Here’s what my students are saying…
I decided to learn Portuguese as a matter of “survival” after having spent another Christmas alone in the company of my boyfriend’s family – whom, whilst being extremely warm and welcoming, don’t speak any English.
Initially, I tried using audio-courses. However, I found that learning set phrases without understanding the sentence structure was quite limiting and didn’t enable me to engage in conversation.
I found Carla’s website via a learning Portuguese blog recommendation and booked my first free session. I immediately felt at ease with Carla whose approach is relaxed, flexible, and (importantly for a self-critical person) both encouraging and light humoured.
When I first started my lessons, I was living abroad and travelling extensively with work. Having flexible Skype lessons enabled me to fit in language learning and to make progress although I couldn’t dedicate as much time to it as I would have liked. Carla also makes a big effort to help integrate Portuguese learning into everyday life – both to speed up progress and to make it less of a chore. For example, by trying to speak to my boyfriend in Portuguese for 10 minutes a day, to listen to Portuguese music, to watch Portuguese TV, to cook a Portuguese recipe etc.
After a year of learning Portuguese with Carla, I returned to Portugal to visit my boyfriend’s family. Although I still struggled to follow conversations (especially as culturally several people tend to speak at the same time AND very fast!) I felt much more engaged. In addition, I saw how much it meant to by boyfriend’s parents that I was making an effort to be part of the family.
I would highly recommend Carla to anyone wishing to learn European Portuguese.
Muito obrigada Carla! Bj Charlotte xCharlotte, 35
“After an extensive and rather fruitless search for a local teacher of Portuguese it was ‘magic’ to have found Carla via a search engine on the internet – I was getting desperate! Individual local teachers are non-existent (plenty if you want to learn Spanish !) and neither Bournemouth or Poole Colleges could help. Carla’s website is both interesting and imaginative … but I wondered how learning over the internet by means of SKYPE would work; I needn’t have worried at all ! I arranged the preliminary lesson and knew straight away that I had found the person I needed. My reservation about SKYPE as a means of teaching has completely gone – the lessons are as if we are in the same room and just as personal.
My reason and enthusiam in learning Portuguese is so that I can fully participate in day-to-day social life when I visit my good friends in Portugal. Previously, although understanding just a very little of what was being said around me, I felt self-conscious and ill-equipped to take part in any of the conversation myself. Carla is changing all that ! She is steadily encouraging me to overcome my reserve and to put my increased knowledge of Portuguese actually into words, which will be the key to my continuing progress.
To say that I am enjoying the lessons with Carla is an under-statement – I have been her ‘student’ for about six months now, a one hour’s lesson once a week and every moment of it is interesting and challenging. Carla has insight and knows instinctively how to ‘tailor’ the lessons to bring out the best in a student so that real progress is made. Carla’s own enthusiam and committment shows in every aspect of her teaching. An interesting example is that recently my ‘homework’ (different homework set every week) was to prepare, by listening and writing down what I could hear of the lyrics of a Portuguese Fado. I do a little of the set homework each day and I know that Carla will always be ready to give assistance throughout the week, if I need it.
The lessons are now having a greater emphasis on conversation in Portuguese – exactly what I need. Carla listens carefully, allowing me to make my own mistakes and encouraging me to recognise them and correct as I go along. This helps the flow of language, which she maintains with corrections interjected in a rhythmic manner.
As a teacher, Carla is very focused and her expertise is obvious. At the same time she is so friendly and we enjoy a lot of humour which helps me to feel relaxed as I progress. She uses all that is best technologically to act as aids to our lessons; for example audio recordings, making notes on words and phrases which I can see on screen …and always motivating to believe I can achieve my goals.
I hope that I can consider myself both Carla’s student and a friend – she is a superb teacher with whom I shall continue to have lessons. Muito Obrigada, Carla !”Sally, 54
“I am happy to have had the opportunity to learn Portuguese. Now that I’m living in Mozambique, this can help me speak and understand the people here. I’ve noticed a response among my co-workers, in my attempts to try to make conversation, this has created a lot of laughs and fun, but also the willingness of others to help me, this is helping to build my confidence.
Although it is difficult to learn the Portuguese language, especially the pronunciations, I enjoyed it a lot, and I will make my goal every day to learn something new. It has also inspired other people around me to do the same.
It would be my dream to someday be able to speak fluent Portuguese.
The fact that I only had one lesson a week shows that, a great teacher that Carla is since I have learned a lot, I really enjoyed our one in one classes, even though I was too nervous to start!
I hope we will be in touch in the near future.”Laura, 34
“During our lessons, Carla went above and beyond my expectations. She let the lessons run their natural flow at the same time focusing on explaining the grammatical and cultural points of expressions and rules. I greatly appreciate Carla’s flexibility and adaptability to my particular language level and the goals I have set – thank you very much for everything e até à próxima.”Agata, 24
“The decision to begin studying Portuguese for me was for work reasons. I tried to use books and DVD’s but unfortunately this was not providing me with the words, phrases and vocab that i needed to communicate in meetings and with my staff. Through the internet i found Portuguese with Carla.
Instantly in our demo first lesson, she understood my motives and reasons for studying portuguese and packaged the sessions around my aim.
Our lessons are fun, entertaining and enlightening. With every time we met up, our lesson structures were flexible enough that she would be able to assist with either something i had encountered during my work procedures or plan for an event that was coming up.
Within a couple lessons, i was able to begin to communicate with my staff, pick up on words and phrases in meetings and understand the just of what my clients concerns were.
12 months later now and i am able to converse with my staff, communicate in meetings, understand clients concerns without having to ask if they speak English.
Whether your decision is for personal or work related reasons, Portuguese with Carla will be able to package your lessons around what you are wanting to accomplish.
I highly recommend Carla, as a teacher, as a colleague but more importantly as a friend who I want to talk Portuguese with.”Tracy, 33
“I began studying Portuguese in January 2014 in preparation for the CIPLE exam. I felt I needed more practice and I came across Carla’s website. I had about 20 lessons with Carla, and did the exam in May, 2015. I am very happy to say that I passed the exam and I recommend Carla because her instructions and advice were very helpful. Moreover, she was very amiable and accommodating…and demanding! which I needed as I had to get my home-work done. Thank you, Carla. It was a pleasure working with you.”Maricelli, 50
“I’m learning Portuguese for personal interest. I started in 2006, when I had a few lessons in a language school in Santos, Brazil. I continued with lessons in the UK with a Brazilian teacher, who was good, and passed an OCR exam. I lost contact with the teacher in 2011 when she returned to Brazil.
I wanted to change and learn European Portuguese, because I think it is more precise. Also, I have been watching Portuguese TV (RTP) via the Internet.
It was not easy to find a suitable teacher. The local colleges only offer lessons at beginner level. I looked at short courses in Portugal, but they are expensive and inconvenient. I tried a language learning website and chose a teacher who was a university lecturer in Lisbon with good qualifications and reviews; unfortunately she wasn’t good at teaching Portuguese as foreign language, and spent too much time chatting in English.
Then I found Carla’s website, and things improved! I’ve already had ten lessons with Carla, a one-hour lesson each week, and I’m very much enjoying them. She really puts her heart and soul into her teaching.
My personal challenge is to understand a soap opera (telenovela) that I’ve been following on RTP since September. It’s called Água de Mar and is both entertaining and great practice for learning. It’s challenging because the actors speak rapidly, there’s background music, and vowels in European Portuguese are pronounced very quietly.
Carla is tailoring the lessons to help me achieve my target. For instance, I take a scene from the telenovela and write down the dialogue that I understand, and then Carla goes through it with me correcting and filling in. She is able to play the audio over Skype so that we can both hear it.
In each lesson we chat in Portuguese for 15 or 20 minutes. Carla speaks very clearly and I can understand her easily. She is also an attentive listener. We don’t use English in the lessons, except rarely to clarify a point.
I find it’s convenient to have lessons with Carla via the Internet. They don’t lack anything compared to lessons in person. Plus I don’t have to travel, spending time and petrol. (I had been travelling 30 minutes each way to get to lessons.)
Outside of the lessons, I do homework (trabalho para casa) each week, which I send to Carla by email. So although I’m only doing a one hour lesson per week, I am getting a lot of benefit. I’m learning Portuguese at a manageable rate alongside my work as a software developer.
Carla is very friendly and professional. She uses technology very well to support the lessons and the sound and video are excellent quality. Her use of audio recordings is better than in the face-to-face lessons I had. Carla is also good at motivating. (Only that I’m a little bit nervous of her in case I don’t do my homework!)
A friend of mine in Brazil, a lawyer, said that my Portuguese is improving a lot. Naturally, I am going to continue having lessons with Carla.”Richard, 60
“Carla is a gem! She’s patient, funny & fun, and give you information in bite-sized pieces so you learn easier. She pushes you— challenges you per se, but in an encouraging way. She puts in as much as you do if not more. Whoever wants to learn Portuguese should use Carla- she’s been great- enjoyed every minute. Obrigada Carla! A million thanks!”Niki, 28
“Learning Portuguese with Carla is always enjoyable, and I can thoroughly recommend studying with her! I’ve taken 10 lessons with her to date, and can honestly say I have learned a huge amount and that my Portuguese has improved significantly! Our lessons are always different, focusing on different language skills and Carla is such a positive and cheerful teacher, you cannot help but learn with her and improve. I definitely intend to continue taking lessons with her indefinitely as with her help I’m sure I can become fluent!”James, 39
“Carla is the perfect language teacher. She makes the lessons and coursework fun and engaging. The exercises are never boring, and with her patience and encouragement, she helped me start conversing in Portuguese on the very first day. I highly recommend Carla for learning Portuguese, even (or especially) if you think you’re “not good” at learning languages.”Joni, 33
“Learning Portuguese with Carla is being enjoyable and very rewarding. I have only done a month of classes, and I can see the improvements. She has a very flexible style and adapts herself to your needs. I personally need to learn Portuguese for Business needs, and she always try to relate everything we learn to my specific needs. Eu recomendo aprender Português com Carla.”Sara, 25
“I have had some 15 lessons with Carla and learning a lot of Portuguese with her.
Carla is a very good teacher who doesn’t just teach but also helps me to learn. The lessons or homework are never the same and always enjoyable.
Because Carla makes me learn what is associated with my daily routine, it is easier to understand. Also because Carla is always friendly, knowledgeable and fun, I enjoy my 2 hours a week with her very much.”Gordon, 61
“I found Carla via a web search and her site was very informative and professional.
She is very flexible with her time and will try and accommodate where possible, including weekend work if necessary. It is obvious Carla enjoys her work and her teaching style is very relaxed but professional and well organised.
It is my pleasure to recommend Carla as a Portuguese teacher.”Alan, 52
“I have been taking classes with Carla for about 2 months now and it has been a great ride so far.
She understands it perfectly how to pick you up at your current level of speaking and how to bring you to the next one. The equipment and technology (2 cameras, white board, useful Skype and online tools) she is using during our Skype lessons are very helpful.
In addition she has been very patient and understanding, especially at times when I couldn’t finish my homework on time :).
I can really recommend her to anyone who is aiming to improve their Portuguese with a teacher that is fun, knowledgeable and knows how to teach.”Alex, 26
“Carla is a very skilled teacher who structures the lesson around your reason for learning. I wanted to be able to communicate with my boyfriend’s family who only speak Portuguese. The lessons were a fantastic success and I was able to follow conversations and join in. It means so much to be able to speak and be understood and not have to wait for someone to translate for me. I would highly recommend Carla to anybody who wants to learn European Portuguese, whatever the motivation. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning with her!”Carla, 28
“A long time ago I studied Portuguese at University. I’m going to Portugal for my holiday and I wanted to study Portuguese again. I didn’t want to travel and I didn’t want to learn Brazilian Portuguese. I have a very busy life and when I found Carla’s website I found it very convenient. It was easy to book and pay. Carla is a very attentive and kind teacher and although have a lot to learn I now understand much more than before. I can recommend Carla without hesitation.”Liz
“Portuguese lessons on Skype with Carla are a pleasure; my pronunciation and understanding of the language, culture and country really have improved.”Andrew, 52
“My wife and I have been learning (European) Portuguese with Carla. We are a retired couple and are really enjoying sharing the challenges of learning a new language together.
Under Carla’s expert guidance and encouragement, we have made good progress and both of us have maintained our initial enthusiasm to learn.
Carla has proved to be a reliable tutor, and has a pleasing balance of professionalism and friendliness. Some of the advanced teaching techniques and learning aids that Carla employs have helped us to speed up the learning process, and they are not ones we have found in any other courses that we have considered.
Carla has an exceptionally clear voice, and her audio recordings of Portuguese words and phrases are clear, easy to listen to and can be particularly helpful if used in conjunction with flash cards.
Both my wife and I find the language tutoring Carla is providing to be personalised and professional, yet friendly, effective, and enjoyable. We have especially appreciated how Carla takes time to customise the structure of the course to suit her individual student.
It is not an exaggeration to say that learning ‘Portuguese with Carla’ has widened the scope of our lives, and we would fully recommend her to any who desire to learn the Portuguese language.”Stefan, 69
“Learning with Carla was great fun. It was refreshing to have a relaxed and entertaining teacher who keeps your learning targets on track.
She was strict but very supportive and was able to identify my strengths and weaknesses, and set clear goals depending on them. In only a couple of lessons I had learned useful parts of the language and I look forward to continuing them.”Stuart, 22
“I am enjoying learning a new language with Carla. She has all the qualities required of a good teacher. Carla is very lively and introduces new teaching techniques to assist my advancement in the Portuguese Language. Learning with Carla is very rewarding.”Linda, 64
“I asked Carla to teach me Portuguese in order that I could enjoy my holidays there fully. Her relaxed and informal style worked and I benefited immediately.”Paul, 55
“I was very nervous about trying to learn a new language but soon found it to be an enjoyable experience because of Carla’s ability to make it interesting. I feel I can use the lessons I learned to good effect in practise.”Julia, 53