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Welcome to the World Languages Department at NOVA's Annandale Campus!

We offer a rich selection of eight world languages including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Spanish. Taking a language class immerses you in another culture and opens your eyes, ears and mind to new sounds and words, as well as new ways of thinking.

We invite you to explore one of the eight languages we offer and delve into a new and interesting culture. Learning a new language and its culture is advantageous to your career. We offer face-to-face, hybrid and online classes in 16-, 14- and 8-week sessions to meet a variety of work and life schedules.

Where to Begin?

Students seeking the Associate in Arts degree are required to show proficiency in a world language at the intermediate level (201 and 202). In order to fulfill this requirement, students who have previously studied a world language or are Heritage Speakers (grew up learning the language from family members but did not study it at school) should take the placement test we offer. Being placed correctly in a language class will help you to succeed. The Annandale Campus offers placement tests in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish. Click on the Placement Test tab below for more information.

Students who have never studied a world language begin their studies with the Beginning 101 and 102 sequence of language classes. After successfully completing the beginning level, students may advance to intermediate classes (201 and 202). We highly recommend not waiting until your last year to start your language and culture learning.

Beginning and Intermediate language courses are designed for learners of the new language and culture. If you are a native speaker of a world language, meaning you grew up in a country whose language of instruction was something other than English, and have the equivalent of a high school diploma from that country, contact the Languages & Literature Division at 703.323.4441 to learn more about the language waiver.

Students working to complete other degrees or interested in taking language and culture classes for professional development or personal interest can also benefit from the wide variety of languages we offer.

Our languages courses are designed to develop the skills required for communication and cultural understanding in our vast global society. Whether you are interacting with others face-to-face or having conversations through social media with people from another country, you have an advantage if you can use and understand their language. Click on the link below to view a list of international companies operating in Virginia:


Join us. We look forward to seeing you in one of our many language classes at the Annandale Campus!


Arabic is the language of a rich culture and civilization dating back many centuries. Qur’an and Islamic artists have used Arabic script as their principal art form for centuries.

Arabic is spoken in many countries including Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen and by millions of people of Arab origin in the United States and Canada.

Knowledge of the language can lead to careers in fields such as communications, international finance, government, law and academia.



101 Beginning Arabic I                                                   

102 Beginning Arabic II                                  

103 Basic Spoken Arabic I                             

104 Basic Spoken Arabic II                           

111 Conversation in Arabic I                       

112 Conversation in Arabic II      

201 Intermediate Arabic I

202 Intermediate Arabic II

For course descriptions, please see the Arabic discipline page.



China is one of the most ancient countries in the world and has a 6,000 year history and civilization. It is the third largest country and is emerging as an important force in our world. Knowledge of the Chinese language has become more and more valuable to prospective employers as economic and political interaction increases between the U.S. and China. 

Those with Chinese language skills are in great demand by corporations, service groups and the government.



101 Beginning Chinese I                                               

102 Beginning Chinese II                                              

103 Basic Spoken Chinese I 

104 Basic Spoken Chinese II                        

121 Beginning Chinese Reading and Writing I                      

122 Beginning Chinese Reading and Writing I

201 Intermediate Chinese I

202 Intermediate Chinese II

For course descriptions, please see the Chinese discipline page.                 


French is one of the most spoken and used languages in the world. It is the third most used language on the Internet after English and German and it is the second most frequently taught world language after English. French and English are the official working languages of the United Nations, UNESCO, the International Monetary Fund, the International Olympic Committee and the European community.

Studying French will increase your English vocabulary, as 30% of English words come from French. Your understanding of U.S. culture and history will be improved by learning about the history and literature of French speaking countries and the more than 200 million people who speak French around the world. Knowledge of French Those is helpful to those interested in the fields of art, dance, film, law and music. French is the official language of 32 countries and is spoken in Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, and North and sub-Saharan Africa.

French courses at NOVA focus on speaking, understanding, reading and writing all in a cultural context. Students also learn practical vocabulary and basic sentence patterns and correct pronunciation. Annandale has an excellent Language Center featuring computer software to reinforce learning and tutors available in all eight languages.


101 Beginning French I                                          

102 Beginning French II                                   

103 Basic Spoken French I                            

111 Conversation in French I                       

112 Conversation in French II                      

201  Intermediate French I   

202  Intermediate French II 

211  Intermediate French Conversation I 

212  Intermediate French Conversation II

233 Introduction to the Culture and Literature of France I

234 Introduction to the Culture and Literature of France II

For course descriptions, please see the French discipline page.


The German Department offers courses in a variety of formats, including on-campus and hybrid during the day or evening year-round in order to meet the needs our diverse community.

German courses in 16-, 14- and 6-weeks sessions ar offered at Annandale Campus. In addition to the four core courses, Beginning German I (GER 101), Beginning German II (GER 102), Intermediate German I (GER 201) and Intermediate German II (GER 202), we offer specific content courses such as conversation and civilization. All of our courses are designed to assist German learners at every stage of their quest for proficiency in German. Our curriculum helps students build a linguistic and cultural toolkit for discovering and navigating the German-speaking world.

We invite you to explore the many fascinating aspects of the German-speaking world and to engage your intellectual curiosity! 

  • Do you want to prepare for a career in business, science, engineering or banking with an international focus in the German-speaking world? 
  • Are you fascinated by German history, art, film, literature, culture and in exploring how German thought has influenced the development of Western society to its contemporary state?
  • Do you need to learn German to advance your present career or prepare for a career change?
  • Do you want to learn German to prepare for a business or pleasure trip to a German-speaking country?

German is the second most widely used language in trade and tourism in the world and on the Internet. The key German-speaking countries of the world -- Germany, Austria and Switzerland all have booming pharmaceutical, food, chemical, engineering and manufacturing industries. One need only think of the German automobile industry (ex. Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volkswagen and Porsche), German, Austrian and Swiss pharmaceutical companies (ex. Bayer), chemical companies (ex. BASF), engineering and manufacturing firms (ex. Siemens), and Swiss chocolate manufacturers (ex. Lindt and Toblerone). Germany plays a significant role in international politics, diplomacy and economics as the leading economy in the European Union. Frankfurt am Main, for example, is considered the financial and banking capital of Europe.

Please take a few moments to explore our courses!


101 Beginning German I                                                               

102 Beginning German II                                              

103 Basic Spoken German I                         

104 Basic Spoken German II                       

111 Conversation in German I                   

112 Conversation in German II  

201  Intermediate German I

202  Intermediate German II

For course descriptions, please see the German discipline page.



101 Beginning Japanese I

102 Beginning Japanese II

103 Basic Spoken Japanese I

104 Basic Spoken Japanese II

201 Intermediate Japanese I

202 Intermediate Japanese II

For course descriptions, please see the Japanese discipline page.



101 Beginning Korean I

102 Beginning Korean II

For course descriptions, please see the Korean discipline page.



101 Beginning Russian I

102 Beginning Russian II

201 Intermediate Russian I

202 Intermediate Russian II

For course descriptions, please see the Russian discipline page.


Since the late 1960s, the Spanish Department has served students and members of the community and helped them to learn about the cultures of the 21 nations around the world that have Spanish as their official language. We offer courses at all levels of learning from beginning and intermediate; including civilization, conversation and specific content courses for health professionals. We also offer Honors classes. Spanish courses focus on building a strong foundation for reaching everyday proficiency and communication all in a cultural context.

Why Study Spanish?

  • Spanish is the second most spoken language, after Chinese, in the world.
  • About 328 million people in the world speak Spanish.
  • The Hispanic culture has influenced architecture, art and literature.
  • About 35 million people in the U.S. use Spanish at home, making the U.S. the fourth largest Spanish-speaking population in the world.
  • It is the most commonly taught world language in the U.S.
  • It serves as one of the official languages of the United Nations, the European Union, World Trade Organization, and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).


Whether you are interested in seeking a degree or want to improve your job skills, or are just learning a language for personal reasons, we offer a class that will fit your schedule including face-to face, hybrid, and fully online modes in 16-, 14-, and 8-week sessions during the day, evening, and weekends.



101 Beginning Spanish I                                          

102 Beginning Spanish II                                        

103 Basic Spoken Spanish I                           

104 Basic Spoken Spanish II                         

111 Conversation in Spanish I                     

112 Conversation in Spanish II                   

163 Spanish for Health Professionals I

164 Spanish for Health Professionals II 

201  Intermediate Spanish I 

202  Intermediate Spanish II    

205  Spanish for Heritage Speakers I 

206  Spanish for Heritage Speakers II 

211  Intermediate Spanish Conversation I    

212  Intermediate Spanish Conversation II   

233 Introduction to Latin American Civilization and Literature I

For course descriptions, see the Spanish discipline page.



Placement Tests

All students who wish to enroll in one of our world languages courses and have prior exposure to the language (either formally or by listening to it at home) need to take one of the six placement tests offered on the Annandale Campus. The placement tests are available for: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish. All six of these placement tests are FREE, take about an hour, and are given at the Testing Center located in the CA Building, room 115. Placement tests are given on a walk-in basis and can only be taken once. For more information about the Testing Center and to see their office hours, please visit their website: 

Testing Center

If you have previous experience with Korean or Russian, please contact the Assistant Dean of World Languages, Ana Alonso, at 703.323.3485 or aalonso@nvcc.edu, and she will help you find an instructor who can assess your proficiency level.

Being placed in the correct level of language learning at NOVA is important because reaching language proficiency starts with building a strong foundation from the beginning level on to the intermediate level and beyond. 

If you are a native speaker of a world language, meaning you grew up in a country whose language of instruction was something other than English, and have the equivalent of a high school diploma from that country, contact the Languages and Literature Division at 703-323-4441 to learn more about the language waiver.


The Language Center at the Annandale Campus is located in the CG Building, room 408. Academic resources available to students outside the classroom include:

  • Supplemental Software Programs
  • One-on-One Language Tutoring
  • Dictionaries
  • Conversation Groups
  • Individual or Small Group Study Space


For more information on the Language Center or to schedule a tutoring session, visit their website:

Language Center