Role play and self help groups

I am planning to start a self help group with a few friends with a particular focus on actually speaking and listening. We thought that perhaps having some role play based on real life situations would be useful. For example an encounter with the GNR, following possible procedures and so on. Practising what might be said and our responses. Does anyone know of any scripts/ resources for this sort of role play please?


Great idea! You could try using the Shorties, sorted by Dialogues only. Most of those will be 2-person dialogues that you could download and use as a script.

After trying it out with the script a few times, you could then try having the conversation without the script, adding your own questions or responses based around the same topic.

A few role-play situations to get you started:

Shopping for clothing

Buying a newspaper

Going out to dinner

Finding an apartment

Giving directions

Renewing your Cartão de Cidadão


Thanks for the ideas, much appreciated. Unless all of the group subscribes to PP it wouldn’t feel quite right to use the shorties for scripts but it’s the sort of thing I am looking for.

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I have the same concern. I love PP and am trying to recruit more learners through a group that meets once a week at a local restaurant. We have about 20 members at many different levels of learning so it’s for fun, conversation, and meeting new people. I’ve created a newsletter for the group and list various learning sites and programs. These shorties would work great for the limited time we spend together but I don’t want to break the rules of PP if that’s a problem. So my question is; can I use them in our group?

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A lot of hard work and cash must have gone into developing such a good resource maybe Rui and Joel consider using them in this new way and making them available to groups to use in this way for a subscription. I have no idea how that could be monitored . Rui? Joel? Any thoughts?

I would be very interested to know how you run the group especially with people at different levels of learning. Is it informal and people just chat at whatever level they can manage or is there some sort of structure, small groups? Do you have any materials that you take along etc

Boa noite! I think this is a great idea, and I appreciate you being sensitive about asking our permission to ensure we are rewarded for our ongoing hard work, your respect means a lot! :innocent:

Using the audio with the printed transcriptions in a small group context is fine by me, since it will be a chance for more learners to become familiar with our platform. We just ask that you use common sense about not distributing a huge portion of the transcriptions in a big binder or something (to make sure there is still lots of value for the learners to consider signing up with their own accounts in the future, to support our continued ongoing development).

If either of you think others in the group may be interested in getting set up with their own accounts, shoot us a message through the contact form and we can see about a group discount. Most of our time and monetary resources are focussed on funding ongoing technical as well as content development, so these are the kinds of word-of-mouth opportunities that we really need to embrace.

(If anyone else reads this who is in a similar situation of wanting to share our resources in a group setting, we just ask that you kindly reach out to us first like these two have :slight_smile:)


THanks Joel. Great news! Our next meeting is tonight and I’ll be sure to pass on your generous discount offer. Keep those shorties coming. They are gold for a group like ours. Thanks again!


Thanks for your very kind and generous response. I promise to use the material sensibly. We are already promoting PP to anyone we meet who is looking for an online site for European Portuguese. Thanks again Maureen


Hi @maureenlister1 :wave:

I’ve been following this discussion with interest and it sounds like you’ll do a great job of proactively learning Portuguese with your group.

I can see why you might be on the lookout for pre-prepared scripts, especially if some members of the group are at the beginning of their Portuguese learning journey. But I’m wondering if getting locked into a script is the best way to prepare for real-life encounters that might be more ad lib.

Could this idea work for you? …

  • Take the scenario you want to explore.
  • Think of phrases (in English at this stage!) that might come up or be useful in that situation.
  • Don’t forget general phrases like, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand”, “Can you explain, please?”, “How does that work?” etc.
  • Work as a group to translate the phrases into Portuguese.
  • If you get stuck with the translation, throw the problem phrases at the PP community for help!
  • Encorporate your phrases into a conversation that is more off-the-cuff.

I just wonder if by coming at it from a different angle you’ll learn better and be more spontaneous in conversational situations. It’ll probably be a lot more difficult and take more work, but it could be worth it.

What do you think? :grinning:


Hello Jeremy
Thanks for taking the time to write. I think your ideas are great and will use them. I had thought about trying to role play some situations that are encountered in real life, hence the script idea, partly because my own knowledge is not brilliant but I think the way you suggest of gathering the vocabulary and phrases is excellent. I would not have thought of some of the extra phrases such as, could you explain, etc Again thank you for your help. Maureen

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Hello Maureen.
I’m glad there was something useful there for you.

I thought about it because of my own experience with the text book I’ve been using. It has lots of dialogues in it, which I started off trying to learn parrot-fashion, but before long I began pinpointing useful phrases without realising it and making up little dialogues of my own around them. For someone who has always been a lot better at understanding languages rather than speaking them, it has really been helpful in getting me to actually open my mouth!

Keep us all posted how your group gets on :grinning:

All the best,

Jeremy I think your idea for Maureen’s group was excellent but it can work for the wider PP users too.
I never occurred to me to compile a list of my own general, useful phrases in English then translate them, check the translations and learn them for a quickfire on street reply.
I have already started compiling my list. I can confirm that this will not be on the list
“Meu postilhão foi atingido por um raio”
but believe it or not, 65 years ago, the English translation was in my first French text-book when I was at Grammar School.
Thanks for the suggestion Jeremy. It is so helpful.


Hi there @mac.cummings

Thanks for your nice comments :grinning:
I hope your list is coming along nicely!

I remember a Russian textbook of mine 30 years or so ago taught me how to say “a 180,000 volt x-ray tube”… I’m still waiting for that one to come in useful! LOL


We had so many new people last night that there wasn’t much chance for the conversation I wanted to have with the group, so next week. But I love the way this thread is going and will continue to do my lessons and learn from other “learners”! Thanks again!

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Apropos this topic, are there other PP learners in the Boston (US) Area?

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We have Azorean citizens in our group that help us understand the meanings and variations of the vocabulary. They also help us with pronunciations which are very, very helpful. The Azorean accent is a big different from the continent so it helps us understand the way they say things because that’s the environment we’re living in. AND, this was setup to meet locals as well and make friends!


That’s interesting. How did you “recruit” locals? How did you decide the venue and get the owner on board? Did you advertise the sessions? Is there any subscription or is it a drop in for coffee type set up? How long do sessions last? Are materials provided, resources provided.
On the one hand I am just starting a small self help group with about 8 friends but long term I might like to start a drop in code group similar to yours so any information would be most welcome. Especially any top tips about things you have learnt along the way . M

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We started a FB page to meet with locals and make friends and learn Portuguese. I approached the owner of a cafe that had a back room and asked if we could meet there, with the understanding that many members would purchase food and drink at the meeting. It has worked out well for the Cafe and us. The group has grown from about 6 people to 25-30!


Thanks. There are a couple of things that have helped me think about how to develop the idea.

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