Video: West Pembroke Portuguese Lessons

June 4, 2010

Scroll down to watch a video of West Pembroke School students demonstrating their newly learned Portuguese language skills for Premier Dr Ewart Brown, Education Minister Elvin James and MP Trevor Moniz earlier today [June 3]. The Portuguese language school program is believed to be the first of its kind in Bermuda, and was promised in last year’s Throne Speech.

The students were very enthused to demonstrate their skills; saying hello, thank you, counting, singing and much more. Watch below:

Upon arrival the visiting politicians were promptly offered a seat in the tiny chairs made for very young children. They maneuvered themselves into the mini chairs to the amusement of both themselves and other adults in the room.
west pembroke chair

Read More About

Category: All, News, Videos

Comments (12)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. ROCKFISH says:

    This in nonsense! Children that age should be learning to speak English properly first, then learn another language.

  2. ROCKFISH says:

    typo—-should read “This is nonsense”

  3. bernews says:

    As an FYI, this is an afterchool program, the kids do it in addition to their regular schoolwork. We were there at 4pm, and we stand to be corrected, but we think it takes place at that time normally. We should be getting more info from Gov next week, so hopefully we can add more info then…

  4. Kennette J Burgess says:

    @ Rockfish, whoever you are..You need to do some research b/c kids in other countries MASTER 2 and more languages at this age. If taught at a younger age, they grasp the languages easier than as teenagers and adults, hence the reason for learning so early.
    I praise Government and the educators for this initiative. I wish I had it going school in Bermuda! I hope that other languages (mostly Spanish/French) will be offered in elementary school too.

    WE NEED MORE OPTIMISM IN BERMUDA, pessimistic people are the reason why we are getting left back! GO BERMUDA. Great job Kids.

  5. West Pembroke grad says:

    About time! Why schools in Bermuda focus on Spanish/French instead of Portugese, which has become part of our national heritage is beyond me. Another legacy of out colonial roots, no doubt.

  6. RISE UP! says:


  7. ROCKFISH says:

    @ Kennette J Burgess whoever you are, you have missed the point completely. I am fully aware of the ability of children at that age to learn one or more language/s.
    However, children in OUR elementary schools, should be learning and excelling at the basics,( we all know they need it) in preparation to move on to the next level. Upon reaching that, they will be better equipped to learn additional languages. First things first!
    It is foolish for these students to be running around the neighbourhood speaking Portuguese, while getting sub standard grades in the subjects they require to move on.

    • Phil Perinchief says:

      I disagree Rockfish. Since 1970 I have been pushing to teach the portuguese language in our schools as during that time I was faced with teaching and communicating with several students of Portuguese descent who were struggling to keep up because of our mutual language difficulties. If you have observed, the neighbourhood of which you speak has a sizeable population of persons of Portuguese descent and, at a minimum, it would be a mark of respect to communicate with such persons in their language. Remarks of the kind you make has resulted in many Portuguese people changing their last names and generally feeling embarrassed and apologetic about their heritage which is a tragedy I think.Examples of this reluctance to embrace their heritage has resulted in many persons of Portuguese origin not understanding a word of Portuguese and divorcing themselves from the rich history of their ancestors. Just ask Trevor Moniz or Timothy Marshall for starters.Do you make the same remarks concerning the speaking of French and Spanish? I can’t say I see as sizeable a population (yet) of French and Spanish Bermudians as I see in respect of the Portuguese Bermudians yet I have never heard any reluctance to those languages been taught in our schools.In my view, my daughter is a better person for being proficient in both french and spanish. I hope she goes on to study other languages including swahili, chinese, portuguese etc. Do I detect an element of racial discrimination here when it comes to studying portuguese in our schools? Let’s face it, though there are few Portuguese who will publicly admit it, they were handled shabbily and shamefully(shambolically really) by the very Whites they subsequently supported in holding the Blacks back in this country. In that regard they were used as a buffer.Politics aside, the point I think that you are missing Rockfish is that whichever language is learned ( swahili for example) is an edifying and uplifting experience for those who choose to pursue such a course.It is a journey into the world of other cultures and civilisations. An elevation from the darkness and confusion of ignorance and insularity which holds us back and plague us as a people.And yes, these languages may be pursued without any deleterious effect on our childrens’ abilities to excel in the BASICS. Life, to be enjoyed in all of its dimensions should go well beyond the BASICS and our remote shores.Detach yourself from the rock, Rockfish! Take a plunge and a swim in the wider ocean of life !

      • Zalika Millett says:

        To Rockfish,
        My neice is in that class. Her English is great. Whether or not a child excells in the English language depends greatly on the vocabulary used in conversations shared with the child & whether his/her grammar is corrected. Also, the time invested in studying reading, writing, & spelling with the child is important. This program is an option, not a requirement. My neice becoming bilingual is an asset. So maybe your concern should address those parents/guardians/relatives who know their young one needs extra assistance with the English language but opt to not be proactive.

    • stophatinportugueselanguage says:

      this goes to rockfish -no what i have had it what do u have against portuguese. i am portuguese and i really wish that they taught portuguese when i was in primary school instead of me wasting at least 1,000 dollars a year to learn it in a portuguese school so really it aint dat serious !

    • Nuno Patrício says:

      This is to Rockfish and who ever thinks that learning is a waste of time…
      The human mind has to be cultivated…that means to learn is to breath culture and values, no matter what you are learning. So if you think that what they did was just to run around the neighbourhood speaking a foreign language… you are mistaken. The more we learn, the less trouble we get in. The more we learn the better we are as adults, as people, as humans…

  8. T Payne says:

    Great post Phil.If they want to spend afterschool time doing extra language lessons we should be happy. Better that than they run wild on the streets.