Friday, October 31, 2014

Spanish Student's Altar for Día de los Muertos

Today, October 31st, marks the first day of a Mexican holiday called Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead). Día de Muertos is a Mexican holiday observed throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico where the day is a bank holiday. The celebration takes place on October 31st, November 1st and November 2nd, in connection with the triduum of Allhallowtide: All Hallows' Eve, Hallowmas, and All Souls' Day. One tradition of Día de Muertos is the creation of an altar. The altar, or offering, for the dead is a sacred, Mexican tradition. Common items found in an altar are featured in the picture to the left. With this altar, the living honor the dead, who visit the altar November 1-2.  November 1st is dedicated to honoring deceased children, whereas November 2nd honors adult souls.  The dead co-exist and converse with the living, and the dead comfort the living for their loss.

The Spanish students in the Department of Romance Language and Literatures worked together to create an alter in respect and remembrance of the college students who were abducted and killed by the local Ayotzinapa police and the drug cartel. The whereabouts of the remaining 39 young students are still unknown. Our thoughts and prayers will forever be with the families of the victims who were lost. We offer our condolences to the families of the students who are still missing, and we are thankful to the Mexican consulate of Philadelphia for sending a representative to advise the students on how to prepare the alter. The altar can be viewed by the staircase on the first floor of SAC.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Live Video Chat and Q&A with the Starfish Foundation TODAY!

Please join us for the final event of the Hispanic Cultural Heritage Month, a Live Video Chat and Q&A with The Starfish Foundation, TODAY at 3pm in Falvey Library, Room 204! The Starfish Foundation, a non-profit foundation in Guayaquil, Ecuador that offers scholarships and tutoring for at-risk Ecuadorian youth, will be giving a talk about daily life in Ecuador and the Foundation’s work in the two communities in Guayaquil. The talk will be followed by a short Q&A with the organization’s founders: Beth Awalt, a Villanova alumna, will participate in-person, and Jenn Zocco will participate via Skype from Ecuador as part of the event. We hope to see you there!

"Dante and Augustine? Three Case Studies" TODAY!

Please join us for our first lecture in the Dante Series: "Dante and Augustine? Three Case Studies" by Simone Marchesi of Princeton University TODAY from 4-6pm in Driscoll Auditorium!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

DR. LUCA COTTINI RECEPIENT OF THE ISSNAF (Italian Scientists and Scholars of North America Foundation) AWARD FOR THE HUMANITIES

The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures would like to congratulate DR. LUCA COTTINI for becoming the recepient of the 2014 ISSNAF AWARD FOR THE HUMANITIES, presented to the best manuscript in the discipline of the Humanities by an Italian scholar who resides in North America.  A Review Board composed of international experts in the field scored all valid applications according to the candidates curricula (titles, positions, publications, grants) and the quality of the abstract (analysis, design, methodology, discussion, significance, innovation).  The prize consists of the manuscript's publication in the best University Press in his field of studies; in this case, The University of Toronto Press.

Luca's complex and fascinating book focuses on the emergence of industrial modernity in Italy at the turn of the 20th century. His method consists of observing this culture from the perspective of its iconic objects of mass consumption (i.e. wristwatches, bicycles, photographs, gramophones, toys, and cigarettes), as they create new social practices, and as they shape, in ads and in the arts, a new imagery of the modern.

This is indeed a great achievement and we are very proud and honored to have Luca Cottini be part of our Department.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

K-12 Spanish Teaching Opportunities with Southern Teachers Agency

K-12 Spanish Teaching Opportunities with Southern Teachers Agency

Southern Teachers Agency has helped great schools hire great teachers since 1902.  They recruit top talent from college schools of education, teacher-training programs, and—what many folks may not realize—from wide-ranging academic departments.  They seek top scholars and student-athletes who are called to lead, to connect with teenagers, to help children.
In particular, the private/independent schools with which they work need strong foreign-language teachers.
Hiring requirements in private/independent schools are typically more flexible than at public schools.  For Spanish teaching jobs in particular, schools will hire Spanish majors (and even Spanish minors) if they have a) command of the spoken and written language (with acceptable accent and intonation), b) enthusiasm for leading extracurricular activities and/or coaching sports, and c) demonstrable aptitude for managing and motivating students.  Simply put, completing a teacher certification program or earning a degree in secondary education is not a hiring prerequisite for K-12 Spanish teachers in most private schools.
Teaching at private/independent schools means building close relationships in small classes, innovating and collaborating, inspiring discovery, focusing on learning—not on test taking.  School communities include dedicated faculty, supportive alumni, and devoted parents who invest time and tuition to prepare children for college and for lives of leadership and service to others.
STA can help you get these great Spanish teaching jobs
STA’s reputation is outstanding.  Schools in the South have hired more candidates from STA than from any other source.  Their trust in our expertise and integrity has sustained us since 1902.
STA’s reach is expansive.  While we are a regional company, we receive thousands of job listings from nearly 600 schools in 16 states, from the Middle Atlantic south to Florida and west to Texas.
STA’s staff is excellent.  Placement counselors provide personal attention in assembling credentials files, preparing for interviews, and discerning job opportunities.    
STA’s services are free to candidates.  Schools pay for our services—because they want the best.

Apply for the 2015-2016 Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF)!

Educational Affairs Program of the Embassy of France is pleased to announce that they are now accepting applications for the 2015-2016 Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF).  This program, sponsored by the French Ministry of Education and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, offers young Americans the opportunity to live and work in France for 7 months with a salary, teaching English to French students of all ages. TAPIF helps American Francophiles gain teaching experience and first-hand knowledge of the French language and culture, while strengthening English-language instruction in French schools.  1,100 positions are available each year for U.S. citizens and permanent residents.  Positions are located in metropolitan France and the overseas departments of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and La Réunion.

Interested students can learn more at the program website here (and at our useful FAQs page!).

The online application for the 2015-2016 program is NOW AVAILABLE at The deadline to apply is January 15, 2015.

Pavia Lecture by Professor Ilaria Poggiolini on October 21st!

On Tuesday, October 21st, Ilaria Poggiolini, Professor from the University of Pavia, Italy will be visiting Villanova to talk about the University and the City, as part of the Exhibit and the Lecture Series organized by Villanova University to enhance the Italian Studies Program in Villanova. The Lecture will take place in the President´s lounge of the Connelly Center at 11:00 am. Please see the poster below for more upcoming lecture dates and guided tours of the exhibit in Italian and English. We hope to see you there!

Friday, October 10, 2014

More guided tour dates added for the Pavia Exhibit!

The Pavia Exhibit guided tour in Italian was a great success! We are going to have more guided tours after Fall Break, in Italian and English, led by our advanced students. Come check out the exhibit in the President's Lounge in Connelly and learn about the history and culture of this great Italian city!

Tuesday, Oct. 20, 4 - 5:30pm
Wednesday, Oct. 22, 4 - 5:30pm
Friday, Oct. 24, 11am - 12pm
Tuesday, Oct. 28, 11am -12pm

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Italian Majors Day

Join us for Italian Majors Day on October 22nd in Mendel G93 from 7-8:30pm! 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Italian Pavia Exhibit - Guided Tours October 8th and October 9th!

Official guided tours of the exhibit Photos of Pavia from the 19th to the 21st Century:

Wednesday, October 8, 4pm (in English)
Thursday, October 9, 5:15pm (in Italian)

Dr. Luca Cottini (Villanova University) will lead students and visitors through the exhibit, highlighting the relationship between Pavia’s history and its monuments, and presenting the great intellectual figures of its prestigious university (Foscolo, Volta, Golgi). The tour will uncover the city’s most picturesque perspectives through the eyes of six Italian photographers from the 19th to the 21st century (Cantalupi, Chiolini, Manidi, Nazzari, Sacchi, and Valli), as well as the attractions of its historic surroundings. In addition, the tour will examine the Augustinian heritage of Pavia, by focusing on the story of how Saint Augustine’s body arrived in the church of San Pietro in Ciel d’Oro. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Celebration of Past, Present and Future Spanish Majors Day

With our society becoming more global and diversified culturally and economically, and employers demanding a greater international perspective and experience of its employees, proficiency in a second language is no longer a mere “conversational curiosity”, rather it has become a practical and indispensable skill for acquiring employment at home and abroad as well as entering in your desired profession, and excelling in your position and salary once hired.
Come join us as the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures hosts its “Celebration of Past, Present and Future Spanish Majors Day”.  It will take place on Tuesday, October 7, in our Language Media Center, Mendel G93, 7:30-9:00 pm.
Come to get much more information on our program and courses, ask questions, and speak to fellow Spanish majors.

We hope to see you there!


1. Open the doors to communicate with the 400 million Spanish speakers of the World
Spoken by an estimated 400 million people worldwide, Spanish is currently the 4th most spoken language in the world.

2. Communicate with Spanish speakers in your own community
If you are from the United States, in many cities and rural areas you most probably will have frequent contact with native Spanish speakers.

3. Make your travel experiences more exciting and rewarding
There are 21 countries in the world that have Spanish as an official language. Knowing the language will make your travel experiences in beautiful Spain and Latin America much easier. A good grasp of the Spanish language will be a valuable window into helping you learn about the true culture of the areas you visit, which will truly enhance your travel experience.

4. Make yourself a more desirable employee and increase your job prospects
Knowledge of a foreign language can help open doors to job opportunities that you might not have had access to before. There are a number of jobs that require a basic proficiency in another language. In this global world, the more people that you can communicate with, the more valuable you are as an employee. You may even earn a larger salary because of your Spanish knowledge!

5. Prepare yourself for study abroad experiences
There are many universities, colleges, high schools and other organizations that offer a variety of study abroad programs and exchanges. You may be required to have a year or a semester of language study in order to participate. Even if a study abroad program does not require prior knowledge of Spanish, you will be at a great advantage when you study abroad if you have studied the language before arriving in the country. It will make it easier to make friends, shop for groceries and clothes, eat in restaurants and do many other essential things to help you enjoy your experience while abroad.

6. Improve your knowledge and understanding of your own language
English and other European languages have many words of Latin origin. Spanish, one of the Romance languages, comes from Latin. Since Latin roots are the basis of so many English words, especially scientific and technical words, knowledge of Spanish will help English speakers and, to an extent, other European language speakers, not only to expand their vocabulary, but also to better understand the words of their own language.

7. Make learning your next language easier
While language learning takes a lot of practice, hard work and dedication, the learning process actually develops a number of mental and social skills. These skills are transferable to other aspects of life and it has been said that once you become bilingual and have learned one language, the next language you learn is easier to master.

8. Gain a greater appreciation for Spanish-speaking cultures
If you want an insider's view of Spanish and Latin American cultures, knowledge of Spanish is essential. When you can read and understand Spanish, whether on the street, in the metro, on television or in the newspaper, not only will it make your life much easier, but it will allow you to gain a greater understanding of the culture. Knowledge of Spanish will also open up the world of literature, and an understanding of the history of the Spanish speaking countries will help you to understand the historical influences that still affect the culture today.

9. Enjoy Spanish music, theatre, film and literature in their original Spanish forms
Understanding Spanish will also open up the world of Spanish theatre to you, allow you to read great works of literature such as Miguel de Cervantes´ Don Quixote in their original forms, and watch Spanish language films without all the distracting subtitles. If you learn Spanish it will allow you to simply enjoy the films in their natural language. Oscar-winning films in Spanish include: Belle époque (1993), All About My Mother (1999), The Sea Inside (2004) and Pan´s Labyrinth (2007). Famous Spanish-speaking actors include: Antonio Banderas, Penélope Cruz and Salma Hayak.
There is also lots of wonderful Spanish and Latin American music. Popular Spanish-speaking musical artists include: Cuban Gloria Estefan, Colombian Shakira, Spanish Julio Iglesias as well as his son Enrique Iglesias, Puerto Rican Ricky Martin, and American Jennifer López. Don't just limit yourself to this list; there are many websites online where you can listen to many different and exciting types of Spanish and Latin American music.

10. Meet many new people and make friendships that will last a lifetime
When you learn a new language, such as Spanish, it opens up a whole new world of people that you can talk to that you may never have been able to communicate with before. This can give you many exciting opportunities to learn about other people's cultures and form lifelong friendships.