The 32nd Portuguese Language Summer Course, organised by the University of Macau (UM) Department of Portuguese, opened at UM today. This year’s course attracted a record number of 461 students from around the world, six of whom are Macanese residing in the United States who are keen to come to their ancestral place of origin to learn one of their heritage languages.
The opening ceremony was attended by distinguished guests, including Chan Ka Hou, interim deputy director of the Tertiary Education Services Office (GAES); Wong Chang Chi, director of the Centre of Languages of the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau; Cheong Iok Kuan, deputy director of the Academy of Public Security Forces (ESFSM); Helena de Senna Fernandes, director of the Macao Government Tourist Office; Carlos Silva Alvares, representative of BNU; José Luís de Sales Marques, president of the Institute of European Studies of Macau (IEEM); Manuel Peres Machado, principal of Macau Portuguese School; Raquel Dias, coordinator of cultural affairs of Rui Cunha Foundation and Helena Vale, representative of Macau Post. The masters of several residential colleges at UM where visiting students will be accommodated were also present.
At the ceremony, Hong Gang Jin, dean of UM’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities, and course organisers, Prof Ana Nunes and Prof Mário Pinharanda Nunes from the Department of Portuguese, welcomed participants from different parts of the world. Dean Jin said in her speech that UM has Asia’s largest Portuguese department, and over the years the department has produced many Portuguese language professionals. She also relayed the message she received this morning from UM Rector Yonghua Song and Vice Rector Rui Martins, who are now in Angola to attend the annual conference of Portuguese-speaking universities, that the two Chinese officials based in Angola who hosted Song and Martins had participated in UM’s summer programme and training programme in 1985 and 1998, respectively. Prof Ana Nunes noted the growing dynamics and scope of the Portuguese Language course, as well as the interest it has sparked among the Macanese in the diaspora, and among others all over the world.
The three-week summer course, which will last until 3 August, aims to enhance participants’ Portuguese language skills and increase their understanding of the Portuguese culture. Students will be able to learn more about the linguistic, historical, social, economic, political, and cultural aspects of Macao. The 460 students attending this year’s course come from Australia, the United Kingdom, France, India, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, the United States, mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan.
The course includes six levels: beginners, basic, intermediate, advanced, superior, and translation in Chinese/Portuguese. It seeks to provide participants with an in-depth knowledge of the language and its cultural variety and complexity. There will also be extracurricular activities, such as folk dances, Portuguese films, sports, choral singing, and creative writing, to make learning an enjoyable experience.
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