Bilingual, My Super Power

Bilingual, My Super Power By Nury Castillo Crawford, Author of “3,585 Miles to be an American Girl”

I have a personal passion and respect for all of the languages of the world. To me a language is more than just the method of communication for a group of people. To me a language is the way a group of people communicate values, beliefs, and customs.

Language helps you feel part of a special group, unity.

Language is part of traditions and it reflects solidarity for that group of people as well. Some personal benefits I have come to know are the ability to relate in a broader range to other groups of people, regardless of race or any other demographic difference.

As bilingual individuals, we are more patient with others. We understand how some goals are challenging, like learning a new language. In my professional life it has helped me help others become aware and learn to be open to culturally responsive pedagogy when supporting children of different backgrounds and nationalities.

My background with languages revolves around my emigration to the USA when I was ten years old. I was born in Peru and my primary language was Spanish. My family abruptly moved to the USA, where the only Spanish was at home with my own immediate family.

Continue reading to find out more about Nury’s story…

I learned English and that opened up an entirely new culture: American. I share my story in my children’s book, “3,585 Miles to be an American Girl”. A story of family, love and perseverance. It shares the shock of being new to a new country with a new language and the triumphs of becoming an American girl.

I am proud to be able to not only communicate in both languages, but also enjoy all of the amazing cultural opportunities from both Latino and American lives.

Nury Castillo Crawford is the published author of a bilingual children’s book inspired by her personal journey to the USA as a child, “3,585 Miles to be an American Girl”. A story of family, love and perseverance. You can find it here: She has been an educator and advocate for children for over 20 years. Currently she is the Director of Academic Support for Gwinnett County Public Schools in Georgia and is proud to be the President of the Georgia Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents.

Sandra Mercuri
Author: Sandra Mercuri

Dr. Mercuri is a nationally and internationally recognized educational consultant in the area of second language acquisition, dual language education, and curriculum integration for biliteracy development. She has over 28 years of experience in teaching in K-12 schools and at the university level in Argentina and the United States. After retiring as a professor from the University of Texas System, she continued to work on research on the development of academic language across the content areas, the use of translanguaging practices for language transfer, and the effect of long-term professional development on dual language, bilingual and ESL teachers’ instructional practices. Dr. Mercuri provides professional development for teachers and administrators as well as for parents. She presents at national and international conferences on issues of second language acquisition and bilingualism, dual language education, translanguaging pedagogy, and ESL strategies. Dr. Mercuri has published articles in the TESOL Quarterly, Talking Points, EJLTS, JMER, TESOL Connections, MEXTESOL, and the NABE journal as well as the Spanish professional journals The Colombian Journal of Bilingual Education: GIST and the Revista Educación y Pedagogía and more than twelve book chapters. Dr. Mercuri is the author of the book titled Supporting Literacy Through Science: The Challenge of Teaching...

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