Studying a foreign language like Portuguese has some amazing benefits for students including being able to connect with more people around the world, training your brain and looking great on a CV!

Unfortunately, while the number of students in European places like Lisbon that are learning languages like English has jumped up, people in Australia still seem to be lagging behind, with one of the major barriers being the cost of lessons, especially as an adult.

While Australian primary and high school students can have the option to study a language with a qualified teacher for free or at very little extra cost, adult students must consider their bottom line before they can commit to their first lesson.

This is even more true for students who want to start from a complete beginner level, as, if they'd like to reach an intermediate or even advanced level, they will have to pay for lessons at a school or with a private tutor for years to come.

Whether it's Spanish, English, Portuguese or any other language, learning enough grammar and vocabulary plus practising skills like reading, listening and speaking takes time and consistency over a period of years.

This is not to say that the cost of lessons should dissuade students from starting their first lesson! But it is important to consider what kind of classes and teachers they can budget for week by week.

Have a look at our overview of what you can expect to pay for Portuguese classes in Australia.

An image of a red piggy bank and a yellow piggy bank. Knowing your budget for Portuguese lessons can be helpful.
You don't need to spend hundreds to find the best Portuguese teacher to learn from, it all depends on what you want to learn! | Image Source: CC0 1.0, JamesQube - Pixabay
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What Can Affect the Cost of Your Portuguese Course?

Just like Spanish, Portuguese is a language that can allow you to speak with millions of people, not only in Lisbon or other parts of the European country of Portugal but also in Brazil, along with many other benefits.

The average cost for a Portuguese tutor in Australia is around $30 per hour, but when considering different types of courses, a student must be aware that this price is affected by a range of factors from how many hours you want to study a week to the qualifications of the teacher.

Here are some questions to think about when considering how much you should be paying to study Portuguese:

How Popular is the Language?

Understandably, if a language has more popularity amongst students in an area, then there are more teachers willing to deliver a course. The more teachers there are, the cheaper the average cost per hour will be for tuition in that language.

For example, given that it's quite easy to find tutors for European languages like Spanish or French, students can expect to pay a little less for a private lesson as opposed to a more niche language like Serbian.

Despite the 200 million native speakers of Portuguese and the thriving Portuguese and Brazilian communities in many Australian cities, it's not a language that's commonly taught in Australian schools.

This means that you might have to pay a little more for courses, whether they're private or in a group. It may also make it more expensive to find outside revision materials.

What is the Course Delivery Method?

An important aspect to take into accounting when calculating the right amount for your Portuguese tuition is the way you connect with your teacher during the lesson. For example, a group class will definitely cost less for every student.

Taking a course online vs in-person will also affect the cost of each lesson. Because they don't have to travel to their students, tutors often charge a little less for this type of lesson.

One of the positives of online study is the possibility of studying with teachers from all over the world. For example, if you want to learn not only about the grammar and vocabulary of Brazilian Portuguese but also about the history and culture, you can connect online with a teacher currently living in Brazil!

Find Portuguese language course here on Superprof.

Studying online can help keep costs low
If you start to learn languages online with a school or private tutor, you can keep costs down. | Photo Source: LinkedIn Sales Solutions- Unsplash

How Much Experience Does the Teacher Have?

The price of a Portuguese course is greatly affected by the experience and qualification of the teacher, especially if they teach any specialist areas.

Some types of courses that students might expect to pay more for are:

  • Specialist lessons such as Portuguese for business or university;
  • Intensive courses where the student and teacher meet every day over a period of weeks.
  • Courses run by tutors who have high-level qualifications such as a post-graduate certificate, or proven results through years of experience with great student reviews.

How to Keep the Cost of Your Portuguese Course Down

While an average of $30 an hour might make you tremble at first, it's important to remember that you're not only paying for the hour class with your teacher but also the time it takes for them to plan, source materials like audio or a video and correct any work you may have done.

If you still want to try and save on the above number, there are a few things you can consider to choose a Portuguese tutor that will offer the right price:

Try a Course Via Webcam

As we've already discussed, a teacher who delivers their whole class via video call tends to charge less than those who have to travel to and from students' houses or rent out a space for lessons.

There are also some benefits for the students:

  • you get to study from the comfort of your home;
  • it's easier to fit a lesson into your day or week; and
  • teachers can use more engaging video or online material.

Try Taking Lessons With Friends or in a Group

If you still want the in-person feel of Portuguese lessons with a cheaper price tag, then you can forgo private one-on-one classes for group lessons.

Private tutors may be happy to organise a group course, or schools like the Centre for Adult Education in Melbourne offer group courses on different days of the week and times of the day to accommodate different students' schedules.

While Portuguese group classes may not be as intensive a learning experience, there are actually some study benefits for students like getting to speak more naturally, practising your conversation and listening skills. You can even make new friends with students who have similar interests.

However, an important consideration is the size of the group, which can't be too large. Most schools cap classes around 10 students, as anything more than this can affect student engagement and learning.

Ask Teachers If They Offer Lesson Packages

Some teachers will offer discounts when students pay in advance for a certain amount of lessons or something like an intensive course.

If teachers know that a student will continue with their classes for longer than a few weeks, then they can be more willing to offer deals, like offering a free class after every 10 hours.

Teachers usually prefer to offer these kinds of deals to long-term students, so if you make it clear that you're planning to continue your course over months or years rather than weeks, you may be able to cut down costs slightly.

Find Portuguese classes Sydney here on Superprof.

It's difficult to choose the right teacher
To choose the best teacher for you, read student reviews and decide on your goals for your Portuguese course. | Photo Source: Towfiqu barbhuiya- Unsplash

What Else Should You Consider When Choosing Your Portuguese Teacher?

Of course, the cost is an important aspect to take into account when choosing your new Portuguese teacher, but what happens when you find two great tutors who offer courses at the same rate? What then?

Well, there are a few other factors that can make the difference between finding a Portuguese who will teach you grammar and vocabulary and one that will transmit their love of the language so much so that you'll be buying a ticket for Brazil or Lisbon in no time.

The most important thing to consider when choosing your tutor is your own goals for your course. What do you want to practice the most? Where do you hope your new language skills will take you?

For example, if you're looking to enrol in a university in Lisbon or Brazil, then you'll need to find a tutor who can help you practice skills like advanced-level academic writing and reading. This means they'll need great qualifications and experience.

Another consideration is whether you want to learn the type of Portuguese they speak in Portugal or that of Brazil. The two are quite different in terms of pronunciation and vocabulary, so this consideration can help you choose between tutors.

You can look for a Brazilian Portuguese online course on Superprof.

However, if you just want to have a good time and pick up a new skill, then you simply need to find someone who you enjoy speaking to and who engages you. This could be a native speaker who has recently moved to your city or someone who has already studied Portuguese for a few years.

To find the best tutor for you, make sure they match your criteria as well as your goals and read plenty of past student reviews. You can also try some free trials with different tutors before you commit to one.

By going through these different stages, you should be able to find a tutor that won't just help you practice your grammar, speaking or pronunciation skills, but that will also engage you during classes and provide a fun Portuguese learning experience.

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Giulietta

Giulietta is an English-language teacher currently working in Italy who loves fashion, history and finding the best restaurants in whichever city she finds herself in!