A New Semester for Language Lessons
Last Wednesday was a lucky day for me. After an e-mail back-and-forth, I decided that the Elementary Portuguese II class at the University at Albany (where my husband teaches) was the right class for me despite its designation as Portuguese 101. (The beginning class is Portuguese 100.) So I showed up to the basement classroom with my certificate from my class in Lisbon — you know, the one where I got a grade of 19 out of 20 — cued up on my iPhone so I could get the permission number to register officially.
The class began with 23 students. The professor introduced herself and the class in Brazilian Portuguese, which took some getting used to, but I could more or less follow. Six students could not and left right away. She was quite serious about the prerequisite. After an ice-breaker activity, she talked about her way of teaching the class. She said the major assignment will be a story that we write in serialized form, in Portuguese, based on a writing prompt.
Ever since leaving Lisbon, I’ve had this idea of going back one day and teaching English through creative writing, maybe starting a language school and a bookstore-cafe. So when this professor described the creative project as her major assignment, I realized that I’ll have a chance to see how an idea like mine works. She said she has gotten positive results from the students in the past; whether or not they mastered the language, they seemed more engaged and she enjoyed reading the stories they wrote.
It looks like “Ana and Martim” will have company this semester. Stay tuned!