Portuguese for Foreigners, level C1 (Basic)

The C1 - Basic Portuguese for Foreigners course is designed for adults (aged 18 or over) looking to improve and develop their communication skills in European Portuguese. Students should have a reasonable understanding of the language, meaning that they are able to communicate with some level of spontaneity. They must be able to understand the main issues covered in quite complex texts. They should also be able to express their ideas on a variety of subjects and current events, both orally and in writing.

As a distance-learning course, it gives all foreign learners the chance to study Portuguese and learn about Portugal and its culture, particularly those who until now wouldn’t otherwise get such an opportunity.

The course adopts an intercultural approach based on teaching and learning as a way of examining students’ knowledge of themselves and others. Teaching and learning is a way of promoting the Portuguese language and culture and a means to gradually increasing students’ multilingual awareness across different cultures.

Aims of the course

Ultimately, by the time the course is finished, students will be able to understand a vast number of long and difficult texts, identifying the implicit meanings in them. Students will be able to express themselves fluently and spontaneously without having to think too much about the correct expressions. Students will also be able to use language flexibly and effectively in social, professional and academic contexts. Students will be able to formulate ideas and opinions with precision and select their words according to the person they are conversing with. 

Concerning language skills, the student will specifically be able to:

Oral comprehension

  • Understand extensive speech even when it is not clearly structured or when ideas are simply implied instead of being properly expressed;

  • Understand films and television programmes without too much difficulty.


  • Understand long and complex articles, whether literature and non-literature, whilst managing to make a distinction between styles;

  • Understand articles of a particular subject and instructions of a technical nature, even when they are not in the student’s specific area of expertise.

Oral interaction

  • Express themselves fluently and spontaneously without having to think too much about the correct expressions;

  • Use language flexibly and effectively for social and professional reasons;

  • Formulate ideas and opinions with precision and select their words according to the person they are conversing with.

Oral skills

  • Give clear descriptions and detailed information on complex issues as well as other related topics whilst developing specific ideas before reaching a conclusion.


  • Express themselves in a clear and well-structured manner by offering specific points of view with a certain degree of preparation;

  • Write letters, messages and reports on complex issues, highlighting the aspects that the student thinks are most important;

  • Write in a style that is considered appropriate for the person who will be reading it.

Course structure and teaching methods

The course is divided into twelve weekly modules covering the following five skills:

  • Reading; 
  • Oral comprehension; 
  • Grammar; 
  • Written expression; 
  • Oral expression.

Students are expected to spend five hours byweekly working on the various course activities:

  • Self-study: Reading and listening to materials relating to the course modules; doing tasks and a variety of exercises, including grammar;
  • Personal tutoring: Thirty minutes of oral interaction byweekly with the respective course tutor; interaction through the website forum to solves any doubts, problems and any other issues students might have.

The schedule for oral interaction with the tutor will be set at the beginning of the course and will continue throughout its entire duration. Exceptional situations requiring a change of schedule will need to be agreed with the tutor.

Course duration

The course lasts for twelve weeks.

Tuition fee

 250 €


Assessment is continuous and based on the following criteria:

  • Regular access to the platform/course segments;
  • Queries submitted either by email, via the forum or by using the comments function;
  • Completing the online exercises;
  • Taking part in reading, speaking and grammar-based activities;
  • Writing texts on specific subjects (written exercises will be assessed by the course tutor);
  • Interaction on Skype, with question and answer sessions based on certain subjects (oral assessments are immediately carried out by course tutors).

Completion of the course depends on the student’s participation in at least two thirds of the oral sessions and two thirds of the written exercises.

Course certificates

All students successfully completing the course will receive an official certificate. 

Any student wishing to officially register their level proficiency in the Portuguese language may sit an exam for obtaining the Portuguese as a Foreign Language Elementary Diploma (DEPLE) at a Portuguese as a Foreign Language Assessment Center (CAPLE).

For more information, please visit http://caple.letras.ulisboa.pt