I signed up for Mia’s course a few days ago. Prior to the pandemic arriving, my husband Shawn and I were planning to visit Portugal to celebrate his 50th birthday. We wanted to stay a couple of months. That trip has been postponed but is still planned for later this year, we hope! Anyway, I had been studying Portuguese via a book on European Portuguese that seems good but is beyond my skill set right now. I was/am also using Duolingo for Portuguese, but it is Brazilian and so the pronunciations are very different. We listen to Antenna 2 every evening and when the speaking comes on I struggle to make heads or tails of it…my other language studies have been in French, Italian and Spanish (very simple understanding in these languages, no fluency or even great skill). But the sounds of Portuguese baffled me completely, to my ear it sounded more like Russian than any other language I had studied…I was really boggled. I am working on your free kickstart program and also bought the introduction offer. It’s my first time trying online tutoring. I’m SO glad I did. I am already picking out words now on Antenna 2, words I couldn’t “hear” before because I was so lacking in an understanding of pronunciation. Now I already have more confidence, and am feeling the delight of picking up on things, where accents fall, which aids in pronunciation, finding patterns. Really getting into the learning!
I don’t know that I can ever become fluent, but I am eager to continue practicing and hope when we come to Portugal next year for an extended stay that we can find a language course to take during our time there. If we are lucky to stay even longer in Portugal, we will keep up with our studies and who knows… So that is my “very long” story about how Mia’s course has changed my approach and abilities with learning Portuguese (a language where the pronunciation made my courage flag!!). Simply listening to a native speaker clearly explain simple details has opened up my understanding and ability to start piecing together things. Now I can deduce where the accent should fall, whether the letter at the end should be silent or have a “sh” sound. These are small changes, but I feel like it opens up my confidence. Mainly because something I found totally confusing (why does the s sound like Sh or how come some t’s sound like “ch” as in cheese?) is now being decoded. A good teacher is really something special!!! I will be continuing with my studies with Mia’s further lessons. I’m very glad to have stumbled upon your site and can’t wait for my husband to get to try the courses as well. Obrigada!