Lancaster PhD student discusses best teaching practices at Camões Institute workshop

A room with presenters
The participants of the Camões Institute workshop. Sophie Bennett and Dr. Cátia Verguete can be found in the first row. Dr. Verguete is in the center, Sophie is first from the right.

Our PhD student Sophie Bennett travelled to London to participate in a best teaching practice workshop organized by Portugal’s Camões Institute, one of Europe's leading institutions promoting bilingual education and a strategic partner of Lancaster University.

The Camões Institute workshop took place on March 26, 2024, and was well attended by school teachers and university lecturers.

The workshop included presentations on projects involving the teaching and learning of Portuguese. Sophie presented the results of a survey on the teaching of Portuguese pronunciation in heritage language classrooms. This enabled Sophie to engage with teachers directly and to gain further insights into the teaching of pronunciation to heritage language learners.

Sophie Bennett said: “The workshop was an excellent opportunity to meet with teachers of Portuguese and explore heritage language teaching from many different pedagogical angles. The teachers’ individual experiences of heritage language teaching and learning are invaluable in researching the factors that support successful bilingual development.”

Dr. Cátia Verguete, director of the Camões Institute in the UK, added: "It was delightful to welcome Sophie to the workshop. She had the chance to present her work to teachers of Portuguese from a multitude of teaching contexts and levels. Everyone was fascinated to hear about the results of her questionnaire on the learning and teaching of pronunciation. This engagement will be extremely important and of great value for us."

Sophie’s work is supported by an ESRC CASE studentship. The CASE project focuses on the linguistic development of heritage language bilinguals. Sophie is co-supervised by Professor Patrick Rebuschat, Professor Padraic Monaghan (both Lancaster University), Professor Cristina Flores (University of Minho) and Dr. Cátia Verguete (Camões Institute UK).

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