Leonard Xavier, USA 2015-10-25 20:45:39
Wow! What a great experience! From the minute I entered the offices of Portuguese Connection I felt welcomed. Joana, Marco and Laurie managed the trick of being both genuinely friendly and quietly competent in all their interactions with me. And I had some special demands, since my wife was an absolute beginner, and I had experience with the language going back many years. But Joana and Laurie accommodated us both without a second thought. It also helped that Maggie the dog could transcend any language barrier with a few affectionate licks. (What a brilliant idea: a language school with a dog fluent at expressing affection!) The second thing I noticed was how much fun the other students seemed to be having. Learning a language can be daunting, which is why it’s so critical that you learn in an environment that embraces both the didactic and the whimsical. For me, Portuguese Connection was exactly that kind of place. My teacher, Raquel, made even the driest subject interesting and relevant by playfully relating linguistic concepts to everyday life (I now know why the Portuguese talk about “puxando o autoclismo”). But behind her whimsy was a passionate love of the language, which I found infectious. So be warned: learning Portuguese at Portuguese Connection is a blast!
Mario Mendonca, Australia 2015-10-20 18:28:10
G'day from Australia! I was researching a Portuguese Language school for a short term stint and came across Portuguese Connection. I followed them for a few months on Facebook and enjoyed their newsletters and updates which meant that when it was time for me to book a class, I didn't have to do any more research and was very happy to book my week with them. Marco assisted greatly with accomodation and I stayed at Casa de Sao Mamede https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Hotel_Review-g189158-d235598-Reviews-Casa_De_Sao_Mamede-Lisbon_Lisbon_District_Central_Portugal.html Very convenient; thanks Marco! The school as well is fantastically located! My course schedule was for Goup morning classes (9am to 1pm) and private tutoring (2-4pm). Morning classes were with Raquel. Raquel was extremely engaging and full of interesting discussions on Politics, Social issues, Shopping, Portuguese history and a range of other topics. Raquel kept us engaged by speaking in Portuguese, with English explanations when we could not understand, and we gradually increased our Portuguese Language skills as well as our knowledge of this wonderful country and people. My afternoon private class was with Joanna (de Oliveira Fabiao) My challenge was bringing together the written Portuguese with the spoken Portuguese. Joanna patiently worked with my understanding of sounds and I picked up my listening and speaking skills significantly and increased my confidence as the week progressed. I would have loved to have done a second week as I could feel my skills and confidence growing by the end of the first week. Many thanks to Raquel and Joanna for their patience and for making our classes so interesting. Thanks also to Laurie for taking the time to take us around the city on 2 excursions...most enjoyable and informative. And finally, thanks to Joanna and Marco for creating such a supportive environment for us students of Portuguese. I'm sure there are other schools available, but I would have no hesitancy in coming back to (and recommending) Portuguese Connection for another stint.
Charlaine Claassen, South Africa 2015-10-19 15:53:59
I honestly do not know where to start but this was by far the best experience I have ever had at a language school. The teachers are extremely well trained and speak very clear and slow to help us understand exactly what they are talking about. The classes are very interactive and the teachers always ask us questions to enable us to practice our Portuguese. The vibe at the school is lovely, very warm, welcoming and homely - it felt like family that I knew after such a short time. Portuguese connection teaches you about the Portuguese culture, food (which I loved to talk about), places to go and of course the language which they are excellent at. They also have a lovely tour package which takes you to the best places in Lisbon with their guide, Laurie. I miss my classes already and wish that I could go back - it is not like school - yes, almost, as I learned so much in a short time but it is much much more fun. I can DEFINITELY recommend this school to you - You would learn and laugh at the same time. Thank you to Laurie, Joana, Raquel and Marco! I will come visit again just to see Maggie and of course you special people! Beijinhos
Steve Berneking, USA 2015-10-02 12:17:04
Thirty days @ six hours a day equals six weeks of hard work, excitement, challenges, accomplishments, adventure, unending fun, and surprises. That’s how I can best describe studying Portuguese at Portuguese Connection this past summer. From the first email conversations with Laurie and Marco, to the final day of classes with Joana and Raquel, I knew my choice was perfect for me. Laurie and Marco provided an invaluable and supportive structure to this language school, from administrative details to suggestions for activities and restaurants to neighborhood tours. For me, however, the most impressive element of my stay were the classroom skills and creative pedagogy of Joana and Raquel. I had group lessons each morning with one of them and private instruction each afternoon with the other, which means each day I had both of them. Their teaching styles are markedly different, but both of them are committed to learner-centered teaching, so I felt my learning style and desire to learn were their focus, not some need to cover certain material as a prescribed pace. They tracked my progress as I was handed back-and-forth, and my own performance and interests guided much of the curriculum they crafted and revised for me. Grammar was continuously reinforced with conversation, writing, and speaking, and they were able to work gently with my anxieties in the classroom to open space for my learning. My goal of reaching the B1 Level could not have been possible without the team approach that these four persons demonstrated every day. Thank you to each one of you. How grateful and lucky I am to have spent six weeks with you.
Birgitte Ringstad, Norway 2015-09-23 17:49:59
Portuguese Connection was a great place to start learning Portuguese! The classes were a good combination of practicing the language and learning useful theory. Moreover, the teachers adopted the content of the classes to the student’s needs and learning goals. During two weeks in the beginner course I learnt a lot, examples are useful vocabulary, expressions typical in Portugal and important grammar. The school is located in a nice and central area of Lisbon, a city I would recommend to everyone! :)
Fabian Brites, Australia 2015-09-23 17:48:52
Honestly, I think my lessons with Portuguese Connection were some of the best lessons I've ever taken. The team they have is great, location is great, and there are perfectly located coffee shops, just outside the school, where you can grab quick coffee and some delicious pastries during your study break.
Delphine Callewaert, Belgium 2015-09-20 16:42:43
I would highly recommend this language school for anyone seeking to improve their Portuguese. It's still a small school, but very cosy and they have a great team. Our first contact with the school was with Laurie. She answered all our questions with a lot of patience and she made us feel very comfortable about going to this school. She also helped us finding a place to stay for 2 weeks in Lisbon. Thank you Laurie for all your help! Marco and Joana, the owners of the school, are lovely as well! Always prepared to help and to answer all your questions. Joana is a great, passionate teacher who gives very interactive classes and pushes you to the next level. She does it with a smile and with a lot of humor. The same goes for our teacher of the 2nd week, Raquel. She also gave our Portuguese a boost by making us speak a lot. And off course there's Maggie, the dog/ the mascot of the school. She is Always happy to see you in the morning and prepared to have some play time ;)
Tony Baring, UK 2015-09-20 15:32:09
The highlight for me was the friendly atmosphere. Joana is a fantastic teacher and all the staff were helpful and really approachable. The school is in a really nice location in Lisbon close to the Bairro Alto. Although I could only attend a one week course my level really improved. I highly recommend the Portuguese Connection Language School and would definitely return.
Filiep Geeraert, Belgium 2015-09-14 04:09:48
So much more than a language course!
I tend to forget that while learning a language you also get to know a lot about the people, their culture and traditions. You could say that you get a glimpse of the Portuguese soul. This was certainly the case while studying at the Portuguese Connection Language School. The school itself, is very easy to reach, and was at 5 minutes walking distance from the Portuguese family where I was staying. It is small in size, but great in the way it approaches the task. The positive experience already began before my trip started, when Marco contacted me to take care of a practical issue involving my luggage. I immediately got a nice feeling about the school. Then, when I first went to the school my teacher Joana greeted me and my fellow student with a radiant smile. As I had already prepared my visit by studying intensively at home, it did not take long before we were talking in Portuguese. Even though I only booked for one week, it was very intensive, and I learned a lot of new grammar and vocabulary. Classes were never dull, and always felt very personal. In the afternoon I had also booked a private lesson, in which Joana let me decide on what I wanted to focus them. She also had some suggestions herself. I learned quite a lot, and the teacher was always there to assist me with any question I could have. Within a week I felt a lot more fluent and I feel much more fluent and self-confident when striking up a conversation with a Portuguese speaking person. Something more about the school: after classes you can -if you want to- use a different classroom to study a bit. For those who want to explore Lisbon a bit more, the school also has some group visits, and some suggestions of places to explore. In summary, I am very happy with the overall experience. I believe that I learned a lot, and got much more fluent at speaking Portuguese, even though I was there for only a week. I got onto the plane with a bit of 'saudades' with only a couple of 'pastéis de Belém' to ease the pain.
Giulia Oberti, Italy 2015-09-07 08:26:24
I spend every summer learning a language in a foreign country since I was 16 and this 5 weeks at Portuguese Connection went far beyond my expectations.
I started as a complete beginner (meaning I could barely smile when somebody asked me how was my day) and a left yesterday with a B1 certificate.
Both the school and the classes are small, which I learned by experience is a major pro since you have the chance to speak more, practise more, exercise more.
Raquel and Joana are both great and dedicated teachers, always arranging interesting classes according to your goals and always with a smile on their face: my very first day I would never thought I would be able to speak by the end of my stay, but they helped me any time I had dubts, made me improve quickly and made grammar more comprehensible by explaining not only the rules but also the logic process behind that.
The whole staff is always really welcoming, positive and helpful: Laorie was always there to answer my questions, Marco has great tips for everything (totally earned the nickname WikiMarco) and if you are planning to visit the country you should definitely ask Joana her To Do List about Porto and rely on Raquelif you’re going to spend a weekend in Algarve.
The relationship with all the staff goes far beyond the student-teacher bond and all of them will make you fall in love not only with the language, but also with the city, the country and the culture.
So thanks to all at once at to each one of you, guys: até a pròxima