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Toronto Catholic District School Board

Portuguese Studies
Bem-vindo! Welcome!
Welcome to Portuguese Studies at Dante Alighieri Academy!

Why Study Portuguese?
Portuguese is a Romance language that originated from Latin.  It spread worldwide in the 15th and 16th centuries as Portugal established a colonial and commercial empire, which spanned from Brazil in the Americas to Goa in India and Macau in China.  During that time, many Creole languages based on Portuguese also appeared around the world, especially in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. 
Today, Portuguese is one of the world’s major languages, ranked sixth according to number of native speakers (over 200 million).  It is the language with the largest number of speakers in South America and also a major lingua franca in Africa.  It is the official language of nine countries, including: Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe, Timor-Leste and S.A.R. of Macau.  In Canada, Portuguese is the mother language of a growing and vibrant Lusophone community (over 200,000).  Fifty-one percent of the population of Canada who report Portuguese as the mother tongue live in Toronto, primarily in city-core areas.
Portuguese at Dante Alighieri Academy
The Portuguese program will introduce students to the language, literature and culture of the Portuguese-speaking world.  Students will develop and enrich their command of the Portuguese language through intensive training in listening, reading, writing and speaking.  Moreover, students will be exposed to a variety of literary texts in Portuguese, namely, poetry, short stories, legends, novels and plays from the 19th and 20th centuries.  Students will discover the richness of the Lusophone world, including art, music, dance, cuisine, film, history and geography.  The Portuguese program at Dante aims to expose students to the language and culture of not only mainland Portugal, but also its autonomous Atlantic regions (Azores and Madeira), Brazil, the Lusophone African nations, and special regions of Asia (Goa and Macau).  Lastly, the program allows students to experience Portuguese within our very own city of Toronto where a vibrant Lusophone community exists. 
The International Languages Curriculum
Language is our principle means of communication.  As societies around the world become more closely linked through advances in technology, the ability to communicate in more than one language becomes increasingly important.  The study of languages helps students to express themselves with confidence and develops their ability to solve problems and to think creatively.  These skills enable students to analyse and use information from around the world and to communicate effectively in the international language both for business and personal purposes.
The International Languages program develops students’ oral communication and listening skills and enhances general learning skills.  Students who are multilingual also develop a greater sensitivity towards, and respect for, the diverse peoples who comprise the communities in which they live.  In addition, the interdisciplinary nature of language allows students to explore such related areas of study as history, geography, music, art, business, and world issues.  Knowledge of international languages allows students to communicate effectively, value diversity, and participate productively in the international community. 
To access the Ministry of Education Curriculum Documents for Classical & International Languages, click here.
What can I do with Portuguese after high school?
Portuguese Studies may be pursued at the post-secondary level. Students considering an undergraduate degree (major or minor) in Portuguese Studies may wish to consider programs available at both York University and the University of Toronto.  Some colleges, including, George Brown College offer elective courses in Portuguese.  The study of Portuguese helps prepare students for a variety of careers in areas related to: international business; business administration; kinesiology and health sciences; law; medicine; nursing; tourism; foreign and public service.  More specialized training allows students to consider positions in such areas as: teaching; translation; interpreting; journalism; publishing; graduate studies.  The study of languages contributes to expanding your horizons, connecting with other cultures and to building a distinctive personal profile.  Your ability to talk to native speakers of other world communities and gather information beyond the world of English will contribute to your uniqueness and help you to stand out among your peers.
​Portuguese Studies

Grade 10
Level 2 

Grade 11
Level 3​

Grade 12
Level 4​ 

Portuguese - Academic​ ​LWP BD1
Portguese - University​ LWP CU1​ LWP DU1​
Aspects of Portuguese Culture - University​ IDC 4UY​
LWP BD1 - Portuguese, Grade 10 / Level 2, Academic
The Level 2 Academic course is an introductory course appropriate for those students wishing to gain a solid understanding of the structures, culture, and literature of the language, and who may be considering pursuing language studies at the post-secondary level.  This course provides students with the language learning experiences that will enable them to communicate in Portuguese.  Students will continue to develop and apply their speaking skills in a variety of contexts, and will participate in activities that will improve their reading comprehension and writing skills.  They will also continue to explore aspects of the culture of countries where Portuguese is spoken, by taking part in community-sponsored events and activities involving both print and technological resources.  This course is designed to simultaneously serve all of the learning expectations mandated in the Curriculum Policy Document for Level 1 and Level 2 studies.
Please Note: The Level 2 Academic course is designed for both Native and Non-Native speakers of Portuguese.  It is appropriate for beginners and for students who speak or understand Portuguese, but have not formally studied the language.
Prerequisite:  None
LWP CU1 - Portuguese, Grade 11 / Level 3, University Preparation
The Level 3 University course is appropriate for students wishing to continue their study of the language in preparation for studies at a post-secondary institution. This course offers students opportunities to further develop their knowledge of Portuguese and to enhance their communication skills. Students will use increasingly sophisticated language in a variety of activities that will enable them to speak and write with clarity and accuracy. Students will enhance their thinking skills through the critical study of literature, and continue to explore aspects of the culture of countries where Portuguese is spoken including art, music, theatre, film, geography and history. Students will continue to expand their vocabulary and repertoire of language structures.
Prerequisite:  LWP BD1 - Portuguese, Grade 10 / Level 2, Academic or Prerequisite Waiver Form (Permission of the Instructor)
LWP DU1 - Portuguese, Grade 12 / Level 4, University Preparation
The Level 4 University course prepares students for university studies in the Portuguese language.  Students will enhance their ability to use the language with clarity and precision, and will develop the language skills needed to engage in sustained conversations and discussions, understand and evaluate information, read diverse materials for both study and pleasure, and write clearly and effectively.  Students will enhance their thinking skills through the critical study of literature which includes reading a selection of articles, short stories, poems, plays and a novel.  Students will also have opportunities to add to their knowledge of the culture of countries where Portuguese is spoken through the use of community resources and computer technology. 
Prerequisite:  LWP CU1 - Portuguese, Grade 11 / Level 3, University Preparation
IDC 4UY - Interdisciplinary Studies: Aspects of Portuguese Culture, Grade 12, University Preparation
This course provides students with an overview of the development of Portuguese culture and civilisation from pre-Roman times to the present-day with Portugal as a member of the European Union.  This course enables students to acquire an insight into contemporary Portugal through literary works and film and to understand this country’s distinct identity.  Moreover, this course presents an overview of the culture of the countries where Portuguese is spoken, namely Brazil, Angola and Mozambique.  Art, music, dance, theatre, cuisine, film and literature are studied in addition to historical and cultural movements in order to gain a perspective of the uniqueness of Portugal both within Iberia and in Europe in general. 
Please Note: This course is taught in English.  Knowledge of Portuguese is not required.
Pre-requisite:  Any university or university/college preparation course.
Certificate In Portuguese Language
The Toronto Catholic District School Board grants language certificates to students upon graduation.  These certificates recognize the accomplishment of students who complete the International Languages secondary school programme.  These certificates can be an excellent reference when applying for a job or when entering specific courses of study at the post secondary level.  In order to be eligible for the PORTUGUESE CERTIFICATE, students must successfully complete:
Portuguese, Grade 12 (Level 4), University Preparation (LWP DU1)
Pre-requisite: Portuguese, Grade 11 (Level 3), University Preparation (LWP CU1)
Steven Silva
M.A. (Candidate), B.A. (Hons.), B. Ed., Certificate of Proficiency in Italian & Portuguese Language, York University
Level I, I/II and II Classical Ballet, NBS
Secondary Teacher
Dante Alighieri Academy
Department of Modern Languages & Arts
60 Playfair Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M6B 2P9
Tel: 416-393-5522     VM: 84890
Fax: 416-397-6123
Research Interests:  Second language teaching, 17th and 19th-Century French literature, Portuguese linguistic varieties, Lusophone culture, Portuguese immigration to Canada, drama and dance education
Specialized Courses:  Portuguese language, Interdisciplinary Studies and Dance
The Portuguese Studies program at Dante will introduce students to the language, literature and culture of the Portuguese-speaking world.  Students will develop and enrich their command of the Portuguese language through intensive training in listening, reading, writing and speaking.  Courses in Portuguese language are available from Grade 10 through Grade 12 at both the Academic and University levels.
A Language Placement Test will be administered to place students into the appropriate course.
A Certificate in Portuguese Language is granted upon graduation for students who complete the Grade 12 / Level 4 course.
More information is available on the Dante Website or from Guidance.
New course offering … Aspects of Portuguese Culture, Grade 12, University (IDC4UY)
  • Why do 230 million people speak Portuguese around the world?
  • Portugal is said to possess many riches, so why has no one heard about them? 
  • How did the Portuguese end up in India, Macau and East Timor?
  • Why is Port wine world-famous?  What about the 101 ways to cook codfish?
  • The Romans, the Moors, the Spanish – Where did Portugal come from?
  • An earthquake in Lisbon?  What happened?
  • What do pilgrimages, festivals, carnivals and fairs have in common?
  • Why does Brazilian Portuguese sound different from European Portuguese?
  • What does Angola have to do with martial arts and dance in Brazil?
  • The Portuguese and soccer – Euro Cup, World Cup – What’s happening?
  • “Blindess” – the movie – Did you know that the story was written by Portugal’s only Nobel Prize Winner?
If you would like to explore the answers to these questions and much more, consider enrolling in our new Grade 12, University course entitled “Aspects of Portuguese Culture” (IDC 4U).  This Interdisciplinary course will be taught in English, no knowledge of Portuguese is required.  Explore Portuguese culture from pre-Roman times to the present-day!
Please speak with Mr. Silva for more detailed information about Portuguese Studies.