How Do I Use the Platform?

You can use the menu at the top to navigate to the different sections of our website.

    • The Units provide the main structure for the course. Start from the top and work through the list in order. There are 4 "courses": A1, A2, B1, and B2. They are all unlocked from the beginning, so you can feel free to skip around if you need more of a challenge or if there are certain topics that are more relevant to you at the moment. Each Unit contains Learning Notes (grammar explanations), Lessons (activities to practice what you learned), and usually a Shorty (audio/written dialogue) at the end.
    • Use Smart Review along the way. (It's tempting to keep powering through the Units, but don't forget to stop and review! Give your brain a chance to retain all that new information. Otherwise it's just in one ear and out the other! 👂💨)
  • Other tools you can use a reference or as needed:
    • Dip into the Verbs section to look up or quiz yourself on individual verb conjugations
    • Translate - Use our automatic European Portuguese translation tool to look up vocabulary and phrases. There is also a shortcut for this near the far right of the menu so you can translate without leaving the page.
    • When you're looking for a certain topic: browse the full Site Index, Learning Notes Index, or Search

Other advice...

There's no one "right" way to learn, so we always recommend that you check in with yourself and consider how YOU learn best. We are here to give you the tools you need, and the Units provide a path to follow, but don't be afraid to take charge of the learning process! Many members find that when they get creative with how they use our site, they get the most out of it. Explore these blog posts for learning tips and ideas for staying motivated.

Remember to use the Units as your place to LEARN. You're encouraged to make mistakes and learn from them, so don't think of it as a test. Think of each question as an opportunity to "figure out" the language.
It's the same idea when you get to the Shorty at the end. Don't expect to understand every word from the very beginning. Use it as an opportunity to get exposure to realistic language. It's similar to how you would learn out in the real world. You won't understand everything someone says to you in those early conversations, but over time, that exposure helps you gradually put the pieces together and it gives you a challenging and effective way to build off of your existing knowledge.
Here are just a few ideas of how you can use the Shorties:
  • Review the vocabulary and expressions
  • Listen and/or read the audio without the translation to see how much you understand
  • Listen and/or read with the translation on
  • Read the transcript out loud
  • Go back through the transcript to review sections that were most confusing
  • Take the Quiz to check your understanding. The questions are similar to some you would find on the A2 CIPLE exam (Portuguese-only).
  • Summarize (or make up your own version) by speaking out loud or writing in Portuguese
We incorporate a lot of repetition into each Lesson to help make sure the concepts you read about in the Learning Notes are getting through, and to help you develop an initial foundation of "go-to phrases" you can build from. For example, if you already know how to say Onde fica a casa de banho ? - Where is the bathroom?, then it's just a small jump to figure out how to say Where is the metro? - Onde fica o metro ?

Along with the Units, it's important to use Smart Review on a regular basis. This is where you're really put to the test because the phrases appear out of context, so you have no help when trying to produce an answer. (It's easier when you're right in the middle of the Numbers unit to remember the correct number. But what about a week later when your Portuguese neighbour asks for the time??) 

This is a tool that helps you make the jump from "knowing" the language to "using" the language. Again, don't expect to master these right away! It's expected that you will get most of them wrong at first. The system is designed so that as long as you review on a consistent basis, it will gradually start to stick.

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