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SPCL 7823: Seminar in Bilingual School Counseling: Course Info Syllabus

Prof. Bejarano: Psycholinguistics, Bilingualism, & Counseling in Schools

Course Syllabus Information

This course is an advanced diversity training course that continues the process of multicultural competence and cultural humility development. Specifically, this course explores the psycholinguistics of bilingualism, memory, and emotions and how these processes are involved in bilingual counseling. Team-based learning methodology is integrated with online, synchronous and asynchronous learning activities to help students analyze real-life case scenarios in the context of the assigned readings. Synchronous class sessions will utilize Zoom to facilitate team-based and wholeclass discussions of readings and case material. Experiential exercises will be incorporated into class instruction. Mostly everything, including the readings and session task lists, needed for this course is on the OER course website. Blackboard is used for announcements, quizzes, and assignments.
  • Module 1: Introduction to Bilingual Counseling
  • Module 2: Bilingualism and Multilingualism
  • Module 3: Bilingualism and Identity
  • Module 4: Language, Memory, and Emotions
  • Module 5: Counseling Bilingual Students in Schools

The learning objectives for students are as follows (CACREP and NASP standards are in parentheses):

  1. Increase knowledge of the affective dimension of the bilingual experience (CACREP 2b-d, 5d,7e,m; NASP Domains 1, 2, 6, 7, 8)
    • Assessed: interview; online discussions; quizzes; in-class activities
  2. Critically reflect on the role of school counselors and school psychologists in their work with bilingual students (CACREP 2b-d, 5d; NASP Domains 2, 4, 6, 7, 8)
    • Assessed: online discussions; in-class activities
  3. Increase knowledge of bilingual counseling (CACREP 2b-d, 5d; NASP Domains 4, 6)
    • Assessed: quizzes; online discussions; in-class activities
  4. Enhance self-awareness regarding personal linguistic history (CACREP 2b-d; NASP Domain 8)
    • Assessed: interview; quizzes; online discussions; in-class activities
  5. Demonstrate improved ability to work productively in a team (CACREP 1k, 5c-d; CACREP School Counseling 2d; NASP Domain 2)
    • Assessed: in-class activities; peer evaluation

The Rhythm of TBL

TBL courses have a recurring pattern of instruction that is typical of many flipped classrooms. Students prepare before class and then students spend the bulk of class time solving problems together. In SPCL 7823 this term, each session has a similar rhythm, opening with the Readiness Assurance Process that prepares the students for the activities that follow, and then moving to Application Activities that explore real-life case scenarios and apply concepts described in the readings.

Phase 1: Pre-Class Preparation

Students are assigned preparatory materials to review before start of each module. The preparatory materials can be textbook chapters, articles, videos, or PowerPoint slides. The preparatory materials should highlight foundational vocabulary and the most important concepts the student need to begin problem solving, but not everything they need to know by module end.

Phase 2: Readiness Assurance Test (RAT):

Each session will begin with a five-question, multiple-choice quiz (RAT). The RATs hold students accountable for acquiring important foundational knowledge from the assigned readings that will prepare them to begin problem-solving during the class sessions. Students first complete the quiz individually (iRAT ) and then repeat the same exact quiz with their team (tRAT ).

iRAT Response Form example.

tRAT scratch-off form.

Phase 3: In-Class Application Activities:

Using Zoom's breakout room feature, students and their teams use the foundational knowledge, acquired in the first two phases, to make decisions that will be reported during the whole-class discussions and subject to cross-team discussion and critique. The class will use a variety of methods to have students report their team’s decision at the end of each activity. Sometimes students will write their answer on Zoom's chat, sometimes they will display their work gallery style for the other teams to comment, and other times they will complete short worksheets or surveys, which will be randomly reported to the rest of the class.

Person sitting at desk waving at computer screen with 4 others waving back.

Credits: (Top/Left image) Team Based Learning (TBL) in-class activity image is a TBL cartoon by Jim Sibley and Sophie Spiridonoff at the University of British Columbia at the Centre for Instructional Support. (Bottom/Right image) Public Domain.

Although we are not in a physical classroom, we need to still treat the virtual environment with respect as a learning environment and try to keep external distractions to a minimum. Please do your best to find a quiet, well-lit space prior to logging onto the Zoom session. The setting should be indicative of an environment conducive to learning. There should be no media distractions during class rime: both television and music should not be on, nor should music be listened on your computer. Your classmates and instructor can hear what you are hearing and view any distractions in the background. Unless it is being used for class, your cell phone should be off or silent during class time. It is inappropriate to answer phone calls or have conversations with others during class time, and especially in view of the camera.

Students are required to keep up to date on class readings and assignments, and to be active team members. If students miss a class, they miss whatever their team did. The team process is critical to learning, and the content of each session will be reflected on the midterm and final exams. Most teams, in real life and here, will forgive a single absence for which students have a good reason, and be less forgiving of multiple or casual absences. More than one absence and/or tardiness will affect the course grade (two points per absence and one point for lateness). Attendance is taken at the beginning of class and it is expected that all students will be present at the start of class. Brooklyn College abides to the state law regarding non-attendance because of religious beliefs. If you are unable to attend class for religious reasons, please notify the professor in advance to make the necessary arrangements.

Audio and Video During Synchronous Zoom Sessions:

This course, which requires intense introspection, trains future clinicians who need to develop their observation skills. Class time will be used for clinical observation for supportive feedback. To this end, it is necessary for the video and audio technology to be turned on during the Zoom sessions to observe and analyze nonverbal communication. If there is a time in which a student cannot attend with the video on, please discuss this with the professor before the Zoom session.


Students are expected to exhibit netiquette, which refers to etiquette on the internet. Students should follow the following guidelines:

  1. Think before you post.
    • Consider others’ thoughts and feelings.
    • Would you say what you wrote in person?
  2. Post messages that are relevant, scholarly, and civil, and not just “I agree.”
  3. Stay on topic.
  4. Do not dominate any discussion.
  5. Keep an “open-mind” and be willing to express even your minority opinion.
  6. Do not double-post – edit your post rather than adding another post by yourself.
  7. Use correct spelling, grammar, and plain English.
  8. Use italics to emphasize important points; do not use all caps.
  9. Do not use texting abbreviations.
  10. Do not plagiarize.

Sources: CUNY School of Professional Studies Netiquette guide and Communicating with Your Students: IU - Teaching Online

Midterm & Final Participation Self-Assessment

Twice during the semester, at the midpoint and at the end, students assess their level of class participation using the following Class Participation Rubric. Students evaluate their own level of participation and award points out of 100 using the criteria described below. This will be completed using a google form; the link to the form is posted on Blackboard in the Assignments link.

Class Participation Evaluation/Rubric

Earn 90-100 points
Consistently raises or facilitates discussion with peers (in every class meeting). During the synchronous online class sessions, both audio and video technology are on. Engages in integrative and higher order thinking in relation to the readings (e.g., integrates two or more pieces of information in the readings, integrates experience with readings, poses hypotheticals for the group based on readings). During asynchronous activities, consistently posts on discussion boards before the deadline; interacts at least twice with other students and/or instructor during every discussion board thread.
Earn 66-89 points
Respectful attention to others’ contributions; periodically (at least every other class meeting) shares comments on at least one topic discussed in readings and demonstrates understanding and relevance to classroom discussion. Interacts at least once with other students and/or instructor in each discussion board thread.
Earn 45-65 points
Consistently present in class; attends and responds to others’ contributions at personal level of experience but does not participate in classroom discussions.
Earn less than 45 points
Consistently present in class; makes no contribution to discussion; unresponsive to or argumentative with others.

Whenever there is an assigned reading, there will be individual quizzes, or RATs (readiness assurance tests) before the Zoom sessions. For the first session, the class will meet on Zoom at 4:30 p.m., and then the quiz will be made available to you. Each RAT has five multiple-choice questions on the major concepts of the assigned readings. The lowest two RAT scores will be dropped.

Students are expected to engage in a multi-level process of critical self-reflection, an important component of multicultural competence development. One effective strategy is e-journaling which allows for a deeper level of processing the course constructs. Asynchronous journaling gives students an opportunity to provide their thoughts, concerns, and opinions in a setting that they might feel more comfortable doing so in comparison to the Zoom sessions. Students will incorporate the journal responses into their Interview paper. The instructor will provide feedback and can address any concerns that arise during this self-reflection process. Students should refer to the course outline and OER website for more details regarding topics and due dates. There are five journals; students only have to submit four journal responses, although all five address topics in the Interview paper.

In teams during an assigned class session, students discuss and write up each of the sections using a Padlet, google slides, or powerpoint, drawing from content from Eva Hoffman’s Lost in Translation (i.e., provide examples from the book). Use bulleted statements and images to facilitate presentation of your analysis. Each team is graded using a rubric (attached at the end of the syllabus).

Linguistic History:

Describe Eva’s second language learning process. Use the second language considerations/bilingual interview protocol handout to guide your analysis of this section. Clearly, you are dependent on the book content and cannot interview Eva. Do your best, given what Eva wrote. For example, describe the process of sequential second language acquisition. What about normal processes of second language acquisition? Does Eva engage in code-switching on a regular basis? If so, what function do you think the code-switching serves? What about the factors that influence second language acquisition? What about BICS vs. CALP? Consider anything else we discussed in class.


How does Eva identify herself ethnically/racially/culturally? Use Tse’s model and describe Eva’s progress through each stage. For example, does Eva identify as Polish? As Polish-American? As an American? What is the relationship between the way that Eva identifies and her proficiency in the languages known? Consider Eva’s sense of self – a bilingual integrated self? A dual self? In what languages does Eva dream? What were Eva’s thoughts about writing in a diary, and in what language did she write? Does Eva behave and think differently in each language? Consider anything else we discussed in class.

Emotions & Language:

How do Eva’s emotions interact with language? When angry? When arguing? When cursing? When uttering deepest feelings? When anxious? In her inner speech? When saying “I love you”? When trying to recall difficult memories? Did Eva experience negative emotions when learning the second language (e.g., anxiety)? Consider anything else we discussed in class.

Memory, Thinking, & Language:

Are Eva’s memories language-specific? Consider Eva’s dreams. How did language factor in? Was it easier for Eva to remember certain things in a particular language? What language does Eva think in? Consider anything else we discussed in class.

Interview an immigrant adult for whom English is their second language. The purpose of this assignment is to explore an individual’s history and experience with second language acquisition, as well as how the individual’s identity, emotions, and memory processes relate to language proficiency and history. You must use the Interview Protocol for this project and attach your completed protocol to your written paper. In addition to asking questions as per the interview protocol, the individual will hand-write in English, in your presence (it can be a Zoom session), a paragraph or two on what it means to be bilingual. You will compare the quality of the oral interview (oral language proficiency) and the quality of the written paragraph (i.e., Is the level of writing what you expected, given the proficiency level exhibited during the interview?). The second part of the project entails applying the same questions to yourself. You don’t need a second interview protocol for your own responses. You can integrate them directly into the second part of the paper.

Written Assignment: Write up your findings, including your observations and thoughts about this task according to the rubric. You should structure your paper with headers according to the rubric and attached project guidelines. Attach the completed interview protocol (there is no need to type up the responses on the protocol; hand-written is fine) and the paragraph written by interviewee. Was the paragraph what you expected? Analyze the paragraph not only in terms of its content, but also in terms of the quality of the language (e.g., is it BICS or CALP?). In addition to writing about your interviewee, you should compare his/her experience with your own second language acquisition experience. See rubric, interview guide, and interview protocol for more information on this assignment and how to organize your paper. You should divide your paper, using headers, into the sections outlined in the rubric. Make sure to include the information delineated in the rubric for each section. Papers handed in late will be penalized.

Each student will evaluate the contributions of all the other team members by completing a midterm peer evaluation using a google form link on Blackboard. The results will be disseminated anonymously to all team members. The purpose of this evaluation is to give feedback to each team member to maximize team accountability.

At the end of the term, it is necessary for all members of this class to assess the contributions that each member of the team made to the work of the team. This contribution should presumably reflect your judgment of such things as:

  1. Preparation (Were they prepared when they came to class?)
  2. Contribution (Did they contribute productively to group discussion and work?)
  3. Respect of others' ideas (Did they encourage others to contribute their ideas?)
  4. Flexibility (Were they flexible when disagreements occurred?). It is important that you raise the evaluation of people who truly worked hard for the good of the group and lower the evaluation of those you perceived not to be working as hard on group tasks.

Students will submit their final peer evaluation via a google form link on Blackboard.

Students are expected to have completed all the readings for each class and be prepared to engage in team activities and class discussion regarding the assigned material.

oer icon.

Our class uses Open Education Resources (OER) in replacement of the textbooks and is therefore a Zero Cost course. This means there is no textbook students need to purchase.  All reference materials for the course can be found on the website you are currently on SPCL 7823 Seminar in Bilingual School Counseling (

Please notify the Professor RIGHT AWAY if you discover any broken links. Professor will try to provide you with updated links as soon as they are made aware of the problem.

Visual representation of course requirements as a pie chart.

Blue pie piece for class participation 15%, red pie piece for RATs 20%, green pie piece for peer evaluation 5%, purple pie piece for lost in translation 10%, teal pie piece for interview paper 40%, and orange pie piece for journals 10%

Timely submission of work is an important professional attribute. All assignments are due on the dates indicated on the course calendar. Work submitted late will be marked down accordingly at the discretion of the instructor. The only exception is when the student contacts the instructor before the assignment is due, and the instructor agrees to provide an exception to the due date based on the student’s extenuating circumstances. Assignments not submitted on the due date with no advance notice to the instructor will be penalized as specified in the assignment instructions (see individual rubrics). Grades on assignments will be lowered the designated number of points per week/day late, as measured by the beginning of the class period in which the assignment was due. If an assignment is not submitted by the end of the course, an additional five points will be deducted per assignment, on top of the late penalty.

Faculty Council has determined the following policy for Incomplete Grades: A grade of Incomplete (INC) may be given at the discretion of the instructor when

  1. a student has satisfactorily completed most, but not all, course requirements
  2. a student provides to the instructor evidence documenting the extenuating circumstances that prevent the completion of course requirements by the end of the semester. Candidates receive grades of incomplete (INC) only when a situation beyond their control prevents them from completing course work.
It is important to note that grades of INC will only be given if the instructor determines the grade is appropriate given the unusual extenuating circumstances and such circumstances are documented by the student. An incomplete grade in a course that is a prerequisite for another course must be cleared before the candidate can enter the next course. Final assignments not submitted on the due date at the end of the semester are given a grade of zero.

The form as well as the content of your written work will be a part of your evaluation and grade. Correct grammar, punctuation, spelling and organization and clarity of thought will be assessed. The Brooklyn College Center for Learning holds online and in-person tutoring sessions, including to help your writing.

You can email the Brooklyn College Learning Center or call 718-951-5821 the Brooklyn College Learning Center located in 1300 Boylan Hall, for assistance with writing.

The instructor is also available to consult with you about your writing. There will be no re-writes for any papers.

The Center for Student Disability Services is working remotely at this time.  Please email them at for assistance.

Students should inform the professor if they have a disability or any other situation that may require Section 504/ADA accommodations.  The faculty and staff will attempt to work out whatever arrangements are necessary.

Please provide me with your course accommodation form and discuss your specific accommodation with me as soon as possible to ensure accommodations are met in a timely fashion.

In order to receive academic accommodations students must first be registered with the Center for Student Disability Services. Students who have a documented disability or who suspect that they might have a disability are invited to set up an appointment with the Director of the Center for Student Disability Services, Ms. Valerie Stewart-Lovell or the Assistant Director, Josephine Patterson or their general email

The faculty and administration of Brooklyn College support an environment free from cheating and plagiarism Cheating is any misrepresentation in academic work. Plagiarism is the representation of another person’s work, words, or ideas as your own. It includes submitting a paper previously written for another course. Students should read the complete text of the CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity. If a faculty member suspects a violation of academic integrity and, upon investigation, confirms that violation, or if the student admits the violation, the faculty member MUST report the violation. Students should be aware that faculty may use plagiarism detection software. Academy dishonesty in this course will lead to an F as a final course grade, as well as any other penalty at the programmatic and college level.

NOTE: If you have a question about how to cite correctly ask your teacher BEFORE submitting your work.

Students sitting around table team based learning

These are former students in SPCL 7823 with Prof. Elizalde-Utnick. They are discussing and deciding on the best seating arrangement when conducting a counseling session with a parent and interpreter.

Standards Addressed by Course

CACREP Standards Addressed by Course

Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

  • Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice (CACREP Standard 1)
  • Social and Cultural Diversity (CACREP Standard 2)
  • Counseling and Helping Relationships (CACREP Standard 5)
  • Contextual Dimensions (CACREP School Counseling Standard 2)
NASP Domains of Practice Addressed by Course

National Association of School Psychologists

  • Data-Based Decision-Making (Domain 1)
  • Consultation and Collaboration (Domain 2)
  • Mental and Behavioral Health Services and Interventions (Domain 4)
  • School-Wide Practices to Promote Learning (Domain 5)
  • Family, School, and Community Collaboration (Domain 7)
  • Research and Evidence-Based Practice (Domain 9)

Missions and Goals

The Brooklyn College School Counseling Program prepares school counselors to advocate for a highquality education for all students in schools in this city and beyond, and to nurture the holistic development of every student- his or her academic competence, and emotional, social and spiritual well-being. Our program enables counselors to accomplish these aims within complex educational bureaucracies by developing their capacities for critical self-reflection, collaborative leadership, empathy, and imagination. In our classrooms, at field sites in urban schools, and in communities, we strive to model an approach to learning that is democratic and experiential. In preparing our students for their role in creating humane and just environments, we foster sensitivity to diversity, and the courage and skills to challenge harmful biases and stereotypes, while promoting greater understanding and respect. Our graduates are equipped to encourage and guide children and youth in their aspirations, and to collaborate with their families and with other educators to prepare them well for postsecondary education, meaningful life work and citizenship.
  1. To prepare practitioners who work in various settings in diverse and complex environments.
  2. To prepare practitioners who are self-aware and sensitive to and respectful of all others in their work environments and communities.
  3. To prepare practitioners who are able to assume leadership roles within the counseling profession, the work environment, and their communities.
  4. To prepare practitioners who serve as advocates for their profession and their clients.

The Brooklyn College School Psychologist Graduate Program strives to meet our urban community’s need for highly competent, self-reflective, and compassionate school psychologists. The program is committed to improving the educational experiences, and addressing the mental health needs, of all children in our richly diverse schools.

The Graduate Program in School Psychology’s training goals are consistent with ethical guidelines of the National Association of School Psychologists and the American Psychological Association. A program of training and extensive field experiences develops the following competencies:

  1. Proficiency in psychoeducational assessment related to school difficulties and learning disorders with the ability to translate these results into appropriate models of service delivery.
  2. Proficiency in psychological assessment related to behavior, personality, and mental disorders with the ability to translate these results into appropriate models of service delivery.
  3. Proficiency in implementation of prevention strategies, and direct and indirect intervention approaches to serve all students’ needs, particularly those with disabilities and the ability to evaluate the results of service outcomes.
  4. The ability to engage in collaborative practice and implement a range of contextually appropriate consultative services.
  5. Familiarity with the organization of schools, including general and special education, and developmentally appropriate curriculum approaches for children with diverse educational needs.
  6. An understanding of research methodologies and the ability to implement applied research in complex urban school environments.
  7. A capacity for critical self-reflection to gain insight on self and others for the purpose of evaluating and improving service delivery and nurture a strong commitment to ethical guidelines of professional practice.
  8. An understanding of the full range of diversity in the human condition, including racial, cultural, ethnic, linguistic, socioeconomic, gender, sexual orientation, individual differences/disabilities, and a willingness and capability to work with all populations.
  9. 9. A commitment to promote school policies and ethical practices that advance social justice and expand opportunities for all children.
  10. A capacity to use technology to develop and enhance school psychology practice.

The School of Education at Brooklyn College prepares teachers, administrators, counselors, and school psychologists to serve, lead and thrive in the schools and agencies of this city and beyond. Through collaborative action, teaching, and research, we develop our students' capacities to create socially just, intellectually vital, aesthetically rich, and compassionate communities that value equity and excellence, access, and rigor. We design our programs in cooperation with Liberal Arts and Sciences faculties and in consultation with local schools to provide our students with the opportunity to develop the knowledge, proficiencies and understandings needed to work with New York City's racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse populations. We believe that teaching is an art that incorporates critical self-reflection, openness to new ideas, practices, and technologies, and that focuses on the individual learner's needs and promotes growth. Our collective work is shaped by scholarship and is animated by a commitment to educate our students to the highest standards of professional competence.

The School of Education’s Conceptual Framework offers an overview of the salient themes culled from our mission statement. The themes that follow are integrated into the course:

  1. Collaboration
  2. Critical Self-Reflection and Reflective Practice
  3. Social Justice
  4. Diversity