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Karina

Portuguese Teacher

How long have you been teaching for and how long for Cactus?

Olá! My name is Karina and I teach Portuguese at several Cactus partners schools in London. I have been teaching Portuguese continuously for about a year. Before being with Cactus, I taught private, individual lessons. I have been teaching with Cactus for a little over a year – teaching group classes!

How long have you been living in the UK?

I moved to the UK about 18 months ago, coming from Brisbane, Australia. It was a big move but I wouldn’t change a thing. I love it here and having grown up in Portugal I feel most comfortable in an European environment. Also, it was way too hot in Australia for me!

Where were you born and what is the city is famous for?

I was born in Santos (S. Paulo, Brazil). My parents, who are Portuguese, were living there at the time. We all returned to Portugal when I was still a child, but we’ve returned there many times to visit family and friends. What that means is that I can also use the different nuances of Brazilian Portuguese and explain the differences between this and European Portuguese in my classes. Santos is famous for its traditional walls and canals, its 7 km long beaches, and its football team!

What is your degree and teaching experience?

I have a PhD in Immunopathology and Medical Microbiology (quite a mouthful uh?), and I’ve helped quite a large number of students, mostly in Biomedical Sciences, with their lab projects. I’ve been doing this since the early start of my career back in 2005. That was when I discovered I love to teach and have my students go from “wanting to learn” to “doing it” is my favourite thing.

Have you ever worked in another field?

Ok… with my medical background I’ve worked in another field for most of my career. But I was always fascinated by my native language, eager to learn more, and passionate about teaching it to others. So I did linguistic and education courses in parallel, to help me achieve this. And here I am now!

How many languages do you speak?

I speak Portuguese and English, and also Italian, Spanish and French. I am trying to learn German but it’s been quite hard to find the time!

Do you have specific language learning tips?

I would say, never be afraid to ask questions. Your teacher is there to help you! Also, try and use all the opportunities you have to practice your target language – only by using it will your brain actually start to make the connections you need to become more fluent! Don’t be shy to speak in the language you are trying to learn, and also, listen to some music, podcasts, videos, movies, anything that might help you to be exposed to those sounds.

I would love to see you in one of my courses and teach you the beautiful Portuguese language – if you are reading this and wondering if it is the right move: it is! See you there!

Adeus e até à próxima!

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Frequently asked questions

What will I learn?

Our Course Outlines give an overview of the content and learning framework of Cactus courses. Includes themes, grammar and vocabulary you can typically expect to cover. These are intended as a guide only. Language teachers may at times adapt the course content to suit the specific level, aims and interests of the class.

How do I know what level I am?

Are you unsure where to start or progress to? Then take our level test and read our level descriptions for guidance.

Do I receive a qualification or certificate?

At the end of your course you receive a certificate of participation. You will be able to be download it from your MyCactus account. This confirms the language and level of course you have taken. Our course levels are based on two internationally recognised systems. You will have a universally accepted reference for your studies. (Important: Please note that you must complete the end of course questionnaire sent to you to be able to get your certificate! You will receive the course questionnaire by e-mail at the end of your course.)

Do I need a course book?

You will need a course book to attend your course. Course books are not included in the course fees. We recommend that you buy your own course book separately before your course starts. We will let you know which course book you will require and advise where you can purchase this. Please note that a course book often covers more than one level. So if you progress to the next course, you may not necessarily need to buy a new book. Again, we will advise you of this at the time. The course book is chosen by our teachers and academic team. This is based on which book is most suitable for the level of the class whilst offering the most communicative approach.

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