I am awful at languages (aside from English, I hope I can say…)
I tried learning Spanish (quit after obtaining a basic proficiency), tried learning French (totally hopeless), tried learning Thai (failed MISERABLY).
I’ve had a wide range of teachers, schools, and styles.
And aside from Casa Do Caminho Language Center, I can’t recommend any.
The school offers intensive group classes (3 hours a day, 5 days a week) for a super low price. The classes incorporate grammar, reading, writing, speaking, listening, and even culture, through real-world activities and discussions, including Brazilian dance and music, political/social issues in Brazil. (note: if you have a restrictive schedule, you can also take private lessons at a great price)
The school has free activities every weekday for students, including guided favela tours, hikes, capoeira, Samba lessons, football, and volleyball.
Every friend I have in Brazil, I met through the language school (one way or another). It attracts some awesome people.
Best of all, the proceeds from the language course benefit children. One program includes after school activities for at risk children from the favela, providing fun and functional activities and teaching social, life, and educational skills. Did you know that public schools in Rio are not mandatory, run for only a few hours a day (including a recess), and have teachers that are woefully overburdened (sometimes close to 100 students in a class, no air conditioning, and without adequate resources)? Many children cannot properly read or write, even at the middle school level. Other programs offer language classes to deserving students, and scholarships to help motivated students get out of the poor public school system and receive a quality education at a private school.
Casa do Caminho is AMAZING. Finally I feel like I am making real (but slow, due to my own fault) progress towards learning another language. Portuguese is not easy (the pronunciation!!) but I am enjoying the challenge and working hard.