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Creciendo Bilingual & Bicultural

I grew up de un lugar para otro, from one place to the other, both in Puerto Rico and the mainland US. After bridging the cultural and linguistic gap that came with attending eight different schools between North Carolina and Puerto Rico all through grade school, I decided to head back to the island to pursue my bachelor’s degree in English as a Second Language in the Elementary Grades at the University of Puerto Rico in the town of Río Piedras. These early bicultural and bilingual experiences led to an early interest in ESL education, and later that interest spread to bilingual education and literacy.  


For me, as for many others, UPRRP became a place of social and political awakening as we took part in strikes, protests, and took leadership roles in the student council. Upon graduation, I continued to teach, making my way from teaching at a local preschool to teaching San Juan’s first bilingual municipal school. After that, I was able to delve into bilingual Special Education, specifically in a contained classroom for students with Autism. More recently, I was a teacher in a bilingual-first grade setting in Austin, TX. This myriad of experiences laid the groundwork for me to become a knowledgeable bilingual education and literacy educator at the University of Texas in Austin. While a PhD candidate, I continued to understand the environment, sociopolitical systems, and the role schools play in upholding inequities that affect most children from our BIPOC communities. Today, my research and teaching focuses on preparing teachers to confront racial, linguistic, economic, and gender inequalities along with their students within the literacy lesson.


Outside the classroom, I lead a local community organization focused on empowering and uplifting Black, Indigenous, and other women of color — The Womxn of Color Collective ATX. I also enjoy traveling across Latin America, taking cooking classes with my partner, nourishing quality friendships, and savoring the outdoors with my doggie, Winter.

Image by Ashim D’Silva

Academic & Professional Experience




Parallel to my research and teaching, engage in service to my university and department. These have included advancing opportunities of Latina women through the  Intellectual Entrepreneurship Pre-Grad Internship Mentoring Program, for Latina girls, through the Somos Escritoras Writing Program, and through founding and co-chairing the Student Advisory Board to the Teacher Education Committee in efforts to create an enact an anti-racist and critical vision and creed for the teacher preparation program at the university.


Outside of the university, I am the co-founder and programming director of the Womxn of Color Collective ATX, an organization dedicated to empowering, uplifting and educating Black, Indigenous and Womxn of Color in all things important to us, by us.



Translating academic terms into easy to digest concepts.

Always focused on bilingual education and literacy development.



nathaly.batista@utexas.edu  |  Tel: (787) - 560-3134

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