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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Behind the Scenes: Meet James

In May, SCOLA traveled to the African country of Malawi for our Country of the Month. SCOLA is lucky to have people from around the world provide us with the material to share with you on www.scola.org and on our social media pages. This month, our provider is native Malawian James Chaponda.

James wDSC00054as born on April 24th in Malawi. Years later, James married his lovely wife, Tikondane, and had one child. James has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering with a major in Telecommunications from the University of Malawi-Polytechnic.

James started working with SCOLA in September 2012 and enjoys the task of providing content each month. James also works at Malawi Telecommunications Limited as a Transmission Engineer. James says “I love working with SCOLA to teach the people of the world different languages, especially Chewa from Malawi. Many people don’t know where Malawi is and what kind of language(s) we speak. Other countries are more well-known because of things like wars and disasters. I would like to encourage people of the world to start learning the Chewa language because it is spoken in various central African countries.”

James looks forward to working with SCOLA for the rest of his life, and would like to thank his wife for her encouragement and help in coming up with different resources and programs for SCOLA subscribers to enjoy. James would also like to thank the management and staff at SCOLA for their warm reception when he visited SCOLA in 2012.

SCOLA would like to thank James for the interesting and educational information he sent for the Country of the Month and for the material he sends for our services on www.scola.org.

So…May is over but you didn’t learn enough about Malawi? Be sure to check out www.scola.org for over 400 audio, image, text and video resources from Malawi, and then check us out online for our next Country of the Month!

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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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Homesick? Visit SCOLA.org

In a world where long-term or permanent relocation to find the next best job, education or lifestyle is the norm, many might find that they feel out of the loop on their friends and families social lives, their countries current events and cultural celebrations and holidays. Thankfully, communication methods such as texting, e-mail and Facebook make it easy for families and friends to stay in touch and keep those away from home in the loop.  With advancements in technology it should be just as easy for those people to keep up on their home countries current news topics and cultural celebrations…and with SCOLA it is!

SCOLA prides itself on routinely receiving current authentic resources from all around the world. We want those away from home to still be able to start their day with the front page of their cities newspaper, and end their day hearing the evening news in their native language.  Foreign Text holds publications such as newspapers, magazines, and books from around the world that aren’t available anywhere else online. World TV Online routinely receives news, entertainment and other varied programming from a variety of countries around the world that SCOLA subscribers can stream live or download.

A SCOLA friend and provider recently said about SCOLA that readers can look at the website and say “It is my webpage”, familiar, interesting and easy to read.” He was especially impressed with a special project SCOLA is doing this month called 28 Days of Love, which inspired him to write the following poem:

Spring , A Season for Love

February breeze

stirs the love string of the universe

The earth awakens, stretches his body and

Desires to make love to the sky

Spring rain

falls silently with the previous spring’s memory.

Moist, sweet and happy rain

the thirsty wheat smiles,

the white-haired peasant

through the long(tabacco) pipe,

unburdens himself of a long winter’s anxiety

Spring sun

Taking off the winter muslin

Kisses the winter jasmine

And hugs the willow trees

The flowers yellow and

The twigs green

It is a season for love

The twittering sound from above

Announcing the couple swallow’s back home

“everybody is fine?”

The birds sit side by side,

telling the hostess a winter missing story.

The boy and the girl

Taking off winter coats

Run into spring fields

“You are one end and

I am  the other

No matter how high you are flying

You are sure to come back”

The kite rope pulls the promise of love

SCOLA thanks our friend for the kind words and the beautiful poem. We are always happy to hear from our friends, providers and subscribers interested in our work and mission! We hope that many of you can visit SCOLA.org and feel happiness and at home the way this person does!

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Your Upcoming Travel Itinerary

SCOLA and China Yellow River Television have been shortening the distance between McClelland and Taiyuan for 23 years, and next month, China is coming to you! If you follow our social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, you may have noticed each month SCOLA presents a “Country of the Month”. Our social media followers can learn a lot about countries around the world such as traditional recipes, typical weather conditions, and a vocabulary word in the country’s native language.

In May 2013, our journey began in the country of Morocco and this March, followers have the opportunity to visit China…from the comfort of their own home! The country has interested viewers with programming on World TV Online, readers with magazines and newspapers on Foreign Text, and learners with lessons on Insta-Class. Featuring China as our Country of the Month will give people that do not already subscribe to SCOLA a small preview of the authentic Chinese resources SCOLA has to offer.

At the end of the month, you may find yourself wanting more information about the country and not ready to move on to the next one. Our website has additional resources from every country we visit for the SCOLA Country of the Month.  Want to know more traditional recipes from Nigeria? Check out Savoir-Vivre, coming soon to www.scola.org! Want to learn more Czech vocabulary? Check out Insta-Class or Specialized Word Video Search! Come see for yourself that the Country of the Month features only a small portion of the material SCOLA offers to subscribers.

Is there a country you would like to see featured as the Country of the Month? Let us know in the comments below!

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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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15 Reasons to Follow SCOLA on Pinterest

With the popularity of social networking sites in many people’s everyday lives, SCOLA knows how important it is to stay up to date on the latest social media trends. Most recently, SCOLA has been keeping fans up to date with our Pinterest profile. Pinterest allows users to “pin” photos and websites and come back to them at a later date. The website also allows users to categorize their pins with titles and descriptions so their followers can decide which board they would like to be updated on.

PP-IQ-Computer WorkerSCOLA currently has 15 boards for Pinterest users to follow. Our first board, titled SCOLA Services and Updates contains pins about our 12 SCOLA services and how subscribers can use them. SCOLA Services and Updates also informs followers when new languages and material are added to our services. For example, a link to a blog post about new beginner level language lessons in Insta-Class was recently shared. On the SCOLA Services and Updates Board you can also find our monthly newsletter and even a sneak peek of our new service, Savoir-Vivre.

Our next board, titled SCOLA Friends and Providers, takes you behind the scenes to introduce you to the people who bring you our authentic resources. Meet Julye, a Spoken Word native speaker from Peru, or Karima, a SCOLA provider from Morocco who has been working with us for over six years! Learn about our providers on Pinterest and then contact us for a free trial to see all of the wonderful work they do.

Follow any of our eight Country of the Month boards to travel around the world with SCOLA. From Morocco in May to our current Country of the Month Kazakhstan, learn vocabulary words, international recipes, and much more from around the globe.

Our board titled Facebook Photo Challenges updates Pinterest users with the fun, interactive posts we share with our Facebook users. Follow this board to search for Bakhtiyar, and participate in caption contests.

USTTI at SCOLA shares with followers the education USTTI participants received and the activities they participated in. Learn more about our USTTI training course here.

Our most recent  board is International Recipes. This board contains a sample of the traditional recipes providers have shared with us. Follow the board and subscribe for Savoir-Vivre and never have to worry about having the same old thing for dinner again!

SCOLA is also part of two public Pinterest boards: French Learning and Spanish Learning. The boards are a place for language lovers and educators to share their favorite language resources.

In addition to Pinterest, SCOLA is also active on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube. Pinterest is a great resource for busy people who need new ideas and resources, but perhaps don’t have a lot of free time to research new material. Pin now, and then contact us about your free trial when you have time!