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SPCL 7823 Psycholinguistics, Bilingualism, & Counseling in Schools: Session 7 - Module 4: Bilingualism & Identity - Dual Bilingual Self vs. Integrated Bilingual Self

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


Please complete the following PRIOR to our class session on March 12:

1. Complete the readings.


2. Prepare for Quiz (RAT).

The 5-question multiple-choice quiz will be on the assigned readings.


Do you have a dual or integrated self?

In which language do you dream?

Which language would you use to write in a diary?

In which language would you want to be counseled?

What would be the preferred culture of your therapist?


We will explore the psychodynamics of bilingualism. In particular, we will dig deep into whether an individual possesses dual selves, with one of the selves emerging when a given language is spoken, or whether an individual possesses a more integrated, bilingual self. We will analyze these constructs within the context of clinical case studies. We will also explore the process of conducting a psycholinguistic history interview.




Historically, bilinguals and multilinguals have been viewed as having schizophrenic selves. Which of the following individuals is most likely to feel like different individuals in the different languages?


Five-year-old Abdul lives with his parents and sister (9). Abdul’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from Pakistan 12 years ago. Both Urdu and English are spoken in the home. Abdul’s parents, who are fluent bilinguals, only speak Urdu to him. His sister speaks both languages in the home, although she speaks English more. He will be attending Kindergarten in the Fall, and English will be the language of instruction. Abdul’s parents are preparing for this by placing him in a camp with ESL support. They will also support his English acquisition in the fall by speaking more English. However, they will continue to speak Urdu with both their children in order to maintain the Urdu language.


Sixteen-year-old Fatma is a fluent bilingual. Born in the U.S. to Egyptian immigrant parents, she has maintained both languages, Arabic and English, throughout her childhood and youth. The family uses both languages at home. At her high school, Fatma only uses English. Weekend school has ensured that Fatma is literate in both languages.


Nineteen-year-old Marlene is finishing her sophomore year of college. This year she joined the Haitian-American Club and is considering running for president of the club. She and other members have come up with awareness-raising events in collaboration with the Multicultural Club. Marlene has maintained her oral language ability in Haitian-Creole since childhood, as her parents speak Haitian-Creole to her. Marlene was born in New York and has never visited Haiti.  A Caribbean Studies course she took this year has motivated Marlene to take Haitian Creole courses in order to become literate in the language. Luckily, her college offers the course as a joint course between Caribbean Students and the Modern Languages department.


Thirteen-year-old Savannah attends her local middle school. The majority of the children at her school are White, with many being Irish-American or Italian. About 10 percent of the children are Latino, Asian, African-American, or of mixed racial ancestry. Savannah is second generation Chinese-American.  She lives with her parents (who immigrated to the U.S. as young children, representing 1.5 generation), her siblings (Christopher, 17; Liana, 14; and Nicholas, 6), and her paternal grandparents. A fulltime baby-sitter also lives in the home. Savannah’s grandparents and baby-sitter do not speak English. Since birth, Savannah has been exposed to both Chinese and English. Savannah’s grandparents have always spoken to her in Chinese. Her mother spoke to her in Chinese for the first 4 years and since then has increasingly spoken more English than Chinese with Savannah. Her father has always spoken only English with her. Savannah and her siblings speak English with each other and their parents. They speak Chinese with their grandparents and baby-sitter.


Sofia immigrated to the United States from Brazil at the age of 17. She knew very little English and attended an International high school when she arrived. It took many years of study, through college and graduate school to achieve CALP in English. She was very motivated and sought out assistance from nurturing professors. At present time at the age of 30, Sofia is a fluent bilingual. She uses both Portuguese and English in her daily life, both personally and professionally.