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Brian Collins

Assistant Professor of Bilingual Education

Brian Collins
212 772-4773
1023 West

Brian Collins is an Assistant Professor within the department of Curriculum and Teaching and works to support bilingual education and English language learners. He holds a Ph.D. from New York University, an M.A. from Middlebury College, and a B.A. from New England College.


Courses Currently Teaching at Hunter:

➢    Foundations of Bilingual Education  (BILED 701.00)
➢    Language Assessment for English Language Learners (BILED 717)
➢    Psychology of Language Learning and Teaching (BILED 771)


Dr. Collins’ research focuses on the dual language development of children of immigrants in the U.S. and how language competences interface among dimensions of children’s social, psychological, and academic well-being. His research gives careful consideration to contextual factors in the home and school environment and factors unique to children of immigrants. Since 2003, Dr. Collins has served as the research coordinator for the Harvard Project on Child Language and Developmental Psychiatry (CLDP), an NIMH-funded project at the Judge Baker Children’s Center. This project follows over 200 bilingual Latino children in 16 elementary public schools from kindergarten to second grade. Its results have important implications for young Latino children, both for those who have multiple strengths and are on a successful/adaptive pathway, as well as for those at risk for long-term academic and psychosocial problems due to lack of language proficiency, language deficits or mental health problems. Dr. Collins is committed to connecting his research to educators, clinicians, and specialists who work with dual language children.

Selected Publications:

Collins, B. A., Toppelberg, C.O., Suárez-Orozco, C., O’Connor, E. & Nieto-Castañon, A. (2011). Cross-Sectional associations of Spanish and English competence and wellbeing in Latino children of immigrants in kindergarten. International Journal of Sociology of Language 208 (2011) 5-24.

O’Connor, E., Dearing, E., & Collins, B. A. (2011). Teacher-child relationship trajectories: Predictors of behavior problem trajectories and mediators of child and family factors. American Educational Research Journal 48 (1): 120-162.

Toppelberg C.O., Collins B. A, (2010). Language, Culture, and Adaptation in Immigrant Children. Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America 19(4):697-717

Sirin S., Roger-Sirin L., & Collins B. A. (2010). A measure of cultural competence as an ethical responsibility: Quick Racial and Ethical Sensitivity Test, Journal of Moral Education (39) 1.

Collins B. A., (2007). Preparing Teachers for Culturally Diverse Schools: Research and the Overwhelming Presence of Whiteness [Abstract]. SAGE Race Relations Abstracts, Noguera P. Ed. (32) 3.  

Toppelberg C.O., Collins B. A, (2003). Constructing a language: A usage-based theory of language acquisition. By Michael Tomasello. Cambridge, MA, US: Harvard University Press, 2003. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; 43(10):1305-1306.

Selected Presentations:

Collins, B. A., Toppelberg, C.O., Suárez-Orozco, C., O’Connor, E. & Nieto-Castañon, A. (2011). Associations of Spanish and English Competence and Wellbeing in Latino Children of Immigrants in Kindergarten. Paper presented at American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting (AERA), New Orleans, LA

Collins, B. A., Toppelberg, C.O. & Nieto-Castañon, A. (2011). Spanish and English Language Competences Prospective Associations with the Wellbeing of Latino Children of Immigrants. Poster presented at Society of Research on Child Development (SRCD) Biennual Meeting, Montreal, Canada

Collins B. A., (2010). Dual Language Development in Young Immigrant Children. Institute and SIG Co-Chair at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), New York, NY

Collins B. A., (2009). The New Kids In America: Latino Immigrant Children-Clinical Implications. Symposium presentation at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Honolulu, HI

Collins B. A., Toppelberg C.O., Nieto-Castañon A., & Hollinshead M. (2009). Low Spanish and English Language Competence and Psychopathology in Young Latino Boys and Girls. Poster presented at Critical Issues in Latino Mental Health Research Conference, NIMH and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ

Collins B. A., Toppelberg CO, & Nieto-Castañon A. (2009). Developmental Interdependence of Spanish and English Competences in Bilingual Children of Immigrants. Paper presentation, Spanish in Contact, Miami, FL

Sirin S., Katsiaficas D., Gupta T., Collins B. A., Onaga M., Fine M. (2009) Acculturative Stress on Mental Health of Urban Immigrant Boys and Girls. Poster presentation, American Psychological Association (APA) Toronto, CA

Collins B. A., Toppelberg CO, Meersohn K, Nieto-Castañon A,  & Hollinshead M. (2007). Cross-sectional Associations of Language Competence and Emotional/Behavioral Problems in Young Bilingual Children: Gender Differences. Poster presented at Symposium on Research in Child Language Disorders, Madison, WI

Collins B. A., Toppelberg CO, Meersohn K, Xiong Y, & Nieto-Castañon A.(2006) Correlates of vocabulary knowledge in bilingual children of immigrants: auditory/visual working memory, maternal depression, other child and contextual factors. Poster presented at Symposium on Research in Child Language Disorders, Madison, WI


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