Through the lens of language: Brazilian History, Culture and Society

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
Portuguese for Speakers of Spanish

Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

May-June 2016

University of Nebraska, Lincoln

This five-week study abroad program was designed for Spanish/English bilingual students interested in studying Portuguese while learning about Brazil’s history, culture and society in the context of Latin America and in relation to the United States.

The site for this experience was the city of Salvador, first historical capital of Brazil, heart of Afro-Brazilian culture, and UNESCO world heritage site.

Course topics

  • Identity, race and ethnicity in multilingual and multicultural societies
  • Social impact of economic reform in Latin America
  • Immigration and population movements in a global world
Farol da Barra
With the members of Capoeira Angola, Salvador

What we did

We used our bilingual skills to develop a working knowledge of Brazilian Portuguese, in classes that specifically targeted the needs of speakers of Spanish who are acquiring Portuguese as a third language.

We took advantage of our prior experience with U.S. Latino and other Spanish-speaking communities to explore the common threads that connect Brazil with other countries in Latin America.

We learned together about Brazil’s history, cultures, languages, economy and political system in authentic contexts, and through interaction with teachers, peers, host families and our new friends.

Hands-on class with famous percussionist Giba Conceição
What we learned about

• Introductory history of Bahia

• Afro-Brazilian religions

• Higher Education in Brazil

• Feminism and Black movements in contemporary Brazil

• Capoeira and Afro-Brazilian dance

• Percussion workshop

• Hands-on printmaking workshop

Where we went
Igreja de São Francisco, Pelourinho
Parque Nacional Chapada Diamantina
Morro de Pai Inácio
Lençóis, BA
Morro de São Paulo, Cairu, Bahia
Fazenda Santa Cruz, Muritiba, BA
Castelo García D'Ávila, Praia do Forte, Bahia
And we're going again in 2020!
Obrigado Salvador, até mais!