Spanish Placement Test Now Available at NOVA Alexandria Testing Center

The Spanish Department at NOVA Alexandria is pleased to announce that an online placement test is now available at the campus testing center in Bisdorf Room 156. Current and prospective NOVA students who have had prior exposure to Spanish may take the test. Results are valid for Spanish classes at the Alexandria Campus and ELI (Extended Learning Institute).

The test consists of 40 multiple-choice and 3 short essay questions that test students’ writing skills. Students have 90 minutes to complete the test but must begin the test within 60 minutes of the testing center’s closing time. For a listing of the testing center hours and other information, please visit

Please allow up to 7 days to be notified of your results.

Note: You will not receive course credit by taking the placement exam. In order to receive college credit for your Spanish skills, you must take the CLEP or NYU exam: We recommend that you first check with your transfer institution to be sure it accepts credit for these exams.

A Mexican Summer Reading List

Looking for ways to keep up with your Spanish over the summer? Check out these titles, which were all written by Mexican authors and available at the NOVA Alexandria Library. They are a part of a collection dedicated to former NOVA student, Patrick Hamm, by his classmates in SPA 202 in celebration of his life.

Author Title
Azuela, Mariano Los de abajo
Boone, Luis Jorge Largas filas de gente rara
Esquivel, Laura Como agua para chocolate
Esquivel, Laura Malinche
Fuentes, Carlos Diary of Frida Kahlo
Jimenez, Francisco El regalo de Navidad
Paz, Octavio Piedra de sol
Paz, Octavio El laberinto de la soledad
Poniatowska, Elena Querido Diego, te abraza Quiela
Rulfo, Juan Pedro Páramo
Vasconcelos, Jose La raza cósmica

World Tapas Day is June 15

Looking for local places to celebrate one of Spain’s greatest contributions to world cuisine? Check out Jaleo, a top-rated restaurant with multiple locations in the metropolitan DC area (plus now Las Vegas!), including Crystal City. Award-winning chef José Andrés, who hails from Asturias, Spain, opened the 7th St NW location in 1993. He has been “wowing” customers and expanding his food empire ever since.

Want to learn more about World Tapas Day? Check out

(Pictured above: Patatas bravas from El Bodegón in Ponferrada, Spain, arguably the best in the world.)

Velvet: Spanish TV Series Available on Netflix

Glitz, glamour, romance, class conflict and tragedy – the Spanish television series Velvet has it all. Galerías Velvet is a family-run department store in 1950s Madrid. As the first-born son, Alberto stands to inherit the business. However, his family sends him away to school when they discover he is in love with Ana, a dressmaker who works tirelessly to outfit Madrid’s fashion elite in Velvet’s haute couture. Will love prevail…?

The first three seasons of Velvet are currently available on Netflix and are a fun way to keep up with your Spanish comprehension skills over the summer. Here’s a trailer from Season One. Enjoy!


Twitter en español

“Tuitear,” “tuit,” “tuiteo” and “tuitero” are all Twitter-related words formally recognized by the Real Academia Española and included in its dictionary. If you are on Twitter or would like to start, there is a wide range of Spanish-language accounts you can follow. In no particular order, here are our favorites. (You can also access these by visiting – or better yet, following – Prof. Martha Davis on Twitter. You can find her at @ProfaDavis.)

El Tiempo Latino

Washington Hispanic

BBC Mundo

The Hispanic Council

Daniel Alarcón (host of NPR’s podcast “Radio Ambulante”)

Lead with Languages (this one isn’t in Spanish, but there are some inspiring stories and informational articles)

Museo Sorrolla

Biblioteca Nacional

Museo del Prado

Real Academia Española

Spain (This one isn’t in Spanish either but it has amazing photos that will make you want to drop everything and travel there!)



Palacio de Bellas Artes (Mexico)

Instituto Cervantes


Jorge Ramos

Spanish-Language Podcast

Looking for a way to maintain your Spanish listening skills over the summer? Check out Radio Ambulante, a weekly podcast from NPR that covers stories from Latin America and the U.S. Recent episodes have included a two-part, heart-wrenching tale of the toll that unregulated elective plastic surgery takes on patients and their loved as well as growing up as an immigrant in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco during the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. There are several ways to listen:

Listen to it anywhere and everywhere. Pause, rewind and repeat as necessary. 

Are You a Heritage Spanish Speaker?

Do you speak Spanish at home?
¿Hablas español in casa?

Are you a Spanish-English bilingual?
¿Eres bilingüe?

Do you want to improve your Spanish?
¿Quieres mejorar tu español? 

Do you want to prepare for your career?
¿Te quieres preparar para tu carrera? 

SPA 205: Spanish for Heritage Speakers I may be the right course for you! It is 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. Non-heritage speakers with the appropriate level are also welcome.

For more information, contact Prof. Martha Davis at

SPA 205: Spanish for Heritage Speakers I (3 cr)
MW 12:30-1:55 p.m.
14-week course begins September 6, 2017
Class ID 19946

New Course for Fall 2017: SPA 115

New Spanish Course for Fall 2017!

SPA 115-335A
Intensive Beginning Spanish I
Course # 37786 (5 Credits)
Tuesdays & Thursdays
11:00 a.m. – 1:35 p.m.

14-week course begins September 5 

An intensive review of Spanish 101 and 102, this course is designed for students who have had some Spanish instruction or exposure to the language. Upon successful completion of the course students may take Intermediate Spanish I (SPA 201).

Contact Prof. Martha Davis