Required Texts:

Dias Gomes, Alfredo. O pagador de promessas. 44a ed. revista e atualizada. Rio de Janeiro: Ediouro, 2006. Print.

Klobucka, Anna M., et al. Ponto de Encontro: Portuguese as a World Language. 2nd edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2013. Print.
       with MyLanguageLabs access. Visit:

Recommended Materials:

Dictionary: The Oxford Portuguese Dictionary, Harper Collins Portuguese Dictionary or Langenscheidt's Pocket Portuguese Dictionary.

Electronic Resources:

Textbook companion website:
Portuguese-English dictionary:
Brazilian Portuguese dictionary:
Portuguese verb conjugations:

Language Placement:

ALL students who wish to enroll in a foreign language course at Tulane must complete and submit the on-line placement form in order to receive an official departmental placement. Students must enroll in the level in which they are placed or consult with Dr. Rebecca Atencio ( for a reassessment.  If you did not do so before enrolling in Portuguese 1120, you can complete the form at the following site: and receive a placement retroactively.

I. Goals

A. Tulane University Department of Spanish and Portuguese Basic Language Program Objectives:

The main objectives guiding the program are to:

  • introduce students to the language and culture of the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world
  • promote the development of students' communicative competence in the target language
  • develop students’ intercultural understanding and social conscience of problems that affect this cultural complex.

B. Course Goals:

Following the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages’ (ACTFL) Proficiency Guidelines 2012, Portuguese 2030 seeks to increase students’ Portuguese-speaking ability to an intermediate-low to intermediate-mid range proficiency level via the Course Objectives outlined below.

People with intermediate level proficiency can “create with the language when talking about familiar topics related to their daily life. They are able to recombine learned material in order to express personal meaning. Intermediate-level speakers can ask simple questions and can handle a straightforward survival situation” (ACTFL).

For additional details of what this entails refer to the Proficiency Objectives section of the BLP website.

II. Course Objectives for PORT 2030

In addition to the Proficiency Objectives detailed on the Basic Language Program’s website for this level, the course maintains the following objectives, based upon ACTFL’s National Standards for Foreign Language Learning:

A. Communication. Use Portuguese:

in order to:

  • talk about oneself and one’s immediate vicinity
  • give advice and tell people what to do
  • complete a transaction (such as ordering food, making reservations, etc.)
  • express doubt, emotion, and desires
  • debate a variety of sensitive topics
  • ask relevant questions about a given topic


  • the present, past and future tenses
  • indicative and subjunctive moods
  • structures expressing likes and dislikes as well as comparisons
  • a variety of prepositions and prepositional phrases

B. Cultures: gain knowledge and understanding of Luso-Brazilian cultures.

C. Communities: participate in a community of language learners and in a multilingual world.

D. Comparisons: make informed comparisons between English and Portuguese and themselves and others.

E. Connections: connect this course to other courses and self to others.

III. Outcomes

Students will demonstrate that they have met the...

A.    Communication Objectives via their ability to produce the vocabulary and structural forms necessary for the stated conversation topics in written and oral work.

B.    Cultures Objectives via their ability to demonstrate these points in discussions as well as reflectively in other written work and exams.

C.    Community Objectives via their class participation and discussion work.

D.    Comparisons Objectives via their class participation, discussion and written work.

E.    Connections Objectives via their class participation work and through their written work.

IV.    Assessment

A.    Grades are based on the standard 10-point scale:

    B+ 87-89.99 C+ 77-79.99 D+ 67-69.99    
A 93-100 B 83-86.99 C 73-76.99 D 63-66.99 F 0-59.99
A- 90-92.99 B- 80-82.99 C- 70-72.99 D- 60-62.99    

B.    Grade Breakdown:

Your grade will be determined according to the following criteria:

  • 20%:   Unit Exams
  • 15%:    Final exam
  • 15%:    3 compositions  
  •   5%:    2 Listening Comprehension Quizzes                              
  • 10%:    2 Oral Exams
  •    5%:   Individual presentation
  •    5%:   Debate
  •    5%:   Skit
  •    5%:   Pop quizzes
  • 10%:    Participation, preparedness and attendance
  •    5%:   Homework Activities

C.    Expectations for each category are as follows:

See calendar for assignment due dates.

Exams (35%): Two written exams (provas), worth 10% each, will be administered during the semester. Prova escrita 1 will cover lessons 8 through 10 in the Ponto de encontro textbook; Prova escrita 2 will focus on lessons 11 and 12. The Final Exam, worth 15%, primarily covers lessons 13 and 14.  Because language learning is inherently a cumulative process, each exam will focus upon the material of study for that period while building on all previously studied material.

Compositions (15%): Students are required to complete three short compositions based on themes covered in the textbook. Each composition assignment will involve a two-step process: a rough draft and a final version. Compositions should be typed, double-spaced, 12-point font size, with 1-inch margins, and contain around 250-750 words. Electronic submissions are not permitted. The compositions are evaluated for accuracy and content, after which students will have the opportunity to improve grammar, style, organization and/or content.  Attention: Collaboration and the use of translation programs are unacceptable and a violation of the Code of Academic Conduct.  Students may receive help ONLY from the professor or other students in the class (peer-editing with classmates is acceptable; receiving writing or editing help from anyone outside the class is not).

Listening Comprehension Quizzes (5%):At two points during the semester students will complete short listening comprehension quizzes. The format of the quizzes will vary and may include use of the interviews utilized for a given lesson; listening to short anecdotes read by the instructor; and listening to a series of questions posited by the instructor.

Oral Exams (10%): At two points in the semester, students' oral proficiency will be assessed via a structured, interactive conversation in pairs or trios on a fixed range of topics. The students may be asked to converse about their personal interests or may be asked to complete a short role play related to a practiced topic of interest. Sample topics will be provided in advance. Students will be graded individually, based upon their accuracy, the content and fluidity of their conversation, and their contribution to the conversation.

Skit (5%):In groups of two or three, students will write and perform an original skit based upon the play O pagador de promessas or one of the themes of lessons 8-14 in Ponto de encontro. Skits should be around 10 minutes, and the theme must be pre-approved by your instructor.

Individual Presentations (5%):At two points in the semester, students will give short presentations to demonstrate their ability to use the material they have been studying to present a specific issue.  The instructor will give further information about the format and topic during the semester.

Debate (5%):At the end of the semester students will have a full class debate about a particular topic. Small groups will present their take on the designated issue to the class, and all students will then have to discuss arguments in favor of and against the issue. As a class, you will have to come to an agreement on the topic. The debate will last at least 30 minutes (including the initial presentations). Students will be evaluated based upon their individual contributions to their group's presentation AND their participation in and contributions to the full class discussion.

Pop-quizzes (5%):Short announced and unannounced quizzes will be administered regularly over the course of the semester. Quizzes may cover any of the course materials including grammar, culture and vocabulary. No make-ups will be given; however, at the instructor's discretion, the lowest grade may be dropped.

Participation, preparedness, and attendance (10%):Active participation and regular attendance is crucial to the learning of a language. The participation grade is based both on the quantity and the quality of a student's participation, with quality being determined by active, on-task participation in class, group and pair activities, obvious preparation of homework, volunteerism in class and overall preparedness. Excessive absenteeism will result in a substantial drop in this grade, as will tardiness. The use of a cell phone during class time will result in a participation grade of ZERO for that day.

Homework Activities (5%):Students will be assigned regular online homework activities related to topics studied in the textbook. The instructor will check online homework at various points during the semester.  

V. Policies and Expectations:

See the Course Policies section of the website for more information regarding:

  • Attendance:Attendance is compulsory.  As a skills-based course, regular attendance is required for successful completion of the course.  If you are absent you are responsible for contacting a classmate about whatever material you missed. You are allowed to miss 3 classes only, after the third absence you will begin to lose points from your grade for the course.  If you miss 10 absences you will be withdrawn from the class, regardless of what point in the semester the tenth absence occurs.

    There are no "excused absences" (except religious holidays and those for university sponsored events).  If you are absent owing to a university-sponsored event, a particular religious holiday or hospitalization, you can make-up the work but should do so before the class you will miss whenever this is possible.  For any absences incurred while representing the University in an official capacity, a note from the represented organization must be presented IN ADVANCE of the absence.

    Exceptions may be made for extreme extenuating circumstances; however, it is the student's responsibility to be in contact with the instructor and the academic advisor in this case.

  • Language Use: Portuguese is the language of the classroom, for instructors and students.
  • Code of Academic Conduct: Students are to abide by the Code of Academic Conduct of Tulane University. Violations will be brought to the Honor Board.
  • Disability Accommodations: Students who present documentation from the Office of Disability Services will be fully accommodated.
  • Late or Missed Work: Late or missed work will not be accepted, unless the student has extenuating circumstances and has communicated with the instructor in advance or within 24 hours of the missed assignment.
  • Cell Phones: Cell phone use during class time is prohibited.  The only exception to this policy is when professor allows access to online dictionaries.


VI. Preparation

Because of the fast pace of this course, students must commit to regular preparation time outside of class, with a minimum of one to two hours preparation required for every hour of class time. See the textbook information under the Additional Resources section of this website for information on how to use the textbook and on-line materials to their fullest.

Tulane University, Spanish & Portuguese Dept., 304 Newcomb Hall, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5518