience and let us know your training needs.

Preparation for “Celpe-Bras” Exam
This course is exclusively given to prepare students for the “Celpe-Bras” exam (The Certificate of Proficiency in the Portuguese Language for Speakers of Other Languages), a certification that is given to speakers of other languages who perform well on the exam developed by the Ministry of Education. The student will have classes every afternoon.Classes will be private, and will contain two 50-minute lessons. In total, the student will have 10 classes per week. This course aims to prepare students by administering activities developed according to the methodology of the exam itself.
 The “Celpe-Bras” is accepted internationally by firms and institutions of higher education as proof of competency in Portuguese, and in Brazil, is required by universities for entrance in both undergraduate and graduate programs.

This exam is given in Brazil and other countries with the support of the Minister for International Relations. Here in Pernambuco, the exam is administered at UFPE—Universidade Federal de Pernambuco. Enrollment in this course does not qualify students to participate in the Celpe-Bras exam, and before you enroll here, you should note exam information and requirements, such as the payment of fees. We can help you with your registration.

Please note: If you have special learning requirements, please advise NRCSA in advance. Feel free to bring with you materials in Portuguese or English which pertain to your individual needs.

Program Scheduling
Classes for international students are intended to combine a pleasant stay in Olinda with a language course and other related studies. Classes are continuous and progress from the student's start date. Olinda Portuguese Language School students may design their own regular weekly lesson schedules in accordance with their lifestyles, studying as extensively or intensely as they wish. Clients may arrange their regular sessions at flexible times throughout the week.

With greater immersion in the language, clients are assured the satisfaction of reaching their goals rapidly, and generally develop greater confidence and competence in using Portuguese in their daily lives. For small groups or families who are unable to coordinate their schedules, Olinda Portuguese Language School suggests in-home training sessions. Recommendations aside, Olinda Portuguese Language School works with clients to create personalized language training programs to suit their particular scheduling needs.

NRCSA will conduct an orientation session locally. The orientation provides students with important information about immigration, Brazilian laws and the services offered by Olinda Portuguese Language School. The orientation also helps you become acquainted with the educational and cultural atmosphere of Brazil. It also provides program participants with an opportunity to meet other students.

First Day
You will be welcomed by friendly Olinda Portuguese Language School staff and then take your oral and written exam (only if you haven't taken the exams online). Afterwards, your orientation session will take place, where you will meet everyone who can help you at Olinda Portuguese Language School, such as your academic coordinator, homestay coordinator, counselor and the activities coordinator.

During the Orientation students are given all the relevant information to understand the way we work and how to adapt easily to the education system in Olinda. Everyone will be ready to help and answer all the questions you may have. They will explain things you need to know like what to do in case of an emergency and how to change a class. The Orientation is an opportunity to meet other students and blend into the international multicultural environment of the Olinda Portuguese Language School. It is also a time when you are encouraged to ask us questions about the Olinda Portuguese Language School and studying in Brazil. After the orientation session is over, you will receive your class schedule and be ready to start!! Remember that you can take your course in the morning or afternoon, depending on your language level.

Levels & Course Content
Come and study in our multi-level program to rapidly acquire Portuguese proficiency through a communicative and immersive curriculum. Olinda Portuguese Language School has established an international reputation for its Modern Standard Portuguese courses. All levels of language courses are offered continuously. From Beginner to Advanced, Olinda Portuguese Language School's language study programs serve every level of competency. Every course has a multilayered, topic-based syllabus which includes thorough and comprehensive work for improving students’ Portuguese skills by using authentic materials, sources, and native environment. Content, discussion topics and themes may vary.

• GETTING STARTED: Designed for students with little or no Portuguese skills. NEW ARRIVALS quickly realize the need for at least basic conversational Portuguese study. This is a streamlined and focused course designed to produce maximum functional fluency in a short time period. Students will develop a basic familiarity of Portuguese, which enables them to communicate through the use of very simple vocabulary as well as learn the basic fundamental elements of grammar. The course is taught with strong emphasis placed on listening and speaking at the beginning. At the elementary levels you concentrate on speaking, reading and writing in simple sentences, and cover the basic practical language communication skills you will need to master in order to function in a variety of day-to-day situations. Course topics and vocabulary have been carefully complied to provide you with the language patterns that you will need to successfully “survive” everyday situations while living, working and traveling. Topics include: pronunciation, identifying people and things, family members, greetings, days and months, sports and activities, preferences and desires, numbers, time and place. This beginning-level course helps you achieve a solid foundation not only in conversation but also in terms of basic phonetics, grammar and structures for your further Portuguese studies. The course textbook is comprised of lessons focusing on these diverse content areas:
     •Self introductions
     •Ordering in a restaurant
     •Asking and giving information
     •Bargaining when shopping
     •Stating about sickness
     •Time & daily activities

• MOVING FORWARD: Continues to help students improve conversational skills and achieve functional fluency in daily communication. Course units are also sequenced to address functional language patterns and vocabulary that students will typically use in situations encountered on a daily basis. You are, however, exposed to more developed conversations with very natural Portuguese which is strongly taught in this course. Teaching pronunciation continues to be emphasized as an important segment of the curriculum, which includes topics such as:
     • Residence & neighborhood
     •Talking about daily routines and habits
     • Describing a job, place of work
     • Booking a service
     • Ability to make an appointment
     • Talking about a trip/ a service

• INTERMEDIATE LEVELS: LONG-TERM RESIDENTS often feel that their Portuguese studies have reached a plateau and that they need to improve their ability to communicate on a wider range of subjects. Olinda Portuguese Language School's Intermediate and Advanced Courses assist them in meeting their needs. Students continue to develop higher proficiency in oral and written Portuguese, and will be expected to actively participate in class primarily in Portuguese. At this level, students will begin to encounter authentic materials in the classroom (ex. news briefs, legends and folktales, idiomatic sayings, etc.).

By improving their reading and listening skills, students will be able to participate in active conversations related to daily activities and past experiences. Students learn the vocabulary and grammar that will help them communicate in a variety of ways, and interact on a reasonably wide range of topics. At this level, students acquire the requisite skills in order to effectively communicate using the appropriate vocabulary, such as synonyms and antonyms, as well as accurate grammar in a wide variety of situations. Consequently, they will more easily understand TV programs, movies, newspapers and academic writing. At the intermediate levels you begin to learn more complex and sophisticated sentence structures. You learn the mechanics of writing including paragraph construction. In the course, you are required to practice writing small essays, descriptions, narratives, instructions, processes and formal letters. Reading and listening comprehension, discussion and oral presentation are also the basic segments of the curriculum.

• ADVANCED LEVELS: BUSINESS PEOPLE, EDUCATORS AND OTHER PROFESSIONALS frequently require Olinda Portuguese Language School's instructors to develop customized Portuguese instruction to help them function effectively within their specific industries. Olinda Portuguese Language School develops personalized language study programs to assist such individuals, and calls these programs Portuguese for Specific Purposes. At the advanced levels, students continue to develop and improve their communication skills, including reading and writing, in discussion groups and by making individual presentations, in order to communicate as effectively as a native speaker. They will talk about a wide range of topics and increasing number of subjects, using appropriate vocabulary and some idiomatic expressions. Furthermore, they increase their vocabulary through reading magazine and newspaper articles. Students practice task listening using recorded broadcasts, talks and interviews. They also learn how to write summaries, detailed descriptions and short magazine articles.

Students join the course at their level and then continue studying as long as they wish. The amount of time you take to complete a course level will depend on the intensity of the course (full-time or part-time). Students may only proceed to the next course after successfully passing the course exam, completing the course project, and demonstrating the communication skills necessary to place in the next level.


The materials you will use are researched, developed and published by Olinda Portuguese Language School. The textbooks you use are only available at Olinda Portuguese Language School for enrolled students. With years of teaching experience in Olinda, we are constantly fine-tuning our syllabi to be practical, up-to-date, and result-oriented. This means that the material is custom-designed and reflects the real needs of the global network of Olinda Portuguese Language School students.

Depending on your course, you will also use a variety of additional writing, reading and listening didactic materials, such as grammatical practice exercises, current readings, guided dialogues, newspapers, videos, and songs designed by Olinda Portuguese Language School to help you progress in these areas along with your speaking. These materials help you master the written aspect of Portuguese, and provide you with an excellent support for the oral work done in the classroom. In addition, they help you improve your vocabulary and exposure to the sentence patterns you have studied in class. Furthermore, these materials give you an opportunity to reinforce the Portuguese taught in the classroom activities. They also give you help in pronunciation, in memorizing new words and expressions, and in listening comprehension practice. You will be amazed at the difference these materials make to your progress. All class materials are included in the cost of the course. Students may also purchase copies of books, dictionaries and guides recommended by the teacher.

If you have special learning requirements, please advise NRCSA in advance. In addition, please feel free to bring materials with you either in Portuguese or English which pertain to your individual needs.

Olinda Portuguese Language School’s “product” is its faculty! Given this fact, the organization devotes more time and effort to the recruitment and development of world-class language tutors than it does any other aspect of its operation.

Olinda Portuguese Language School’s teaching faculty is comprised wholly of university-accredited language instructors. All are multilingual native-speakers who have held positions of responsibility for many years prior to joining the organization. Their credentials notwithstanding, tutors are required to graduate from Olinda Portuguese Language School's teacher training program before joining the faculty. The center director maintains excellent teaching standards by encouraging teachers to receive additional training so that they may continue developing their teaching skills. Throughout their tenures, they are expected to attend language school conferences and pursue opportunities for professional development. Our teachers understand the difficulties faced by Portuguese learners and are culturally sensitive to the needs of students with different language backgrounds. Most have learned a second language themselves and understand the student's perspective.

They are devoted to helping students best reach their goals and to keeping the classes enjoyable and entertaining. Our teachers give you enough practice time to assimilate new structures and vocabulary and help you speak Portuguese from the very first lesson. Teachers use both proven traditional techniques as well as the latest teaching innovations. Olinda Portuguese Language School’s careful selection process and ongoing development programs ensure that clients receive the highest level of professional, friendly and helpful service from a Portuguese tutor with solid teaching skills.


Admissions & Academic Credit

Olinda Portuguese Language School welcomes students age seven years and older, regardless of educational background, occupation or nationality. From Absolute Beginner to Advanced, Olinda Portuguese Language School’s language study programs serve every level of competency. New students to the school, who are not complete beginners in the language they wish to study, are given a Placement Test upon arrival before joining a class. This is to ensure that they are placed in a course at an appropriate level to match their learning needs. To join any level, the student must first prove mastery of the previous level through the placement test. For exam preparation courses, the minimum entry level is Intermediate 2.

Olinda Portuguese Language School does not grant credit or confer degrees. Students desiring credit for their study at Olinda Portuguese Language School should contact their home school or request the NRCSA Credit Fact Sheet. Generally, U.S. universities consider 15 hours of study to be equal to 1 semester credit.

For general information about academic credit, please click here.

For more details about academic credit in countries outside the US, please click here.

Please feel free to contact us at 1-888-678-6211 for assistance with additional details.

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