Testimonials

Here’s what my students are saying…

  • I'm a beginner in Portuguese, who's been learning with Carla for just over a year now. Always friendly, encouraging and enthusiastic, her lessons are fun - the perfect balance of conversation and more focused exercises. Outside of classes, she goes above and beyond, making herself available to mark daily Portuguese journal entries, and providing a range of learning materials including weekly podcasts and blog entries. I can't recommend her highly enough. Muito obrigado, Carla.
    Tom, 31
  • Having absolutely loved visiting Portugal once before many years ago but having felt quite guilty only relying on English – or my missus’ Spanish – I decided that the next time around I would try to come (better) prepared. So I started looking for Portuguese classes, courses, resources and whatnot that were NOT Brazilian – which was a challenge in itself, frankly – and luckily managed to stumbled across the lovely Carla... who’s a local too, as we live in the same city. That was surely a sign! Through a mixture of face-to-face lessons and Skype conversations, roughly 20 in total, Carla was welcoming, patient and skilled enough to get through this old and lazy brain of mine and instil a lot of Portuguese knowledge. From the basics – I was an absolute beginner – to the day to day nitty gritty stuff, the sort of fundamental building blocks that actually help you get things done once in country. On top of that, Carla and her husband Marlon run a weekly free podcast and an insightful website where you can practice your Portuguese skills even more. The humorous banter between the two of them alone will be well worth your time! So, despite my chronic laziness, my pseudo-Russian pronunciation, and my slow moving neurons, I finally went back to Portugal and had an absolute blast. I am no more than a slightly less beginner and it’s all true, they DO speak unbelievably fast and they all seem to speak English. But it’s in those moments when they don’t (like at the local hospital, but that’s a story for another time...), in those moments when those beautifully alien sounds click in your head, it’s in those wax on/wax off moments that it dawned on me what an incredible – and helpful! – feeling it is to know a new language. And for that, I have to thank the wonderful Sabalas. I hope you will have the pleasure of meeting them too, one day. Obrigadinho, Carla e Marlon, um forte abraço!  
    Paolo, 36
  • I first encountered Carla and her web site ptwithcarla.com, when I was searching for sources to learn European Portuguese. The site was easy to navigate and useful. I also found her podcast lessons and gave them a try. They were not long, but not short either. Just the right length in time, with enough words, phrases and useful information to get you started. I began listening to them while driving on my extensive trips required by my job. Then I decided to give the free 20 min lesson a go and see how it goes. It was nice and Carla did not disappoint me by having any frustration that I did not have a clue about Portuguese language. Now, after 3 months and 22 lessons with her, I understand what is said on Portuguese radio, TV and even the winner song of Eurovision. Carla is knowledgeable in the language, in the techniques of teaching to foreigners, she always has the answers to my questions. She knows the grammar, the vocabulary and delivers them with ease that always astonishes me! She is patient and explains as many times you need. With her, you’ll progress. Lessons with her are anticipated with joy and the joy stays after them. This is one of the best on line journeys I have ever made. Her choice of textbook and learning materials is outstanding. All you need is English, Carla will take care for your Portuguese. On top of that, Carla has picked up the best online platform to deliver lessons – Skype. Skype is one of the best video/audio calling software and its technical background promotes and enables language learning. - especially for Portuguese, whit all those nasal sounds, that require rich audio and video quality. I am a telecommunications engineer and believe me, one of the main things I did was to research the best online software for language learning and skype it is – the choice of Carla! And if that is not enough – her site contains tons of useful information how to learn a foreign language. Tricks, techniques, podcasts. Her and hers husband’s podcasts are really awesome. On top of delivering Portuguese, they give fun in learning the language. They have various guests in each new podcast, games, additional teasers and exercises. Just amazing! I really recommend yo u give it a try. Even if you think you cannot learn a foreign language, it is only because you never met Carla! And the sun of Portugal awaits! Tudo bom e boa sorte! Obrigado, Carla!
    Ivo, 35
  • I decided to learn Portuguese as a matter of “survival” after having spent another Christmas alone in the company of my boyfriend’s family – whom, whilst being extremely warm and welcoming, don’t speak any English. Initially, I tried using audio-courses. However, I found that learning set phrases without understanding the sentence structure was quite limiting and didn’t enable me to engage in conversation. I found Carla’s website via a learning Portuguese blog recommendation and booked my first free session. I immediately felt at ease with Carla whose approach is relaxed, flexible, and (importantly for a self-critical person) both encouraging and light humoured. When I first started my lessons, I was living abroad and travelling extensively with work. Having flexible Skype lessons enabled me to fit in language learning and to make progress although I couldn’t dedicate as much time to it as I would have liked. Carla also makes a big effort to help integrate Portuguese learning into everyday life - both to speed up progress and to make it less of a chore. For example, by trying to speak to my boyfriend in Portuguese for 10 minutes a day, to listen to Portuguese music, to watch Portuguese TV, to cook a Portuguese recipe etc. After a year of learning Portuguese with Carla, I returned to Portugal to visit my boyfriend’s family. Although I still struggled to follow conversations (especially as culturally several people tend to speak at the same time AND very fast!) I felt much more engaged. In addition, I saw how much it meant to by boyfriend’s parents that I was making an effort to be part of the family. I would highly recommend Carla to anyone wishing to learn European Portuguese. Muito obrigada Carla! Bj Charlotte x
    Charlotte, 35
  • "After an extensive and rather fruitless search for a local teacher of Portuguese it was 'magic' to have found Carla via a search engine on the internet - I was getting desperate!   Individual local teachers are non-existent (plenty if you want to learn Spanish !) and neither Bournemouth or Poole Colleges could help.   Carla's website is both interesting and imaginative ... but I wondered how learning over the internet by means of SKYPE would work;  I needn't have worried at all !  I arranged the preliminary lesson and knew straight away that I had found the person I needed.  My reservation about SKYPE as a means of teaching has completely gone - the lessons are as if we are in the same room and just as personal. My reason and enthusiam in learning Portuguese is so that I can fully participate in day-to-day social life when I visit my good friends in Portugal.  Previously, although understanding just a very little of what was being said around me, I felt self-conscious and ill-equipped to take part in any of the conversation myself.  Carla is changing all that !  She is steadily encouraging me to overcome my reserve and to put my increased knowledge of Portuguese actually into words, which will be the key to my continuing progress. To say that I am enjoying the lessons with Carla is an under-statement - I have been her 'student'  for about six months now, a one hour's lesson once a week and every moment of it is interesting and challenging.  Carla has insight and knows instinctively how to 'tailor' the lessons to bring out the best in a student so that real progress is made.  Carla's own enthusiam and committment shows in every aspect of her teaching.  An interesting example is that recently my 'homework' (different homework set every week) was to prepare, by listening and writing down what I could hear of the lyrics of a Portuguese Fado.   I do a little of the set homework each day and I know that Carla will always be ready to give assistance throughout the week, if I need it. The lessons are now having a greater emphasis on conversation in Portuguese - exactly what I need.   Carla listens carefully, allowing me to make my own mistakes and encouraging me to recognise them and correct as I go along.  This helps the flow of language, which she maintains with corrections interjected in a rhythmic manner. As a teacher, Carla is very focused and her expertise is obvious.  At the same time she is so friendly and we enjoy a lot of humour which helps me to feel relaxed as I progress.  She uses all that is best technologically to act as aids to our lessons;  for example audio recordings, making notes on words and phrases which I can see on screen ...and always motivating to believe I can achieve my goals. I hope that I can consider myself both Carla's student and a friend - she is a superb teacher with whom I shall continue to have lessons.    Muito Obrigada, Carla !"
    Sally, 54
  • "I am happy to have had the opportunity to learn Portuguese. Now that I'm living in Mozambique, this can help me speak and understand the people here. I've noticed a response among my co-workers, in my attempts to try to make conversation, this has created a lot of laughs and fun, but also the willingness of others to help me, this is helping to build my confidence. Although it is difficult to learn the Portuguese language, especially the pronunciations, I enjoyed it a lot, and I will make my goal every day to learn something new. It has also inspired other people around me to do the same. It would be my dream to someday be able to speak fluent Portuguese. The fact that I only had one lesson a week shows that, a great teacher that Carla is since I have learned a lot, I really enjoyed our one in one classes, even though I was too nervous to start! I hope we will be in touch in the near future."
     
    Laura, 34