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Seeing Sounds in Macmillan's Academy Day in Madrid

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Writing in the local paper. Local Issues with a global take. I never translate literally and the editor trims at will to make it fit. Here's my version, then theirs.

I’ve been fortunate enough to play at some of the most famous festivals around the world. From Vancouver to New York, I have seen the stage from the other side and even returned on a few occasions and have been able to appreciate the transformative effect these festivals can have on cities. It would be difficult to image New Orleans without Jazzfest or Chicago without the Blues festival, popular festivals that have become so intertwined with the lives of the cities that it would be impossible to think of one without the other. The music may only last a week but its echo reverberates year round. Could the same be said of WOMAD? True, the festival has brought Caceres to the attention of some around the world but my question is what has it brought back to Caceres in return? Where are the partnerships and initiatives with…

A Master Doesn't Necessarily Make you a Master

Writing in the local paper. Local Issues with a global take. I never translate literally and the editor trims at will to make it fit. Here's my version, then theirs.

One of the first questions I ask my students when I start a new course is often one of the most difficult for them to answer. And no, it’s not like a former boss of mine once told me, “The first day of class I look for the most difficult grammar point and then really let them have it.” No, my first question is much more straightforward, yet perhaps even more challenging to answer...that is if the student is being honest with me and more importantly, with themselves. Quite simply I ask them, “Why are you here?” Some go into automatic mode and reply like robots, “because English is very important for my future.” Others with perhaps a bit more experience koranically recite, “because I need it to communicate with clients from abroad.” Then there are those who are brutally sincere and say point blank, “I need the piece of p…

Macmillan Webinars 2018

A new teaching adventure this week, braving the new online, virtual world. I was invited to participate in some online training with Macmillan in Madrid which was beamed to the world.

The first session, Bing, Bang, Boom, Boing and Baa: onomatopoeia and the importance of sounds in the YL classroom, was a fun look at bringing sounds to life. Making the sounds of English visual and while it was aimed at YLs, the main ideas are equally valid across all levels and ages. 

The second session, Harnessing the Image Zeitgeist in a Visual World, or as I had subtitled it in my mind, Grabbing Learners' Attention in a Post-Text World, was an in depth look how images can be more than just pretty pictures in coursebooks. Ways to make classrooms into 2-way streets, which exchanges going in both directions. 

I look forward to exploring more of this type of training in the future. Thanks to all who participated!

Seen from the Train to Madrid...Spring!

10 Reasons to Get Up before Dawn

Through the jungle before sunrise with hopes of catching the falls in all their glory. Stories behind the Images. Click on the link in the description for the tale. #nonotfar . . . . . . . . #saltoangel #canaima #angelfall #angelfalls #worldstallest #worldshighest #unesco #worldheritagesite #canaimanationalpark #visitvenezuela #mistandclouds #clouds #analogphotography #gransabana #travelwriting #onceinalifetime Una publicación compartida por Troy Nahumko (@troynahumko) el Abr 2, 2018 at 12:19 PDT

Water poured out of the clouds down into a limpid pool surrounded by the nearly impenetrable jungle.

It wasn't raining.

Maybe it was somewhere up on the tepui but the clouds that clung to face of the table-top mountain were cottony white, yet still the water tumbled down.

"When can you see the top of the waterfall?" I asked as we swam under the curtain of water falling from nearly a kilometre above.

"It's normally clear just as the sun rises over the range in front but…

The Smoke that Thunders

Tokaleya Tonga: Mosi-oa-Tunya The Smoke that Thunders Watching the Zambezi fall Stories behind the images #nonotfar Link in description . . . . . . . . . #worldslargest #worldsbiggest #waterfall #waterfalls #smokethatthunders #thegroundshakes #zambezi #visitzimbabwe #zimtravel #zimbabwe #travelzimbabwe #africa #rainbow #mistrainbow #igerszimbabwe #igers_waterfalls #igers_rainbows #cataratas Una publicación compartida por Troy Nahumko (@troynahumko) el Mar 30, 2018 at 3:02 PDT

It was a hangover of African proportions, the size and depth of the continent itself. Vague images of the night before included: urban elephants attacking faulty taxis, a woman who loved WWF wrestling, baboons, townships, dance-offs, Afrikaans and Africa itself.

Chibuku was a new word I'd rather forget.

The sun shone brightly as I awoke, mangled in a hammock.

The night before...

No coffee in the hostel...the instant had run out.

Man, is that sky bright...the deep blue above reaching out to the endless horizo…