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Portuguese is spoken by over 250 million people worldwide, making it the 4th most widely spoken mother tongue on a global level - see Exhibition "Economic Potential of the Portuguese Language".

It is the official language in nine countries. It is the working language of twelve international organizations. It is also the language used by numerous Lusophone communities around the world - Canada, USA, Germany, France, Switzerland, Australia, South Africa, Venezuela, Luxemburg  - and in territories like Macau and Goa.

The Portuguese & Luso-Brazilian Studies program will introduce you to the language, literature and culture of Portugal, Brazil and the entire Lusophone world across all continents.

Develop and enrich your command of Portuguese through intensive training in listening, reading, writing and speaking. It is an established and historically rich language, from music to literature, from Humanities to the Sciences.  Portuguese speakers are in demand in a variety of disciplines and in a wide range of fields.

Discover the fascinating social and cultural context of the Portuguese-speaking world. Our program is the gateway to a deeper understanding of an array of warm and welcoming Lusophone cultures around the world!

Our challenging courses explore a range of topics, from the variety of the Portuguese language to an examination of several themes in literature, culture, film and music, including a high component of experiential education courses.  Our courses offer a range  of  interdisciplinary options and perspectives; from the early modern period to contemporary postcolonial times.

Why learn Portuguese and take courses in Portuguese & Luso-Brazilian Studies?

Current data indicate that Portuguese is growing in importance not only worldwide, but also in Canada. A recent article in the Toronto Star identified the acute need for Portuguese-speaking professionals.

The growing importance of Brazil and other Portuguese-speaking countries also attest to the rising value of the language and the need for bi-lingual, bi-cultural professionals.

Did you know that...Sabias que...:

Interesting facts about Portuguese and the Lusophone world

  • Portuguese is the most spoken language in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Some of the countries with the largest discoveries of hydrocarbon (Mboe) are members of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP).
  • The best CSI in the world is Portuguese (Professor Duarte Nuno Vieira)
  • Portuguese is the 5th most used language on the Internet. It enjoyed the 4th largest growth rate.
  • Portuguese is the 3rd most used language in social networks and in the business of oil and gas!
  • It is the 1st foreign language in the education system of several countries, such as Spain, Argentina, and Namibia!

Participate in a Study Abroad Progam

Students are encouraged to participate in York International's study abroad and summer internship Programs in a Portuguese-speaking country. York University has established programs with several universities in Brazil and added the Universidade Nova de Lisboa as its newest partner in 2011.

Find out more about international opportunities and funding for students offered by the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.

For more information please refer to the study abroad section.

  Course News

Enroll in POR1000, Elementary Portuguese, excel in your course and earn a free trip!

Award Portuguese Gives you Wings!

Live your Education!

Portuguese and Luso-Brazilian Studies and SATA, Azores Airlines

travel contest

Enroll in POR1000, Elementary Portuguese, excel in your course and earn a free trip to Beautiful Azores, Portugal, sponsored by Sata Azores Airlines!

Sponsored by SATA, Azores Airlines, the Award Portuguese Gives you Wings! was created in the academic year of 2015/16 at York University. This award aims at recognizing academic excellence in an Elementary Portuguese language class (POR1000). Therefore, the award will honor the best performing student enrolled in the discipline. The student awarded will receive a free trip to the beautiful region of the Azores, Portugal, courtesy of SATA, Azores Airlines.

This award reflects the objectives shared by the Program of Portuguese and Luso-Brazilian Studies as well as the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies to further develop and invest in Experiential Education. Following the Elementary language course, the award recipient will have an opportunity to practice the skills learned in the classroom in a Portuguese-speaking setting. This unique immersion opportunity provides the locale for the student to live the language in an authentic cultural environment. In addition, the student will also experience life in the Azores, a group of islands widely recognized, including by UNESCO and National Geographic, for its natural beauty, ecological and sustainable development and its açorianidade, a term coined by 20th century Azorean intellectual, Vitorino Nemésio, that stands for the particular identity of the islands and its inhabitants.

This award is representative of the overall program efforts to provide students from first to last year with significant and meaningful opportunities to engage with the language. It offers a privileged space designed to stimulate not only language interaction, but also the sense of belonging to a wider, global community while valuing cultural difference and the richness of a language within its regional variations.

The Program of Portuguese and Luso-Brazilian Studies (originally created in 2008 as Portuguese Studies) offers a wide range of courses within a rich interdisciplinary scope. The program uses the latest technologies and student-focused teaching platforms in order to enhance the learning process. The Program exposes students to a wide range of experiential education opportunities on and off campus. Some of these opportunities include: community placements, interactive cultural and academic events as well as the inclusion of volunteer Portuguese speakers in our language courses. These speakers allow for a live interaction with the language and they represent a wide variety of Portuguese-speaking backgrounds. Our student body, like the university, is quite diverse and signals the growing interest in the language. Many students wish to study the language and culture of their ancestors, while others wish to travel and work in a Lusophone country or with the Portuguese-speaking communities in Canada. Still, others come to our program because they have experienced a variety of cultural expressions (for instance, music or dance) and wish to know more.

The SATA group is a conglomerate dedicated to the aviation industry. Founded in 1941, the head office is located in Ponta Delgada, in the island of São Miguel, Azores. With representation in several countries, SATA boasts over eighty destinations, with international, national and island routes. SATA's principles, based on values such as quality, professionalism, punctuality and hospitality, also feature the company's commitment to collaborative initiatives, such as this award, as well as any others destined to promote the Portuguese language. SATA Canada is also a valued community partner of the program's advanced experiential education course: "Language in Context: Portuguese in the Greater Toronto Area".

Course Schedule 2015/16 - New online placement test

The fall and winter schedule is now online.

Exciting new courses for 2015/16: focusing Portuguese and Mozambican literature

AP/POR 3660 3.00 Readings in Mozambican Literature: Re-telling History through Fiction

This course focuses on the significance of the Mozambican short-story in defining a national literary tradition. It is based on historically and socially contextualized readings of Mozambican short stories. Note: Students are given the option of writing their essays in Portuguese or in English. Course credit exclusions: None. PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AS/POR 3660 3.00.

AP/POR 4620 3.00 From Camões to Pessoa

Through the 16th-century literature of Luis de Camões and the 20th-century literature of Fernando Pessoa, this course explores two high points in Portuguese literary development as well as the development of Portugal as a nation. Prerequisite: AP/POR 3000 6.00. Course credit exclusions: None. PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Prerequisite: AS/POR 3000 6.00. Course credit exclusion: AS/POR 4620 3.00.

View schedule.

  News & Events

BRAZIL FILM FEST, Dec. 4-6, 2015

For more information please visit this website.

Professor Inês Cardoso has published an article

Professor Inês Cardoso has published an article titled "A relação dos adolescentes com a escrita extraescolar e escolar – inclusão e exclusão por via da escrita" (Teenagers' relationship with in-school and extra-school writing - inclusion and exclusion through writing) in Trabalhos em Lingüística Aplicada. n.º 54.1, 2015.

In this article, we will begin with some notes on the development of teaching/learning of writing in Portugal, synthesizing different investigative approaches. Assuming the cognitive, personal and social dimensions of the written language, we will argue that the knowledge about the relationship students (subjects) establish with writing, both in school and extra-school contexts, shall underlie the learning and teaching process of writing, on a multifunctional and processual perspective.

As far as the methodological device is concerned, we will focus on a workshop about writing with teenagers. The description of the dimensions which make up the complexity of the subjects' relationship with writing led us to the conceptualization of three ideal types of relationship with writing. These consist of different ways of interpreting this pluridimensional and unstable phenomenon that may offer new pedagogical clues as to a teaching of writing that promotes a more favorable relationship with it.

Student Tali Yanuka Paonessa awarded "Dark Stones: The Azorean Spirit Award

Student Tali Yanuka Paonessa

The Dark Stones: The Azorean Spirit Award was awarded at Career Conversations with Portuguese Language Speakers. Sponsored by Caixa Geral de Depósitos, the Dark Stones: The Azorean Spirit award (established in 2014) recognizes the academic achievements of students enrolled in the Portuguese and Luso-Brazilian Studies program at York University. This award is only open to full-time students enrolled in the program who have completed at least 12 credits in Portuguese courses and who have obtained an overall grade point average of at least 7.00. The award also recognizes students' co-curricular and extra-curricular involvement. more information

Portuguese Speaking Hour, Mondays

Do you want to learn Portuguese?
Do you want to improve your current language skills?
Do you need extra practice?
If you are currently enrolled in Portuguese language courses or are simply curious to learn more about Portuguese, then this opportunity is for you, and it's free!

Date: Mondays
Time: 1:30 - 2:30pm
Locations: VH1022


Volunteer Opportunities for Portuguese-speaking students on Campus (Keele)

General Description:

The program of Portuguese and Luso-Brazilian (PLB) Studies seeks Portuguese-speaking volunteers to assist in Portuguese language courses (POR1000, POR2000 and POR3000) on York's Keele campus:

  • POR 1000 – Elementary Portuguese: Mondays & Wednesdays, 10:30am-12:30pm
  • POR 2000 – Intermediate Portuguese: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30pm-2:30pm
  • POR 3000 – Advanced Portuguese: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:30pm-4:30pm


Volunteers are required to attend classes whenever possible (attendance agenda will be set in consultation with Professor Inês Cardoso). Student volunteers must be fluent in Portuguese as the goal of this project is to enhance our students' exposure to the language. Volunteers are expected to conduct themselves and speak only in Portuguese in the classroom, collaborate in class discussions, participate in pair and group activities. Student volunteers might aid by providing additional vocabulary, provide motivation and language clues to enhance particular discussions.

Volunteers are not to replace the instructor; scientific and pedagogical tools are provided by the instructor who will always be available to guide and help students; volunteers will support the instructor by leading and encouraging the activities in the target language. Classes' preparation is then the full responsibility of the Professor; volunteers are only expected to show up in class and act accordingly to the instructor's guidance.

There is no previous homework and/or research. It is also expected that all Portuguese-speaking volunteers will set a positive example by conducting themselves in a manner that aligns with academic policies for courses in the program (class behavior – participation, the use of laptops, cell phones and audio/visual recording, academic honesty) and adhere to the Student Code of Conduct.


Any student attending York University is eligible for this position.

Skills/Interests of an Ideal candidate:

  1. Oral and written fluency in Portuguese is required. Preference will be given to students who speak a variant of Portuguese different from the instructor's, in order to expose students to different variants of the language; thus, students from Portuguese-speaking countries, other than Portugal, are encouraged to apply;
  2. Students must identify with any Lusophone culture – as language teaching is strongly associated with the cultures. Preference is given to students who are culturally attached to a Lusophone culture such as Brazilian, Portuguese, Angolan, Mozambican, etc. However, students who have had a Study Abroad experience in a Portuguese-speaking country can also apply;
  3. Strong communication and interpersonal (relationship building, resolution) skills;
  4. A strong sense of Responsibility/reliability, supportiveness, positive role model and motivational skills;
  5. Preference will be given to students who demonstrate interest in teaching.


This opportunity will be for the entire academic year (from September 2015 to April 2016). Individual arrangements to be scheduled with the course instructor.

Co-curricular record:

Although this is a volunteer position (therefore there is no paid remuneration), this opportunity is eligible for the student co-curricular record.


If interested, email Professor Inês Cardoso –; please write in Portuguese and include the following:

  • subject: "Voluntariado"
  • text: explain (in Portuguese) why you are the ideal candidate for this position, and clearly outline your availability. Provide a phone number or skype contact information.

This volunteer position will remain open until all volunteer positions are filled. The number of volunteers per class is to be determined by the professor.

Professor Maria João Dodman has published an article

Professor Maria João Dodman has published an article titled "'Nem comem senão desse inhame' : The Significance of Food in the Early Days of Brazil" in Luso-Brazilian Review ( Vol. 52.1, 2015.

This article explores the thematic of food in the early texts that document the arrival of the Portuguese in Brazil. In the absence of gold and precious stones, food availability in the new fertile land becomes as good as gold, able to compete with the riches of the Spanish empire. Yet, food, food rituals, table manners and behaviours also signal European attitudes regarding civility and culture, and as such mark new world people as barbaric and in need of justifiable colonization. Ironically, Indigenous resistance and subversion also resort to food, providing local knowledge, ingenuity and moments of dissidence.

  News about The Portuguese Language

Watch Profs. Maria João Dodman, Inês Cardoso and students discuss the Portuguese & Luso-Brazilian Studies program Career Conversations with Portuguese Speakers Prof. Maria João Dodman, discusses her research why learn portuguese -- pdf Poet Tree Project for Pan-am Games