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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Attention Language Learners!

Attention language learners!

Lower level lessons have been added to our Insta-Class service in the following languages: Spanish-South American, Portuguese, French, and German. Swahili language lessons for beginners are coming soon.

Insta-Class contains ready-to-use “instant” multi-media language lessons produced by SCOLA language experts from around the world. The multi-genre lessons for classroom and individual use are based on actual foreign content and will open in a separate window once chosen. Each lesson will contain a video clip and transcript, translation, a vocabulary list and a quiz to test the users comprehension.

Although some SCOLA services target the more experienced linguist, these new lessons are tailored specifically to beginners. The new level was added to an already impressive list of lessons for advanced, superior, and intermediate learners in over 50 languages.

The 14,000+ lessons on Insta-Class are searchable by Year, Level, Language, Country and Topical Category makes it easy to find exactly what you need.

The convenient lessons benefit classes and independent language learners by saving time and integrating authentic resources. Spanish instructor John White says “I use Insta-Class because what you are seeing is authentic news. Sometimes I want my students to have the visual cues provided in TV programming so that they are immersed in the language but then they also have the actual text being said and the translation.”  You don’t have to take it from us though, try out Insta-Class yourself with this sample or contact us today for your free trial!

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Nepal’s Top 7 Debaters, Filling in the Gap for Parliamentary Discussions

Aarati Raghuvanshi is an undergraduate student at Boston College, in the USA. She is currently an intern for Santosh Shah, a SCOLA provider from Nepal.  Aarati wrote the following article about the new debate show from Nepal that is currently being featured on SCOLA Channel 4. You can tune into the program every Saturday at 14:05:00.


Nepal’s Top 7 Debaters, filling in the gap for parliamentary discussions

By Aarati Raghuvanshi

In a country where young generation is barely aware of their rights, responsibilities and their strength, “Nepal’s Top 7 Debaters” is a show that is on its way to change this mindset for good. Produced by Today’s Youth Asia, a youth led organization overseen by its president, Santosh Shah, the TV series is one of the very few platforms where Nepali students are encouraged to voice their opinions on a national level. Launched in July 2012 and successfully on its way to its third season, this annual debate show attracts viewers throughout the country. The show has also achieved recognition as the world’s first reality television show based on a debate theme.

The Constituent Assembly formed in 2008 was dissolved in 2012 without delivering the promised Constitution. At a time when Nepal’s political, social, and economic development is at halt, the show has become a medium to address public concerns. Megan Titley, a part of the live audience says, “It’s great to get young people, especially girls, out there thinking, analyzing, and adding to the conversation about topical issues.” With thought-provoking topics such as ‘whether Nepal should focus on Asia or the West for its economic prospects’ and if ‘Nepal government should ban the privatization and exploitation of its natural resources’, this platform is a powerful tool for the Nepalese youth to discuss current affairs that were previously limited to the national political figures of the country.

The debate show has also been rated as of the highest caliber by visiting judges from all over the world. For one of the final episodes, where the topic of discussion was “Peace is possible without justice”, one of the judges, Dr. Dee Aker from University of San Diego, praised the tenth grade finalist, Anuska Pant, saying: “I’m very very impressed, I’m not sure if I have university students that would do half as well as you did with the topic.” As for the other finalist, Urusha Silwal of grade twelve, fellow judge Dr. Lilia Velasquez, from California Western School of Law said, “ I wish that my law students had half of the passion that you do while debating”. When asked about the concept of the program, Santosh Shah, the producer of the show says, “After the Constituent Assembly was dissolved in May 2012, there was a dearth of public platform to discuss the grave national issues, and my team and I thought that a debate series on a national channel would fill in the need very well, where young concerned citizens can fearlessly voice forth their findings, logics and public opinions. That is how we conceptualized Top 7 Debaters.”

The TV series may have the added glamour of a reality show, however participants are solely judged by Santosh Shah and two alternating judges. Claire Naylor, a judge for one of the episodes, says “Everyone has their own standard and way of judging, but we all look for the same things from a participant – content, clarity, and confidence. I was blown away by the maturity and the conviction of the students.” Naylor further adds “It’s beautiful and powerful to see youths do something for other youths,” denoting to the fact that the production team is made up entirely of people in their 20s – the producer of the show Mandira Raut and the entire production team are in their 20’s, while the anchors and the research team are even younger.

Leadership Academy, the youth education wing of Today’s Youth Asia that actually operates the show, aims to train many young intellectuals on the technical details of scripting, editing, and production, exposing them to the world of media at an early age. In fact, not only are youths included in the production of the show, but also in the brainstorming phase of the show as students can suggest interesting topics for debate through the use of social media.

Nepal’s Top 7 Debaters is a show that has ignited a spark on the once stagnant and withdrawn spirit of the people of Nepal. It has and continues to provide young debaters a powerful platform to raise genuine and forthright concerns of common people that are often missed out in the discussions of parliaments, politics, diplomacy, and developments. It is indeed heart-warming and inspiring to see an organization that recognizes and values the role of the youth in our society.


Not only does SCOLA broadcast excellent programming from Nepal, it is also our August Country of the Month. Visit any of our social media pages to learn more about the country.

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The SCOLA Symposium: An Introduction

Welcome to The SCOLA Symposium! Since you have found our blog you probably already know what we do here at SCOLA, but to those of you that do not, I will use this first post to introduce ourselves.

In 1981, Lee Lubbers, S.J.,  established SCOLA as a foreign language cable television system on the campus of Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. The system delivered popular television stations of the time along with programs from Canada, Mexico, and the USSR. SCOLA was the first international cable system of its time in the United States, and one of the first cable systems. It became a model other academic institutions looked up to.

In 1990 SCOLA began Out-Write Service, which featured transcripts from the first five minutes of selected newscasts in its original language and English. The transcripts included key words, vocabulary lists, and quizzes for SCOLA affiliated teachers to use as classroom activities. The Out-Write Service is now known as Insta-Class.  The feature started with French, Japanese, Russian, and German and now holds over 50 languages!

With SCOLA’s growth came the need for a different location, so in 1993 SCOLA relocated to a 13-acre property in McClelland, Iowa. Twenty years later, SCOLA remains in McClelland, which is a twenty minute drive from downtown Omaha.

SCOLA continued to grow and gained an online presence  in  2006 when all SCOLA programming became available via the internet and the interactive and informative website,, was launched. Today, the website  has ten interactive resources and tools, utilized by language learners around the world.

World TV Online is SCOLA’s international television programming featuring eight geographically designated channels accessible 24/365. It streams news, talk, drama, children’s and music programming exactly as people see it in their own countries. All of the programs are available to SCOLA subscribers for downloading and live streaming.

People and Places is an ever-growing, original snapshot gallery of SCOLA friends from around the world and the places they live. There are currently over 27,000 vibrant pictures to browse, download and display for any educational purpose.

International Radio holds exotic radio broadcasts featuring SCOLA Exclusives: Afghan Women’s Radio and rare Mayan dialects. Subscribers can also listen to seldom heard news and talk shows, music and more in over 40 languages.

Learning Objects are SCOLA’s interactive, self-contained language lessons geared toward independent study. The lessons provide instructive assessment and feedback from a sociocultural perspective.

On the Street Videos contain compelling videos from around the world produced exclusively for SCOLA. The videos are designed to present the native language as it is spoken informally among friends and neighbors. Family and cultural celebrations, weddings and wedding toasts, sports, parades and interviews on intriguing topics are examples of what you can find in the videos.

Language Training Materials are unique travelogue-style videos from every corner of the globe produced exclusively for SCOLA and narrated by native speakers. Introductory level language lessons and other activities featuring text, videos, quizzes and vocabulary lists are also available.

Specialized Word Video Search holds a searchable collection of over 150,000 specialized native language words. Users are able to view a native language video clip containing the words, listen to an audible pronunciation and hear the words spoken in context.

Foreign Text is a global newsstand of newspapers, magazines and books. The resource includes unabridged publications that present news, sports, entertainment, political commentary and more. Foreign Text features OCR technology.

Video Editor allows users to easily create smaller clips of SCOLA videos for downloading and we understand that not all of the information in each video is applicable to your needs. Our videos, including full length news broadcasts, entertainment programming and talk shows, contain a lot of information! Video Editor can be accessed from each SCOLA service that contains videos.

All SCOLA services are now available through Mobile Apps.

These resources guide SCOLA in fulfilling our mission:

“To to help the people of the world learn about one another; their cultures, their languages and their ideologies. SCOLA emphasizes the importance and effectiveness of modern information technology as a tool in overcoming barriers to global understanding and will remain at the forefront of its application.”

In the coming weeks we are looking forward to unveiling our new website, hosting our annual Users Meeting, and launching new resources and programs for our subscribers to enjoy.

The SCOLA blog will be updated weekly to keep you informed about SCOLA resources and events and current news we think will be beneficial for language learners. If you would like more frequent SCOLA updates we are available on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn. These websites will also have information about the SCOLA Country of the Month! Moroccan recipes, photos, and other fun facts will be shared in the month of May.

You can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter by e-mailing

SCOLA values your feedback, so please feel free to create discussions relevant to the posts in the comment section below.