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World Languages

Credit courses of the World Languages department are available for degree and transfer purposes, as well as for enrichment. The Alexandria faculty share a common commitment to communicative proficiency and modern second language acquisition pedagogy. The National Foreign Language Standards are reflected in classroom practice on a daily basis. Faculty members are frequent presenters at local, regional and national foreign language professional organization conferences such as the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, the Foreign Language Association of Virginia and the Greater Washington Association of Teachers of Foreign Languages.

Technology Enhanced Language InstructionAlexandria offers students options that fit their busy lives and schedules with hybrid courses, telecourses and web enhanced classes. Registered foreign language students can make use of the Alexandria Language Center, located in Bisdorf AA 160. The Language Center has computers dedicated to foreign language use as well as state of the art software in the target languages. Peer tutoring in languages can be arranged and done in the language center during open lab hours. AA160 doubles as a Classroom of the Future with satellite television and presentation software and hardware.


The following languages are taught at Alexandria Campus.

  • Arabic - Lama Hamdan
  • Chinese - Dr. Dali Tan
  • French - Dr. Laura Franklin and Elizabeth Bull
  • Italian - Dr. Alyssa Falcone and Jim Toepper
  • Japanese - Takako Shigehisa and Yuriko Miller
  • Portuguese – Dr. Laura Franklin
  • Russian - Dr. James Bernhardt
  • Spanish - Dr. Martha Davis and Amanda Trostle

How do I know what level is for me?
Call the World Languages department at 703.845.6586 for an assessment of your current proficiency level. Call to arrange a visit to a class that interests you in the semester prior to registration.

Can I audit foreign language classes?
Many students elect to audit foreign language classes when they do not need academic credit for the course. Registration and tuition remain the same, as does the opportunity to participate in classroom activities. Students should consult the schedule of classes for the last date to declare audit status in a language class.

What if I am a native speaker but want to use my language skills in the workplace?
Some students are heritage learners who speak the language they are studying at home, but need to improve reading and writing. NOVA offers Spanish for Heritage Speakers (SPA 205-206) for heritage learners of Spanish. These courses fulfill the Foreign Language requirement. Heritage language courses in other languages will be offered according to demand. Fluent speakers should also explore the CLEP exam as a means of obtaining language credit.

Can I take Languages for the Workplace at NOVA?
NOVA offers Spanish for Health Professionals (SPA 163-164) for students with no prior experience in the language. These courses can be offered in other languages upon demand. The Basic Spoken language courses (103-104) are offered in many languages and offer basic oral proficiency.

I am a high school student. Can I take languages at NOVA?
Many students elect to take foreign language courses at NOVA during the summer and as part of dual enrollment programs. Consult your school guidance counselor and the counselors at NOVA to see if we have an appropriate course for you.