15+ Portuguese Courses That Cover European Portuguese

By | Last updated: August 4, 2020

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It may feel like there aren’t many courses for learning European Portuguese, especially when you compare it to the number of Brazilian Portuguese resources, but there are actually more than 15 different courses and textbooks available.

And, that’s before we get onto podcasts, apps, and other helpful resources.

That’s right! You don’t have to come and take a course in Lisbon or Porto to study European Portuguese — although that would be a lot of fun– you can now study European Portuguese online from wherever you are in the world.

Most of these textbooks and courses correspond to the 6 stages of the CEFR scale which starts at A1 at the absolute beginner level, followed by A2, B1, B2, C1, and finally ends on C2 at the fluent level.

Ready to aprender Português? In no particular order, here are all the courses that specifically cover Portuguese from Portugal and that you can study from home.

European Master Course

Mia learn european portuguese
  • Levels: A1, A2, B1, B2
  • Type: Online Streaming Video Lessons
  • Cost: From $69 for individual courses or $269 + VAT for a bundle.
  • Link: learn-portuguese.org

Mia Esmeriz is a Portuguese language teacher from Porto, with a Masters in teaching Portuguese As a Foreign Language from Porto University. She is a native speaker and has been teaching Portuguese for more than 10 years, both online and offline.

Mia offers video-based courses that cover A1, A2, B1, and B2 Portuguese. Each level (e.g. A1 or A2) has around 10 videos, and each video is somewhere between 40 and 60 minutes long, so there’s quite a lot of information in each course. The videos have a strong focus on grammar, but also cover vocabulary and essential phrases, and have mini games, quizzes, and songs to break things up.

Courses can be purchased individually or as a bundle, and there’s a discount if you purchase them in a bundle: the A1, A2, B1, and B2 4-course bundle is 15% cheaper than purchasing them all individually.

Mia european Portuguese discount

As well as the A1-B2 courses, Mia also offers additional like her Speech Course which focuses on real-life pronunciation.

Read Reviews of European Portuguese Master Course

Michel Thomas Total Portuguese

total portuguese michel thomas
  • Levels: Foundation Portuguese, Intermediate Portuguese
  • Type: Audio Course
  • Cost: ~ $152
  • Link: MichelThomas.com or Amazon

Michel Thomas’ Total Portuguese is an audio course that takes you from beginner to intermediate over the course of several CDs or MP3s. Each lesson is quite short, usually less than 10 minutes long, and it includes a mini lesson and then a section where you (and the students in the class) try to put what you’ve learned into practice to form sentences.

The course is both interactive and practical and, by the end, you should have a good foundational level of Portuguese as well as the confidence to begin creating sentences and speaking with native Portuguese speakers.

According to the Michel Thomas website, the Start course is equal to A1, the Foundation course is equal to A2 and the Intermediate course is equal to B1, but “for the listening and speaking skills only: reading and writing also needs to be learnt separately.” The Total course covers start to Intermediate.

Read Reviews of Michel Thomas Portuguese

Pimsleur’s European Portuguese

Pimsleur European Portuguese
  • Levels: Level 1
  • Type: Audio Course
  • Cost: $119.95
  • Link: Pimsleur.com

Pimsleur is a popular course that, like the Michel Thomas method, is entirely audio-based. The focus is on repetition, but also learning to create your own simple sentences. It’s ideal for listening to in the car, on a bus, or while walking the dog.

The course’s biggest strengths are that it’ll get you comfortable at forming your own sentences, and, like Michel Thomas, it’s great for building your confidence – which is very important in the beginning.

Pimsleur can be downloaded as MP3s, or streamed through its iOS and Android apps, or you can buy the CDs from Amazon.

One of the biggest drawbacks of Pimsleur’s European Portuguese course is that it only goes to Level 1. In comparison, Pimsleur’s Brazilian Portuguese goes to level 5. Because of this, many people who complete the European course find themselves lost and unsure which course to progress to next.

Pimsleur doesn’t state what level on the CEFR scale Level 1 corresponds to, but it would be equivalent to A1 level (in listening and speaking). Because it’s audio-based, it doesn’t have a writing and reading component.

Read Reviews of Pimsleur European Portuguese

Portuguese Academy

Portuguese Lab Academy is a comprehensive online learning academy that mixes videos with scripted dialogues with quizzes, vocab flashcards, and grammar exercises.

This pricing of Portuguese Lab Academy is slightly different than most of the other courses. Portuguese Lab Academy works on a monthly subscription price, whereas it’s a one-time fee with most of the other courses.

Get Started in Portuguese: Absolute Beginner Course

get started in european portuguese
  • Levels: A1, A2
  • Type: Book & CD
  • Cost: ~ $30
  • Link: Amazon.com

Get Started in Portuguese is part of the Teach Yourself series, a series of books similar to the “For Dummies” books. The book is written by Sue Tyson-Ward, who has written several books about learning both European and Brazilian Portuguese.

This book and accompanying CD are designed to take absolute beginners to an A2 level of Portuguese (or solid Novice High proficiency level of ACTFL).

Plataforma de Português Online

Plataforma-de-Portugues-Online

Plataforma de Português Online is a free online course that covers European Portuguese levels A1, A2, B1, and B2. It’s good considering that it’s free, but unfortunately the site can be incredibly slow (or not work at times) and it definitely has its limitations.

It’s a nice addition to any of the other courses, particularly for vocab, but it probably won’t be enough on its own.

ELearning from the Camões Institute

The Camões Institute offers a number of distance-based courses in European Portuguese. You can either study by yourself at the basic level or, if you go for the premium option, you get some interaction with a tutor.

The Camões Institute also have a range of Portuguese courses for specific purposes including Portuguese for BusinessIntroduction to Legal PortugueseCreative Writing – AdvancedJournalistic Writing, and Portuguese for the Hotel Branch.

E-LOCAL from the University of Coimbra

elocal coimbra university
  • Levels: A1
  • Type: Web App
  • Cost: €20
  • Link: ces.uc.pt

E-LOCAL is an EU initiative between several EU countries where you can study an A1-level course in Dutch, Finnish, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, and Portuguese.

The website is extremely dated and the course content is quite basic. If you’re a student at the University of Coimbra, you can access the course for free, but otherwise you’ll have to pay €20 for one year of access.

Another downside is that the course only covers the A1-level, unfortunately, so, if you take this course, you’ll need to find another course that covers A2 levels and up.

Ponto de Encontro: Portuguese as a World Language

ponto de encontro textbook cover
  • Levels:
  • Type: Book & Website
  • Cost: $150
  • Link: Amazon.com

Ponto de Encontro is the Portuguese textbook used at several major universities including Berkeley, Texas, and Harvard. This book looks at Portuguese as a world language — it doesn’t specifically focus on European Portuguese, and is designed in a way that both Brazilian and European Portuguese learners can learn Portuguese from the same textbook.

For the book itself, the cost isn’t prohibitive (usually it’s around $20), but when you factor in the cost of the access card which gives you access to videos, audio, and other teaching material on Pearson’s MyLab, the cost jumps to around $150.

Colloquial Portuguese: Beginner’s Course

colloquial portuguese textbook cover
  • Level: Beginner
  • Type: Book with accompanying CDs or MP3s
  • Cost: $43/£34
  • Link: Amazon.com

Colloquial Portuguese: Beginner’s Course contains 13 lessons, as well as a guide to pronouncing Portuguese words. The book covers Portuguese for common situations (such as going to the supermarket) while also delving into Portuguese grammar at the same time.

If you buy the textbook, but it doesn’t come with a CD, you can stream the audio MP3s at routledgetextbooks.com.

Colloquial Portuguese doesn’t say which level on the CEFR scale it takes you to but, as it only offers 13 lessons, it’s likely to be around A1.

Português em Foco

portugues em foco book
  • Levels: A1, A2
  • Type: Textbook with CD
  • Cost: ~ $36
  • Link: Lidel.pt or Amazon

Português em Foco is a textbook and CD combo that covers A1 and A2 Portuguese. The book contains texts, grammar exercises, and a list of useful expressions and vocabulary.

Passaporte para Português

passaporte para portugues textbook cover
  • Levels: A1, A2, B1
  • Type: Textbook
  • Cost: ~ $45
  • Link: Amazon

Passaporte para Português is a course that aims to take Portuguese language learners from absolute beginner to B1 level in around 180 hours of study – equivalent to an hour a day for six months.

Two books are available: one covers A1 and A2 level Portuguese, and another covers B1 level Portuguese.

Dialogar em Português

dialogar em portugues textbook cover
  • Levels: A1, A2
  • Type: Textbook with CD
  • Cost: $32/£25
  • Link: Lidel.pt

Dialogar em Português covers A1 and A2 level Portuguese. Like most other courses at this level, the lessons are structured around everyday situations such as eating out at a restaurant, transport, and shopping.

Olá! Como está?

ola como esta textbook cover
  • Levels: A1, A2, B1, B2
  • Type: Textbook with CD
  • Cost: £43
  • Link: Lidel.pt

Olá! Como está? covers levels A1 – B2. The package includes an audio CD.

Aprender Português

aprender portugues 1 texbook cover
  • Levels: A1, A2, B1, B2
  • Type: Textbook with CD
  • Cost: ~ $50
  • Link: Wook.pt

Aprender Português is a series of books that covers levels A1/A2, B1, and B2. Each level is supported with exercise books and a CD.

Avançar em Português

avancar em portugues textbook cover
  • Levels: B2
  • Type: Textbook with CD
  • Cost: $14/£25
  • Link: Lidel.pt

Avançar em Português covers B2 level Portuguese. The coursebook is accompanied by a CD.

Português Atual

portugues atual textbook cover
  • Levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2
  • Type: Textbook with CD
  • Cost: Around $33 per level
  • Link: Lidel.pt

Português Atual is a series of textbooks (with a CD) that covers each of the levels in the CEFR framework. It’s one of the few resources that covers the C1 and C2 levels of European Portuguese.

Book one, Português Atual 1, focuses on A1/A2 Portuguese. Book 2, Português Atual 2, focuses on B1/B2. Book 3, Português Atual 3, focuses on levels C1 and C2.

Other Resources

The materials above are all structured courses, but sometimes you need other resources like podcasts, simple books, and vocab apps to help you with your learning. This is especially true if your course is strong on one or two areas (like grammar or listening) but not so strong in others.

Here are three suggestions:

  • Practice Portuguese – A podcast and learning studio with lots of interesting conversations complete with transcripts.
  • Italki – A place to find Portuguese tutors for individual lessons over Skype or just conversational practice. Other similar sites include Preply and Verbling.
  • HelloTalk – A tandem exchange app where you can connect with native Portuguese speakers who are learning your language and correct each other’s mistakes.

And, be sure to have a read of the following articles on Portugalist as well:

FAQs

Which course is best?

Unfortunately, there’s no perfect course and each of these language courses has its own strengths and weaknesses. Many people like the Michel Thomas or Pimsleur courses, for example, because they build your confidence and get you constructing sentences quickly, but they lack a reading and writing component. That said, the reviews from previous students give an indication of which ones are in fact best.

Which courses are free?

Currently the only course that’s free is the Plataforma de Português Online from the Alto Comissariado para as Migrações (Portuguese government). While the course is good, particularly because it’s free, it isn’t as easy to use as most of the paid courses.

What to read next

Or read all of the articles about learning Portuguese

8 thoughts on “15+ Portuguese Courses That Cover European Portuguese”

  1. OF COURSE YOU’RE THE BEST TEACHER TO MY OPINION
    OF EUROPEAN PORTUGUESE. I ALREADY FELL IN LOVE
    WITH THE BEAUTIFUL LANGUAGE. YOU’RE GENIUS
    FOR SURE. ATE LOGO.

    NURE.

    Reply
  2. Hi 🙂 thank you for adding my course Learn European Portuguese Online to this resource list! I would just like to add that I now have level B1 out for intermediate students and I am currently working on level B2. I hope everyone that opts to do my course, enjoys it! Muito obrigada 🙂
    Mia from Learn European Portuguese Online

    Reply
  3. I have done the Pimsleur European Portuguese curse ad I found it really useful because I downloaded it onto my phone and I listen to it in the car very easily. Are there any other courses available that can download and be used as easily? What happens after lesson 30 on Pimsleur? Is that it?

    Reply
    • Hi Jo,

      Unfortunately that’s it for Pimsleur. They only have one level for European Portuguese.

      There are other good courses out there, but I think Pimsleur is definitely the most suited to driving or using in the gym. Michel Thomas may be worth looking at.

      The Practice Portuguese podcast is a good resource to look at as well, but it doesn’t get you interacting in the same way that Pimsleur does.

      Reply
  4. Sue Tyson-Ward put out another book, “Beginning Portuguese: With Two Audio CDs” which is in the “Practice Makes Perfect” series and is an updated version of her older book with cassettes called “Time for Portuguese”. It’s definitely NOT like her “Basic Portuguese” which is closer to a grammar workbook; no dialogues or audio recordings, as you’ve noted.

    Here’s the link on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Practice-Makes-Perfect-Beginning-Portuguese/dp/0071753419

    Apart from the fact that it has recordings of the dialogues and some exercises on the CDs, it’s organized rather like “Get Started in Portuguese” in the “Teach Yourself” series as each chapter has an introductory dialogue followed by brief explanations of grammar and a few exercises.

    I actually like “Beginning Portuguese” as a self-instructional primer for European Portuguese as there are 60 short chapters which can be each worked out within 30 minutes of good but leisurely studying. You get a decent sense of accomplishment clearing a chapter. Lastly, even though it’s focused on European Portuguese and all of the dialogues use Portuguese natives rather than Brazilians, Tyson-Ward does add remarks in the vocabulary lists and notes where Brazilian usage differs from European.

    Reply
  5. Perhaps worth adding that the Universities of Lisbon and Porto offer a Summer Course in Portuguese ( all levels from beginners up ) for Foreigners.
    Lasting three or four weeks, I think. ( Just google to find dates etc. ~you enroll online.)
    Very well taught ( regular University lecturers ) and excellent value ( less than Euros 400 for all tuition ).

    Reply

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