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La Retraithe Sixth Form


Studying Portuguese at the La Retraite 6

Exam Board: Pearson Edexcel

Why study this course?

Speaking and understanding another language is an invaluable skill, which can be useful in many ways throughout life.

In the future, you could be competing for jobs on a European level and your knowledge of another language and culture will really make you stand out; demonstrating commitment and dedication to a different language and culture.

Students who have studied language at A Level go on to have careers in a variety of sectors including teaching, translating, sales and marketing, travel and tourism, journalism, fashion, work in the foreign office or secret service, interpreting and banking.

What will I learn?

Students will learn important aspects of Portuguese speaking countries’ language (listening, reading and writing skills) and culture (cinema and Literature).

How will I be taught?

Students are expected to attend 4 periods a week, they are taught in small groups or individually, using a variety of resources, such as books, videos, textbooks, articles form newspapers, coursebooks, audio files.

How many hours a week of private study are recommended?

Students are expected to complete around six hours of independent work a week, to consolidate learning.

You’ll enjoy this course if…

You love the language, the culture and travelling. You want a career that will make you go places and you are passionate and dedicated to developing your language skills.

Course description

Topic 1. Changes in Contemporary Portuguese society.

Topic 2. Political and artistic culture in Lusophone countries.

Topic 3. Migration in Portugal.

Topic 4. How has Portugal’s history shaped its politics?

Individual Research Topics:

Students must choose at least one topic to answer the research question (Section C) in Paper 1.

Topic 1: The importance of post-secondary education in Portugal.

Topic 2: Lusophony in the Modern World.

Topic 3: Migration in Portugal.

Topic 4: The Discoveries: Vasco da Gama’s Voyage to India.


- A Cidade e as Serras, Eça de Queirós (1901)

- A Viagem do Elefante, José Saramago (2008)

- Antes do Baile Verde, Lygia Fagundes Telles (1970)

- Capitães da Areia, Jorge Amado (1937)

- Pensageiro Frequente, Mia Couto (2010).


- "Abril Despedaçado", Walter Salles (2001)

- "A Canção de Lisboa", Pedro Varela (2016)

- “Os Gatos não têm Vertigens”, António-Pedro Vasconcelos (2014)

- “Que horas ela volta”, Anna Muylaert (2015). -



The exam is comprised of three papers that test the following abilities:

    • Oral Comprehension
    • Writing and Written Comprehension.

In order to be eligible to receive the qualification students must sit all three papers in May/June of the same year.

Paper 1 (9PG0/01)

  • Duration: 2h30min Total marks (250): 80 40%
  • Translation into English
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Writing (research question)

Paper 2 (9PG0/02)

  • Duration: 2h40min Total marks (250): 110 30%
  • Translation into English
  • Writing (cinema and literature) in Portuguese

Paper 3 (9PG0/03)

  • Duration: 2h15min Total marks (250): 60 30%
  • Oral
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Writing.