Learning Línguas

Sao Paulo through my eyes

Sao Paulo through my eyes

If you’ve been following this blog, you already know that LogicPrep has been working hard down in Brazil.  We’ve recently opened up our office location in São Paulo, where – just like in New York – our Brazilian students are busy with lessons and practice tests preparing for the upcoming April and June ACTs (and the SAT II Subject Tests).  For the past six weeks, I’ve been one of the lucky tutors to be a part of the action in our South American operation… which means I’ve been one of the lucky tutors to work and live in the tremendous city of São Paulo.    

Exploring a new city, never mind one in a new country, is always exciting.  There are new foods to eat, new restaurants to try, new attractions to visit, new people to meet… the list goes on and on. Living in a new place, instead of just visiting, also allows you to soak up its flavors and feelings, rather than forcing you to hurriedly check its highlights off your bucket list.  Get excited, those of you who are currently preparing for college – this is exactly what you have in store for your next four years!

One of the most exciting – and challenging – parts of living in Brazil has been learning to speak Portuguese.  While I was still in New York, I began meeting with a tutor once a week to establish a foundation of the language, which I’ve continued to build upon in my time living in São Paulo.  It’s been a while since I’ve studied something so new, and the experience has been a good reminder of what it’s like to be on the other side of the tutoring table.  It’s also been a fascinating opportunity to see different learning styles in action.  For example, I’m an extremely visual learner, and so I often have to see a word written down before I can successfully incorporate it into my vocabulary.  Meanwhile Adam, the other LP tutor currently working in São Paulo, can usually learn new words just by hearing them and using them a few times in conversation.  I’d be curious to know what the learning process of our resident language guru, David, is like!

Every day is different with Portuguese – sometimes, I feel like I can communicate well, and others, I barely know more than “Bom dia.”  I suppose that’s the case with learning anything new, though.  Just gotta keep practicing – learning pouco a pouco!

-Gretchen H

I often use menus, signs, and Brazilian Instagram accounts in order to learn new words.

I often use menus, signs, and Brazilian Instagram accounts in order to learn new words.