Whatever the reasons for the decision, the arrival in Portugal in the migratory context presents numerous challenges. To emphasize, the need to understand the context of arrival, starting with language. Whether it is access to work, access to education, learning or adapting to the Portuguese language is always a challenge.
I am referring to adaptation or learning because they effectively represent linguistic processes for different realities. On the one hand, we have people in which the Portuguese language is their linguistic reality, because the Portuguese language is their native language, whether they are monolingual or bilingual; and on the other, people whose language learning is at different levels and competences. It is precisely the non-recognition of these differences that too often fails in the Portuguese educational system. On the contrary, treatment often follows the dichotomic criterion between those who are considered to be Portuguese, and who in turn is recognized as full mastery of the European Portuguese variant, and the other, whose mastery of the language seems never to be enough. There is no shortage of examples so often stated: “everything is very well, but only speaks Brazilian”, “certainly does not dominate the Portuguese because in Africa all dialects speak”. It is precisely these linguistic realities of each speaker that are repeatedly ignored whenever a skills assessment is made, in the domain of language or others. In practice, it results in increased discrimination, which intersects the dominance of the European Portuguese variant with the condition of migrant status.
For a country that is so proud of itself its more than 280 million speakers, placing it as the 5th most spoken language in the world based on of the population of territories where the Portuguese is official language, not only is this discrimination contrary to the current discourse, as it is extremely serious. It ignores the needs of speakers, whether Portuguese is their native language or their foreign language, it profoundly affects their performance, and leads to questions about their own personal worth.

In order to have a real response to the needs of each one by the education system, it is essential to know the various linguistic and learning realities. Non-isolation and non- discrimination are fundamental in adapting to the teaching model and in socialization processes. And the way given educational institution and its representatives approach these realities and linguistic needs reinforces the importance of the role they play.
The transformations necessarily involve a reformulation in the current approaches, such as the recognition of the Portuguese variants in the world with the same legitimacy of the European variant, the real characterization of the linguistic identity of each speaker and the dignified treatment in the evaluation of performances in the educational system.

Cátia Severino, Linguist and Postdoctoral Researcher at the Linguistics Centre of the
University of Lisbon
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