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Prof. Edlia Simões, professor of Psychology, presented her research project findings to official schools of Macao

23

Oct

Prof. Edlia Simões, professor of Psychology, presented her research project findings to official schools of Macao



Prof. Edlia Simões, professor of Psychology, from the University of Saint Joseph’s Faculty of Social Sciences, has been recently presenting her research project findings to School Directors and Portuguese teachers in official schools in Macao.

About the Study “Learning Portuguese as a L2 in Macao: Validation of an assessment instrument”

The Portuguese Language is the second official language of Macao and over the years since the handover, learning Portuguese as a second language (L2) in schools has grown (Yan, 2017). Macao has aimed to become the “main actor on the dynamics of teaching and disseminating the Portuguese language in the Asia-Pacific Region” (Macao Higher Education Magazine, 2016, p.5).

In this context, our study aimed to validate an assessment instrument to better understand how Chinese children in Macao are learning the Portuguese language. In this study participated 216 Chinese children learning Portuguese as a second language in Primary school (1stto 6thGrades). Resulting from a previous pilot study the assessment instrument was ameliorated for validation. The assessment instrument comprises 7 subtests to assess several language skills (e.g. oral comprehension, word reading accuracy, vocabulary knowledge, reading comprehension, phonological awareness and spelling).

A quantitative analysis was performed showing that the test demonstrates good psychometric properties enabling us to pinpoint in which areas Chinese children have more difficulties learning Portuguese as a second language. The results also provided the possibility to discriminate students’ proficiency levels between grades and between bilingual vs. non bilingual classes. We expect to have contributed to the understanding of the several components that are implied in second language acquisition of Portuguese by Chinese children. This will help educators to adjust and possibly improve the area of Portuguese Teaching as a L2.