If you’ve placed bets against me in my 12-week quest to learn Portuguese, the odds are looking in your favor.
I admit, I am well off track in my language learning journey. Between my work schedule, personal life and planning for Brazil — not to mention my bingeing on Gilmore Girls — I’ve let my Portuguese practices fall between the cracks.
So in an effort remedy my laziness and tendencies to get distracted, and to put my knowledge to the test, I enrolled in a live tutoring session with a native speaker earlier this afternoon. I thought about canceling at the last minute (again, blame it on my laziness), but I decided I might as well get the most out of my money and if something were to go terribly wrong, I’m sure you guys would want to hear all about it.
Spoiler alert: nothing bad happened. I didn’t throw up, forget everything I learned, or sound too American (at least, I don’t think I did).
Our instructor’s name was Miguel and he kind of looked like Ricky Martin (sorry Miguel; I promise it’s a compliment). Side note: can I just tell you how much more exciting but also difficult it is to pay attention when your tutor looks like an attractive pop star? And let me take a moment to appreciate his accent when calling on me to answer a question… If I can schedule sessions specifically with Miguel, I’m sure I’ll be fluent in the next week.
There were three other students interrupting my study date with Miguel. From what I could gather, we were all at the same level, which was nice and helped ease my nerves.
The sessions are about 25 minutes long. All dialogue is strictly in Portuguese and we were blessed enough to have Miguel on webcam. This particular tutoring session only covered up to the second lesson in unit one, so I found it really easy. Miguel showed us a picture and asked us questions about the photo in Portuguese, to which we would respond in Portuguese. Whenever somebody struggled in a response, he would coach us through and type out any new words we may not have known yet.
Thanks to Miguel, I’ve learned my new favorite Portuguese phrase: Eu não sei (I don’t know).
One interesting thing that did happen was that right as Miguel was asking me a question, my connection failed and I was booted from the class. Fortunately, I was able to sign back in without a problem and finish the session with his beautiful smile.
Overall, the brief tutoring session was actually kind of fun. I like the challenge of not speaking English and concentrating on the words and pronunciations from a native speaker. If my schedule cooperates, I want to try to book a live session each week… hopefully with Miguel.
Along with that, I think I’m going to start posting weekly updates on my learning progress in addition to my regular postings. It’ll be a stretch for me to post twice a week, but I do want to put more effort into my blogging.
Think I can do it? If you’re saying no, I must remind you that Miguel is on my side and now that I’ve screen captured his face and made it my desktop background I don’t think anything can stop me.