What’s It Like To Attend School In Myanmar?

This week, SCOLA provider Yin tells us about the education system in her home country, Myanmar.

The education system levels in Myanmar are primary, middle, and high school. Education level starts from Grade 1 to Grade 11. Grade 11 is the most important and final level for every students to enter the University. The quality of university you get into is dependent on the Grade 11 final exam results. Every student can attend the university after they pass the Grade 11 final exam.

All schools open on June 1st and end in March. Children return to school in the rainy season of June. The summer holiday lasts three months, March, April, and May.

School starts at 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Some schools lasts from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and 1:00 p.m .to 5 p.m. In our country, the school uniform is a white blouse and long green skirts and trousers for teachers and children.

General education courses are Burmese Language, Burmese History, English Language, History of the famous person’s around the world, World History, Geography, Biology, Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Economic, Art, Cooking, and Basic Computing.

Want to learn more about our Country of the Month? Be sure to check us out online and visit www.scola.org for authentic resources straight from Myanmar!

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The Warm Heart of Africa

If you’re following us online you have seen we are currently on an adventure in Malawi for our May Country of the Month! James, our provider from Malawi sends SCOLA a lot of material for our services, and most recently he has sent us the material for the Country of the Month. James shares the following with you about his home country of Malawi:

Malawi is located in southern Africa. It takes pride in the fact they are often referred to as the “warm heart of Africa” because of the hospitality that its people show and that it has never shown civil unrest or went to war with any other country. The country is measured at approximately 118,000 square kilometers, with a population of about 16 million. The country has four major cities, Mzuzu in the northern region, Lilongwe in the central region, Zomba in the Eastern region and Blantyre, a commercial city, in the Southern region of Malawi.

Blantyre is called the commercial city because of the industrial sites it has, and the companies there. Blantyre is a busy city and after Lilongwe is the second largest. Blantyre has a large number of people with white collar jobs, so it is no wonder many colleges including a constituent college of the University of Malawi- The Polytechnic call Blantyre home. Along with the colleges and offices, you will also find small shops and established businesses in Blantyre.

Malawi is a landlocked country, surrounded by Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania. Although Malawi is landlocked, the country has a number of pleasing features for people to enjoy. Some of the geographical features include the famous Mulanje mountain, game reserves and national parks, and most of all, the lakes.

One lake people enjoy visiting is Lake Malawi. Lake Malawi is the biggest lake in the country at 365 miles long and 52 miles wide. Fishing at the lake is a source of income to the locals who reside near it. Lake Malawi is characterized by a species of fish called Chambo. Chambo cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Besides the chambo, the lake also has very beautiful beaches with holiday resorts and lodges. Tourists find Lake Malawi very attractive.

Although Malawi is small it has over over nine ethnic groups, namely Chewa, Lomwe, Yao, Tumbuka and Sena.The names of the ethnic groups in Malawi actually reflects the kind of language people speak. For example, Sena people speak Sena. The biggest tribe in Malawi is Chewa, representing 32% of Malawians. Since Chewa is the biggest tribe, the national language is Chewa and it is the language taught in schools.

Chewa people are popular nation wide and internationally because of their culture. The chewa people are known for the gule wamkulu dance. The gule wamkulu was once performed for the queen of England. Chewa functions are always characterised by the gule wamkulu. The dancers wear musks and do not identify themselves because it is widely believed that they are beasts and in their vernacular language they are called “Virombo” or “ Nyau”. The beasts are many, just as their a lot of beasts or wild animals in the bush, which explains why the virombo are often changed.

Welcome to Malawi the “warm heart of Africa”. Enjoy.

Do you have a country you would like to learn more about and see featured as our Country of the Month? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow us online to join in on our travels to our next Country of the Month: Belarus!

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2014 SCOLA Users Meeting

SCOLA would like to invite you to our 2014 Users Meeting on May 15th and 16th in Omaha, Nebraska and McClelland, Iowa. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy presentations by language teaching professionals, networking, dining and entertainment, and a Congressional Presentation. Guests will also have the opportunity to learn about trends and resources for foreign language education and SCOLA resources.

Check-in for the SCOLA Users Meeting will begin Thursday, May 15th at 10 a.m. in the lobby of the Doubletree Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska. Lunch will be served at 11 a.m. followed by an afternoon of presentations. Thursday evening will be a night of dinner and entertainment at the Scoular Ballroom in Omaha. The event will continue Friday morning with a trip to the campus in McClelland, Iowa. The meeting will conclude on Friday afternoon at the Doubletree Hotel with lunch and a Congressional Speaker.

Transportation to all events and meals are included with your $100 registration fee. Guests can register for the 2014 Users Meeting in advance at www.scola.org and are offered discounted accommodations at the Doubletree Hotel in Downtown Omaha.

For additional conference information, please check our website at www.scola.org. Also, please feel free to e-mail us at conf@scola.org or call 712-566-2202.

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Bringing Out the Best in SCOLA

As our users enjoy the authentic material SCOLA offers, many may wonder how the resources came to be available to us. Everything available to users on www.scola.org has been sent in to us from providers in countries around the world. SCOLA providers regularly send in TV programs, photos, publications and much more to ensure that our subscribers have the most current and applicable information.

Our providers are the ones who make the work we do at SCOLA possible, and between launching a new website, creating Savoir-Vivre, and updating our existing services daily, SCOLA also stays busy with many special projects, such as conferences and presentations. Our subscribers are always enthusiastic and willing to help, whether we need short clips of them singing a song, a video greeting for a special guest at a conference, or sending information on love and marriage for our upcoming 28 Days of Love. All of our special projects are in addition to the regular material our providers send in for services like World TV Online, On the Street Videos and Insta-Class.

SCOLA staff enjoys hearing about our providers daily lives, learning about their culture and viewing the new and exciting material they send in. Recently, we got to hear from a few of our providers about what they enjoy most about working with SCOLA:

“I take pleasure and feel that all these treasures of India should be shared with the rest of the world.  I also feel that one grows by learning about different cultures of the world and brings all the people closer like a universal family and does away with any misunderstandings which may exist.  It is very important for international peace and understanding and I congratulate SCOLA for doing such nice work.”
-Jitendra, India

     “Listening to a different language always encourages me to learn it. It is good to know.  My grandfather always said “Speaking one language makes you one person, speaking two languages makes you two persons.” Learn a new language and be happy.”
-Doa, Turkey

“…how fascinating it is to know the culture of other countries. This will make people from all over the world come closer and understand each other. This will make the world a more peaceful and better place to live in.”   -Jyoti, India

“[SCOLA] brings out the best in you. It has exposed me to so many aspects of TV production as well as areas of untapped knowledge, culture and much more.”
– Mercy, Nigeria

      In Mercy’s words, our providers bring out the best in SCOLA. The work the providers do for SCOLA makes our mission, to help the people of the world learn about one another; their cultures, their languages and their ideologies, possible. We are very thankful we have found so many people around the world that share the same passion of educating the world about one another. Without the hard work of our providers, SCOLA would not have the authentic language learning materials that so many of our subscribers learn from and enjoy. Their hard work is appreciated by all SCOLA staff and users!

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The Number One Reason Teaching a Foreign Language Will Soon Be Easier

…for one lucky person.

The SCOLA Facethank youbook page is a place where SCOLA fans from around the world can learn about SCOLA providers, discover the services we offer, and learn recipes, vocabulary, and more from our Country of the Month. Through Facebook we have connected to thousands of people around the world, and just recently we gained our 25,000th fan! We appreciate all the likes, shares, and comments that have been posted to our Facebook page because they help us reach out to others, and teaches us what our audience wants to see. To show our appreciation, SCOLA would like to giveaway one free year of SCOLA services to one lucky person. To enter the contest, visit our Facebook page, and share and comment on the photo we posted thanking our fans for their support. In your comment, tell us how you would utilize SCOLA’s services if you were to win the free year.

SCOLA services are great for independent language learners and for use in foreign language classes.

Do you want to save time preparing foreign language lessons?

Log on to Insta-Class and have access to ready-to-use “instant” multi-media language lessons produced by SCOLA language experts from around the world.

Do you want your students to practice their foreign language skills by practicing with a native speaker?

Log on to Spoken Word, where native speakers are available for face to face conversation practice anytime of the day.

The winner of the contest will also have access for one year to the rest of our SCOLA services:

World TV Online

Specialized Word Video Search

People and Places

On the Street Videos

Foreign Text

International Radio

Language Training Materials

Learning Objects

Mobile Apps

The contest will end Friday, December 20th, at 4:30 p.m. CST, so make sure to visit our Facebook and get your comments in before then!

The Key to Great Language Resources Within Your Classroom Budget

One obstacle teachers face when looking for new classroom resources is their budget. They might find really great programs and services they would like to utilize, but the cost of the resource and their school’s budget can hinder them from taking the next step. This explanation is the reason many teachers give to our sales staff for not subscribing to SCOLA. However, many school systems are not aware that we have a solution that can benefit your entire community!

When a cable system starts airing a SCOLA channel, the school district automatically becomes an affiliate of SCOLA, at no cost to the school! Not only is it free for the school, but it also only costs the cable channel a single penny per month per subscriber!

Not only will the community get access to international news broadcasts, your school district gets to choose which beneficial SCOLA service is used in foreign language classrooms.

Do you want to save time preparing foreign language lessons?

Choose Insta-Class and have access to ready-to-use “instant” multi-media language lessons produced by SCOLA language experts from around the world.

Do you want your students to practice their foreign language skills by practicing with a native speaker?

Choose Spoken Word where native speakers are available for face to face conversation practice anytime of the day.

Or choose from these other language learning services:

World TV Online

Specialized Word Video Search

People and Places

On the Street Videos

Foreign Text

International Radio

Language Training Materials

Learning Objects

Savoir-Vivre (Coming Soon!)

Each SCOLA service gives users access to authentic resources that make learning a new language enjoyable and interesting. Contact your local cable company and tell them what a great community service they can provide by joining forces with SCOLA!

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Behind the Scenes- Meet Doa

DoaLast month, we introduced you to our Moroccan provider, Karima. This month, we would like you to meet Doa, our provider from Turkey. Doa has sent us a variety of material to kickoff our second Country of the Month.

Doa ( Doga Gulgun Gunenc ) was born in Gaziantep, Turkey in 1966. She started learning English as a second language when she was 11 years old in Gaziantep Anadolu Lisesi.  In 1989, she graduated from Hacettepe University, in the English Language and Literature Department. Since then, Doa has translated many film scripts, cartoons and documentaries for TRT Turkish Television.  She also translated “The Gladiators”, a book about Roman history by Fik Meijer.

Doa is currently an English teacher in a public school. She has an 11 year old son and a 15 year old son. She enjoys coaching them in tennis in her free time.

In addition to her personal and professional life, Doa started translating for SCOLA in 2006. She currently prepares Insta-Class lessons in Turkish and provides additional learning material for different SCOLA projects.

Check out the information Doa shared for the Country of the Month by visiting our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+ accounts!