Brazilians are proud of their President’s rise from humble beginnings. Even his famous grammatical lapses may have contributed to an educational innovation in Rio
Correspondents say Brazilians are sensitive about making grammatical errors, which are often associated with a lack of education. Now Rio de Janeiro state has set up a grammar hotline to help people who have difficulties using Portuguese. Experts will field questions about topics such as spelling and the use of accents.
The issue has been highlighted during the presidency of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, whose frequent grammatical errors are considered a source of embarrassment by some Brazilians, although others consider it a source of pride that he was able to become head of state despite not learning to read until he was 10 years old. The Rio service is modelled on a similar hotline in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza, which was set up three decades ago.
As an educationalist, I find it a moving story.