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PGB1: Use of Portuguese

This paper is available for the academic year 2023-24.


This paper aims to help you consolidate and develop your command of Portuguese in all four skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening), with a particular focus on advanced grammar and writing skills. The paper builds upon your prior knowledge of the language, acquired in your A-Level (or equivalent) course or in the Cambridge ab initio course.

Aims and objectives: 

If you attend all classes and complete all the set work, by the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Write in Portuguese with a very high level of accuracy, both in simple and more complex structures.
  • Have the vocabulary to discuss topics of general (non specialised) nature with a good level of precision.
  • Have an awareness of register, even though you may not always reflect this aspect adequately in your linguistic choices.
  • Understand intermediate and advanced level texts of a general (non specialised) nature.
  • Translate authentic non-specialist texts from English into Portuguese showing some sensitivity to the natural flow of the language, even though certain difficult words may need to be paraphrased.
  • Have familiarity with some aspects of the culture of the Portuguese-speaking world.
  • Meet the standards of Level B2 (and some of Level C1) of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
Course materials: 

In this paper we work with a combination of books, class handouts and online materials. Recommended advanced books: "Português Via Brasil - Um curso avançado para estrangeiros", Emma Eberlein O. F. Lima and Samira A. Iunes, EPU, 2013 / "Lusofonia - Level 2", A. Avelar and H. Dias, LIDEL (Livro do Aluno and Caderno de Exercícios; latest edition).

This course has a CamTools website where you will find most course materials, including the syllabus, grammar sheets, worksheets, past papers and links to extension material on the web.

Teaching and learning: 

This paper is taught in a weekly class. The class is designed to encourage the active use of the language in reaction to both spoken and written Portuguese. Your knowledge of grammar and syntax will be reinforced and built upon, and you will be shown how to extend your vocabulary and improve your writing style.

In addition, you will be offered a Language with Oral Component supervision by your College to support the work done in class and to prepare you for the B Oral exam.


This paper is assessed in a three-hour exam. The exam consists of a variety of linguistic exercises, divided into two sections:

Section A (45%): grammatical exercises and a translation from English into Portuguese (a passage of 150-200 words).

Section B (55%): a text in Portuguese (700 words maximum) with related vocabulary and writing questions to test your reading comprehension skills and ability to summarise and write an argued response to the text.

The exam is designed to assess:

  • Your understanding of grammar, syntax and vocabulary;
  • Your translation skills;
  • Your reading comprehension skills;
  • Your ability to summarise an argument clearly;
  • Your ability to respond critically to a text;
  • Your inventiveness with writing and argumentative skills by means of a guided composition in reaction to a text.
Course Contacts: 
Mr Felipe Schuery