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In collaboration with the Portuguese Studies program in the Department of Modern Languages, the Institute supports lectures which enrich the academic experience of students, faculty and the community.

September 21, 2010, 4:00 p.m., Craig-Lee Hall
"Being Portuguese: Reflections on ethnic identity in translocal contexts, the Azores, Lisbon and southeastern New England", presented by Professor Miguel Moniz, Instituto Universitá rio de Lisboa.

November 9, 2009 , 4:00 p.m., Sylvan R. Forman Center (East Campus), Room 200
"Fernão Mendes Pinto e a Ásia Portuguesa" presented by Professor Jorge Flores, Departments of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies and History, Brown University.

April 27, 2009 , 5:00 p.m., Sylvan R. Forman Center (East Campus), Room 200
"A ciência no tempo dos descobrimentos portugueses" presented by Professor Onésimo T. Almeida, Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies, Brown University.

April 13, 2009 , 4:00 p.m., Sylvan R. Forman Center (East Campus), Room 200
"Post Independence Lusophone Africa" presented by Professor Peter Karibe Mendy, Department of History, Rhode Island College.

April 6, 2010, 5:00 p.m., Sylvan R. Forman Center (East Campus), Room 200
"Expansão portuguesa e sociedades não-europeias na época moderna" presented by Professor Jorge Flores, Departments of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies and History, Brown University.

November 24, 2008, 5:00 p.m., Craig-Lee Hall 102
"Bossa Nova: Música e a Ditadura (1964-84)" presented by Professor Dá rio Borim, Department of Portuguese, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.

November 17, 2008, 5:00 p.m., Craig-Lee Hall 102
"Um olhar sobre a Amazônia indígena: os Yanomami do Brasil" presented by Professor Gale Goodwin Gómez, Department of Anthropology, Rhode Island College.

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Providing opportunities for professional development for teachers of Portuguese in Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut is a primary objective of the Institute's mission. Workshops for teachers are sponsored in part by the Coordenação Ensino Português, EUA , Instituto Camões, Lisbon, Portugal.

March 10, 2010, 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Alger 110
"O Novo Acordo Ortográfico" presented by Professor João Malaca Casteleiro, Academia das Ciências de Lisboa and
"Ajente sabe isse: Helping our students write/spell in Portuguese" presented by Professor Glaúcia Silva, Department of Portuguese, University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth.

January 16, 2010 , 9:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., Alger 110
"Instructional Technology in the Portuguese Classroom" presented by Professor Silvia Belo Oliveira, University of Massachusetts - Boston.

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Portuguese for Beginners​

The Institute is pleased to offer the non-credit course "Survival Skills in Portuguese for Beginners". This is an adult enrichment course for those who wish to develop basic understanding and fluency in the Portuguese language. It is designed to provide introductory vocabulary and grammar as well as basic communication skills for adult students with little or no fluency in the language.

In addition to the introduction to the Portuguese language, the course will introduce you to the culture of Portugal as well as touching on the cultures of the Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) world, i.e. Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé e Príncipe, East Timor and the region of Macau.

The course runs for 10 weeks during the fall semester (part 1) and for 10 weeks during the spring semester (part 2) with two hour classes on Saturday mornings on the Rhode Island College campus.
The text currently in use is:

Carmo, Leonete
  • Olá! Como está? Livro de Textos, Curso Intensivo de Língua Portuguesa. Lisboa: Lidel, 2004.
  • Olá! Como está? Livro de Actividades, Curso Intensivo de Língua Portuguesa. Lisboa: Lidel, 2004.
  • Olá! Como está? CD áudio Duplo, Curso Intensivo de Língua Portuguesa. Lisboa: Lidel, 2004.

For more information for fee and scheduling, contact Marie R. Fraley, Interim Director at 401-456-8396 or at

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Adult Enrichment

From time to time, the Institute will sponsor events of interest to the general public. These events may focus upon such topics as history, folk culture, ancestry or current trends in Portugal and the Lusophone World.

Past events:

April 4, 2009, 9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., Alger Hall 110
"Tracing Your Portuguese Roots: A Genealogy Workshop" presented by genealogists Cheri Mello of California and George Pacheco of the Family History Center, Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

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Youth Events

As part of the Institute"s mission to reach out to the Lusophone community, youth- and family-centered activities are planned to engage young students in the excitement of learning the Portuguese language and Lusophone cultures. Events are theme-driven to give youngsters the opportunity to learn more about the language, culture, history, literature, geography, music and art of the Lusophone World.

Bilingual Calendar Art Contest:
Since 2004, the annual calendar art contest has been sponsored in conjunction with the organization "Day of Portugal and Portuguese Heritage in RI, Inc." Students enrolled in Portuguese programs in Community Portuguese schools, public and private charter, middle and high schools are invited to submit drawings and paintings about aspects of the Lusophone World. Students from ages 5 through 18 complete artwork based on specific age-appropriate themes about Portuguese literature and Lusophone cultures from around the diaspora.

Judged by an impartial panel, twelve winners are selected, three each in four age categories. The winners" artwork is featured (one for each month) in the bilingual calendar of the following year. Winners and recipients of Honorable Mention are recognized at the annual "Festival do Mundo Lusófono" at Rhode Island College. Over 1,000 students of Portuguese in Rhode Island have been impacted by this program since 2004.

Past Events:

June 13, 2009, 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., RIC Campus Mall
Dia da Juventude: 2009
Presented in conjunction with the Celebration of the Day of Portugal and Portuguese Heritage in RI, Inc. of 2009, the Mall Area of the Rhode Island College campus was filled with Lusophone-related activities for youth of all ages. From face-painting and ceramic painting to the "Regata das Caravelas" for young ones to the "Climb Pico" Rock Wall and "Foosball Tournament" for older kids, there was something for everyone to enjoy. Relay races were set up into teams for groups of all ages. The "Discover Portugal Race" set school teams to navigating stations around the campus to answer questions about Portuguese language, culture, history and geography. The top three teams with the most points won cash prizes and a trophy for their schools or programs. Participants and organizers wore red, yellow and green T-shirts to form a human Portuguese flag. The highlight was an appearance by the star of the Manchester United Soccer Team, "Nani".

May 31, 2008, 1:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m., RIC Campus Mall
Dia da Juventude: 2008
The first Dia da Juventude was held in collaboration with the Celebration of the Day of Portugal and Portuguese Heritage in RI, Inc. of 2008. A variety of activities to challenge the knowledge and imagination of community youth filled the Rhode Island College Mall. Face painting, "Regata das Caravelas" (Raingutter Regatta), "Climb Pico" (rock wall climbing), Foosball, Rancho Folclórico demonstrations and craft exhibits with Portuguese themes were among some of the activities. Soccer demonstrations by Steve Ralston, Captain of the N.E. Revolution, and the Sting-rays were a high point. The afternoon ended with the "Novas Estrelas" Talent Competition held in Gaige Hall featuring performances of Portuguese music in both Mini and Maxi age groups.

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As part of the mission of the Institute, forums, conferences and workshops are sponsored with the objective of promoting the interchange of cultural and scholarly information.

"Community Radio and Peacebuilding in Guinea-Bissau"

September 24, 25, 2010, Alger Hall 110
International scholars and journalists convened for the conference entitled, "Community Radio and Peacebuilding in Guinea-Bissau" on Sept 24th and 25th following the Inaugural Banquet on Sept 23rd. Dra. Maria Barroso Soares opened the conference as the keynote speaker. Presentations and panel discussions followed which included topics such as historical perspectives on Guinea-Bissau, the role of community radio in Africa in general and Guinea-Bissau in particular, women in the peacebuilding process and the art of language in ethical communication. Dr. Peter K. Mendy is the Institute's principal academic advisor on this project.

Following the conclusion of the conference, IPLWS hosted a roundtable discussion for the Associação da Communidade da Guiné-Bissau nos EUA to facilitate discussion about issues of community concern. The event coincided with the International Week of Peace and Guinea-Bissau Independence Day (Sept. 24th).


(L to R): Nelson Herbert Lopes, Umaro Djau, Antonio Pacheco, Luisa Handem Piette, Michelle Betz

"Trans-Atlantic Relationships: Sharing Experiences in the Political and Economic Trajectories of the Azores and Rhode Island",

September 15th and 16th, 2010, Faculty Dining Center
The IPLWS hosted professors from the University of the Azores, Professor Luis Andrade and Professor Carlos Amaral, and Mr. Steven Barbosa of the European Youth Parliament-Azores at a forum comparing and contrasting the economic and political trajectories of the Autonomous Region of the Azores and the State of Rhode Island. Topics discussed involved the role of each within the contexts of American federalism and European regionalism.

Professors Mark Motte, Francis Leazes, Michelle Brophy-Baermann and Distinguished Visiting Professor Gary Sasse of the Political Science Department represented Rhode Island College's participation in the discussions. Dr. Mark T. Motte was the principal academic advisor for this project. RI State Senator Daniel DaPonte, Chairman of Senate Committee on Finance and RI Rep. Hélio Melo, Deputy Chairman of House Committee on Finance provided practical perspectives on shaping fiscal policy and tax structure. This forum was sponsored by the European Youth Parliament - Azores and the IPLWS.


(L to R): Steven Barbosa, President, European Youth Partliament - Azores and Professor Luís Andrade, University of the Azores

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Opportunities are available to students of Portuguese to assist in projects undertaken by the Institute. Such projects may involve research, operational and event assistance, interviewing, transcription and other tasks relevant to the mission of the Institute. Internships have been provided for students to participate in the following projects:

  • Luso-American Elected Official Oral History Project
  • Peace Radio Project
  • Integration of Portuguese Immigrants and Their Descendants in the United States and Canada
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Page last updated: November 14, 2019