My name is Graça - Grace if it is easier - and I am Portuguese.
I am a History and Archaeology Post-Graduate by the Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, and I also have a Teaching Post-Graduation by the same University. I also have the First Certificate (grade A) by the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.
I'm single, and other than teaching and learning, my interests are literature, music (I love Opera!), movies, and the outdoors. Portugal has beautiful spots you can go for natural beauty and solitude :)
I'm bilingual, my Father being Irish and my Mother Portuguese. In addition I have always loved idioms, and speak several: Portuguese, Spanish, French, English and a little Italian.
All through my learning years, I tutored younger students in any subject they needed (in Portugal, up to the 9th Grade, it's a common path) and I continued to do so as I went through College and until I had my first job as a teacher. I had excellent results, and that gave me great confidence.
I worked as a History and English teacher for some years, then as a Translator of English for 15 years. I translated novels, encyclopedias, science books, scientific studies and articles, just about anything. I worked for publishers and for individuals. I also proof-read for some University Professors.
Individual tutoring has got to be the dream of any teacher. It's the only way we can devote ourselves to the needs of that specific person and make it all about them, instead of having to tailor a class to fit 30 different individuals, which really means we fit none.
I start by asking my students what they would like to get from this tutoring, and ask them to be as detailed as they can about it: what they hope to achieve (doesn't matter if it seems doable or not, just say it), what they're afraid of, what they perceive to be their strong points and their weaknesses (if any).
Then I ask them what interests them, and what subjects would be more helpful in their lives: work related, perhaps? Or are you just looking to be able to keep a conversation on any subject - to actually speak the language?
Do you wish to travel? Do you need it for work? Do you have family or friends living in a Portuguese speaking country?
What interests you about Portugual? Would you like to see its Culture as a part of our Lessons? Its History? Its Music? I can do that easily.
Perhaps all you want is to speak the language, and that is fine as well :)
Where do you find the Portuguese you wish to learn? Books? TV? Internet videos or articles? Music?
All this helps me tailor fun lessons, that often include role-playing, and help me detect, on the spot, weaknesses that need work - areas of vocabulary, grammar, any skills that need tweaking.
So we will talk about all of this, and I'll get a sense of what your goals and objectives are, and tailor lessons accordingly.
Over time, I have learned that different people respond to different ways of learning, but some principles remain always true: the KISS principle, for example - Keep It Super Simple, with many examples and simple ones.
The first lesson - the free trial - will consist of informal conversation where both student and tutor will agree on what they will focus during the course of the lessons.
HOW IT WORKS
Basically, four sections are important: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. Each one is essential if you want to "speak" a language.
Within these, come Grammar and Vocabulary.
In order to make it fun and challenging, I will ask if I may send you materials - JPG files, which are images that any computer can open and that can be printed; PDF documents, so that you can read and/or print, and that can help us have more interactive lessons and most of all, have more fun :) And I'm working on videos as well.
However, your needs and hopes are my guiding compass throughout the whole process. They are the reason we are doing this, and I merely want to impart to you a better and more powerful way of achieving your goals!