In my last blog I looked at the importance of Portuguese, one of the most spoken languages in the world. Now I can introduce you to Ana Botas, our accomplished Portuguese language teacher. She was kind enough to spare some time to tell me more about herself.

Where did you grow up and where do you live now?

I grew up in the small countryside town of Fazendas de Almeirim, surrounded by vineyards, almond trees, walnut trees, olive groves and fig trees. When I was 17, I moved to Lisbon to study. It’s a great city, full of good energy and I made lots of friends here from all over the world.

In 2014 I moved to Manchester with my (now ex) partner. At that time, the economy in Portugal was not good and we were looking for a better life, full of new opportunities. Thankfully, the Portuguese economy is now booming.

Manchester is very different to Lisbon, so much bigger and it can be very dark. I still miss the sunshine and my coffee breaks by the Rio Tejo ( Tagus River).

What was your best subject in school and what did you study after leaving school?

My favourite subjects were Portuguese and Art … I wasn’t a fan of Chemistry. Because of my love of art, I worked as an Arts and Crafts Events Manager in various shopping centres. I also promoted learning skills through art to children between 3 to 11 years old.  I went on to do my degree in Early Years Education at João de Deus, a private university. I chose this because I love working with children.

João de Deus was a very famous poet and pedagogue. His Cartilha Maternal (Maternal Book) was published in 1876 and details his his method of teaching reading to children. This is one of the most frequently reprinted books in Portugal and I learned how to teach using this.

I also teach English as a second language, work as an Examiner for Cambridge Assessment and I am planning to study Spanish at Instituto Cervantes.

What are your favourite things to eat?

I am a pescatarian/vegetarian. I love Pastéis de nata, a traditional Portuguese pastry that can best be described as a custard tart. I am always changing my diet according to how I feel. At the moment, I am no longer eating meat for health and ethical reasons. I am an environmental activist and I care about our planet.

Tell me about your students and why they want to learn Portuguese.

Some students are keen to learn Portuguese because they want to flirt with Portuguese native speakers. I have also had students asking me to help them with their wedding speeches to surprise their partner’s family.

What is your favourite movie?

Amélie (also known as Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain because this movie made me see the world differently. I do believe in living creatively and that I can create my own happiness.

What sports do you enjoy playing/watching?

I swim and watch football occasionally. I support Manchester City and Benfica and I enjoy watching Ronaldo playing for Portugal.

What is your favourite song and why?

Because I love the beach, it has to be High by the Beach by Lana del Rey. My favourite beaches are Setubal, Sintra and also the Algarve beaches. Formentera Island beaches look like paradise.

When you have free time what do you like to do?

The gym, cinema, travelling, shopping, meeting family and friends and going to events such as music festivals. I use a bike because is good for my health, for the environment and is economical.

What advice do you have for people who want to learn Portuguese?

Learning a language does take time, so be patient and have fun.

If you’d like to learn Portuguese then contact us here.