The president of AIMA, Luís Goes Pinheiro, told Lusa that the plan, aimed at immigrants in Portugal who do not have Portuguese as their native language, defined for the first time a “guide that brings together the wishes of several public sector entities with responsibilities in this matter".

“Today it will be publicly presented, and tomorrow (Friday) the first strategic plan for teaching and learning the Portuguese language for foreigners will go into public consultation. We managed to mobilise a vast group of public administration entities in a document that binds all parties for the next four years, with a review within two years", stated Goes Pinheiro.

“But we feel that it is possible to go further and, therefore, it is important that contributions appear in the public consultation by March 11th from anyone who has a contribution to make towards this important aim, which is to increase knowledge and mastery of the Portuguese language by foreigners”, he added.

In recent months, AIMA has met with eight dozen institutions, including public organisations, migrant and refugee associations and academics, to discuss this plan.

Goes Pinheiro recalled that AIMA placed the regularization of documents as the main priority of the organization, created on October 29th following the extinction of the Foreigners and Borders Service and the High Commission for Migrations, but teaching Portuguese is also considered strategic.


Initiatives for teaching Portuguese to foreigners “already existed, but were scattered or poorly coordinated”, said the president of AIMA, adding that “a major feature of this strategic plan is clearly the investment in communication and information technology tools” to provide coherence to training.

An example of this is the possibility of “self-diagnosis of users who want to know what situation they are in and their command of the Portuguese language”, with the possibility of “distance training” or “certification of knowledge using digital tools”, without the need to attend classes.

“It is important that teaching leaves the classroom” and, therefore, the plan includes learning “language in a work context” or even “in the context of sports”, said Goes Pinheiro.

According to the president of AIMA, "the plan “is very much designed for migrants who are not in the education system and who need encouragement and solutions to make learning a reality”.

The document, which will be presented today by the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Ana Catarina Mendes, aims to “reach everyone who does not have Portuguese as their first language”.


“We know well how mastery of the language is an absolutely critical element for full integration, as all international studies indicate,” said Goes Pinheiro.

The teaching of Portuguese “is something that the Portuguese themselves demand as an absolutely essential condition for the integration of those who visit us”, added the president of AIMA.

Without committing to funds to invest in the plan, Goes Pinheiro stated that AIMA “intends to allocate a significant set of funds to the plan”, higher than what was done in the past, but everything will depend on what emerges from the period of public discussion.