Welcome to the Gil Vicente Portuguese School
The gift of a second language is a window into a new world, bringing into focus a wealth of conversation, information, and a greater global understanding of the world we live in.
The GVPS Portuguese Language program provides Portuguese classes on Saturdays to help students develop their communicative skills in Portuguese. The program aims to cultivate students’ listening, speaking, reading and writing skills as well as enhance their cultural understanding and awareness.
History of Gil Vicente Portuguese School
Gil Vicente Portuguese School was founded in September of 1971 with a group of about ten students. In October of 1972, with the encouragement of the Portuguese Counsel in Vancouver, Dr. João Valadas, the school continued with 25 students. In June of 1973, the school was recognized by the Portuguese government and the students were able to write exams which were recognized in Portugal.
With immigration still open to Portuguese families arriving in Canada, interest in the school grew within the community. The number of students reached its peak in 1982/1983 with approximately 200 students. They comprised 8 classes of various grade levels.
Over the years, due to changes in the government in Portugal and improvements to the standards of living, there was a slow decline in families immigrating to Canada. Those that were already here became more integrated within the Canadian culture and the number of students attending Portuguese School declined.
In recent years the interest in learning the Portuguese language has begun increasing once again. The number of students remains consistent with approximately 100. This is believed to be a result of our Portuguese 15, 25 & 35 credit courses along with changes to the Alberta Learning Standards. Gil Vicente school blends learning the Portuguese language with embracing the Portuguese culture and traditions.
Students and the community at large are beginning to become more aware of the importance of a second language, not only for family relationships, but for professional advantages as well.
I like being able to develop my Portuguese skills through group conversation, comprehension, writing, etc. Also meeting new friends that I wouldn’t normally meet.
I really benefited from going to Gil Vicente. I enjoyed the school activities that we did and there were a lot opportunities to speak Portuguese.
The teachers are friendly and prepared, and you feel at home as soon as you walk into the school.
The teachers always teach us enthusiastically so I can learn many things from them.
I really enjoy going to Portuguese School. I have gained more than learning a new language, I have gained more friends and a fun group of people around me!