Hispanic Heritage Month Film Festival Begins Wednesday

Come celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and see what critics have called “sumptuous and heartbreaking” (The Guardian) and “scrupulous, compassionate and surprising” (The New York Times). Wednesday, September 19th from 2-5:00 p.m. in AA 196, the Division of Languages, Arts and Social Sciences proudly presents Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar’s, 2016 film “Julieta.” The film, based on short stories by Nobel Prize winner Alice Munro, features Emma Suárez in a Goya award-winning role. Be sure to stay for the post-screening discussion led by Prof. Martha Davis.

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Peer Tutors Available at the ASC

The Academic Success Center (ASC) at NOVA’s Alexandria Campus prides itself on helping students succeed in their courses. ASC, located in Bisdorf Room 229, offers a variety of services, including free peer tutoring in Spanish to NOVA students.

The Center’s friendly and knowledgable tutors have been recommended by professors for having excelled in their classes and/or because they are are native or near-native Spanish speakers. To schedule an appointment with an ASC tutor, please visit ASC online at http://www.nvcc.edu/alexandria/asc/index.html, in person in Bisdorf 229 or call (703) 845-6363.

Save the Date: Hispanic Heritage Month Film Festival

The Hispanic Heritage Month Film Festival is returning to the Alexandria Campus! Each film will be screened in Spanish with English subtitles in AA196 and will be followed by faculty-led discussions.

Wednesday, September 19, 2:00-5:00 P.M.  

Pedro Almodovar, 2016, Spain
Discussion moderator: Prof. Martha Davis

Tuesday, September 25, 7:30-10:00 P.M.
Esperando la carroza
(Waiting for the Hearse)

Alejandro Doria, 1985Argentina
Discussion moderator: Prof. Carlos Schroder

Tuesday, October 2, 7:30-10:00 P.M.
Return to Cuba: Life in Cuba after Castro

David Fabrega, 2014Cuba
Discussion moderators: Prof. Lori Ward & Prof. Peter Ruffner

14-week SPA 202 Course Begins September 6

NOVA’s Alexandria Campus is offering a 14-week Spanish 202 (Intermediate Spanish II) class that begins Thursday, September 6th. The course will be taught by Prof. Martha Davis and will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 AM to 12:25 PM. Students who have completed SPA 201 or have equivalent skill may register. Deadline to register is Tuesday, September 4th.

Questions? Please contact Prof. Davis at mdavis@nvcc.edu

Spanish Course Placement: Register for the Correct Level to Save Time & Money

NOVA students take Spanish courses for a variety of reasons, including for personal enjoyment and growth, current or future career opportunities or because it is their heritage language. You may have registered for a Spanish course because your degree requires four semesters of a world language. Must you begin with Spanish 101, though? 

The answer is “No, not necessarily.” You are not required to take 101 if you already know the material covered in the course. You may have learned some Spanish at another school or have spoken it or heard it at home. This means you may possibly start at 102 (or even 201 or 205 or only need to take one course, which would be 202 or 206). This will save you TIME and MONEY.

We have a free placement exam available to you at the Alexandria Testing Center to help make sure you are registered for the right course. Please visit the Testing Center site https://www.nvcc.edu/alexandria/testing/index.html or contact Prof. Martha Davis (mdavis@nvcc.edu) for details.

Also, after attending the first one (or two or three) classes, you realize that you are better served by taking a different level, whether higher or lower, please let your instructor know. He or she can help you switch classes.  


Ten Ways to Practice 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.

Community Center

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 Kanopy, Amazon.com or Netflix:

Relatos salvajes
Pelo malo
Mar adentro
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: http://www.meetup.com/spanish-washington-dc/

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: http://www.notesinspanish.com/

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

Go to http://www.language-exchanges.org/ 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 BBC.co.uk.


2. Visit a local Spanish-speaking community.

Peruse 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: http://www.nvcc.edu/schedule/crs2183/index.html

Congratulations to SPA 201 Video Award Winners

Spanish 201 students in Prof. Martha Davis’s class presented their top reasons to study Spanish at NOVA. Savanna Sulc’s video, which showed her giving her dog Spanish commands among other entertaining and educational features, was voted “Presentación más convincente” by her classmates. As one student wrote, “Esta presentacion es la mas convincente porque usa otras personas, sus vecinos y otras estudiantes y tambien los animales. Presenta nuevas razones por estudiar espanol, por ejemplo, los beneficios para el cerebro.” Caleb Rivera and Riquell Denham received Honorable Mention for their video.

Prof. Davis looks forward to showcasing her students’ work in her session on interactive student video projects at the 2018 American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) Conference in Salamanca, Spain this June.

“En abril, aguas mil” and Other Spanish Idioms

Learning idioms is a great way to build vocabulary, use a variety of grammar tenses and the subjunctive mood in short phrases, and expand your knowledge of the target culture while comparing it to your own.

Do you know these?

  1. El hambre es la mejor salsa.
  2. Nunca digas de esa agua no beberé (ni este cura no es mi padre).
  3. Del dicho al hecho hay un gran trecho.
  4. Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres.

Interested to know their origin and meaning? The Centro Virtual Cervantes has information about the usage, origin and equivalents in other languages of these idioms and many more: https://cvc.cervantes.es/lengua/refranero/listado.aspx

(Pictured above: List of Spanish idioms compiled by a SPA 206 student with help from his Bolivian mother. A class favorite was “Al que le quede el guante que se lo chante.” We had to look up “chantar” in www.rae.es., which is typically used in Bolivia and other South American countries.)





SPA 104 Summer Course Offered at NOVA AL

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Are you a beginning student looking for a way to maintain your Spanish skills over the summer? Look no further! SPA 104 (Basic Spoken Spanish II) will be offered at the Alexandria Campus during the first eight-week summer session. The class, taught by Prof. Víctor Oliver, will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00-8:55 P.M. May 30th to July 25th. The course number is 18026. ¡Disfruten!


En el tiempo de las mariposas

The DC premiere of En el tiempo de las mariposas (In the Time of the Butterflies) is coming soon. The play, which is based on the novel by Julia Álvarez, will be performed from April 12-May 13 at Teatro GALA in Columbia Heights. Like the book, the play is a fictional account of the real-life story of the Mirabal sisters who – until their brutal murders – fought General Rafael Trujillo’s regime in the Dominican Republic using the code name “butterflies.”

Tickets, which are regularly priced at $45, are available to students, anyone under 30 years of age, members of the military and senior citizens for $30. English speakers are recommended to sit in rows E through H in order to read the surtitles comfortably.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://en.galatheatre.org