SCOLA and CYRTV: An Adventure in Education

The past few weeks SCOLA fans have been learning a lot about our Country of the Month, China. But you may be wondering where all this information is coming from! Years ago SCOLA formed a business relationship with China Yellow River TV, a television station in China. Many employees at CYRTV have contributed to the material we have shared with you for our Country of the Month. Today, a CYRTV employee wants to share with you the history behind the relationship between SCOLA and CYRTV.

Founded in 1991, CYRTV(China Yellow River TV) is run by Shanxi Radio and TV with the support of more than 180 other TV stations around China. Their media specializes in Chinese language and the promotion of Chinese culture. CYRTV has material on TV,  radio, magazines and news media. Its headquarters are in Taiyuan, Shanxi. As business expands, the CYRTV Beijing base is laying foundations for further development.

On August 23rd, CYRTV began to broadcast Chinese TV programs via SCOLA to North America. Now there are three Channels broadcasting Chinese TV programs. The Confucius Institute (China) Channel on SCOLA Channel Three broadcasts 24 hours of  Chinese language teaching and cultural programs. SCOLA Channel Four plays one  hour  of Chinese programming per day, including news and information programs, as well as documentaries about China. SCOLA Channel Seven plays two hours of Chinese programming per day about culture, Chinese education, travel, scenic places in China, literature, history, and much more. All the programs are uploaded to SCOLA for online users to view live or download.

Together CYRTV and SCOLA  run Chinese radio broadcasts launched on December 18th, 2008. SCOLA Chinese Radio currently broadcasts two hours of radio programs on entertainment, education and culture. Tune in online!

Throughout the years CYRTV and SCOLA have formed a good friendship. In 1994, CYRTV began sending work teams to the U.S. About 50 experts and reporters went to SCOLA to work for a year.

The Chinese team was responsible for producing daily Chinese news program and giving lessons to local schools. During their stay, they enjoyed work with their American colleagues and formed friendships with local people. The dedication of the following people has strengthened the relationship between CYRTV and SCOLA:

1994: Jia Bin, Yang Hong, Zhang Xiao Ling and Liang Bo.

1995:  He Xiaoyan, Liu Kerui, Guo Hai and Yu Baolin.

1996:  Ling Li, Tian Jinhu, Hu Yao Ping and Tan Jun

1997:  Zhao Yaqin, Hong Wei, Yuan Qinghong and Li Jia.

1998:  Bai Xiao Dong, Li Jing, Ma Jia, Liu Zhi Lan, Wu Sai Ping, Yin Chun Jing, Wang Bao Hui and Chen Li Xia.

1999:  Bai Xu Ming, Shen Yan, Zhang Hua, Liu Hua and Wu Xing Ming.

2000-2001:  Hu Xin Ling, Cai Shu Rong, Li Zhi Hua, Yin Y Mao and Jiang Wei Dong.

2003-2005:  LiLi, Deng Yuen, Dong Lili, Fan Tai Yu, Ren Xiao Bing and Xue Bing Bing.

2006-2007:  Cai Xiao Ming and Chang Hong.

The 78 people that make up the CYRTV staff, are a harmonious and warm family. They are proud and happy to reach so many people around the world via their SCOLA broadcasts. They love to teach Americans about China, and teaching Chinese is their mutual mission. They will continue to do their best to strengthen the collaboration and friendship to make the world a better place.

Along with material for the Country of the Month, CYRTV has also been crucial to the Chinese language and culture resources we share with our subscribers on www.scola.org. Contact us today for your free trial and see how SCOLA and CYRTV can help you with your language learning goals.

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China: Making Learning Fun

As we begin our Chinese adventure, you may start to notice the perks of following our SCOLA Country of the Month. Each month, followers can learn traditional international recipes, vocabulary in native languages, and compare their countries climate and geography to that of the Country of the Month.  This month is full of good luck, as our providers in China have sent along something extra.

The Chinese providers are making the March Country of the Month not only educational, but also entertaining! The Chinese providers have sent in traditional recipes to make your mouths water, fascinating clips of Huangshan Mountain to captivate your mind, and unlike any other Country of the Month before them, jokes to tickle your funny bone!  The jokes they sent will not only give you insight into their culture and the holidays they celebrate, but will make you laugh as well! Enjoy!

The first Chinese joke we will share is about Qingming Festival. Qingming Festival will be celebrated April 5th, 2014 in China. The Chinese enjoy a day off of work to worship their ancestors. According to Chinese customs, people visit the tombs with gifts for their ancestors to enjoy in the other world including fruit, wine, flowers, food, and paper money. They put the food, fruit, and flowers in front of the tomb. They spray the wine and burn the paper money so it rises to their ancestors. They also put fresh soil to cover the tomb, and plant twigs around the tomb. The Qingming Festival is also one of 24 solar terms in China.

Qingming Festival (Memorial) is coming up so a man went to an offerings shop to buy sacrificial offerings. There he saw some paper Apple phones. He felt very strange. He said, “Aha, but if I burn an Apple phone, how will my ancestors know how to use it?” The shop owner said,”Steve Jobs is already there to teach them, why are you worried?” Appeased, the man bought one. The shop owner then reminded him, “You should buy a charger, you don’t want them to ask you to deliver a charger there do you?” When the man checked out he said “May I have your business card? The shop owner asked why, and the man said “I will burn your business card with the offerings to my ancestors, that way if the phone has any problems they can come looking for you!”

The next joke is about Valentine’s Day in China.  As in the United States, Valentine’s Day was also celebrated on February 14th in China. The Lantern Festival in China also fell on Valentine’s Day this year! The night of the Lantern Festival, people in China enjoy the first full moon of the year. It is a family holiday, where they gather together and eat sweet dumplings made of glutinous rice flour filled with sweet ingredients like sesame and peanut.

On the night of the Lantern Festival families go to parks or public squares to watch lanterns in different shapes and sizes. The lanterns are different shapes and designs, some made to look like special characters or historical figures. The sky is colored red with lanterns. People also write riddles on the covers of the lanterns or on pieces of paper hanging from the lanterns. Young children are carried on the shoulders of their fathers, the old are supported by the young, and the young forget the year of hard work. Children’s laughs and screams of excitement can be heard throughout the night.

SCOLA’s friend from China tells us “It is interesting that your holiday and our Lantern Festival happen on the same day in China. Our Lantern Festival is also a holiday for love in many places in China. People in Hainan Island will exchange flowers for love, or express good will…Today if you receive flowers,you spend today as Valentine’s Day, if you receive sweet dumplings, you consider it Lantern Festival, if you receive nothing, just consider it Friday!”

A Chinese man asks his brother what he thinks of Valentine’s Day. His brother answers “Valentine’s Day? Oh, let me think. It is the same as Tomb-Sweeping Day (the Chinese Festival on April 5, to memorize the ancestors). Giving flowers and food and saying something sweet to make the ghost happy.” The man replies “Younger brother, you are wrong. The conversation on Tomb-Sweeping Day is a conversation between humans and ghosts in the human language, but the conversations on Valentine’s Day are between two humans in a ghost language.” The brother says “We cannot regard money as important, but buying reasonable gifts and flowers is ok. The Valentine’s Day is short, by the time you blink it passes. But if you don’t buy gifts and flowers, that day is so long, and difficult. Do you know the worst thing about Valentine’s Day? Do you? It is when the gifts are not ready!” The man replies “No, the worst thing about Valentine’s Day is when the gift is ready, but you have no lover!” His brother says “ Brother, that is not a big deal. The most miserable thing is that the gifts are ready, and the lover is ready, but your wife finds out!” The man laughs and says “Nonsense, the most miserable thing is that the gift is ready and you take it home for your wife, and sadly discover she is out spending Valentine’s Day with her lover!”

And last but not least:

A man received a text from his neighbor: “Sorry that I have been using your wife, I have been using day and night, and whenever you are not at home. In fact, I have been using more than you do.I confess to you because I feel guilty.I hope you will accept my sincere apology.”The man went home and fought with his wife.A few minutes later he received a text,”Sorry ,I typed wrong, it is not wife, it is your WIFI!”

Do you have a joke from your culture or country you would like to share with SCOLA? Post it in the comments below!

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Behind the Scenes: Meet Mercy

The years travels are off to a great start as we find our adventure in Nigeria,  our February Country of the Month, coming to a close. As our journey ends, we want to thank SCOLA provider Mercy for everything she has taught us about her home country. Mercy taught us how to say ‘love’ in four languages, shared traditional Nigerian recipes with us, and so much  more!

Mercy was born in Nigeria to a family of ten, including four brothers, three sisters and her parents. She married a loving husband, and twenty years later they have three wonderful bomy pics 110ys and a sweet daughter. Her two oldest boys are currently studying engineering at Ghanaian universities. Her daughter is fifteen years old and almost through with her secondary school education. Her youngest child (who calls himself the cutest) is currently finishing his primary school education.

In 1990, Mercy graduated from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, with a Bachelor’s Degree in English (Education).  In 1992, after her compulsory one year of national service, she found a job in the media industry as an announcer with the Rivers State Television, Channel 22 UHF, Portharcourt. She later transferred to the Bayelsa State Television,  which later became Gloryland Television and is presently known as Niger Delta Television. Mercy later had to leave the Niger Delta Television to be closer to her family.

Mercy misses working in television very much, so when the opportunity for Mercy to work in media through SCOLA came along she was very happy. Her sister Azi, a Nebraska resident, got her in touch with a SCOLA employee in 1990. Mercy says “Though working for SCOLA is very demanding, it brings out the best in you. It has exposed me to many aspects of TV production as well as areas of untapped knowledge, culture and much more.”  Since Mercy joined SCOLA she has sent in material for Foreign Text, On The Street Videos, Savoir-Vivre, and World TV Online.

Next year, Mercy hopes to return back to Niger Delta Television in Bayelsa State as Deputy Director of Programs and also pursue a masters degree in Public Relations.

If you didn’t learn enough about Nigeria as our Country of the Month, make sure to check out www.scola.org to see other material Mercy has shared with us about her country. Also, be sure to check back often in March to travel with us to our new Country of the Month…China!

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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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