Fátima Cornwall, language coordinator in the Department of World Languages, was one of 15 participants chosen to attend a summer course offered by the Luso-American Foundation. The course was in partnership with the Fulbright Commission in Portugal, the Camões I.P.-Coordination for Portuguese Education in the U.S. and the North American Portuguese Teachers Association. This two-week summer school for teachers of Portuguese at the University of Lisbon, Portugal, was intended to support the promotion of Portuguese language and culture in the U.S.
The intensive, full-immersion program consisted of a curricular section aimed to improve the competencies of teaching the Portuguese language and culture — with titles such as “Portuguese Language and Multiculturalism,” “Language Acquisition for Heritage Speakers” and “Varieties of the Portuguese Language” — and several cultural activities aimed at immersion in Portuguese society and culture. These cultural activities included a visit to Pena National Palace in Sintra and the Roman Temple in Évora, both UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Participants also visited an exhibition of work by the Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos at the National Palace of Ajuda. Vasconcelos was the first woman and youngest contemporary artist to exhibit in Versailles, France.
The course ended with a visit to a local high school, Escola Secundária Rainha Dona Amelia, where participants toured the facilities and visited with administrators, students and teachers. The high school students’ portion of the program included a poetry recital and a superb Fado performance by an incoming freshman.
World Languages is now offering a class titled Portuguese for Spanish Speakers, providing the 24 students with the opportunity to add a third language to their resumés.