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So far daruma has created 71 blog entries.

March 2023

62. Writing in Two Worlds: How a Peruvian American Novelist Embraces Her Bilingualism

2023-03-01T09:06:06-05:00By |Episodes|

EPISODE 62. Writing in Two Worlds: How a Peruvian American Novelist Embraces Her Bilingualism Natalia Sylvester’s newest novel for teens, Breathe and Count Back from Ten, was a 2022 Today Show Pick, and just recently won two awards from the American Library Association. Her newest novel for adults, Everyone Knows You Go Home, won an International Latino Book Award. The audio version of Breathe…, narrated by Frankie Corzo, won an award from AudioFile magazine. “I just love her work,” Natalia says of Frankie. “It’s such an incredible process when I listen to [...]

February 2023

61. Where Children’s Books Become Bilingual

2023-02-15T07:21:36-05:00By |Episodes|

EPISODE 61. Where Children’s Books Become Bilingual Arthur Levine (L) and Antonio Gonzalez Cerna of Levine Querido Publishing recorded our conversation in Guadalajara, Mexico, when they were in town for the Guadalajara Book Fair. When Arthur Levine, a longtime American book publisher, bought the rights to publish, as he called it, a “very British” new children’s book on this side of the pond, it was not because he thought it would become as popular as, say, Harry Potter. It was because “if you limit yourself to writers from your own [...]

60. Crossing the Borderlands

2023-02-01T14:04:08-05:00By |Episodes|

Episode 60. Crossing the Borderlands of America's Immigration Brenda Piñero “I do consider Puerto Rico a borderland of the United States,” says Brenda Piñero of her homeland. Brenda left the island—an American territory rather than a state—after getting her law degree at the University of Puerto Rico. But she could not stay away from borderlands. She’s now an attorney who is part of a pro bono asylum representation project based in Harlingen, Texas. The border with Mexico is a scant 28 miles away. Brenda works [...]

January 2023

59: From Fast-Food Worker to Renowned Film Critic: Carlos Aguilar and Why DACA Is Important

2023-02-02T14:16:33-05:00By |Episodes|

EPISODE 59: From Fast-Food Worker to Renowned Film Critic: Carlos Aguilar and Why DACA Is Important “My dad died in 2018 and I wasn’t able to go to his funeral. It was too much of a risk.” For the film critic Carlos Aguilar to have left his home in the US to attend his father’s funeral in Mexico would have put his re-entry into the United States in jeopardy. A native of Mexico City who has lived and worked in the US since he was young, Carlos is part of the immigration [...]

58: Reclaiming the Language That History Wanted Lost

2023-02-02T14:16:16-05:00By |Episodes|

EPISODE 58: Reclaiming the Language That History Wanted Lost At Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Newton, MA, Priscilla reads to youngsters from her children’s book, A Twisty Vine. For many young readers, it offers their first taste of Taíno, with words and phrases popping up on the pages. Imagine being told you don’t exist. And not just you, but everyone like you. All you have to do is read some earlier accounts of the history of America. Or even later ones that drew from these histories. What you’re told [...]

December 2022

57. How the New York Mets Turned a Green Beret into a Polyglot

2023-02-02T14:16:01-05:00By |Episodes|

EPISODE 57: How the New York Mets Turned a Green Beret into a Polyglot A benefit of bilingualism you may not have considered: how useful it can be when dropping into countries—literally—to engage in a US Army Special Forces mission. That’s just one of the never-thought-of-that-before ways that Jack Clarke, a retired Army colonel who’s now a professor of national security studies, has used the several languages he speaks. In Steve’s conversation with him, Jack reveals how global languages have always been essential to the US military—often, in ways many of [...]

November 2022

56. For a Star of Classical Piano, Languages Hold the Key

2023-02-02T14:15:33-05:00By |Episodes|

56. For a Star of Classical Piano, Languages Hold the Key Andrew von Oyen is one of the only Americans in his field who brings bilingualism to the concert stage. “You never dreamed, did you, that a piano could be made to express all that?” That’s Marcel Proust, the early 20th-century French writer who penned In Search of Lost Time. How was he able to time-travel into the future and know how perfectly those words would describe the work of the classical pianist Andrew von Oeyen? Despite the Old [...]

June 2022

Learning More than a Language: Learning Respect for a Culture, Too

2024-05-03T14:51:24-04:00By |Articles|

“That’s so weird.” That was the reaction of a five-year-old boy in Brunswick, Maine, when Margaret Boyle, an associate professor of Romance languages at nearby Bowdoin College, was reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar to a group of kindergarteners. It wasn’t the caterpillar’s feasting on junk food that perplexed the little boy; it was the fact that Margaret was reading the Eric Carle classic in Spanish. The youngster’s pronouncement took her by surprise. “Growing up in Los Angeles in a Mexican-American family, being close to Hispanic cultures was normal for me,” says Margaret, who is also Bowdoin’s director [...]

May 2022

Where Culture Is a Window into Languages

2024-05-01T17:30:32-04:00By |Articles|

Inside a classroom at Lynn University in the southeast Florida city of Boca Raton, a lively discussion about world religions is under way. The conversation among the students and their teacher is framed around what the university calls Dialogues. The core curriculum of this small liberal-arts university, Dialogues are the signature learning method for classes at Lynn. The focus is on seminar-style courses where both students and professors participate in the learning process. And they engage in cross-disciplinary conversations that take students beyond the borders of the US and into the global community. The structure of [...]

March 2022

Welcoming Immigrants Through Workplace English

2023-03-07T17:40:19-05:00By |Articles|

Mary Cardenas and Steve Leveen are huddled—as much as one can huddle on Zoom—over the short questionnaire that Mary wants to prepare for her small business. A trained chef, she plans to prepare and deliver healthy meals to people in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives. Steve, the cofounder and former CEO of a national retail venture, is giving her pointers. “Right now the form says Mary’s Kitchen,” Steve tells her. “I thought it was going to be Mary’s Healthy Kitchen. That’s distinctive.” Mary quickly agrees. After all, she’s  been able to lower her [...]

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