The Catholic University of America

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Course Descriptions 

PORT 201: Introduction to Portuguese Language and Culture (3.00 Credits)   

Portuguese 201 is a basic-level integrated skills language and culture course. It emphasizes the development of reading, writing, listening, and speaking abilities within a cultural context. You will also learn communication strategies. Students will participate in pair, small-group and whole-class activities that focus on the meaningful and accurate exchange of information. Although the class is mostly in Portuguese, no previous knowledge or studies of Portuguese language will be required.

PORT 300: Portuguese for Spanish Speakers (3.00 Credits) 

Since Spanish and Portuguese share much in common, this course is an accelerated introduction to Brazilian Portuguese for students with a command of Spanish. The usual two-semester sequence is covered in one. Areas of specific emphasis are the sound structure of Portuguese, pronunciation, conversational ability and the lexical, syntactical and grammatical differences between Portuguese and Spanish. Students will develop the four skills of speaking, aural comprehension, reading and writing Portuguese. The Port 300 course gives you the tools you need to acquire vocabulary and grammar structures while building confidence in comprehending and speaking Portuguese and learning about the rich variety of cultures in the Portuguese-speaking world. Class will be conducted exclusively in Portuguese and will largely be devoted to activities in which you use the language.  Counts for the Spanish major/minor.

PORT 330: Carnival and Samba in Brazilian Literature and Film (3.00 Credits) 

In Brazilian society, Carnival and Samba are unique cultural phenomena and have become symbols of national identity. They have not, however, been without controversy. Samba, once an outlawed musical form, rose meteorically to national prominence in the 1930s through unprecedented circumstances and the union of uncommon bedfellows. This musical form provides the background for the yearly Carnival celebration. Many scholars, however, have criticized Carnival as a mechanism of social control: one week of jubilation and a temporary inversion of the traditional social order justify a year's worth of poverty and misery. Likewise the treatment of Carnival as a metaphor in literature throughout the 20th century has gone from subtle to overt criticism as Brazil experienced two dictatorships and increased disillusionment over the direction of the nation. This course will be taught in English.