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Database of Teaching Sources

A database of selected, reviewed, tested, assessed and validated e-learning based language teaching sources addressed to Higher education students for the learning of 18 different European languages.

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Quiz / Can you find the subject?

Date of Publication


Target Group


Domain Area

Business & Communication
International Relations
Journalism & multimedia
Teacher Education

Learning Scenario

Autonomous learning
Classroom Context

Target Language


Language of Instruction


CEFR level


Type of Material


Linguistic Features





This resource was made available by a Portuguese daily newspaper, Jornal de Notícias (designed by the Association of Portuguese teachers and it focuses on the problem of identifying the subject when in a complex sentence subjects and verbs are separated. It is a quiz, using rather simple questions and displaying different options. It is suitable for learners with a B1 level in Portuguese (if learning the language as a foreign language) or for students who need to improve their writing when it comes to the correct use of punctuation, being able to identify the subject in complex sentences. Normally, students, even those who are native Portuguese speakers, do not use punctuation properly (they tend to separate the subject and the object with a comma when they deal with more complex sentences where subjects and their corresponding verbs do not immediately follow together). Therefore, this resource could be helpful.
In technical areas such as Business and Communication, Law, Journalism and Multimedia, and Teacher Education, language accuracy is central. In legal language, it is very common to find such complex structures. The nominal groups are normally very long and then the verb comes only two or three lines after the subject.
So, this resource could assist the teacher as he/she would provide their students with such exercise, adapting it and creating other more complex examples, depending on the level of the students. The students can also use this resource on their own.

Case study

This resource was tested with a group of 35 Law students (BA in Solicitorship) in the course unit technical Portuguese. As it is commonly known, legal language is one of the most hermetic languages for lay people. Besides dealing with the analysis of some legal texts, it is also part of the syllabus to study and practise the use of Portuguese regarding vocabulary and grammar. So, this exercise fitted in perfectly for the purposes of the subject. On the one hand, it focuses on sentence organisation and, on the other, it is a good motivating source for students as they can practise the language in a more engaging and interactive way. After being presented with some complex examples in which they had to identify the subject, students were then asked to move on to this website where they could practise more of this. Students were also given a score after finishing the exercise. Warmed-up within this topic, students were shown law texts with complex and long sentences in which the object is difficult to relate to its corresponding subject (they had to find the nominal group and relate it to the corresponding verb). Students really enjoyed doing this exercise online as it was a different approach to doing exercises and at the same time to learning.


Classroom context:
1. Provide students with some examples of complex sentences (taken from a Decree-law, for instance) and ask them to identify the subject. / OR you can also give students jumbled complex sentences and ask them to organise the sentences in a meaningful way.
2. Then, ask the students to write their own examples of complex sentences
3. As a more interactive way of practising this particular subject, ask students to answer the quiz.
Autonomous learning:
This resource could be used as a way to practise and consolidate knowledge on sentence organisation. Learners (Portuguese or anyone learning Portuguese) have easy access to the resource and practise on their own.


Comprehensive approach
Capacity to match the needs of lecturers and students


Added value
The provided tangible improvements


Motivation enhancement
The capacity to motivate students to improve their language skills


Effectiveness in introducing innovative, creative and previously unknown approaches to LSP learning


Measurement of the transferable potential and possibility to be a source of further capitalisation/application for other language projects in different countries


Skills assessment and validation
Availability of appropriate tools for lecturers to monitor students’ progress and for students to assess own progress and to reflect on learning


Flexibility of the contents and possibilities for the LSP lecturers to adapt the contents to their and to students’ need


Assess the technical usability from the point of view of the lecturer and the student


Assess the accessibility from the point of view of the lecturer and the student


The resource is easily accessible online and it is also easy to use and adapt to several contexts starting from B1 level. It can be used in a more LSP context but also within teaching Portuguese as a foreign language. Non-native speakers can use it if they have at least level B1. Even though the language is simple, some structures might have some complexity. This resource can highly motivate the students/learners as they are given immediate feedback on their answers.
Website of the Teaching Source: