Archived Articles 2013

Volume 7 Fall 2013

“Portuguese for Spanish Speakers”

Editor:  Margo Milleret, University of New Mexico

Guest Editors:  Dr. Michael Ferreira, Georgetown University and Dr.  Lyris Wiedemann, Stanford University

Guest Editors’ Note

In the general field of teaching Portuguese to speakers of other languages, Portuguese for Spanish speakers (PSS) has increasingly occupied a special place. No other major language is closer to Portuguese than Spanish in the Romance Languages. Research has consistently shown that the acquisition of a cognate language has its own special characteristics, advantages, and challenges. Therefore, it is only logical that such findings must be taken into consideration when planning courses for this population, and that this area has raised an increasing number of research questions among scholars.

Due to globalization, the growing political and economic importance of Brazil, and the socioeconomic ascension of the Hispanic population in the US, the number of Spanish speakers learning Portuguese has markedly increased in the Americas. There are now more speakers of Spanish learning Portuguese than ever before in Brazil, in other Latin American countries, and in the United States. In addition, governmental initiatives such as the Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship program and the National Security Education Program’s (NSEP) Boren Scholarships and Fellowships as well as The Language Flagship program have specifically targeted Spanish speakers.

One of the factors propelling this interest is research showing that it takes less time for speakers of Spanish to reach Advanced and Superior levels in Portuguese language proficiency on the ACTFL scale (approximately 350 instruction hours as compared to 700 for English monolinguals). The need to have speakers able to perform at these levels is essential to both government agencies and private companies, filling a documented void. In the US, where Portuguese has been considered a “critical language” since 2004, and where bilingual Hispanic students are attending college in increasing numbers, Spanish speakers are becoming a significant percentage of the enrollments in Portuguese programs. It should be no surprise that they are also ideal targets for government-funded opportunities to learn Portuguese.

The academic world has clearly reflected this dynamic. Starting with isolated papers and production of educational materials, the field has grown to include dedicated sessions in conferences and its own specialized gatherings. In the last 10 years, there were four symposia of Portuguese for Spanish Speakers: Acquisition and Teaching, held respectively at the University of Arizona, Tucson (2003). Stanford University (2006), UNICAMP (2008), and Georgetown University (2011), while a fifth is in the planning stage. Two volumes of selected articles from the first two symposia were published and have contributed to fostering the development of the field.

The aim of this issue of PLJ is to continue to share findings in this vibrant and growing field. The issue opens with interviews of two scholars who have been involved with the teaching of Portuguese for Spanish Speakers for all of their academic lives and remain leading figures in the field. They recount the development of PSS in the US and in Brazil, respectively, providing overviews and a set of references, which will be invaluable for both newcomers to the field and well-established scholars.

The interviews are followed by seven articles focusing on Portuguese for Spanish speakers, and two additional articles that fall outside this issue’s theme. It is interesting to note that two of the seven articles come from Brazil, two others from Hispanic America, and four from the US, thus being representative as a whole of the three contexts in which Portuguese for Spanish Speakers is taught and studied. The topics of the articles are also quite comprehensive and complement each other.

We hope that the contents of this issue will contribute to the accumulation and dissemination of knowledge about this established field and foster both new studies and new solutions for those working with Spanish speakers.



The field of Portuguese for Spanish Speakers in the US
Ana Carvalho
University of Arizona

A área de Português para Falantes de Espanhol no Brasil
Matilde V.R. Scaramucci
Universidade Estadual de Campinas

Portuguese for Spanish Speakers Articles

Formação de palavras em Português
Marianne Akerberg
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Language learning perceptions:The role of Spanish in L3 Portuguese acquisition
Michael W. Child
University of Arizona

O ensino de português para hispanofalantes no contexto virtual do Teletandem
Karin Adriane Henschel Pobbe Ramos
Kelly Cristiane Hesnchel Pobbe de Carvalho
Rozana Aparecida Lopes Messias
FCLAssis/UNESP/Univ Estadual Paulista

Précis to the use of constructions in the teaching of Portuguese as a Third Language
Agripino S Silveira
Stanford University

Da análise da produção oral ao desenvolvimento da competência comunicativa
Cristiane Soares
Tufts University

Linguistic sibling rivalry: Mutual interference between Portuguese and Spanish
Ismênia Sales de Souza, Robert Lystrup, and Lauren Scharff
United States Air Force Academy

A afirmação de si através da descoberta do outro: a aprendizagem do português em Porto Rico como experiência descolonizadora
Prof. María D. “Lolita” Villanúa
Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras

Other Articles

An analysis of sempre, mesmo and bem:Brazilian Portuguese word order as applied to EFL instruction
Katherine O’Donnell Christoffersen
University of Arizona

Esse cara é meu truta! A esfera pragmática e a transferência cultural das gírias brasileiras no ensino de Português para estrangeiros
Sílvia Regina Ramos-Sollai
Florida State University