Student Spotlight: Michelle, Learning Portuguese and Dreaming of Brazil

Michelle came to BridgeLanguages in Denver from Wichita, Kansas. She recently sat down with us to discuss how the Beginner Portuguese class she took will help her connect with her friends and their cultures and allow her the opportunity to continue pursuing her travel dreams.

Michelle, what made you decide to study Portuguese?

I decided to study Portuguese as I’ve always dreamed of visiting Brazil. I also have a few friends that are native speakers, so I wanted to better understand them and their culture. I feel learning the language is the best way to truly understand and appreciate people from different cultures.

What is your background, and does learning a new language relate to your studies or job?

Learning Portuguese doesn’t relate to my job, but it is a continuation of my foreign language studies from college in a way. I majored in French and Spanish, and I spent several summers studying and teaching English abroad in Mexico, France, and Spain. Traveling and living abroad have been the richest experiences I’ve had in my life, and I plan to continue exploring the planet as often as possible.

What are your learning goals? What would you like to achieve?

My learning goals are becoming conversationally fluent and understanding essential grammar. I have a background in Latin based languages, so the reading and writing aren’t my main concern – the pronunciation and verbal understanding is where I’d like to focus my attention.

For you, what is the biggest advantage in learning a new language? What is your biggest challenge?

The biggest advantage in learning a new language is expanding the number of people worldwide that you can communicate with. My biggest challenge in learning a new language is not mixing Spanish and French vocabulary and pronunciation!

Describe the classroom environment? What are some of your favorite activities in class?

The classroom environment is very intimate and modern. With only 1-3 other students in the class, we have rather individualized attention. With the large computer monitor we were able to see and listen to several music videos featuring Brazilian music and lyrics. My favorite activities in class were the daily conversation and music videos we watch online.

Browse all languages offered at Bridge. Or, if you’d like to hear from another BridgeLanguages student, read Emma’s interview about learning French!


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