I’m proud and thankful to present Luciana as my first interview partner here on Language Journeys. I first met her as my Portuguese teacher in 2015, so I can assure you that she’s a great teacher with a passion for her native language, a lot of patience and a dynamic teaching style. Later on, we became friends because we both lived in Portugal and had the chance to see each other in real life, too. Here are the questions I asked Luciana and her answers:
Interview with Portuguese teacher luciana
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Luciana and I teach my native Portuguese online. Since November 2016, my husband and I have been travelling more frequently while keeping our online jobs.
When did you start teaching and how did it change over the years?
In 2005, I got my bachelor’s degree in ‘Letras – Portuguese and English’ but I was working as an Import Analyst in a big multinational in Brazil. In 2006, I realised that this job was not for me anymore. I got sick very often, cried a lot and was very sad to wake up and go to work every day.
That year I went to Cape Town, South Africa for vacation and just 2 days after I had returned to work I wrote my resignation letter. I didn’t have another job, not even a perspective of what to do, so my ex-colleagues started calling me to teach them English as I was familiar with their work and knew the vocabulary they needed.
Two weeks later, I went back to my old place of work doing a completely different job, one that I felt very happy to do. Gradually, I got more students and lessons in different language schools.
My work changed a lot over the years as a result of working in schools, meeting other teachers, taking teaching courses. But the biggest change was in 2012 when my husband and I moved from Brazil to Spain and transferred all our offline students to skype. I had some experience teaching online as I had started doing it in 2010, almost as a hobby.
Can you tell us some reasons why people decide to learn Portuguese?
Many people start learning Portuguese because they like Brazilian culture, music, dance. They also like the way the language sounds. Another very common reason is because their partner is Brazilian and they want to communicate with their family when they visit Brazil. Work is also a reason but as I don’t work with Business Portuguese, I don’t have many students learning the language to work in Brazil.
Any funny incident during a session you’d like to share?
I don’t remember anything funny happening during the sessions, but I always like it when the students’ cats and dogs or even kids sometimes decide to show up for the lesson. It’s always a cute moment during the lesson. Once I had a student having a lesson from the hospital. He had to be hospitalised for some hours, but he was ok. Another time, my husband showed up to say ‘hi’ to my parents but I was actually in a lesson!
You specialise in preparing students to pass the CELPE-Bras. What kind of exam is it and who needs it?
Celpe-Bras is a communicative exam and it’s the only Brazilian Certificate of Proficiency in Portuguese as a Foreign Language. It’s accepted by companies and schools as a proof that the person knows the language. People who want to study at a Brazilian University need to have it.
You’re not only a teacher but also a student who’s currently learning Greek. Why did you decide to learn that language?
Yes! I’m currently studying Greek and my interest in this language started in my early twenties when I met my first Greek friends online! I remember I felt illiterate seeing characters I couldn’t recognise and I wanted to be able to read them! Over the years, I just did some research on Greek, watched some videos, but only started studying it last year. I can say that this language is so interesting and full of history (of course) and I love learning it.
You’re living in Europe at the moment. Do you have a favourite country? Do you intend to go back to Brazil one day?
No, I can’t pick a favourite country, it wouldn’t be fair… Every place where I’ve lived so far has beautiful things and not so good things. We just have to adapt. I believe one day, we’ll end up going back to Brazil, but just because it seems obvious to me now.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to study Greek, watch videos and listen to music on Youtube, cook, take pictures, read, go walking or hiking. I used to make macrame before, but it’s not something I could keep when we started travelling.
Is there anything you miss while living as a digital nomad?
I miss cooking better more elaborated dishes on the weekend because the houses on Airbnb we rented so far only had kitchenware for basic meals. Sometimes, I also miss all the stuff I had for handicraft – they were all donated.
If you were given US$50,000 as a gift to spend as you like, what would you do?
I think I would spend them on a sabbatical year, would study more, take cooking lessons and different countries and teach for free for those who need it!
I also would love to invest money on a place for digital nomad teachers like me!
Portuguese lessons with Luciana
Are you learning Brazilian Portuguese and looking for a teacher? Check out Luciana’s teacher profile on italki and book a lesson. If you don’t have an italki account yet, use this link to register and receive US$10.00 after you’ve taken your first lesson with Luciana.
You may also follow Luciana on her Facebook Page. Especially recommended when you intend to take the CELPE-Bras exam.
Are you a Portuguese, Spanish, German or (Spanish-speaking) English teacher and would like to be featured on Language Journeys? Then please contact me. Interviews are possible in English, Spanish, Portuguese or German, either as a blog article or as a video interview on Skype.