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SPCL 7823 Seminar in Bilingual School Counseling: Session 7 - Module 4: Language & Emotions, continued

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


Please complete Tasks 1 to 3 PRIOR to our Zoom session on June 23:

1. Complete the reading.

Bakik & Skific

2. Prepare for Blackboard Quiz (RAT).

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

3. Take the Blackboard Quiz (RAT#7).

This RAT will be made available to you at 4:30 pm on June 23.

4. Join the Zoom session at 5:00 pm. You will need the application activity materials posted in the Slides & Materials box.

5. Blackboard Journal #5 Due Thursday, June 24.


In this session we will explore the psychophysiological evidence from bilingual speakers. We will dig deeper into social cognition - what is the interplay between identity, emotions, and linguistic decision-making? Do we demonstrate similar emotional reactivity across languages? In which language is the limbic system more likely to be engaged? For whom will taboo words have a higher emotional force in the second language? What about reprimands? These are some of the interesting questions we will explore. We will begin with a quiz on the assigned reading and then discuss the material and engage in application activities.


Are your memories language-specific?
Recall a dream you had recently. How did language factor in?
When discussing a difficult event with a bilingual friend, does it make a difference in which language you describe it?


Abdul (5 years old) 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.

Daisy (16) immigrated to the United States two years ago from Hong Kong. She first learned English when she came to the U.S. She is Mandarin-dominant. Daisy is motivated to learn English and has hired a tutor in order to prepare her for college.

Edgardo (22) immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic 12 years ago. He first learned English when he came to the U.S. He is fluent in both languages and uses both languages in his daily life.

Fatma (16) is a fluent bilingual. Both of her parents are Egyptian. Her mother immigrated as a young child, and her father immigrated at the age of 8. Fatma 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.

Galina immigrated to the United States from Russia at the age of 16. 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, obtained tutoring, and sought out assistance from her professors. At present time at the age of 28, Galina is a fluent bilingual. She uses both Russian and English in her daily life, both personally and professionally. She is dating monolingual Konstantin, a fellow Russian, who she met on her last trip back to Russia. She speaks with him only in Russian, as he does not know English.

Marlene (19) was born in New York.  Her parents immigrated to the U.S. from Haiti. In order to ensure that their daughter became fluent in their heritage language, Marlene’s parents only spoke to her in Haitian-Creole and placed her in a Haitian preschool. Kindergarten was the first time the Marlene was immersed in English, although culturally many of the other students consisted of Haitian students. Marlene has maintained her oral language ability in Haitian-Creole since childhood, although she is literate only in English. She lives her life in English at present time, though she continues to communicate with her parents in Haitian-Creole. Marlene is finishing her sophomore year of college and dorms there. 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. 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 Studies and the Modern Languages Department.

Savannah (13) 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.

Alicia & John are married and have a daughter, Gabriela, who is 3 years old. Alicia immigrated to the U.S. at age 14 from Cuba and is fully proficient bilingual. John is a monolingual Anglo-European American, monolingual, although he took Spanish in high school. At present time, he speaks only English. Alicia speaks Spanish to Gabriela and John speaks English with her. Alicia and John speak English with each other.

Mark & Alejandro are married and have two children, 10-year-old Luis and 7-year-old Alexandra. Mark is Italian-American. He grew up only speaking English. He took Spanish in college. When he met Alejandro shortly after college, Mark took additional Spanish classes. Alejandro immigrated to the United States from Argentina at the age of 17. Mark and Alejandro decided to speak only Spanish to Luis and Alexandra for the first four years of each child’s life. Subsequently and through the present time, they use both languages with each other and their children.

1. Which of the following individuals is MOST likely to demonstrate similar emotional reactivity across languages? LEAST likely?

          Daisy         Fatma         Galina         Edgardo         Marlene

2. Consider the following individuals. Which individual and in which language is the limbic system engaged to a lesser degree or possibly not at all?

          Abdul        Fatma        Marlene        Savannah        Galina

3. Which of the following individuals is most likely to have the lowest level of arousal elicited by the second language?

          Alicia?        John?        Galina?        Mark?        Alejandro?

4. For whom will taboo words have a higher emotional force in L2?

Fatma            Galina            Mark