The unveiling of the inaugural strategic blueprint for teaching Portuguese to foreigners marks a pivotal moment as it enters a phase of public consultation starting this Friday.

This groundbreaking initiative introduces novel training methodologies and acknowledges skills in a way unprecedented in the field.

Luís Goes Pinheiro, President of AIMA, disclosed to Lusa the significance of this plan, tailored for immigrants in Portugal whose native language isn't Portuguese. He emphasized the collaborative effort involving various public sector stakeholders responsible for this domain, culminating in a comprehensive guide for the next four years, subject to review in two.

"This marks the public debut of the first strategic plan for teaching and learning Portuguese as a foreign language. We've successfully rallied a diverse array of public entities into a cohesive document, binding all parties toward a common goal of enhancing Portuguese language proficiency among foreigners," Goes Pinheiro remarked.

He urged stakeholders to actively participate in the public consultation until March 11th, underscoring the importance of soliciting contributions to enrich the overarching objective of fostering increased Portuguese language competence among foreign residents.

AIMA's extensive consultations with eighty institutions, including governmental bodies, migrant organizations, and academic circles, underscore the inclusive approach in crafting this plan.

While AIMA's primary focus is on document regularization, teaching Portuguese remains strategically imperative, Goes Pinheiro reiterated.

Streamlining Investments

Previously disparate or poorly coordinated initiatives for teaching Portuguese to foreigners are now consolidated under this strategic plan, with a notable emphasis on leveraging communication and information technology tools to streamline training efforts.

One notable innovation is the introduction of self-diagnostic tools enabling users to assess their language proficiency remotely. This facilitates distance learning and digital certification without necessitating physical attendance.

Goes Pinheiro stressed the importance of extending language learning beyond traditional classroom settings, advocating for language acquisition in vocational and recreational contexts.

He emphasized that the plan particularly targets migrants outside the formal education system, endeavoring to provide tailored solutions to make language acquisition a tangible reality.

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Ana Catarina Mendes, will unveil the plan today, underscoring its inclusive mandate to reach all non-native Portuguese speakers.

Critical Integration Element

Mastery of the Portuguese language is pivotal for full integration, Goes Pinheiro affirmed, echoing international research findings. He underscored the demand from Portuguese nationals for language proficiency as a prerequisite for effective integration of visitors.

While refraining from committing specific funds, Goes Pinheiro hinted at AIMA's intention to allocate a substantial budget, contingent upon the outcomes of the public discourse. He expressed optimism about surpassing previous funding levels to effectively implement the strategic plan. Photo by Pedro Ribeiro Simões from Lisboa, Portugal, Wikimedia commons.