Congratulations, Student Video Award Winners!

For their final project, the students of Humanities 295: Poetry and Prose of Latin America and Spain worked in small groups to film an original adaptation of a piece of literature they have studied this semester. The videos included Acts II and III of Federico García Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba and readings of Pablo Neruda’s poetry in Spanish and English. After the in-class screening of the videos, the class voted for Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Video. Congratulations to all!

best actors

Best Actor: Alan Morris and Best Actress: Kay Wood

best video

Best Video: Act II, The House of Bernarda Alba

Pictured L to R: Adeline Umubyeyi, Kay Wood, Glancy Rosales and Lydia Nure


El Día de los Muertos

Throughout Latin America families honor their deceased relatives on el Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), which is celebrated on two days, November 1st and 2nd. November 1, Día de los Inocentes, is a day dedicated to the memories of children who have died.

The holiday blends Aztec and Catholic traditions. Unlike Halloween, the days are looked on as a celebration of life and respect for the dead. Families will visit cemeteries and place flowers on their relatives’ graves and make other offerings to them, often of their favorite food or other items. Many will spend the night in the cemeteries reminiscing about their loved ones. In Mexico, people will eat calaveras de azúcar (sugar skulls) and pan de muerto (bread of the dead).

Photos by Amy Wopat

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New Spanish Course for Spring 2015!

SPA 233: Spanish Civilization & Literature
Course # 56177 (3 Credits)
Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Expand your knowledge of Spanish literature – from Medieval jarchas and El Cid to costumbrista and feminist short fiction – in its historical context.

Prerequisite: successful completion of SPA 202 or equivalent fluency.

Questions? Contact Prof. Martha Davis at


Teatro Milagro Visits NOVA

Teatro Milagro, from Portland, Oregon, performed their bilingual Spanish-English play Cuétame Coyote on Thursday, October 16th in the forum of the Schlesinger Center. The actors fielded questions from the audience after their performance and led an acting workshop later in the afternoon from 3:30-5:30. In the workshop students enjoyed learning techniques from Boal’s theater of the oppressed, such as creating still images of colors, objects and world issues and sharing stories of personal journeys.

Thank you to the Office of Student Activities and to the student volunteers from S.A.L.S.A. for making the events possible.

Milagro I

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Milagro 2

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Students Attend GALA Theatre’s Production of “Cancún”

Honors option students from Prof. Davis’s Spanish 202 and Humanities 295 classes visited GALA Hispanic Theatre on Saturday, October 4th. They enjoyed seeing the Catalonian playwright Jordi Galcerán’s comedy Cancún performed by a dynamic and energetic cast. The students were joined by a number of other students of Prof. Davis’s HUM 295: Poetry and Prose of Latin America and Spain course, who had read and discussed the play in class. 

Thank you to Prof. Amey and the Honors Committee for sponsoring the honors option students’ night out!





VCCS World Languages Peer Group Conference

Members of the VCCS World Languages Peer Group enjoyed their second biennial conference held in conjunction with the 2014 Foreign Language Association of Virginia (FLAVA) Conference in Williamsburg, September 25-27. Sixty community college professors from Danville to Annandale and beyond, representing more than five world languages, attended. Peer group members led 16 breakout sessions and held a breakfast meeting and luncheon. Alandra Giron-Simmons from Thomas Nelson Community College was named 2014-16 VCCS World Languages Peer Group Chair.

The VCCS World Languages Peer Group would like to thank FLAVA for their support and collaboration. We look forward to a continued partnership and congratulate Alandra!

Photo credits: Chaiya M. Ortiz

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Teatro Milagro’s Production of Cuéntame Coyote

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S.A.L.S.A. cordially invites you to Teatro Milagro’s production of the Spanish-English bilingual play, Cuéntame Coyote on Thursday, October 16 from 12-1:30 p.m. in the Forum of Schlesinger Hall. The event is free and open to the public. Food, including empanadas and pupusas, will be served.

Following the play, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in AT121, the actors will lead an acting workshop.

For details, please contact Prof. Davis at

Face-to-Face or Online: Which is better for me?

I often field inquiries about the difference between face-to-face and online Spanish classes. Here is an overview of what you can expect in each delivery method:


Regular and prompt attendance is required. A structured environment is provided.

Students interact with each other and with the instructor in real time, in person.

Students receive instant feedback from instructor and can have questions answered in class (and usually right before and right after too).

Instructors create their own daily lesson plans that reflect their individual teaching style.

Homework serves to reinforce what is presented in class and gives students the opportunity to further practice what they do in the classroom.

Oral exams are proctored face-to-face either in pairs or one-on-one with the instructor.



Although there are weekly due dates for assignments, students have flexibility as to where and when they can complete them over the course of a week. They must be available to connect online with a partner, however, to complete paired speaking exercises.

Students receive instruction primarily through the online textbook.

Students communicate with each other through paired speaking exercises and Blackboard discussions.

Feedback, while not immediate, can be more personalized and focused because it is given one-to-one rather than in the presence of an entire class.

Students may contact the instructor by email, phone or visiting him or her in office hours.

Students submit their oral exams via Blackboard. Written exams are taken at a testing center.

Students must earn at least 60% on each exam (written and oral components combined) to continue in the course.


Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

amo el espanol

September is a celebratory month in Latin America. September 15th is el Día de Independencia in the Central American countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Mexico begins to celebrate its Día de Independencia with El Grito de Dolores on the night of September 15th. Thousands will gather in Mexico City’s Zócalo to respond to the president’s chant of “¡Viva…!” Chileans celebrate their independence on September 16th, too.

How will you celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?