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Portuguese schools: will your child pick up the language?

Portuguese as a Second Language

Portuguese schools: will your child pick up the language?

Yes, the language is a common concern among parents considering moving to Portugal. More specifically, learning Portuguese as a second language while having to follow the curriculum in one of the local Portuguese schools. Could this work?

Wonder no more, let’s hear from the expat parents living in Ericeira.

Will your child be able to pick up the language while following the curriculum in one of the local Portuguese schools?

Portuguese as a Second Language Photo
Portuguese as a Second Language Photo by Olia Danilevich on Pexels.com

Yes, most likely. Expat parents usually report that their children can pick up the language and adapt well. Besides, you can help your child with the transition by taking a few steps.

What could you do to help your child adjust to the language when going to one of the Portuguese schools?

Parents could help by facilitating private language lessons beforehand.

We took Portuguese lessons in the Summer before school started, and this helped. And yes, she did struggle a bit, but she is good at languages, this is her 4th language.

Andre Expat parent of 3, who went to English and French schools previously.

As well as by encouraging language tutoring throughout the year.

Without private support classes, they would not be able to make it at school. We recommend TPC Lab, in Sobreiro. The teacher there also lived abroad as a child, often changing schools and having to adapt herself. So, my daughter feels that the support teacher understands what she is going through now. 

LP English mother of three (3, 10, and 12 yo) who previously went to school in France. Moved to Mafra, then to Ericeira.

What support is in place for children learning Portuguese as a second language?

The local school offers a special class for children whose Portuguese is a second language.

The school offers a “Portuguese as a foreign language” support class. This is great because they are not graded as harshly in tests. And there is also a special Portuguese test for children whose Portuguese is not their first language. However, we find that we still have to pay for extra support.

LP English mother of three (3, 10, and 12 yo) who previously went to school in France. Moved to Mafra, then to Ericeira. 

Older children are likely to benefit from extra support and, sometimes, may choose to go to a private or international school instead of the local school.

For testimonies on this, check our blog post Private school or public education? – Expat Parents Talk.

What about parents? what is it like to communicate with school in English ? how can parents learn Portuguese? is it really necessary to speak Portuguese to adapt to life in Ericeira?

What about you? Tell us about your experience, we would love to hear from you!

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