Portuguese Student Program

Portuguese through STEM and Project-Based Learning

Want to learn more about the Portuguese Student Program?

Contact Dr. Eduardo da Silva.


We hope to offer the Portuguese program again in summer 2019, depending on grant approval.


University of Washington
Language Learning Center
in Denny Hall.


Heritage Speakers of Portuguese and Spanish Speakers (AP/dual immersion/heritage)
(a 'heritage' speaker is someone who grew up speaking the language in their home.)

The UW STARTALK Student Program, “Portuguese through STEM and Project-Based Learning,” aims to enroll 20 high school and college (*High School students will be given priority) Portuguese and Spanish heritage language students in a four-week intensive Portuguese language program meeting five hours a day for a total of 100 instructional hours plus 20 hours for the online component preceding the face-to-face program.

Portuguese heritage students are expected to increase their proficiency level from Intermediate Low to High, and Spanish heritage students, who will be just beginning their study of Portuguese, will aim to reach Intermediate Low (or higher) proficiency. The program is designed to develop students’ proficiency in Interpretive Reading and Listening, Presentational Speaking, and Presentational Writing in Portuguese, and in the Interpersonal Mode, students will increase their linguistic accuracy and sensitivity to cultural norms, e.g., social register and linguistic forms not typically encountered in intimate family speech.

Students will be able to earn six University of Washington credits by enrolling in PORT 105 and also have an opportunity to complete the ACTFL AAPPL in the beginning of the program and the ACTFL OPIc (Oral Proficiency Interview computer-based) and WPT (Writing Proficiency Test) at the end of the program.

High school students may be able to use these results in order to receive up to four high school competency-based credits, and all students will receive placement results for future study of Portuguese at the UW.


UW Summer Quarter Registration Fee for the four-week Student Program: $45

Student Program Lead Instructor: Dr. Eduardo Viana da Silva

Program Director: Angelina McMillan-Major


Who can apply?

  • High School students who learned to speak Portuguese at home with their family (generally, Heritage speakers) and have at least basic skills in reading and writing Portuguese
  • High School students who have strong literacy skills in Spanish (Heritage speakers or students who have participated in Spanish Dual Language Immersion programs or completed AP (Advanced Placement) Spanish coursework)

Our program is designed to help Spanish speakers quickly learn to read, write, speak, and understand Portuguese by leveraging their knowledge of Spanish, and to help Portuguese students develop their literacy skills in Portuguese while also refining their presentational speaking skills. Using the NCSSFL-ACTFL Intermediate Can-Do Statements, Spanish-speaking students should aim for at least Intermediate Mid in all skills (in Spanish), and Portuguese-speaking students should aim for at least Intermediate Low in all skills (in Portuguese) in order to be successful in our program.

back to FAQ list

Do we have housing options for students?

Unfortunately our program cannot support housing for minors. For registered students who live within commuting distance from Seattle, there are reduced-cost transportation options through UW Transportation Services. Students who live further away must make their own arrangements to participate in the face-to-face portions of the program.

back to FAQ list

What does the STARTALK timeline look like before the program starts?

  • Feb or March - Notice of Grant Approval
  • March through May - Info sessions and Interviews with Lead Instructors (We will send out emails with specific dates and times)
  • May and early June - Acceptances sent out with registration packets and fee to be returned before Friday June 8, 2018
back to FAQ list

We're going on vacation this summer. Can I/my child miss a portion of the program?

Due to the intensive nature of the program, students cannot receive full credit if they have more than a few absences. All absences should be communicated to the lead instructor as soon as possible. If you are unsure about committing to the program, please talk to a program team member.

back to FAQ list

How are the university credits earned?

Students who complete the course satisfactorily will receive credits from the University of Washington that will appear on their University of Washington transcript just like any other university course. These credits may be transferred to another institution at the institution's discretion by requesting a copy of your transcript be sent to their offices. Please see https://registrar.washington.edu/enrollment-and-records/ordering-transcripts/ for more details.

back to FAQ list

How are the high school credits earned?

At the end of the program, students will take a proficiency exam to test their language skills. You will receive a letter issued by WAFLT (Washington Association for Language Teaching) indicating your test results and recommended high school credits. The letters also indicate whether the test results qualify you for the Washington State Seal of Biliteracy. The STARTALK program can email test results and letters directly to high school counselors, as well.

back to FAQ list


Past Program Information:

University of Washington Language Learning Center Seattle, WA 98195-4340    Phone:(206) 543-0536     Email: startalk@uw.edu