If you are a parent who is looking for resources to help teach your kids Portuguese you may have run into the problem of only being able to find materials for Brazilian rather than European Portuguese (as spoken in Portugal).
This can be a frustrating experience, especially if you buy a book or a video only to find out that it isn’t what you wanted. So in our quest to try to find the best teaching tools for kids, we have come up with what we hope is a definitive list of DVDs, books, apps and websites that you can use to help your kids learn (European) Portuguese.
Language Learning Programs and Websites for Kids
There aren’t a lot of choices as far as language systems to teach kids European Portuguese. The only kids system that we are going to recommend is Dino Lingo’s European Portuguese for Kids. The Dino Lingo system is generally very well reviewed and a good choice to help kids learn a second language. This kit has language learning DVDs, CDs, books, posters and flashcards. You can watch a preview of the DVDs here.
If you aren’t interested in the Dino Lingo system you can try the Muzzy language learning system, but the Muzzy system has very mixed reviews so you should probably read some of the reviews and watch the previews of it if you are thinking of purchasing it.
If you are looking for a fun website for kids try Disney’s Portugal Site it has games and clips of shows and movies with favourite Disney characters.
Free Online Games
An easy way to expose children to a new language in a fun way is through online games. There isn’t a huge selection of European Portuguese games for kids but a good site for games is Digital Dialects. It has lots of simple games that will help kids learn the basics. Another great site to check out is Jogos Didaticos. It also has some fun and easy games for kids.
Another great way to help children reinforce second language skills is by making it fun with an app. Here are a couple of language apps that are great for kids.
- iPlay Portuguese: Kids Discover the World lets kids listen to animated pictures of 500 words to hear the correct pronunciation then they record themselves to see how well they can pronounce the words. It also has 30 quiz games and 600 quiz questions.
- My First Words in Portuguese SD teaches children from 0-5 how to correctly pronounce the most important words in using images, colors, animals, music and voices. It has more than 40 minutes of video with topics including family, fruits/vegetables, animals, colors, food, nature, face/body, baby items and transportation.
- First Thousand Words in Portuguese by Heather Amery and Mairi MacKinnon is picture dictionary that has 1,000 everyday words combined with pictures. It also gives a link that contains an online pronunciation guide through the Usborne Quicklinks website.
- Salpicos is basically a student text book that teachers can use to teach Portuguese to kids. If you get the students book (rather than the teacher book) it has a CD that contains children’s song. The level one student book is aimed at 4 to 5 year olds, and focuses on listening to stories, singing songs, looking at images etc. “Salpicos” 2 and 3 are for children who have started reading and writing (6 to 10 year olds).
- Falas Português? is another text book for teachers who are teaching kids, but it can also be used by parents as well. It has 10 units that include exercises and activities (stickers, grammar notes, pages on culture and traditions etc…). The student book also contains an audio CD.
There are lots of books that you can use to that are available with translations although you will need to confirm that it is European Portuguese rather than Brazilian. Language Lizard has bilingual books that are all European Portuguese.
Workbooks and Flashcards
If you are looking for flashcards that are a good way to re-enforce a new language you can try Usborne’s Everyday Words Flashcards.