UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


Portuguese Level 1

Prerequisite for entry

For complete beginners or those who have had only very little contact with the language.

Term duration

10 x 2-hour classes.

Aims and objectives

The aim of the course is to enable students to function at a basic everyday survival level (basic vocabulary grammar, morphology, syntax and phonetics). Students should be able to communicate in and understand Portuguese on a number of practical everyday matters. Language learning skills, including autonomous learning and how to approach some authentic material, will be enhanced. Some transferable skills will also be covered.


  • Greetings; asking and giving personal information; spelling your name; saying goodbye; communicating in the classroom
  • Proposing something; inviting; asking for the time;
  • Ordering food in a restaurant; thanking
  • Asking how to you get to a place using means of transport

Course content

Main topics/themes to be covered: 

  • First contact; names, nationalities, addresses, professions, numbers up to 100
  • Meeting with other people; leisure activities; the time; means of transport
  • In the restaurant/bar; invitation; food and meals; at the table


Basic rules of the pronunciation of spoken Portuguese

Grammar and linguistic structures

  • Irregular verb: to be (ser); regular verbs ending in ar; substantive – masculine and feminine; possessive pronouns: meu, minha, nosso, nossas + plural; prepositions: em + article, de + article
  • Verbs: to go (ir), can (poder), to have (ter); immediate future tense; demonstrative pronouns: este, esta, estes, estas
  • Regular verbs ending in er: to like (gostar de), to be (estar), to want (querer)
  • Contrasting ser and estar

Learning resources


  • Main textbook: Novo Avenida Brasil 1 Curso Básico de Português para Estrangeiros
  • The tutor will be using different books and handouts for extra exercises.