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Level: Advanced (Level 3)Awarding Body: Edexcel

Why study Portuguese?


Portuguese is the third most widely spoken European language in the world, being the official language of nine countries in four different continents. For this reason, studying this language can be an open door of opportunities to work abroad in different areas such as tourism and oil industries, or NGOs in either Portugal, Brazil, East Timor or Africa.

Studying Portuguese can be socially important, especially if the student has an interest on following up a career working for an NGO or the environment.

Portuguese is compatible with all subjects and is of particular interest to those interested in the business world, tourism, renewable energy, literature, film, or journalism.

What can it lead to?

Studying Portuguese can lead to a career in teaching, translation or interpreting but also in law, diplomacy or business. Studying a modern European language spoken in four different continents will be ideal for those wanting to work in business (oil, building, sea, cotton, coffee, cork, fashion, design, shoe wear, agriculture or wine) but also work in the tourism industry (in Brazil, Portugal or Cape Verde) or in renewable industries.

How is the course organised?

Board: Edexcel

Level 3 Advanced GCE in Portuguese (listening, reading and writing) consists of three externally-examined papers that assess listening, reading and writing skills.

The course is assessed gradually by the teacher during the year in the form of essays, translations and individual projects.

Texts are drawn from contemporary sources such as magazines, newspapers, reports and books.

The classes are divided by using the four skills but focusing mainly on reading, writing and listening as there is no oral assessment, as well as a literary text.

Our lessons are inspiring and interesting. We focus on many different contemporary topics of the Lusophone world (Portuguese speaking countries) such as music, cinema, sports, gastronomy, and the different traditions and politics of all Lusophone countries (Portuguese speaking countries).

 The total assessment time is 2 hours and 30 minutes. The assessment is out of 80 marks

How is the course assessed?

Paper 1: Translation into English, reading comprehension and writing (research question) in Portuguese

Section A: Translation into English: An unseen passage to be translated from Portuguese to English.

Section B: Reading: A reading assessment based on a variety of text types and genres.

Section C: Writing (research question)

Paper 2: Translation into Portuguese and written response to works.

Section A: Translation into Portuguese: Students translate an unseen passage from English into Portuguese.

Section B: Written response to works (literary text: Capitães de Areia (Jorge Amado, 1937)

Section C: Written response to works (films: Que horas ela volta? (Anna Muylaert, 2005)

Paper 3: Listening, reading and writing in Portuguese

Section A: Listening comprehension

Section B: Listening, reading and writing questions

What do I need to qualify for this course?

The General entry requirements for A Level courses are six GCSEs grades 9-4, including a Grade 4 and above in English Language and grade 6 or above in the subject. 

Students who have travelled or worked in a Portuguese speaking country, as well as those who have an interest in politics and the traditions of the Lusophone world, will adapt easily to the course. Spanish speakers could also take this course after an initial assessment from Miss Simoes-Rodrigues.

All students must have a folder, an exercise book and stationary in every lesson.

Reading any book in Portuguese, or watching films will be helpful but it’s also recommended to take the time daily to read the newspaper such as or

Who are the teachers?

The teacher is called Isabel Simoes-Rodrigues [BA Honours degree in Spanish and English studies (Westminster University) and a MA in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies (King’s College London University).

Miss Rodrigues is particularly interested in Culture, especially Literature, but also in Modern Design, Gastronomy, Wine and Politics. She speaks four languages fluently, and is currently studying Italian.

College Contact: Further information can be obtained from Miss Isabel Simões-Rodrigues,

Portuguese teacher (

What do students say about this course?

"The Portuguese course has connected me closer with my home country. Our teacher, Ms Rodrigues, is extremely helpful and aims to help us succeed. I have improved my writing in Portuguese and English and my grades and knowledge."


"Our Portuguese teacher wants the best for us and wants us to achieve. From small things to big things, her main goal is to make sure we succeed and achieve a great grade in our exams."

"Portuguese is my 1st language and ever since moving to this country, my style and behaviour have been influenced by Britain. This has meant that over the years, as I learned to speak, read and write fluently in English I lost connection and the ability to speak Portuguese. I decided to sit the Portuguese GCSE exam in year 11 so I could then carry on with my studies in A Level. Taking up Portuguese at this level has been highly beneficial as I have been able to rekindle that connection with my mother tongue and further expand my verbal, analytical and listening skills. With this language I can work in big businesses in Europe, or work abroad as part of a ‘sandwich course’ for a degree in university. I love Portuguese because it allows me to have more job opportunities, but also to widen my horizons and meet new people."

"Portuguese as an A Level was fundamental to me as it enhanced my general awareness within a variety of themes, such as the history of Brazil, technology usage by children and hip-hop’s own Eminem. The texts and articles provided are all contemporary, which I thought was ideal as it gives us bi-lingual students the opportunity to express our views in today’s context. Finally, Portuguese students are at an advantage because they learn collectively, regardless of their ability."

"During my A Level Portuguese really helped me to improve my grammar which was my weakest point. Our teacher, Miss Rodrigues, was always inspiring and helpful, and always encouraged me to work to my best potential. Overall, I really enjoyed my time in the Portuguese lessons and wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. "

Extra Curricular

  • Newspaper:

  • Weekly current affairs podcast:

  • Literary criticism:

  • Film criticism:

  • Text books and grammars:

Portugues Atual, volumes 1 & 2

Gramática Ativa, 1 & 2