Photo for European Day of Languages at British Council Lisbon

Working with our partners we reach millions of people worldwide. Here are some of our success stories.


EUNIC and European Literature Night

EUNIC is the network of European international cultural relations institutes, which brings together all the cultural institutes currently represented in Portugal, namely: Alliance Française, British Council, Camões – Instituto da Cooperação e da Língua, Goethe-Institut, Institut Français du Portugal, Instituto Cervantes, Instituto Ibero-Americano da Finlândia, Instituto Italiano de Cultura de Lisboa, and Instituto Cultural Romeno. EUNIC was formed in 2006 with 32 members from 26 countries.

In 2013, the EUNIC Portugal members came together to organise the European Literature Night that took place in Lisbon on 24 May 2013. The event provided a chance for works by contemporary authors from the nations involved to have public readings in various locations in the Lisbon area bounded by the Largo do Rato, the Praça do Príncipe Real, the Largo do Chiado, and the Largo do Carmo.

This was a celebration of contemporary literature that attracted an audience of over 1300 people, and which we hope to repeat in 2014 and beyond.



Helping teachers to exploit English literature in the ELT classroom as a language tool.

BritLit started as a joint adventure between the British Council in Portugal, APPI (the Portuguese association for teachers of English) and NILE in the UK. It has already earned itself a reputation in classrooms and amongst teachers in Portugal, and with other countries within and outside Europe. 

Established in 2003 to help teachers in Portuguese secondary schools work effectively with the extended reading texts (short stories) in the national curriculum, it later became a global resource, offering access to texts and supporting material for the whole school range of English language teaching. 

The project developed a series of resource ‘kits’ around contemporary British literature texts, where teachers build their own lessons from the activities offered. It also allowed a parallel programme of author visits to take place in schools. The ready-to-use BritLit materials continue to be available to download from the APPI website



In 2012 the British Council invited Associação Vo’Arte to the Unlimited Festival at London’s Southbank Centre – the UK’s largest ever programme celebrating arts and culture by Deaf and disabled people. There Artistic Directors Ana Rita Barata and Pedro Sena Nunes experienced the twenty-nine new commissions awarded to disability arts organisations as part of the Cultural Olympiad. 

Following the festival the British Council were keen to develop a partnership with Associação Vo’Arte, drawing on their 15 years’ experience of promoting work by Deaf and disabled artists. 

In April 2013 Vo’Arte once again staged their annual InArte inclusive arts festival, and, in partnership with the British Council, brought to Lisbon David Toole and Lucy Hind – two established choreographers and performers. David and Lucy performed Extra-Ordinary and ran a series of dance workshops for an inclusive group of disabled and non-disabled dancers. 

In addition, during the Unlimited Festival, the British Council forged a partnership with Vo'Arte and two other European organisations. Together we successfully bid to the Culture Programme of the European Union for a project entitled Unlimited Access, which supports best practice in the commissioning, creation, and dissemination of performing arts by Deaf and disabled artists. 


Bilingual Project

2012 -13 saw the Bilingual schools pilot project in its second year of implementation. Almost 900 children in years 1 and 2 in primary schools across the country studied part of 'estudo de meio and expressões artisticas' through English. Class primary teachers were supported by English teachers in planning and delivering their classes. The British Council and the Ministry of Education’s Direção Geral da Educação offered training, resources and support visits.

"It continues to be a project that pleases everybody: parents, children and their teachers." (Primary teacher, Porto)

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