Support for NOVA’s Dreamers

More than 700 students attend NOVA under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. They are our “Dreamers” and are hardworking scholars and leaders who enrich our classrooms, clubs and communities. There is no doubt that if anyone can overcome a challenge such as the phasing out of DACA, it is our Dreamers, whose resilience, strength and commitment to furthering their education are matched by few.

Following are a few quotes from allies of NOVA’s Dreamers:

“Virginia’s Community Colleges exist to give everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. Our faculty, staff, and students should never question if that mission includes them because it always does.”

–Dr. Glenn Dubois, Virginia Community College System Chancellor

“I also have tremendous empathy for our Dreamer students because as a child I moved four times before I graduated from high school because of my father’s career. Dreamers on average came to the United States at the age of six, the same age that I once moved with my family. I know from personal experience that the natural instinct of children is to be with their parents, even if they do not want to leave behind their friends and the homes that they know. In that respect, I do not believe individuals should be denied the transformative opportunity of education for following the natural instincts of children.”

–Dr. Scott Falls, NOVA President

“A number of my best students have been beneficiaries of DACA or have had friends, family members or loved ones who have benefitted from this reasonable and humane executive action.  It saddens me enormously then that DACA is being ended, thus putting the hopes and dreams of thousands of young people on hold, and forcing many of them to go underground.  These Dreamers are American in every sense of the word that matters.  They have worked, paid taxes, established families, begun businesses, gone to school, volunteered in their communities and, overall, contributed enormously to the well-being of this nation.  We are all impoverished when they are threatened.

If you, or anyone you know and love is a DACA recipient, please know that I and other faculty and staff at NOVA support the cause of immigrants, and will do everything we can to assist those at risk. Although our power to help is small, what we can do, we will do.”

–Dr. Michael Amey, English Professor, NOVA

Hodge Language Center Open House

World Languages faculty hosted an Open House on Thursday, August 24 in the Hodge Language Center (HLC) to showcase the department’s language partners program and course offerings. Thank you for all who came to enjoy international food and drinks and meet professors and fellow students.

Please be sure to visit the HLC in AA160 during open lab hours for a quiet study space or a place to meet your study group. 

Students and faculty enjoy pupusas and Jarritos soda.

Pictured left to right: Profs. Martha Davis and Bob Olson (Spanish), student and Prof. Yuriko Miller (Japanese)



Spanish for Heritage Speakers Begins September 5 – Register Today

¿Hablas español en casa?
¿Eres bilingüe?
¿Quieres mejorar tu español? 
¿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

Spanish for Health Professionals Course at NOVA

Are you a health professional looking to strengthen your Spanish skills to use on the job? Spanish 163: Spanish for Health Professionals may be the perfect course for you. The course is available online and in a hybrid format (face-to-face and online class meetings) to meet the needs of working professionals and students.

SPA 163 is a 3-credit course designed to introduce individuals in the health sciences professions, such as: doctors, nurses, paramedical personnel, and health care providers with the language and culture skills necessary to communicate with Spanish-speaking patients within a basic context of vocabulary and structures. You will develop correct Spanish pronunciation and an awareness of cultural differences and needs. This course will help you to communicate effectively with Spanish-speaking patients on basic topics related to:

 Greeting and salutations
Personal administrative information
 A patient’s medical history
 Medical services and procedures
 Basic anatomy and physical conditions
 Illnesses
 Emergency services
 Cultural perspectives impacting on health care

You will learn by developing a basic knowledge of Spanish grammar, acquiring conversational skills in topics related to the medical profession, and understanding cultural differences and their impact on the medical profession.

No prior study of Spanish is required.

For more information, consult NOVA’s Schedule of Classes:

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.