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SPCL 7823 Seminar in Bilingual School Counseling: Session 1 - Module 1: Introduction to Bilingual Counseling

Open Educational Resource (OER) created for Professor Elizalde-Utnick's SPCL 7823 course.


Please complete Tasks 1 to 4 PRIOR to our 4:30 pm Zoom session on June 2:

1. Post on the Blackboard Discussion Board "Please Introduce Yourself" forum.

2. Complete the reading.

Ivers, Ivers, & Duffy (click on author names to gain access to the reading)

3. Complete the Bilingualism & Emotions Questionnaire (linked here and below). This questionnaire is a window into some of the types of things we will explore in this course. We will discuss your responses to the questionnaire in class.

4. Prepare for Blackboard Quiz (RAT).

The 5-question multiple-choice quiz will be on the Ivers et al reading. This RAT will be made available to you after we start our Zoom session.

5. Join Zoom session at 4:30 p.m. on June 2.


Cecilia is a 17-year-old immigrant student who emigrated from Mexico with her cousin two years ago to reunite with her mother and younger sister. She speaks Nahuatl, an indigenous language from Central Mexico, with her family. She speaks Spanish with other Latinos, and she speaks limited English with those who don’t speak Spanish. Cecilia misses her grandmother who she left behind in Mexico. She has been feeling depressed, and she was recommended for counseling.

Which of the following counselors is most likely to foster relational resiliency in their therapeutic relationship with Cecilia?


Alina is a fluent bilingual, 34-year-old Latina who immigrated to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic when she was 17. She speaks Spanish with her family and her partner, English with most of her friends, and she uses both Spanish and English at work.

Joanne is a fluent bilingual, 42-year-old, white Italian-American who was born in NY and learned Spanish in high school and college (she double majored in Psychology and Spanish). After graduate school she spent 10 years working for a community-based mental health agency in Puebla, Mexico before returning to the United States. She speaks English with her family, partner, and friends. She uses both Spanish and English at work.

Paola is a fluent bilingual, 28-year-old, Latina who was born in NY. Her parents immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico in their late teens. Paola speaks Spanish and English with her parents and partner, English with her siblings and friends, and she uses both Spanish and English at work.


In this session we go over course requirements, including the use of various online platforms. We will begin to explore how multilingualism and emotions intersect in counseling. The session activities will consist of a quiz, discussion, and application activities.



This course will explore language and emotions.

When you think about how these two constructs interact with each other, what comes to mind?

Compile a list.

We will discuss this in class.


The authors of the assigned reading (Ivers, Ivers, and Duffey) end their article by mentioning something that Hawking and Mlodinow (2010) wrote in their Scientific American article. According to Hawking and Mlodinow "the city council of Monza, Italy, barred curved gold-fish bowls. The sponsors of the measure complained that it constituted animal cruelty to permanently condemn the fish to a distorted view of reality. Hawking and Mlodinow (2010) proceeded to make the point that humankind’s perceptions of reality may be similarly distorted." (Ivers, Ivers, & Duffey, 2013, p. 231)

Do you agree? Can our perceptions of reality become distorted?

And if so, how can our perceptions come to match reality?