Mia Esmeriz is a Portuguese language teacher from Porto with a masters in teaching Portuguese to foreigners from Porto University. Her courses, which cover A1 to B2 European Portuguese, combines more than 10 years of teaching experience which she has picked up both as a Portuguese teacher and a language learner.
Each course is taught through a series of around 10 videos, and each video is roughly 40-60 minutes on average. There is usually a quiz at the end of each lesson, and there are occasional segments where you pause the video to do a mini quiz.
The videos primarily focus on grammar, but there’s usually some useful vocabulary thrown in as well and sometimes a sample conversation too. A typical lesson might focus on prepositions (learning how to say something is on, under, in front of, etc.) while also learning essential vocab for somewhere like the hospital or the supermarket.
Tip: Use the discount code PORTUGALIST15 to get 15% off Mia’s courses.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Mia’s friendly demeanour makes digesting this fairly heavy material easier, but the style of the course is quite similar to sitting in a classroom. In the age of Duolingo and gamified learning, where many of us have the attention spans of a goldfish, that can be tough going. (Of course, you don’t have to watch the entire video in one go. You can do a bit at a time).
Regardless of whether you watch it in 20-minute chunks or 60 minutes at a time, you do need to concentrate. The style doesn’t lend itself well to listening along while driving or in the gym in the way that the courses from Pimsleur or Michel Thomas do, so you’ll need to actually block out some study time for this course.
If it seems like a lot of information, don’t worry: there’s also a printable PDF recap that comes with every lesson. And, even though you spend a lot of time listening rather than practicing forming sentences, the end of the lesson usually includes a quiz. There are also some exercises dotted around each lesson to keep things engaging.
Grammar is definitely the main strength of this course, and Mia does a great job of explaining things, but the courses aren’t as strong in areas like listening, speaking, and reading. (It’s worth pointing out that there isn’t a perfect course out there: each course has is strong in some areas and less so in others).
Mia does have other courses, such as her speech course which covers pronunciation, but you may still going to need to look at other courses and resources to top up some of the other areas.
Besides grammar, the courses definitely have other strengths.
A strength of this course, over say a textbook, is hearing Mia, a native Portuguese speaker, pronounce each of the words. Portuguese rarely sounds like we English speakers think it should, and so it’s best to hear each word spoken when learning them for the first time.
Another strength is that Mia responds to all of the comments from her students and, if you write in Portuguese, she’ll correct any mistakes. That’s something that’s definitely unique among language courses, and one of the reasons she has so many positive reviews on her site.
Finally, the course covers A1, A2, B1, and B2 Portuguese, so you can stick with one teacher from beginner right through to upper-intermediate. And, unlike some other language products out there, the cost is a one-time fee rather than a monthly subscription.
Courses can be purchased individually or as part of a bundle and, naturally, there are discounts if you purchase the courses as a bundle.
An individual course (e.g. A1 Portuguese) typically costs between $69 and $89 + VAT while the 4-course bundle (A1-B2) costs $269 + VAT. This works out at a discount of 15%.
Mia has also kindly offered Portugalist readers an ADDITIONAL 15% discount when they use the code PORTUGALIST15.
There is 30-Day Money Back Guarantee if you don’t like the course.
The courses can be found at https://school.learn-portuguese.org/