|ClicaBrasil is a website developed to teach the Portuguese language and Brazilian culture to intermediate/advanced language learners. Its multimedia resources and activities can also be used for autonomous language learning.|
ClicaBrasil is a result from my experience of more than 20 years teaching Portuguese at all levels in the U.S. When I was a novice instructor, I found there was a lack of authentic materials to teach listening and reading comprehension. I also felt the need for teaching materials that were less stereotyped and showed a more insider’s vision of Brazil, Brazilians and our culture. So I started to create my own materials, and they inspired me to do the website.
ClicaBrasil contains 157 videos that portray authentic and informal conversations between native Brazilian speakers (from different regions and all walks of life) and myself, a native Brazilian, born and raised in Rio de Janeiro. These conversations are unscripted and unrehearsed—i.e., characterized by normal speed delivery, repetitions, hesitations, interruptions, change of thoughts, use of slangs, colloquialisms, etc., common in everyday speech. Students’ listening comprehension is supported by embedded captions that transcribe the language (including its subtleties) used in the videos as well as guiding activities that prompt discussions and reflections on cultural knowledge and language forms. Apart from offering rich authentic input, these videos offer learners the opportunity to learn and “see” how Brazilians express their points of view about different topics related to Brazil and the Brazilians. Additionally, students can access rich cultural content and input for language acquisition from the authentic readings (e.g., song lyrics, magazine articles, and literary texts) provided in ClicaBrasil’s seven lessons.
The lessons have four integrated sections:
1. Pano de fundo (i.e., Backdrop), which familiarizes the user with the lesson’s specific sociocultural scenario.
2. Leitura (i.e., Reading), which presents an authentic reading text, such as song lyrics, magazine articles or crônicas.
3. Gramática (i.e., Grammar), which incorporates grammar lessons, explanations and exercises that help students understand and revise grammar in the context of the videos and the readings.
4. Aproximando o foco (i.e., Zooming in) offers critical thinking activities that provide an opportunity for students to explore the sociocultural aspects embedded in the readings and videos more extensively.
Each of these four sections contains several activities that hone language skills - reading, grammar, vocabulary, writing, listening and reading comprehension, oral competence – through exposure to Brazilian culture. In total, there are 335 different activities in ClicaBrasil. They are available through downloadable PDF files. All activities have an answer-key.
In addition to the lessons, ClicaBrasil provides a very comprehensive grammar bank, with concise explanations on Portuguese verbs (a major lacuna in existing Portuguese textbooks), and a Who’s Who section that briefly describes the video speakers’ socio-cultural background. Content is also made more accessible through the glossaries that accompany all readings, and the Portuguese transcription and English translation that accompany all videos. Students can choose to show or hide the transcription and/or the translation.