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Plan for teaching Portuguese to foreigners

Starting this Friday, the inaugural strategic plan for teaching Portuguese to foreigners enters public consultation, introducing novel training methodologies and methods for skill recognition.


AIMA President, Luís Goes Pinheiro, informed Lusa that the plan, targeting immigrants in Portugal who aren't native Portuguese speakers, establishes, for the first time, a "comprehensive guide incorporating the aspirations of various public sector entities responsible in this field."

"This plan will be publicly unveiled today, and tomorrow (Friday), it will commence its first phase of public consultation. We've succeeded in rallying a broad spectrum of public administration bodies around a document that commits all parties for the next four years, subject to review in two years," Goes Pinheiro remarked.

"However, we believe there's room for further advancement. Therefore, contributions must be submitted during the public consultation period, ending on March 11th, from anyone willing to contribute to the vital goal of enhancing foreigners' knowledge and proficiency in the Portuguese language," he emphasized.

Over the past few months, AIMA has engaged in discussions with eighty institutions, spanning public entities, migrant and refugee associations, as well as academics, to deliberate on this plan.

Goes Pinheiro underscored that while AIMA prioritizes document regularization as its primary objective, established since its inception on October 29th following the dissolution of the Foreigners and Borders Service and the High Commission for Migrations, teaching Portuguese is also deemed strategically important.

According to the president of AIMA, initiatives for teaching Portuguese to foreigners have "already existed, but were scattered or poorly coordinated", emphasizing that "a major aspect of this strategic plan is the investment in communication and information technology tools" to ensure coherence in training.

One example is the opportunity for users to conduct "self-diagnosis to assess their proficiency in the Portuguese language", with options for "distance learning" or "digital certification of knowledge" eliminating the necessity for physical attendance.

"It's crucial for education to extend beyond the classroom," noted Goes Pinheiro, highlighting the plan's emphasis on learning "language in work environments" or even "within sports contexts".

Goes Pinheiro emphasized that the plan "is particularly tailored for migrants outside the education system who require encouragement and solutions to actualize learning".

Presented today by the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Ana Catarina Mendes, the document aims to "address everyone without Portuguese as their first language".

Goes Pinheiro stressed, "We understand the significance of language proficiency as a critical element for complete integration, as demonstrated by international studies."

He added, "Teaching Portuguese is something demanded by the Portuguese themselves as an essential requirement for the integration of our visitors."

Regarding funding commitments for the plan, Goes Pinheiro mentioned that AIMA "aims to allocate a substantial amount of funds", surpassing previous allocations, contingent upon the outcomes of the public consultation period.

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