If You Want to Learn Faster, Learn Portuguese with a Group
If you want to learn Portuguese faster, learning with a group may be what you’re looking for.
Let me tell you about my experience with group learning.
Learning languages on my own
In my teenage years, I learned a few languages. I devoted most of my time to German — it sounded so good and felt so nice to speak.
But this latter part may not be entirely accurate. I didn’t actually speak the language. I knew nobody who could speak German — let alone study it. So, I did most of my own.
Yeah, I could understand just fine. I even read books in German. But it felt like something was missing.
But finally I found a group
When I started working, I made enough money to enroll in a course in a neighboring city. I met new people, had classes, and learned under a teacher, and made a lot of progress.
Don’t take me wrong: I made a lot of progress on my own too. But it became much easier once I had other friends to count on. When studying alone, it was just too easy to say, “I don’t feel like studying today,” and never open the books (or watch a video, for that matter).
But when you have classmates who will call you… Or a teacher who will ask about you… You have more motivation to go on.
Not only that: learning a language is not easy. It’s easy to get discouraged. Especially with German with all its declensions and long words. But when the teacher said, “Come on, you can do it,” I believed him even though I didn’t believe myself.
Knowing what to do is always beneficial
And because the teacher provided a structure for us to follow, I knew exactly what the next step would be, and I didn’t feel lost.
I don’t know about you, but I get all over the place when it comes to languages. I want to learn many languages at the same time, and I want to learn everything about every language. And it comes as no surprise that this habit led to a formidable waste of time.
So, having the structure helps you stay focused. You don’t feel like going different ways just because. You know what you’re going to study, you know what you’re going to learn, and you can count on others to help you stay on the path.
And I’m not going to lie: although I am an introvert at heart, I love meeting others. I get to talk with other people, see what they’ve been going through, and get advice to help change how I think about problems… This is something that I see a lot in the group classes that I lead now: we have developed a sense of community. It’s fun to get to class and hear one student asking about another student who hasn’t arrived yet.
And after all, their learning Portuguese to speak with other people. It’s nice that they have this community, and it’s something I’ve always looked for whenever I learn a new language.
And that’s why I’m an advocate for Portuguese group classes.
But if you’re looking to know what benefits you’ll have exactly when learning Portuguese with a group, here they are:
Benefit 1: Learning From Others’ Experiences
When you’re in a group class, you can learn from other students’ experiences. This can include hearing different accents and dialects, learning new expressions, and even picking up cultural insights you might not have otherwise discovered.
For a while, we had a student whose significant other was from Rio Grande do Sul. He would bring many expressions and fun facts from his experience with his significant other’s family, including anecdotes showing how their Portuguese differed from ours.
Benefit 2: Boosting Confidence and Motivation
Another benefit of group learning is boosting your confidence and motivation.
When you’re surrounded by other students who are also learning the language, it can be easier to feel comfortable making mistakes – and learning from other people’s mistakes is as beneficial as learning from your own.
You’ll also have the opportunity to celebrate each other’s successes, see how they can improve, and see what is possible for you to achieve as well.
Benefit 3: Real-Life Speaking Practice
One of the biggest challenges of learning any language is finding opportunities to practice speaking in real-life situations.
In a group class, you can practice with other students in a supportive environment. This can help you build the confidence to speak the language outside the classroom.
Benefit 4: Being in a Supportive Community
Learning a language can be long and challenging, and having a supportive community can make all the difference.
In a group class, you’ll have the opportunity to meet other people who are also passionate about learning Portuguese. This can create a sense of camaraderie and support that can help you stay motivated and engaged throughout your Portuguese-learning journey.
Benefit 5: Enhanced Cultural Understanding
Finally, taking a group class can enhance your understanding of Brazilian culture.
When you’re learning a language, you’re not just learning words and grammar rules – you’re learning about a new culture and way of life.
By taking a group class, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from other students who have different perspectives and experiences.
Just ask yourself: what do I want to achieve?
Some people learn Portuguese as a hobby. They want to consume Brazilian media and listen to Brazilian music. And having a basic command of the language is okay for that.
Others need to speak Brazilian Portuguese for family reasons: they’re married to a Brazilian, or they’re currently dating someone from Brazil.
Still, some people live in areas where Brazilians are living, too. And they would like to show their friendliness by speaking the language of their colleagues/neighbors.
If you’re learning Brazilian Portuguese as a hobby to use it on a quick trip, or when listening to music, you can certainly do it on your own.
But if you’re learning Portuguese to speak with others, you can benefit greatly from joining a Portuguese group class.
If you’re in the latter group, looking for ongoing help and teacher-led classes, you should definitely check out our Conversation Club After Hours.
You get to join classes with up to three students at a time so that you can have enough speaking time, plus access to courses, workshops, and learning guides.
Do you have any questions about learning Portuguese with a group? Please share them in the comments so I can help you!