Gisele is an awesome teacher. She makes classes fun, and is very creative in the way in which she teaches. I loved learning and develping my Portuguese skill with her!
Gabriel Gonsalves, actor
Melanie Lockert, Fine Arts & Culture Director
Gisele is great! I’ve been taking lessons with her at an intermediate level for 10 months, and having two hours of conversation practice every week has really improved my listening and speaking skills. The classes are varied and we usually spend time conversing, working out of a textbook, and doing other things like reading magazine articles or discussing a Brazilian film.
Gisele has been teaching for several years and understands the grammar of the language very well (something I now realize is important, because not everyone who speaks the language knows how to teach it). But she also brings in a lot of colloquial expressions and idioms, which is important because spoken Brazilian Portuguese is quite different from the formal written language, and while a textbook can teach you how to write like a Brazilian, only a Brazilian can teach you how to speak like one. Plus she’s from Florianopolis so she’s pretty easy to understand 🙂
I wasn’t sure at first if group lessons would be for me, but the group sizes have been small (2-3 people), I’ve learned a lot from my classmates, and the conversation is more enjoyable with other people to talk to, especially since we occasionally meet at a coffeeshop. Definitely a great way to learn Portuguese.
Lauren Steely, Geologist
Gisele provides a perfect balance of academic and cultural instruction. Her academic teaching is equal to, or better than, the college-level Portuguese classes I took in Brazil and the United States. Gisele will work with you to develop a curriculum that achieves your goals. Her classes are always fun and provide a fresh and real perspective on Brazilian cultural issues. Gisele’s broad knowledge of various topics allows for timely instruction on events taking place in Brazil and throughout the world. Gisele is a fantastic instructor! I highly recommend her to students of any level.
Joel Aldape, Research Analyst
e aí cara, tudo bem? vocé quer falar portuguese? antes de viajar para Brasil, eu estudei com a Gisele. Eu sou americana e antes de conhecer ela eu nunca falou portuguese. Eu conheci ela na aula dela em Santa Monica em 2003 e ento eu estudava particularmente com ela na casa dela. Foi ótimo! Bem bacana! Ela me ensinou tudo! Mais do que a idioma, mas as coisas culturais tambem. Depois, eu morava no Rio há 4 anos e estudava lá tambem. Agora, eu moro em Los Angeles e eu tenho um filho brasileiro. Ele faz 3 anos e fala portuguese fluentemente. Para aprender uma idioma é dificil, especialmente quando vocé está mais velho, mas com Gisele eu nunca tive vergonha e eu quis saber tudo. Foi bem fácil. Sem as coisas que ela me ensinou, minha primeira vez lá no Rio poderia ter sido horrível. Eu recomendo Gisele si vocé quiser aprender portuguese. Com ela vocé vai falar bem logo! Boa sorte! If you can;t understand what I wrote above, then know this. Before 2003, I couldn’t speak, understand or write portuguese. Gisele established the foundation upon which I could learn and communicate in this language. If she can do this for me she can do this for anyone. Before portuguese, I studied spanish and german and I can’t understand or speak either. Languages have never been my thing, but now I am fluent in portuguese and have no problem communicating in this wonderful language.
Matthew Smith, entrepreneur
Gisele is great! I began taking classes with her while in college. I had studied abroad in Brazil and wanted to keep up my Portuguese but there were no classes offered at Occidental College. I looked for instructors online and saw that Gisele was based in Eagle Rock where I lived. I have now been studying with her for almost 2 years and I would highly recommend her to anybody who wants to learn Portuguese for the first time or improve their existing language skills.
My favorite thing about her class is that she is good at balancing grammar, reading, writing and conversation. She uses textbooks to go over verb tenses, new words and grammar but you end up having rich discussions about other topics throughout the lesson that help broaden your vocabulary and your conversation skills. As my classmate and I got more advanced, the class turned into a book group where we read Brazilian literature, wrote chapter summaries and discussed our thoughts throughout. She also incorporated culture, such as art and music, into the lessons. This made the class fun and engaging.
Overall, Gisele is a fantastic teacher because she varies her lessons and ensures her students receive a well-rounded knowledge of the Portuguese language and relevant culture.