Three Apps for August

It’s August, which means it’s time to get ready to get back to school! Here are three apps to consider downloading for the new school year:

1. Duolingo offers “bite-sized” language lessons that you can do anywhere anytime, for free.

2. WordReference contains bilingual dictionaries. Be sure to check out the language forums for frequently (and not so frequently) asked questions about words and expressions.

3. Stack the Countries is a fun educational game that will help enhance your geography skills. Switch the language to “español” to learn country and city names in Spanish.




Top Ten Ways to Keep Up Your Spanish over the Summer

Here are ten ideas for practicting your Spanish this summer. They do not require a passport or plane ticket and many are low-cost or free.


10. Pick up a copy of El Tiempo Latino or Washington Hispanic.

Both are free and available throughout the DC metro area. Build your vocabulary, read the news from a slightly different perspective and learn about issues of importance to the local Spanish-speaking community.

9. Watch a movie.

Here are a few favorites. Look for them at a NOVA library, on or Netflix:

El orfanato

El laberinto del fauno

Voces inocentes

Y tu mamá también

La misma luna

Hable con ella

La lengua de las mariposas

Amores perros

Diarios de motocicleta

Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios

El Norte

Historia oficial

Mi familia

Real Women Have Curves

Caballos salvajes

L’auberge espagnole


Nueve reinas

Lista de espera

8. Keep a daily one-sentence journal in Spanish.

Set aside five minutes a day to write at least one sentence.

7. Join or start a Spanish language Meetup group.

See where other “fanáticos” are meeting up here:

6. Subscribe to the Notes in Spanish podcast.

Hosts Ben and Marina entertain as they educate. “Inspired Beginner” through Advanced language lessons available on iTunes and here:

5. Sign up for a virtual language exchange through The Mixxer

Go to for information about matching with a Spanish-speaking student of English.

4. Check out a book of poetry, short stories or a novel in the Spanish literature section (starts with “PQ”) of the Alexandria Library.

Some bilingual editions are available too.

3. Get hooked on “Mi Vida Loca,” a telenovela from

2. Visit a local Spanish-speaking community.

Puruse the grocery stores, bakeries, markets and restaurants in the Chriligua section of Alexandria or Mt. Pleasant, Columbia Heights or Adams Morgan in DC.

1. Take a class at NOVA!

For a complete list of course offerings visit:

Congratulations, Alexandria Campus Writing Awards Recipients!

On April 30, students, faculty and staff gathered to celebrate recipients of the 2014 Alexandria Campus Writing Awards. The ceremony featured poet Magus Magnus, who read several of his poems and inspired students to pursue careers as writers. Mia Castiglione read “1/4″, which was awarded 1st place for poetry. Mischa Wolfinger, author of  “lady mercy won’t be home tonight,” shared her award-winning short story with the audience. Congratulations to all of our writers!



New HUM 295 Course for Fall 2014

Prof. Martha Davis is offering a new Humanities 295 course, “Poetry and Pose of Latin America and Spain,” which will meet in the fall semester on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The course features authors such as Pablo Neruda, Rosario Castellanos, Gabriel García Lorca and others. Honors Option available.

For more information, please email Prof. Davis at


SPA 102 Honors Students Meet GALA Theatre Actors

Honors students from Martha Davis’s Spanish 102 class enjoyed an evening at GALA Hispanic Theater in Washington, DC on Saturday, March 8th in the company of a former U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States, a Puerto Rican author and other dignitaries. They attended GALA’s production of “La señorita de Tacna,” a play about memory, storytelling, loyalty and betrayal by the Peruvian Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa. In the lobby afterwards, as the students discussed the amazingly versatile performance of the lead actor, Luz Nicolás, she and other cast members walked by. The students were very pleased to be able to meet Ms. Nicolás as well as Tim Pabon, who plays “la señorita’s” nephew, Augustín. Prof. Davis and her students thank the honors program for making this unforgettable experience possible.



“Cuba Today” Presentation by Prof. Jim Baer


On Wednesday, February 19, Professor Jim Baer spoke about his visit to Cuba as part of his Fall 2013 sabattical. During his month-long stay on the island, Prof. Baer lived in a seminary in Matanzas and studied the role of Protestant groups in Cuba. He shared photos of the iconic 1950s American cars that are found on Havana’s streets as well as the homes of local Matanzas residents whom he befriended.