Behind the Scenes: Meet Miki

This January SCOLA followers traveled to Thailand for our Country of the Month. If you were following along, you learned a Word of the Month, experienced the weather in Chiang Mai, and discovered the tasty ingredients that go into a bowl of traditional Tom Yum Kung Soup. The material came straight from Thailand, from SCOLA provider Miki Taniguchi.

Miki Taniguchi no.3Miki was born in Japan in February 1968. She graduated from Notre Dame Women’s University in Kyoto awith a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics. When Miki was 31 years old, she married a man named Junji. They had a son in 2001, whom they named Hitoshi. Miki and Junji decided to raise Hitoshi in Thailand because they both loved Thai people’s attitudes of respect towards elders, which derived from Buddhist values. Miki and her family have been living in Chiang Mai for twelve years, and in that time had a daughter.

Miki began working for SCOLA in 2012. She shares the Thai culture and her knowledge of the Japanese language through printing materials and video. Miki really enjoys working with SCOLA and is proud to share aspects of Thailand and Japan’s languages and culture with others. Miki looks forward to new SCOLA projects in the future and appreciates her husband and children for their support and understanding of the work she does for SCOLA.

So January is over, but you want to explore more material Miki has sent in and experience more of Thailand? Visit www.scola.org today to access your free trial!

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Behind the Scenes: Meet William

This month, with the help of SCOLA provider EBAI William NKONGHO, our followers were able to visit Cameroon through our Country of the Month. William sent in original material from his home country ranging from information about locally grown produce to an instructional video for a traditional recipe for snails.

William is from Manyu Division, Mbinjong Village, in southwest Cameroon. He was born in a small town called Tiko and is currently married with three children. In his home country, William is certified in Security and Safety and Firefighting Techniques. He is also currently undergoing training to be a Sound Engineer.

William began working with SCOLA in June 2008. William believes SCOLA‘s duty is incomparable. He prays that God will continue to inspire our providers and subscribers to go to other countries and discover many more cultures.

We want to thank William, and all of our providers for their continuous work on our services and special projects. Check out the material William sent us this month on our social media pages, and then visit SCOLA.org to see more authentic resources straight from Cameroon.

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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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What’s Your New Year’s Resolution?

A new year is often a time many people use to reflect on areas of their life they would like to change or improve. Now that we are a few weeks into the new year have you decided what your New Year’s Resolution will be? And how will you fulfill your New Year’s Resolution?

If you haven’t decided on a resolution yet, or need help in how you are going to fulfill your resolution, keep reading! The following are some popular resolutions people make and how SCOLA can help you accomplish them:

1. Travel More: Would you like to travel more in 2014? Make sure you check out SCOLA BEFORE you book those plane tickets! Find everything you need to know about foreign languages and cultures at www.scola.org. Log on to Spoken Word to chat with native speakers from around the world about their language and culture, or practice your destinations native language with our ready-to-use Insta-Class lessons.

Here at SCOLA we know traveling can be an expensive and time consuming resolution. Lucky for you, SCOLA has a solution for those who want to travel but don’t have a lot of extra time and money to spare! Explore foreign landscapes with People and Places, discover international current events with World TV Online and experience cultures from around the world with Savoir-Vivre (coming soon)!

2. Learn a New Language: Have you always wanted to learn a new language? Make 2014 your year! The variety of resources and languages SCOLA offers make learning fun and interesting. Start out with beginner Insta-Class lessons and move your way up to a more advanced vocabulary with Specialized Word Video Search. Scared you’re not pronouncing something correctly? Log on to Spoken Word and video chat with one of our native speakers! Want to learn on the go? Download our Mobile Apps- free with a paid SCOLA subscription!

3. Meet New Friends: Is your New Year’s resolution to make new friends in 2014? Let SCOLA introduce you to 13 Native Speakers from around the world on Spoken Word! Chat face to face with David from Uganda, Julye from Peru, and many others any time of the day and learn about language subtleties and nonverbal communication in their culture!

4. Learn Something New: Do you want to learn something new in 2014? With thousands of authentic resources in almost 200 languages make SCOLA your destination to learn something new! Learn about the daily life of school children in Nepal with On The Street Videos, dating in Turkey with Savoir-Vivre and so much more!

What other resolutions are you making for yourself this year? How will you use SCOLA to accomplish your resolutions?

What are you waiting for? Contact SCOLA for a free trial today!