What Are The Different Levels Of Portuguese That I Can Study?

As with any academic course, learning a new language is offered at many different stages. If, at any time, you are unsure what level you are at in terms of your Portuguese language study, then complete a short proficiency test online or take a look at the guidelines below.

The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for Languages is an international standard for describing language ability. It describes language training on a six-point scale, from A1 for beginners, up to C2 for those who have mastered a language.

So, if you see these letters and numbers, then this may be an indication of your ability within the language. You can view the full framework and find out more about how it was created by visiting the Council of Europe's website.

Basic / Beginner

Anyone with pre-A1 knowledge and up to A2 on the CEFR scale is classed as a basic learner when it comes language instruction. This usually means that they have never studied the subject before or have completed less than 10 hours on learning the language. Learners working at this beginner level would do well starting with a course for absolute beginners.


Levels B1-B2 on the CEFR chart, this is usually the level you will achieve by studying a language at school. With this level of knowledge, you'll most likely know how to introduce yourself, to talk about your family, ask what the time is or discuss days of the week and your comprehension will generally be quite good, even if you can't always respond in a fluent manner.


As an advanced or fluent speaker of Portuguese, you will no doubt be able to get by with ease in general conversations with native speakers and may even know some more technical words and phrases as well as some of the colloquial slang language spoken by locals.

Having an advanced knowledge of Portuguese can help you to make friends with locals and to get by in most types of conversations and situations.
As an advanced speaker, you will be able to hold sophisticated conversations with natives and even make good friends. Photo on Visual hunt


You may be down as anything from an A1 to a B2 speaker but, in general, you have the basic skills in terms of vocab and grammar to hold a conversation in Portuguese. If you are close to being able to do this and simply wish to improve in this area due to going on holidays or short trips to Portugal and other Portuguese-speaking countries then you may like to search for a course that focuses on conversation skills.


As a business language expert or someone seeking this level, you will be on your way to learning the ins and outs of business Portuguese, including words that relate to a number of popular trades and industries like the financial sector, the engineering sector, the food trade business as well as much more.

For those who use Portuguese to deal with business contracts alone, they may wish to sign up to a class in this area. Such Portuguese classes in Cardiff will not only enable you to speak about work using business terms but they'll also help you to write courteous and correct emails.

However, building up a good bond with colleagues is always a good thing so a little bit of conversation could go a long way in winning them and their contracts over!

A knowledge of business Portuguese is highly recommended for those working in Portuguese-speaking countries or with Portuguese colleagues.
Business Portuguese will enable you to speak about work using corporate terms and to write professional emails. Photo on Visual hunt

Where To Study Portuguese?

Below are just some of the different Portuguese lessons you might find in the capital, with details on what you can expect to learn and how.

University of Westminster, Regent Street Campus, London

When? Evening classes, starting October
Level: Beginner

Part 1 is for you if you have no or little previous knowledge of Portuguese.
You can join Part 2 if you have studied Portuguese for about 20 hours.
You can join Part 3 if you have studied Portuguese for about 40 hours.

Each part individually for £235 (£260 after 16 September)
All three parts together for £530 (£585 after 16 September)

Course details:
"[These] Portuguese lessons follow a communicative approach to language teaching, focusing on the language you need to communicate in authentic situations with an emphasis on speaking and listening. [The] evening classes are taught by experienced language teachers who are native speakers of the language or equivalent."

Click here for more information.

Lingua Direta, Bloomsbury Square, London

When? Evening classes, starting October
Level: Beginner (group)

No previous training is required when signing up to this class, and the cost of the ten week, 20 hours-long course (plus 3 hours Saturday workshops) is £239.40 including VAT.

Course details:
"Portuguese Global International Academy of Portuguese offers specialised services of Portuguese teaching, through a team of native speaker professional teachers from Portugal and Brazil. [They] offer courses in London, Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, at our centres, offices and homes, through partners in Brazil and online training. [Their] courses of Brazilian and European Portuguese are taught in separate classes, covering all levels from beginner to advanced, and include special fast-track courses for Spanish speakers. [Their] typical learners are individuals learning Portuguese for personal or professional reasons with links to Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambiquea or other Portuguese speaking countries."

Click here for more information.

Imperial College London, London

When? Evening classes
Level: Beginner Brazilian Portuguese

Course details:
"This Brazilian Portuguese classes London aims to take complete beginners in the language to a level where they are able to understand basic written and oral communication as well as feel confident to express themselves in written and oral forms using familiar everyday expressions and basic phrases (level A1 of the Common European Framework). Students will be able to introduce themselves and others, ask and answer questions about personal details such as where they live, people they know and things they do and have. The course will provide students with the skills needed for basic everyday situations in a Portuguese-speaking environment. It covers all four basic skills – listening, speaking, writing and reading."

Click here for more information.

International House, London

When? Friday evening classes (10 weeks)
Level? Conversational Brazilian Portuguese

Course details:
"[These] Conversation Classes are a fun way to practice and improve your fluency with people alike: share your passion for languages and different aspects of culture. During the course you will have the opportunity to explore a variety of topics through interactive and communicative activities; special attention will also be paid to refining your pronunciation and intonation: sound like a native! The course is designed for those who are intermediate level or above. [The] evening language classes Belfast are dynamic, planned and delivered by qualified and experienced teachers, who will speak in the target language almost exclusively to allow for total immersion. If you have studied the language part-time for around three years or more, this course is for you."

Online Portuguese Lessons With A Tutor

One of the best ways to find an experienced Portuguese tutor and lessons is to consult Superprof, a leading platform for tutors and students to connect and form working partnerships. With the use of Superprof's user-friendly website, you can instantly locate tutors offering language services in your area, as well as those who are able to offer online tuition.

Furthermore, you can filter your search to show only native speakers, if you so wish, and can choose which level of education you require (i.e. primary school, college, adult education etc...) or simply which level you believe you are working at (beginner, intermediate or advanced).

Superprof has various listings for Portuguese tutors in the capital and beyond.
Who will be your next tutor? Visit Superprof's website to find out which tutors are available to teach you Portuguese right now! Photo on VisualHunt

Be sure to read about your prospective tutor and take advantage of the one free lesson policy so that you can get a feel for their teaching methods and work out if you think you will get along in a professional student-teacher manner. Remember, the cost does not always reflect the person's experience and qualifications (the cheapest tutors are not necessarily the least successful at teaching learners and the pricier ones are not always the top teachers) but, that said, you do get what you pay for so don't be reluctant to pay for a good tutor and then complain that you haven't learned what you had wanted to!

It is important to have a good relationship with your tutor so that you look forward to your Portuguese lessons with positivity instead of dreading each time you come into contact.

If you choose a tutor who does not live nearby, the chances are that they will set you work by sending you documents, and will also schedule some face to face catch ups via Skype or video call to ensure that you benefit from speaking and listening exercises as well as reading and writing work and quizzes.

Teachers of Portuguese Language Lessons, Take Note

On the flipside, if you are looking to offer Portuguese lessons in Edinburgh as opposed to signing up to them, then you may be wondering where and how you can do this.

If you are a trained, qualified teacher then you can look out for teaching posts at secondary schools, language schools, colleges or universities, depending on where your interests lie.

If, however, you are a Portuguese speaker or native and want to offer Portuguese lessons on a private basis, then why not consider signing up to an agency or platform for tutors like Superprof?

Need a Portuguese teacher?

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Laura is a Francophile with a passion for literature and linguistics. She also loves skiing, cooking and painting.