NOVA Alexandria to Host 2nd Annual Spanish & Latin American Film Festival, September 2016

NOVA Alexandria will host a second annual Spanish and Latin American Film Festival, September 20-28, 2016. This has been made possible with the support of Pragda, SPAIN arts & culture and the Secretary of State for Culture of Spain and an NVCC Educational Foundation grant. We look forward to building on the success of last year’s festival, which received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the students, faculty and staff who attended. We hope to see you there!

Included below is general information about each film with links to trailers and more details. All the films are award-winning or nominated and have had limited release in the U.S. Please contact Prof. Martha Davis ( with questions. All films will be screened in the Bisdorf Building (5000 Dawes Ave.), include English subtitles and will be followed by a post-screening discussion.

Tuesday, September 20, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in AA160
Venezuela  / 2013 / 93 mins

“A nine-year-old boy’s preening obsession with straightening his hair elicits a tidal wave of homophobic panic in his hard-working mother, in this tender but clear-eyed coming-of-age tale.”

Wednesday, September 21, 2-4:30 p.m. in AA196
Spain / 2015 / 102 mins

“A festival favorite, The Country of Fear is a must see for high school and college level students. The film touches upon one of the most talk about behavioral issues happening on campus these days.”

Thursday, September 22, 1-3:30 p.m. in AA196
Spain, Italy / 2015 / 87 mins

“From her tiny office overlooking the U.S. Interests Section, 58-year old Lourdes counsels thousands of Cubans seeking a U.S. travel visa. She coaches them on answering tricky questions, fine-tuning their stories so they have a better chance of succeeding. They come from every walk of life and from all over Cuba to unveil their own life stories at the “Oficina del amor” (Office of Love), as she’s baptized it.”

Tuesday, September 27, 12:30-3:00 p.m. in AA196
Bolivia / 2011/ 109 mins

“La Paz’s Zona Sur neighborhood is Bolivia’s most exclusive enclave and has housed the country’s affluent elite for generations. In an adobe-tile-roofed castle, a statuesque matriarch reigns over her spoiled offspring and indigenous servants. But social change, however unwelcome, is on its way.”

Wednesday, September 28, 2-4:00 p.m. in AA196
France, Guatemala/ 2015 / 62 min

“Maria, a 17-year-old Mayan girl, lives and works with her parents on a coffee plantation in the foothills of an active volcano in Guatemala. An arranged marriage awaits her: her parents have promised her to Ignacio, the plantation overseer. But Maria doesn’t sit back and accept her destiny.”

Intermediate Spanish I (SPA 211) Fall 2016 Course

¿Hablas español? ¡Apúntate para una clase de conversación!

SPA 211, Intermediate Spanish I, is a 14-week course that will meet on Mondays and Wednesday from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. beginning September 7. Registration is now open to all students who have completed SPA 202 or have equivalent fluency. Please contact Prof. Martha Davis with questions (

Spanish for Heritage Speakers Courses for Fall 2016

spa 205

SPA 205 – Spanish for Heritage Speakers
(español para Bilingües)
Fall 2016, M/W 5:00-6:30pm
14-week (starts 9/6/16)
3 credits (Class ID 12570)

SPA 206 – Spanish for Heritage Speakers
(español para bilingües)
Fall 2016, TH 11:00am-12:55pm
(hybrid) 12-weeks (starts 9/19/16)
3 credits (Class ID 43330)

  • Do you speak Spanish at home?  ¿Hablas español en casa
  • Are you a Spanish-English bilingual?  ¿Eres bilingüe?
  • Do you want to improve your Spanish?   ¿Quieres mejorar tu español?
  • Do you want to train for your career?   ¿Te quieres preparar para tu carrera?

“Spanish for Heritage Speakers” is a course designed for students who already have some background in the language. The main objectives for the course are to (re-)familiarize yourself with the written form of the language and to expand on your existing knowledge of Spanish-speaking cultures. The course also focuses on reading comprehension, spelling, and key grammatical structures that will help students to strategically construct well-written texts tailored to their needs.

Students will explore the past and present of Spanish-speaking societies in order to further enrich their knowledge of this heritage. Students should have completed through Spanish 202 or have the equivalent ability in Spanish. Concurrent enrollment with SPA 201 and 205 and SPA 202 and 206 are possible with instructor approval. This course is also an ideal option for students who have completed an AP or IB course in Spanish in high school. Non-heritage speakers with the appropriate level are also welcome!

For more information: contact Professor Arana at or call(703)933-3986

Images of Celebrate Languages Week

As part of Celebrate Language Week, on Tuesday, March 15 the World Languages Department held an International Poetry Reading, featuring poems in Russian, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese.

Pictured below are the student readers, who brought the poets’ verses to life.


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The International Poetry Reading also featured the dedication of a new collection to NOVA Alexandria’s library donated in honor of former NOVA student, Patrick Hamm, an avid reader and caring friend who took pride in his Mexican heritage. After Patrick died suddenly on October 9, 2015 at the age of 32, his friends from his Fall 2014 Spanish 202 class raised $500 to purchase Mexican and Mexican-American literature and non-fiction, in Spanish and English. Each book contains a bilingual bookplate indicating that it was donated in Patrick’s honor. Patrick’s friends take comfort in knowing that the the books will be enjoyed by generations of students to come.

Pictured below with a sample of the collection of the donated books are L to R: Matt Todd (Library Director), Patricia Escamilla-Hamm (Patrick’s mother) and Martha Davis (Assistant Dean, World Languages).


Pictured below with Patricia Escamilla-Hamm is Marcy Delos, who dedicated her reading of Libro de segunda mano by Antonio Deltoro in memory of Patrick Hamm.


Thursday, March 17 featured three events. In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, Terry Nealon, Alexandria resident, native of County Mayo, Ireland, and CEO of Fishtree presented a Celebration of Irish Culture and Language. Among the aspects he highlighted were Ireland’s economic achievements, the “troubles,” world-renowned writers and musicians as well as common Irish phrases and sayings.



Pictured above, left to right, with Terry Nealon are Shon Grant (Lead Assistant Dean, Liberal Arts) and Martha Davis (Assistant Dean, World Languages).

An International Karaoke Contest followed. Pictured below with Prof. Amanda Trostle (Spanish), who hosted the event, are the three winners, who sang in French, Chinese and Spanish and were presented with gift cards. Congratulations, singers!


The Chinese and Spanish Boardgames event began with a performance by Alan Morris, who sang in Chinese and played the ukelele. Alan has taken nearly every Spanish course offered at NOVA and is now a student of Chinese 102.


“Happy Birthday” was sung in Chinese and Spanish to one lucky student.


And, as Spanish custom dictates, the birthday boy’s ears were pulled 20 times, once for each year.


Let the games of Scrabble en español and mah jongg begin!




Thank you to all who made Celebrate Languages possible, especially Professors Dali Tan, Laura Franklin, Amanda Trostle, Eddy Arana, Lama Hamdan and Nadya Malagò-Blackburn of the World Languages Department and NOVA Alexandria’s World Languages student participants, and for the support of Matt Todd, Library Director, Lexi Franklin, Coordinator of the Hodge Language Center, and Patricia Escamilla-Hamm.

Save the Date: Celebrate Languages Week

NOVA Alexandria’s World Languages Department is proud to present Celebrate Languages Week from March 14-17, 2016. All events are free. For more information, contact Prof. Martha Davis at

Monday, March 14
Il Postino/The Postman
11:15-1:30 PM in AA196
Italian Film with English Subtitles
Moderated by Prof. Nadya Malagò Blackburn

Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios/Women on the
Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
5:00-7:00 PM in AA196
Spanish Film with English Subtitles
Moderated by Prof. Eddy Arana

Tuesday, March 15
International Poetry Reading
2-3:30 PM in AA160
Hosted by Profs. Laura Franklin, Dali Tan & Martha

Wednesday, March 16
3:30-5:30 PM in AA160
Film in Arabic & English with English Subtitles
Moderated by Prof. Lama Hamdan

Lola rennt/Run Lola Run
6:45-9:00 PM in AA196
German Film with English Subtitles
Moderated by Prof. Eddy Arana

Thursday, March 17
A Celebration of Irish Language & Culture
12:30-1:30 PM in AA158
Presented by Terry Nealon, CEO Fishtree
Lunch will be served

International Karaoke
1:30-3:00 PM in AA160
Hosted by Prof. Amanda Trostle with
World Languages Faculty Judges

Karaoke contest rules:

Link to sign up for karaoke contest:

International Board Games
3:00-5:00 PM in AA160
Co-Hosted by the Chinese Club & S.A.L.S.A.


Cuisine, Culture & Language: An International Film Series

NOVA Alexandria’s World Languages Department proudly presents an international film series, “Cuisine, Culture and Language.”

Series is free and open to the public. Screenings will take place in Hodge Language Center, AA160

All films are subtitled in English and followed by discussion.

Kebab Connection (German)
Thursday, November 12, 2:00-4:00pm
Discussion moderate by Prof. Eddy Arana

Eat Drink Man Woman (Chinese)
Friday, November 13, 1:00-3:30 pm
Discussion moderated by Prof. Dali Tan

Like Water for Chocolate (Spanish)
Thursday, November 19, 12:30-3:00 pm
Discussion moderated by Prof. Martha Davis

Tampopo (Japanese)
Friday, November 20, 1:00-3:30 pm
Discussion moderated by Prof. Elizabeth Bull


Please contact Prof. Martha Davis ( for further information.

Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program

A representative from the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program will visit our campus later this month. CLS provides fully-funded overseas immersion programs for eight to ten weeks during the summer in fourteen different languages, including Arabic, Hindi, Korean, Swahili and Turkish. Airfare, tuition, room and board, cultural program expenses, overseas health benefits and applicable visa fees are covered. Participants also receive a small stipend to cover incidental expenses and meals not provided by the program. The only expenses the student would be responsible for is fees to obtain a U.S. passport if you don’t already have one, and medical exam fees to complete the medical form.

The program is open to undergraduate students in all fields of study. Many of the languages that are part of the program require no prior experience with or study of the language. The State Department is particularly interested in promoting to students at our campus in an effort to “broaden the base of Americans studying and mastering critical-needs languages and to represent the full diversity of professional, regional, cultural and academic backgrounds in the United States.”

Please consider applying for a CLS and plan to attend the presentation on Tuesday, October 20 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Hodge Language Center (AA 160) to learn more about this invaluable opportunity. The CLS application deadline is November 30.

Questions? Contact Prof. Davis at