There are many reasons to study Portuguese. The phonetic and aesthetic appeal of the última flor do Lácio has a seductive quality, which leads curious students of Spanish to cross the threshold into their first “Portuguese for Spanish Speakers” class and attempt to wrap their lips, glottises, and soft palates around the language’s fifteen vowels. For those interested in Brazil’s sometimes elusive emergent economy or a career with the federal government, the status of Portuguese as a critical language provides them with all the impetus necessary to enroll. For others, Portuguese classes serve as the gateway to higher understanding of mixed martial arts, Carnaval, salted cod, caipirinhas, samba and futebol. In the realm of our Portuguese language and culture courses, the exotic becomes commonplace. Instructors help the students unlock the secrets of significant cultural symbols.
Despite Lusophony’s significance on the world stage, students often do not flock en masse to Portuguese courses, preferring to satisfy their language requirement elsewhere. Maintaining satisfactory enrollment in language classes, as well as a minor or major program, requires considerable efforts by Portuguese instructional faculty.
In this roundtable, instructors from a variety of institutions (R1, R2, baccalaureate, etc.) are invited to participate in a discussion on the development and maintenance of their Portuguese program. In this conversation, participants are encouraged to speak about their promotional efforts and tactics, their successes, and their challenges in terms of enrollment. Each participant will introduce him-, her-, or themselves and offer a description of their institution and program in an eight- to ten-minute presentation. The presentations will be followed by a discussion and moderated Q/A session of thirty to forty minutes.
Presentations and discussion may be conducted in Portuguese or English.
Joseph D. Pecorelli