Behind the Scenes: Meet Franciszek

franek_matysikFebruary was spent traveling around Poland for our Country of the Month. Our Polish provider Franciszek shared with us traditional Polish food, let us experience the cold winter weather in his country, and much more!

Franciszek’s adventure started with SCOLA a few years ago when he was asked about programming in his language. With SCOLA he found that the programs broadcast in his country were of interest to viewers around the world.

Over the years, cooperation between Poland and SCOLA have grown with Franciszek sending in more and more material. He appreciates the work he does with SCOLA and all the employees. He enjoys his partnership with SCOLA that allows him to share Polish programming with people around the world.

Follow along with our next Country of the Month: Germany!

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SCOLA Travel Journal: Week Eighteen

Scrolling through newspapers on Foreign Text I have to pause and do a double take when I see Georgia listed as a country. Georgia? A country? But that can’t be right…Georgia is a state in the southern United States! I must research this further so I head on over to Country Overview Videos under the Language Training Materials. Here I learn that Georgia is also the name of a country in Europe. I also learn about Georgia’s climate, education system, government, and much, much more! However, as we have learned in the past through SCOLA On the Street Videos, what better way to learn about a country than to experience it?

I don’t have to waste any time searching for my passport or packing my bags, as soon as I log on to On the Street Videos I am on my way to Georgia! The first thing that catches my eye as I arrive in Tbilisi is a flower bazaar. There are so many different kinds of flowers, with florists working hard to make bouquets for their customers. It would be a shame to return from my trip without a souvenir, so I buy a dozen roses and continue on my way.

My next stop in Georgia is a history museum. Since I was completely unaware of this country until today, I’d like to know about the country’s past. I meet with Mrs. Tamar Abunadze and Mrs. Ekha Maizuradze, both employees of the history museum. While talking to the women I learn about the Khazbegi region, a mythological story about Sameba, and about the life of Georgian Queen Tamar.

As I head home from this adventure with On the Street Videos, I am feeling very enlightened! Waking up today I never thought I would be exploring a country that was completely new to me! I can’t wait to continue my adventures with SCOLA On the Street Videos next week!

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SCOLA Travel Journal: Week Seven

With all of the amazing places I have traveled to lately, I feel pretty well educated in a variety of languages, so instead of first going to People and Places to choose a destination by the way it looks, I log on to Insta-Class to browse the available languages and choose one I haven’t learned. Wow! There are over 360 lessons in Uzbek from Uzbekistan! I think I have found the destination for my next adventure…

Insta-Class lessons are great for independent study and I practice Uzbek with intermediate, superior, and advanced language lessons in a variety of categories like culture, economy, and politics. With great tools like quizzes, vocabulary lists, and forums, I will learn Uzbek in no time!

After lots of practice with Insta-Class I check out World TV Online and Foreign Text to learn about current events in news and entertainment. The services not only catch me up on important events, they also let me practice reading and listening to my most recent learned language. Plus, now not only will I be able to chat with the locals with my practiced Uzbek skills, but I’ll have something to chat with them about!

I don’t have to buy an expensive plane ticket or carry around any bulky luggage, but I am soon on my way to Uzbekistan through On the Street Videos! My first stop was a local school, where I watched a performance of Twelve Months, a dramatic fable about a place where flowers, mushrooms, and berries grow in the winter. There were a few words in the storyline I was unsure of, but with SCOLA’s convenient mobile apps I was able to quickly look up any words and phrases I was confused about.

With all the new and exciting material available on SCOLA, I was still in the mood to learn more, so my next stop was a guitar lesson with SCOLA provider Askar. Where else can you go on an international vacation and learn how to play a music instrument?

All of this learning has worn me out, but it’s nothing a quick lesson in how to make coffee won’t fix. I follow along as a server at a local restaurant teaches me how to make a cup of coffee…now I’ll have enough energy for my next adventure! Check back next week to see where On the Street Videos takes me next!

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SCOLA Travel Journal: Week Six

It’s my sixth week traveling the world and you must be wondering…am I tired and homesick yet? No! My adventures have all been through SCOLA On the Street Videos- it allows me to travel around the globe from the comfort of my own home, at my own convenience! On the Street Videos is the perfect solution for people who want to travel the world, experience other cultures, and discover new lifestyles without the negative effects of traveling- homesickness, jet lag, and not enough funds to get you from one place to the next. Plus, you get the added perks of experiencing the world and learning new languages with SCOLA’s other great services like People and Places, Insta-Class, and so much more! Hearing about all the perks of international travel with SCOLA, I know you are wondering where I traveled to after Indonesia.
I was ready to take on a new continent, so my primary search on SCOLA was through People and Places to find a country in Africa! Colorful photos of communities, families, and landscapes in Uganda were the first to catch my eye. I’m excited to begin my journey, but I know my first task must be to learn about Uganda’s native language so I can interact with the locals and navigate with ease around the country.

My next stop before my adventure is Spoken Word. Spoken Word allows me to have convenient conversations with native speakers from around the world! The service allows me to bypass time zones and avoid long distance phone charges by leaving video messages for any of their native speakers. I leave a message for David from Uganda who speaks both Luganda and Swahili! I first send him some private messages because I am unsure about my pronunciation, once I get more confident we have some public conversations so other Spoken Word users can see and respond to our posts. David helps me with my pronunciation, words I need to know, and common mistakes language learners make in Luganda and Swahili.
David has prepared me for my trip, so I excitedly log on to On the Street Videos. My first stop in Uganda is to receive some computer training from a local resident. I figure I may have to brush up on my Swahili while I am here, which I could do with a few quick lessons in Insta-Class! Plus, the computer lessons helped me pick up a few new vocabulary words in Swahili. Once I was done with the computer lessons I felt confident that I could log on to SCOLA.org without any problems if I needed help with Swahili, so I was off to my next adventure in Uganda.

My next stop was to visit a local market. My guide at the local market taught me so much about produce in Uganda, and the products being sold at the market. Hearing about the sellers at the market got me thinking about other work people in Uganda might do, so next I talked with a local man about business, and what was needed to be successful in this country. I also had a discussion with another local man about jobs and employment in Uganda.

My conversations with the locals, my trip to the market, and my computer lessons gave me insight into daily life in Uganda, and social issues that natives face. Uganda was a wonderful destination for my first trip to the large continent of Africa, and I look forward to my return!

For now though, the only thing on my mind is where should I go next? Travel the world with me today when you log on to www.SCOLA.org for your free trial!

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