Top positive review
29 people found this helpful
A Must if You Are Using the "Ponto de Encontro" Textbook
on January 9, 2010
From 16 to 27 pages of activities for each chapter in the textbook, filled with consistently reinforcing material step-by-step and from involved activity to activity, you can not go wrong with this book. The textbook itself is 570 pages of instruction while the activity book has 442 pages. I have studied Russian as well as Irish and I have never seen, for either of these languages, an accompanying activity book in a series that would be as extensive and almost as lengthly as the original textbook. (Well, V Puti, a Russian set does this and is the only exception!) I have thumbed my way through the book (I am an English as a Second Language teacher by profession) and it is pedagogically sound in all elements and the activities are relevant to the language learning itself. It does not (as do some activity books) get too carried away with introducing way too much new vocabulary that is not relevant to the tasks and the textbook and guides the student through everything quite well.
I would suggest that, along with the "Brazilian Student Activities Manual to Accompany 'Ponto de Encontro': Portuguese as spoken and used in Brazil" (Remember that there is also the "European Student Activities Manual for 'Ponto de Encontro': Portuguese as a World Language" for those learning Portuguese as spoken and used in Portugal) you should also get the "Answer Key to Accompany Brazilian and European Student Activity Manuals for Ponto de Encontro." If you are studying on your own without a teacher, this will be quite valuable. In many language sets, answer keys only come with the "Teacher's Edition" and this is a welcome addition to the set and can be purchased as "new" for only $8.00.
I also have purchased the DVD of dialogues in Portuguese that includes the same dialogs with different speakers in a disk that includes all of the dialogues in both Brazilian and European Portuguese. Not only are the speakers native to each country or region, they are also filmed in each respective area, giving you the feel of each region for the Portuguese that you are studying. The activity manuals also include activities to go along with the videos on the DVD!
The completeness of this entire set is impressive as they have left no stone unturned: textbook (that teaches either Brazilian or European Portuguese, or you can learn BOTH, per your preference), separate activity manuals for each of the two Portuguese language types, an answer key in one inexpensive edition that covers both activity manuals as well as the companion oral/visual language DVD for BOTH separate as well as equal Brazilian or European Portuguese, the DVD of Portuguese speakers talking about each of the topics, chapter by chapter, of the textbook for BOTH separate as well as equal Brazilian or European Portuguese, and a 3-CD audio set for the textbook itself with a very nice and clear index listing of every track with each chapter and section. They don't stop here either! They also have an on-line site for learning Brazilian and European Portuguese with audio, interactive activities, flashcard system and tests that, when completed, you can choose to send to your teacher, to the teacher's assistant, to a friend and to yourself in plain text or HTML formats!
I had read the reviews on here about this set and none of them even went so far as to describe the entire set as a unit and how they are there to help you to really learn Brazilian or European Portuguese should you decide to use all of the resources available.
Now, this entire set, new, can be rather expensive. I purchased the CD, DVD, and book used here on Amazon. I only bought the Brazilian Portuguese Activity Manual and the Answer Key as new items. This helped me to cut the overall cost of all new materials by a rather tidy sum such that I could purchase the ENTIRE set! Even at full cost for new here on Amazon, I really feel that this entire set is a bargain as you will definitely learn, through diligence and following the program that this set offers, to speak, to listen to, to read and to write Portuguese like a native (high intermediate to low-advanced) by the end of the series. Of course, beyond this set (things that you should also do as you are working with the set), learning can be achieved through regular reading of original texts, watching movies, watching Brazilian or Portuguese TV on-line, finding a Portuguese "friend" or two, or three or whatever on-line who uses Skype for regular conversational practice and (if you are lucky, as am I) you may also find a friend who is actually a language teacher who can help you with Portuguese grammar, colloquialisms, pronunciation and can provide more "cultural notes" that make learning any language more fun, entertaining, and immersive!
Get the set, be dedicated, use it well, use Skype - don't be shy!, and do the work so that you can really achieve the great success in learning Portuguese (Brazilian, European or both) that this set offers!