Trovoada de Ideias - Linguistic and social inclusion of Students from the PALOP in the Portuguese Higher Education

The project is based on two diagnosis applied to students and professors from Portuguese Higher Education Institutions (HEI), on academic inclusion of students from Portuguese Speaking African Countries (PALOP) in two institutions: the School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal (2013) and ISCTE-IUL (2016).

In both cases, it became clear that there is a need to adopt strategies and instruments to promote the inclusion of international PALOP students, namely to produce and test materials to deepen their linguistic-communicative skills, for academic purposes, in different varieties of the Portuguese language.

On one hand, skills related to oral and written comprehension of European Portuguese used in Portuguese HEI; on the other hand, skills related to the oral and written production of texts required by academic activity, in any language and its respective varieties. 

Previous projects developed at ISCTE-IUL and in other Portuguese HEI have confirmed these same needs, but without exploring the sociolinguistic backdrop that is central to this project.


The research-action project derives from two fundamental needs.

First, to promote a deeper understanding on the communicative linguistic repertoires and skills of each student, through:

a) recognizing the African varieties of the Portuguese language, and the sociolinguistic contexts of each country of origin;

b) promoting a deeper knowledge on the differences between the schooling countries and the higher education country, considering the students’ previous school practices, over 12 years of schooling in Portuguese (either first language (L1) or second language (L2)).

Second, to identify needs for more comprehensive and efficient responses of social and academic inclusion at different Portuguese HEIs in relation to these international students. Consequently, we aim contributing to a more efficient and sustainable internationalisation of the higher education system (also) through the Portuguese language; enabling the potential implicated in these international networks, wherein Portuguese language plays a central role as a language of shared knowledge. 


It is our aim to contribute to the linguistic and social inclusion of the PALOP international students in the academic context of ISCTE-IUL through seven stages of research:

(1) A Course Unit (UC) on transversal skills in Portuguese language, designated as "Academic Portuguese", addressed to international PALOP students, and inclusive regarding other students, running from May 2018, with tuition exemption for target students, under the coordination of the Laboratory of Languages ​​and Transversal Competences (LLCT/ISCTE-IUL);

(2) The production of a script with materials of the “Academic Portuguese” UC, for language teachers, applicable in Portuguese HEIs; 

(3) The production and application of a MOOC – a Massive Open Online Course – for students, derived from the script;

(4) The production of a book about biographies/the school path of the international PALOP students participating in the “Academic Portuguese” UC;

(5) The creation of a brochure of pedagogical guidelines for teachers of Portuguese HEIs;

(6) The creation of a team of mediator-mentor students, with training and guidance, under the coordination of the Social Action Service (SAS);

(7) The creation of events to disseminate the results.



Team: Ana Raquel Matias (coordinator, CIES-IUL; ISCTE-IUL), Paulo Feytor Pinto (co-coordinator, CELGA/ILTEC; APEDI); Filomena Almeida (LLCT-IUL Director, CU coordinator); Teresa Seabra (CIES-IUL; ISCTE-IUL); Pedro Martins (research assistant, CIES-IUL, CELGA/ILTEC); Vera Rodrigues (CIES-IUL; ISCTE-IUL);  Monika Augustyniak (researcher, CIES-IUL); Rosário Candeias (SAS-IUL Director) and Bela Jardim (SAS-IUL senior technician), with the collaboration of a group of Angolan students, who gave the name “Trovoada de Ideias” (the Angolan Portuguese equivalent of brainstorming) to the project.

Start Date
End Date
Project Funding
Alto Comissariado para as Migrações (ACM)
External Partners
CIES-IUL - Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology
Centro de Estudos de Linguística Geral e Aplicada da Universidade de Coimbra
Associação de Professores para a Educação Intercultural
Data from Ciência-IUL