Many want to learn Portuguese while they are in Rio de Janeiro. Before talking about different Portuguese courses I want to say a few words about method.
What Method Is Right For You?
What is the best way to learn Portuguese? I believe the best way by learning a language is by speaking. I therefore recommend you to choose a Portuguese course that is focussed on communication and spend your free time on practising. Last but not least I have to tell you to not be lazy! You have to discipline yourself and to get the homework done. Without your determination to learn you´d be better off sipping a Caipirinha on the beach.
There are many of these around. The education in these vary a lot in standard, some new schools are a lot more updated with new methods of learning and can offer perhaps a more pleasant and fun environment. These days I meet a lot of people that have good learning experiences, so shop around and find the school that offers the best method for you.
There are a few language schools to study Portuguese in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I visited a few schools before picking my school. But the most recommended school in Rio de Janeiro Caminhos Language Centre really stood out.
The school is really welcoming and felt like a big family which really helped me to make my landing in Rio de Janeiro. Caminhos is the largest Portuguese School in Brazil. The school has excellent and fun teachers. You will learn how to communicate in Brazilian Portuguese in an effective, dynamic and fun way. You can choose between intensive Portuguese group courses and private lessons. Caminhos also have Celpe-Bras preparation course and Bildungsurlaub recognition. Caminhos offers free and fun after-class activities everyday for you to socialise and practise your Portuguese. Activities include beach volleyball, samba lessons, city tours, support class, caipirinha party and much more. Caminhos can help you with Homestay in Rio de Janeiro and documents for your Brazilian student visa. And part of the school’s profit goes to Mais Caminhos, an on-site social project that offers educational and cultural activities for underprivileged children and teenagers from the nearby favelas. The school has great reviews and is the number 1 school on TripAdvisor.
If you are concerned that the school is expensive. Well it is not. It is the cheapest school I could find in Rio.
An alternative is the PUC University (Pontifícia Universidade do Rio de Janeiro). This course is way more expensive and is more for people who look for grammer courses. They offer courses on 5 levels and you will have access to loads of students. Sometimes they do intensive 6 week courses but in general they run over 4 months. All the info about this you can get by clicking PUC-Rio.
In many hostels you have offers like: “Learn Portuguese with a Carioca”. You will basically do the same thing as above but there is a big difference: it will be you (maybe with someone else) alone with the teacher. You may meet in a restaurant, have a cup of coffee and speak Portuguese. Most likely you will receive homework that you are expected to do until the next encounter. This method is much more liberal and you can decide yourself what you want to focus on.
Do It Yourself
Get a text book, a practice book and a dictionary. Follow the chapters. As a complement you can buy a book in Portuguese in which you read and translate a chapter each day or week. If you combine this with discipline and a willingness to talk with Brazilians (avoid speaking English even though every Brazilian wants to practice with you!) you should pick things up quite fast. This is the way I learned, I preferred this method since I dont like sit-down lessons of any kind.
Just click Online Free Portuguese Dictionaries and you’ll get to a page where I have links to some of the best resources available on the internet. I have also written a page about the Portuguese Language where you can read about it from a linguistic perspective.