News

October
1
2014

Focus on Technology in the Classroom

In this bulletin, we explore the use of tech tools in the classroom with ELL students and offer a tool to help educators evaluate tech tools for learning and academic language. Also included are excepts from an interview with gaming scholar, Constance Steinkuehler, lessons learned from using technology in the classroom, and suggested steps for getting started or digging deeper. Download your copy today.

October
1
2014

Scott Beldon Is the WIDA Featured Educator for October

Scott Beldonis an ESL teacher at Doss High School in Louisville, KY and has been a teacher for 13 years. He helped create his district’s ESL Newcomer Academy six years ago. Read more about Scott here.

Featured Educator is a monthly interview with a classroom, district, or state-level educator on how he or she is making a difference for language learners. You can honor an exceptional colleague by emailing info@wida.us with “Featured Educator Nomination” in the subject line.

September
30
2014

WIDA Releases Webinar Series for Families of ELLs

An Introduction to English Standards and Assessments for Parents is a three-part webinar series designed specifically for parents, or families, of ELLs in grades K-12.   The series is available in English and Spanish.  Each webinar in the series is organized around three frequently asked questions by parents, including:

  • What does it mean to be an English language learner?
  • How is my child expected to use language in school?
  • What does the ACCESS for ELLs Parent/Guardian Score Report tell me?

All of the webinars are available free in our Download Library.

AUGUST
30
2014

Focus On the Early Years - Dual Language Learners Available Now

This Bulletin is the first done in collaboration with the WIDA Early Years team. It includes information about young dual language learners (DLLs), the importance of supporting home language, and the value in fostering partnerships with families and K-12 programs. In addition to highlighting the latest research on how to support young DLLs, this bulletin is full of heartwarming quotes from an early care and education program that has had a lot of success supporting young children learning more than one language. Download your copy.

AUGUST
30
2014

Jennie Bordonaro Named WIDA Featured Educator for September

Jennie Bordonaro has been an elementary teacher for eight years, first in Texas and now in Minnesota. Currently, she is the behavior interventionist and the assessment and data coach at Vista View Elementary School in Burnsville, MN. She is very involved with the refugee population in her community—three years ago she organized a team of teachers and community members to support a Karen family who had just arrived in the U.S. Read more about Jennie.

Featured Educator is a monthly interview with a classroom, district, or state-level educator on how he or she is making a difference for language learners. You can honor an exceptional colleague by emailing info@wida.us with “Featured Educator Nomination” in the subject line.

AUGUST
5
2014

Katie Milligan Harrison Named WIDA Featured Educator for August

Congratulations to Katie Milligan Harrison, who was chosen to be the WIDA Featured Educator for August. Katie is an elementary ESL specialist with the Tuscaloosa City School District in Tuscaloosa, AL. Read more about Katie.

Featured Educator is a monthly interview with a classroom, district, or state-level educator on how he or she is making a difference for language learners. You can honor an exceptional colleague by emailing info@wida.us with “Featured Educator Nomination” in the subject line.

July
28
2014

Florida Formally Adopts the WIDA ELD Standards

Florida has officially adopted the WIDA English Language Development Standards! More information can be found on the Florida Administrative Code & Administrative Register webpage.

We look forward to our relationship with educators working to advance our mission in Florida!

See the map of all WIDA members and standards adopters

july
1
2014

July Featured Educator: Lori Hanna

WIDA's Featured Educator for July is Lori Hanna. Since 2012, Lori Hanna has been the director of ELL curriculum at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. She previously served as an ELL instructional specialist at the University of Missouri and as an ELL teacher in the Camdenton R-III School District in Missouri. Read more.

Featured Educator is a monthly interview with a classroom, district, or state-level educator on how he or she is making a difference for language learners. You can honor an exceptional colleague by emailing info@wida.us with “Featured Educator Nomination” in the subject line.

june
20
2014

Annual Technical Report for 2010-11 Testing Now Available

The ACCESS for ELLs Technical Reports address the validity and reliability of ACCESS for ELLs in its ability to accurately assign students their proficiency level scores.

june
2
2014

June Featured Educator: Alla Polatty

Congratulations to Alla Polatty, WIDA's featured educator for June. Alla is the ESOL instructional coach for Greenwood School District 50 in Greenwood, S.C. Read more.

Featured Educator is a monthly interview with a classroom, district, or state-level educator on how he or she is making a difference for language learners. You can honor an exceptional colleague by emailing info@wida.us with “Featured Educator Nomination” in the subject line.

May
20
2014

2014 Interpretive Guides to Score Reports Now Available

The 2014 editions of the Interpretive Guide to Score Reports are now available for both ACCESS for ELLs and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs. Both guides provides information on the types of scores and reports generated by their respective assessments.

May
14
2014

New Bulletin: Focus on American Indian English Language Learners

The purpose of this Bulletin is to help educators make connections and provide contexts to deepen an awareness of the complexity and diversity of American Indian students identified as ELLs. In addition to explanations of each guiding principal, a discussion tool is provided that can be used in your local context about how these guiding principles can impact your classroom and guide your instruction. Download Focus on American Indian English Language Learners.

May
5
2014

May Featured Educator: Donna Hallock

Congratulations to Donna Hallock, WIDA's featured educator for May. Donna is the ELL Coordinator and ELL Lead Teacher at Naalehu Elementary on the Big Island of Hawaii. Read more.

Featured Educator is a monthly interview with a classroom, district, or state-level educator on how he or she is making a difference for language learners. You can honor an exceptional colleague by emailing info@wida.us with “Featured Educator Nomination” in the subject line.

May
5
2014

WIDA Associate Researcher Published in The Modern Language Journal

The Modern Language Journal has recently published, "Goals of Collegiate Learners and the Standards for Foreign Language Learning," a collaborate effort by Narek Sahakyan, Associate Researcher at WIDA, and the Foreign Language Institute at UW-Madison.

April
7
2014

Registration Now Open for the 2014 WIDA National Conference

Registration is now open for the 2014 WIDA National Conference. Take advantage of the early bird discount and save $100 on the registration fee and register today.

April
7
2014

April Featured Educator: Cathy Fox

Congratulations to Cathy Fox, the WIDA Featured Educator for April. Cathy has been an ELL teacher in Central Falls, RI, for the past 26 years. During that time, she has taught students from pre-K to fifth grade. She has also spearheaded the district’s participation as a pilot district of WIDA’s LADDER program. Read more.

Featured Educator is a monthly interview with a classroom, district, or state-level educator on how he or she is making a difference for language learners. You can honor an exceptional colleague by emailing info@wida.us with “Featured Educator Nomination” in the subject line.

April
7
2014

Certification Application Deadline Extended

If you facilitate professional learning for educators and you have considered becoming a WIDA Certified Trainer, you still have time. The deadline to apply has been extended until Wednesday, April 9. Visit the Certification site for details.

MARCH
27
2014

2,000 Complete Field Testing

WIDA thanks educators across the consortium for their participation in the 2014 ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Field Test! Nearly 2,000 students have completed tests on computers!"

MARCH
20
2014

Welcome to the Consortium, Tennessee

Tennessee has just become WIDA's 35th Consortium member. Tennessee will participate in ACCESS for ELLs testing for the first time in the 2014-2015 School year. Welcome Tennessee educators!

FEBRUARY
14
2014

Proposal Deadline Extended for 2014 WIDA National Conference

The deadline to submit proposals for the 2014 WIDA National Conference has been extended. If you were considering submitting a proposal to present at the Atlanta conference, you now have until midnight (central) on Sunday, February 23. More information, including guiding questions, can be found on the WIDA Conference website.

FEBRUARY
6
2014

Welcome to the Consortium, South Carolina

South Carolina has just become WIDA's 34th Consortium member. South Carolina previously adopted the English Language Development Standards and will participate in ACCESS for ELLs testing for the first time in the 2014-2015 School year. We welcome South Carolina educators and further extending our mission of promoting educational equity for English language learners.

FEBRUARY
6
2014

February Featured Educator: Kelli Bivins

Congratulations to Kelli Bivins, the WIDA Featured Educator for February. Kelli has been an ESOL teacher, focusing in social studies, at W.R. Coile Middle School in Athens, GA, for the past seven years. Her work in creating and directing an after-school program focused on service learning projects garnered the Clarke County School District's Community Service Award last year. Read more.

Featured Educator is a monthly interview with a classroom, district, or state-level educator on how he or she is making a difference for language learners. You can honor an exceptional colleague by emailing info@wida.us with “Featured Educator Nomination” in the subject line.

JANUARY
8
2014

January Featured Educator: Gayle Miller

This month, we are pleased to recognize Gayle Miller, the Director of Academic Programs in Alaska's Lower Kuskokwin School District. After researching how people acquire language, she helped create her district's dual-language program in English and Yup'ik. Read more

Featured Educator is a monthly interview with a classroom, district, or state-level educator on how he or she is making a difference for language learners. You can honor an exceptional colleague by emailing info@wida.us with “Featured Educator Nomination” in the subject line.

JANUARY
2
2014

Test Administrators, We Need Your Help

WIDA is interested in collecting data about the 2013-2014 ACCESS for ELLs administration and would like to hear from Test Administrators. The information provided will be extremely valuable for us as it will inform future test administration guidelines for the technology based ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 assessment.

After administering ACCESS for ELLs, we would like test administrators to take a couple of minutes to respond to our survey.

December
20
2013

2014 WIDA National Conference Call for Proposals Now Open

The window to submit proposals to present at the 2014 WIDA National Conference is now open. WIDA welcomes proposals from all educators, regardless of Consortium membership status, in the areas of: academic language development, effective instructional practices, program management, and national/state initiatives. More information, including proposal instructions, guiding questions, and information for presenters is available on the WIDA Conference website.

December
12
2013

LADDER Webcast Scheduled for January 17

Interested in improving ELL programming and instruction through data-informed decision making? Find out if WIDA’s LADDER for Language Learners program is right for your district by attending a webcast on Friday, January 17th at either 10am CST or 2pm CST. Register now! http://bit.ly/LADDERwebcast

The LADDER program engages district coaches and school teams in a comprehensive approach to data analysis and action planning with an ELL lens. The program is comprehensive, and includes 2 site visits, 5 professional development workshops, and ongoing support for 12-18 months. Additionally, LADDER builds district capacity for data-informed decision making through a coach development program.

December
12
2013

Essential Actions Handbook Now Available

Essential Actions: A Handbook for Implementing WIDA's Framework for English Language Development Standards is now available for download and pre-order. The overall purpose of this handbook is to promote collaboration, mutual understanding, and use of language development standards among all educators who work with ELLs. The handbook may be used in conjunction with WIDA's 2007 or 2012 Standards books or independently, once teachers have familiarity with the components and elements

Download or pre-order your copy today.

December
4
2013

Indiana Formally Adopts the WIDA ELD Standards

Indiana has officially adopted the WIDA English Language Development Standards! We look forward to our relationship with educators working to advance our mission in Indiana!

See the map of all WIDA members and standards adopters

December
2
2013

December Featured Educator: Mary Ancinec

This month, we are pleased to recognize Mary Ancinec, the ESOL Department Head at John Ruhrah Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore, MD, where they have dedicated a lot of time trying to identify where parents need assistance and then do their best to fill those gaps. Read more

Featured Educator is a monthly interview with a classroom, district, or state-level educator on how he or she is making a difference for language learners. You can honor an exceptional colleague by emailing info@wida.us with “Featured Educator Nomination” in the subject line.

November
20
2013

Lesson Plan Share Space Contest: Our Latest Winner

Congratulations to Lisa from Baltimore, our latest winner of the Lesson Plan Share Space contest. Lisa's lesson, "Inferring Feelings Using the Book, 'The War with Grandpa,' by Robert Kimmel Smith" is for 4th grade. Our share space is dedicated only to lesson plans that support language learners in developing their language and acquiring content knowledge.

Winners are drawn randomly from entries submitted each week. A final drawing will be held on December 6 for the grand prize. Your lesson could be the next winner, upload today!

November
20
2013

Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Writing Scoring Guide Is Available

The Scoring Guide will provide Alternate ACCESS for ELLs test administrators with guidance on scoring the writing section of the test.

Download the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Writing Scoring Guide..

November
20
2013

Registration for WIDA's Winter Academy Is Now Open

From February 5-7, 2014 WIDA is holding a Winter Academy in Alexandria, Virginia, the focus of which is "Creating Language-Focused College and Career Ready Units." Teams of ESL and content teachers will analyze the language demands of college and career ready standards, including the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Next Generation of Science Standards (NGSS). In school teams, participants will work in integrating content and language (WIDA ELD) standards to develop a unit plan for the instruction and assessment of ELLs. Teams will create materials for implementation of the standards back in their school sites.

Learn more, including venue, registration, and agenda information.

November
15
2013

Participants Needed for Spanish Language Bias and Content Review

WIDA is looking for educators to participate on the Bias and Content Review Committees to provide feedback on WIDA's first Spanish Language Assessments, PODER (Prueba Óptima del Desarrollo del Español Realizado) and PUEDE (La Prueba Útil y Eficaz del Desarrollo del Español). We are seeking first and second grade teachers with experience in dual language programs, bilingual education, or ESL programs. High to native Spanish proficiency is required to participate on the committee.

For more information, please contact Stephanie Gibson at sagibson2@wisc.edu.

November
14
2013

NEW! ACCESS for ELLs Growth Reports

Schools and districts now have the opportunity to purchase ACCESS for ELLs Growth Reports. They are intended to help educators identify district- and school-level patterns in language growth. They can be used along with other information as one source of data to help understand systems-level strengths and needs. These reports are available to districts and schools at an additional cost, and include growth data, reports, charts comparing students' growth compared to WIDA-wide growth, and downloadable CSV files of student data.

Learn more about costs, ordering procedures, and a product preview.

November
14
2013

WIDA Spanish Language Development (SLD) Standards Available to Download

WIDA is pleased to announce the release of our Spanish Language Development Standards for Kindergarten through Grade 12 in both Spanish and English. These publications are intended to support students who are receiving content instruction in Spanish. Download the Spanish edition or the English edition (English introduction).

The WIDA SLD Standards were developed by the WIDA Consortium in collaboration with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Division of English Language Learning in support of the Illinois Transitional Bilingual Education program. The WIDA SLD Standards are a product of the Spanish Academic Language Standards and Assessment (SALSA) project for which ISBE obtained a 2009 U.S. Department of Education Enhanced Assessment Grant Award. Other supporting states/territories on the grant included Colorado, New Mexico, and Puerto Rico.

November
11
2013

Lesson Plan Share Space Contest: Our Next Winner

Congratulations to Emily from Maryland, the next winner of our Lesson Plan Share Space contest. Emily shared a lesson on Vincent Van Gogh addressing the language of visual arts for grades 9-12. Our share space is dedicated only to lesson plans that support language learners in developing their language and acquiring content knowledge.

Winners are drawn randomly from entries submitted each week. A final drawing will be held on December 6 for the grand prize. Your lesson could be the next winner, upload today!

November
7
2013

Early Childhood Webinar Series Continues

The next webinar in our free series for early childhood practitioners will be held on Monday, November 18 at 3:00pm CST. The title is "Language in Play: Introduction to the Early English Language Development (E-ELD) Standards." You may want to watch the first webinar in the series prior to joining. Both are available on the Early Childhood Language Development Standards page.

The Early Spanish Language Development (E-SLD) Standards will be introduced in a Spanish-language webinar to be held on Tuesday, November 19 at 3:00pm CST. Este seminario proporcionará un análisis de los estándares desarrollo del lenguaje temprano del español (DLTE).

November
6
2013

W-APT Updates

The W-APT has undergone slight revisions this year. The updated files have just been posted and can be downloaded using your district W-APT login. This most current version is labeled Version 3, October 2013. The revisions mainly consisted of copy editing corrections and did not effect any test administration procedures or the test format. Districts and schools may choose to continue to use any already printed copies of Version 2 of the W-APT, as the changes are very minor. Please feel free to contact the Client Services Center (help@wida.us) if you have any questions.

November
4
2013

Lesson Plan Share Space Contest: Our First Two Winners

Congratulations to Joseph from Maryland and Amy from Colorado, the first two winners of our Lesson Plan Share Space contest. Joseph shared a lesson on writing topic sentences for grades 2-5. Amy submitted "Small Group, Data-Based Intervention in an Algebra Classroom" for grades 9-10. Our share space is dedicated only to lesson plans that support language learners in developing their language and acquiring content knowledge.

Winners are drawn randomly from entries submitted each week. A final drawing will be held on December 6 for the grand prize. Your lesson could be the next winner, upload today!

November
1
2013

November Featured Educator: John Masella of Marlborough, MA

This month, we are pleased to recognize John Masella, the ELL Coordinator at Marlborough High School in Marlborough, Massachusetts, who also coaches boys' freshmen soccer and boys' varsity tennis. He believes it's vital to get ELL students involved in extracurricular activities. Read more

Featured Educator is a monthly interview with a classroom, district, or state-level educator on how he or she is making a difference for language learners. You can honor an exceptional colleague by emailing info@wida.us with “Featured Educator Nomination” in the subject line.

October
29
2013

2013-14 ACCESS for ELLs Training Toolkit

The Training Toolkit has been updated for this year's test administration. WIDA encourages local professional development trainers to use these materials, including PowerPoint presentations, to assist in preparing for the 2013-14 testing season. Please login to download and view the files.

October
28
2013

Tennessee Formally Adopts the WIDA ELD Standards

Tennessee has officially adopted the WIDA English Language Development Standards! Tennessee is also a member of the ASSETS Consortium. We look forward to expanding our relationship with educators working to advance our mission in Tennessee!

See the map of all WIDA members and standards adopters

October
22
2013

Free Webinars for Early Childhood Practitioners

WIDA is pleased to announce a series of webinar opportunities on WIDA's new Early English Language Development (E-ELD) and Early Spanish Language Development (E-SLD) Standards. These webinars are intended for Early Childhood practitioners across all early care and education programs (Head Start, child care, preschool, pre-kindergarten, home visiting, etc.)

Five different webinar topics will be offered for one hour each. Topics include language and play, understanding language growth, and introductions to WIDA's E-ELD and E-SLD standards and Performance Definitions for dual language learners, ages 2.5-5.5.

Descriptions of each webinar, links to join the webinars and information on how to join the webinar can be found on the Early Childhood Standards page.

Please help spread the word and share this information with the appropriate contacts within your state offices, local districts, and other agencies.

october
21
2013

Lesson Plan Share Space Contest

WIDA is excited to announce the return of the online Lesson Plan Share Space Contest! The Lesson Plan Share Space is a community space where educators can upload lesson plans or search for other example lessons to support their ELL students in language and content learning. This is a space created for educators and by educators in the true spirit of our consortium.

To encourage teachers to share their valuable lessons, WIDA is offering a raffle contest for educators who upload lessons from now until December 6, 2013. For each lesson uploaded to the Lesson Plan Share Space, teachers will be entered into a drawing to win a $25 Amazon gift cards that can be used to purchase books or supplies for their classrooms. A winner will be drawn each week and a final drawing for one $100 gift card will occur on December 6. We encourage teachers to enter early and often for a chance to win one of several Amazon gift cards.

The Lesson Plan Share Space is located in the Get Involved! section (www.wida.us/lessons). On this page, educators can download a sample lesson plan template along with a guide to using the template.

October
8
2013

ACCESS for ELLs 2013-14 Changes

ACCESS for ELLs changes for 2013-14 are outlined in a recent memo. The Listening Test this year is media-based rather than scripted for the first time, so veteran test administrators should review the updated training course materials and retake their Group quiz prior to administering the test this year. More details about this important change as well as some updates to the guidelines for the timing of the Reading test are also available in the memo.

Please contact the WIDA Customer Service Center (help@wida.us) with any questions about the content of this memo.

october
2
2013

October Featured Educator: Maury Shimizu of Naalehu, HI

This month, we are pleased to recognize Maury Shimizu, an ESL teacher at Naalehu Elementary School in Hawaii. She says her school is highly supportive of teachers getting the training they need. Read more

Featured Educator is a monthly interview with a classroom, district, or state-level educator on how he or she is making a difference for language learners. You can honor an exceptional colleague by emailing info@wida.us with “Featured Educator Nomination” in the subject line.

September
30
2013

WIDA is Now Hiring

WIDA is recruiting for a Professional Development Researcher who will research, develop, and deliver evidence-based professional development programs for WIDA's innovative Spanish Language Development (SLD) standards and assessment system. We are also looking to hire a Communications Specialist. With 1,000 likes on Facebook, 250 followers on Twitter, over 10,000 opt-in email recipients, and a blog that receives over 1,000 unique page views a month, social platforms are increasingly important communications tools for WIDA. Learn more

September
9
2013

Registration for the 2013 WIDA National Conference is Now Closed

Due to overwhelming interest, we have reached our maximum capacity for attendance at the 2013 WIDA National Conference four weeks before the scheduled registration closing date.

We have created a wait list for anyone who is still interested in attending, but has not yet registered. You can add your name to the online wait list. We will contact you if a space opens up.

Please note there will be no on-site registration.

We thank you for your interest in WIDA's first national conference and hope to see you next year!

September
6
2013

Early English Language Development Standards

The Early English Language Development Standards for children ages 2.5 to 5.5 have been released for use by early childhood practitioners, including child care, Head Start, preschool/prekindergarten educators, and caregivers. The purpose of the E-ELD standards is to provide a developmentally sound framework for supporting, instructing, and assessing dual language learners. The E-ELD Standards correspond with WIDA's English Language Development (ELD) Standards framework for Kindergarten through Grade 12 and correspond to states' Early Learning Standards and Head Start's Early Learning and Child Outcomes. Download this new publication

WIDA would like to thank Ruth Reinl for her work as the lead content developer of WIDA's Early English Language Development Standards, the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (WDPI) for supporting the development of the Early English Language Development Standards Framework.

WIDA will also be releasing Early Spanish Language Development Standards. Watch for that announcement soon!

September
3
2013

September Featured Educator: Christine Wagner-Jonsson of Bozeman, MT

This month, we are pleased to recognize Christine Wagner-Jonsson, an ESL teacher in the Bozeman Public Schools where she has taught for 25 years. She created a special event called International Days along with a group of parents, which has attracted local media attention. Read more

Featured Educator is a monthly interview with a classroom, district, or state-level educator on how he or she is making a difference for language learners. You can honor an exceptional colleague by emailing info@wida.us with “Featured Educator Nomination” in the subject line.

August
30
2013

Spanish Language Development Standards, Kindergarten-Grade 12

WIDA is pleased to announce the release of our Spanish Language Development Standards for Kindergarten through Grade 12. This publication is intended to support students who are receiving content instruction in Spanish. Download a copy now

The WIDA SLD Standards were developed by the WIDA Consortium in collaboration with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Division of English Language Learning in support of the Illinois Transitional Bilingual Education program. The WIDA SLD Standards are a product of the Spanish Academic Language Standards and Assessment (SALSA) project for which ISBE obtained a 2009 U.S. Department of Education Enhanced Assessment Grant Award. Other supporting states/territories on the grant included Colorado, New Mexico, and Puerto Rico. A huge thanks to all of the educators who contributed to this effort!

This publication will be available with an introduction in English or Spanish. The English version is available today and Spanish will be available shortly. Early Spanish Language Development (E-SLD) Standards will also be published soon to support dual language learners who are 2.5 to 5.5-years-old.

August
22
2013

WIDA is Now Hiring: ELLs with Disabilities Researcher

WIDA is recruiting for a policy and accommodations expert on how to best assess and serve children with disabilities as part of the comprehensive WIDA standards and assessment system. Specifically, the candidate will manage the on-going development of the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs English language proficiency test, which was developed specifically for students with significant cognitive disabilities. Additionally, he/she will conduct extensive policy research to inform the recommended accommodations or alternate assessments developed for other physically challenged students such as the blind or deaf. Learn more

We appreciate your support in helping us find our ideal candidate!

August
20
2013

Welcome to the Consortium, Utah!

Utah has just become WIDA's 33rd Consortium member. Utah previously adopted the English Language Development Standards and is now preparing to participate in ACCESS for ELLs testing for the first time. We look forward to assisting Utah educators and further extending our mission of promoting educational equity for English language learners!

August
5
2013

WIDA Conference Update

Have you registered for the inaugural WIDA conference to be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin October 17-19? We recently posted a draft of the session schedule including presenters, topics, and descriptions. Take a look and register soon so you don't miss out on these intriguing sessions! We expect the conference to fill up so do not wait until the last minute, and be sure to register before you make travel arrangements. Learn more at www.widaconference.us.

August
2
2013

August Featured Educator: Christel Broady of Georgetown, KY

This month, we are pleased to recognize Christel Broady, a teacher trainer in the graduate program at Georgetown College. She became the school's ESL program director in 2004. She believes that ELLs can become mentors to others in the global workplace and be ambassadors for their states and country (the United States). Read more

Featured Educator is a monthly interview with a classroom, district, or state-level educator on how he or she is making a difference for language learners. You can honor an exceptional colleague by emailing info@wida.us with “Featured Educator Nomination” in the subject line.

JuLY
24
2013

Welcome to the Consortium, Michigan!

Michigan has just become WIDA's 32nd Consortium member. Michigan previously adopted the English Language Development Standards and is now preparing to participate in ACCESS for ELLs testing for the first time. We look forward to assisting Michigan educators and further extending our mission of promoting educational equity for English language learners!

JuLY
16
2013

South Carolina Formally Adopts the WIDA ELD Standards

South Carolina has officially adopted the WIDA English Language Development Standards! South Carolina is also a member of the ASSETS Consortium. We look forward to expanding our relationship with educators working to advance our mission in South Carolina!

See the map of all WIDA members and standards adopters

JuLY
15
2013

New Publication: A Theoretical Framework for E-ELD Standards for Dual Language Learners

WIDA has responded to the growing need to support the learning and assessment of young dual language learners through the creation of its Early English Language Development (E-ELD) Standards Framework. The purpose of the E-ELD standards is to provide a developmentally sound framework for instructing and assessing dual language learners, ages 2.5–5.5 years, which aligns with existing WIDA ELD Standards for Kindergarten through Grade 12 and corresponds to statesā?? Early Learning Standards.

WIDA would like to acknowledge Ruth Reinl for her work on developing the E-ELD Theoretical Framework. This publication outlines the theoretical basis for the E-ELD Standards Framework.

Learn more about the E-ELD Standards

JuLY
9
2013

WIDA is Now Hiring: Assistant Director of Research, Communication and Client Services Director, Professional Development Specialists

WIDA continues to recruit for several positions, outlined below.

The ideal Research Assistant Director candidate will have extensive research experience and be motivated to lead a team of qualitative researchers. Preference will be given to candidates with experience researching English language learners (ELLs) and managing research projects. Duties will include supervising researchers and administrators, authoring reports, submitting findings to peer reviewed publications, presenting at professional conferences, and supporting the Director of Research. Learn more

The Communications and Client Services Director will lead a team of state relations, marketing/communication, graphic design, website development/management, and educator outreach professionals. This individual will be responsible for the overall administration, direction, and leadership of the outreach and communication efforts for the WIDA project. Learn more

We are also looking to hire 4-6 new professional development staff to deliver trainings (primarily on the WIDA ELD Standards, ACCESS for ELLs, the W-APT, and Interpreting Score Reports). Applicants are NOT required to relocate to Madison, WI and appointment percentages of 50-100% will be considered. These positions will also require extensive travel (approximately 60%). Ideal candidates will have K-12 teaching experience in ESL/Bilingual environments, experience delivering professional development to educators, and knowledge of WIDA's products and resources. Those with knowledge of or experience with instructional coaching, early childhood, students with disabilities, Native Americans, and bilingual (Spanish) speakers are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more

JuLY
8
2013

July Featured Educator: Mae Lindenberg of Grafton, ND

This month, we are pleased to recognize Mae Lindenberg, an elementary and high school ELL teacher and North Dakota Migrant School Project Coordinator. Mae has been a regular participant on her state's English Language Learner Program Advisory Committee, representing migrant issues. Read more

Featured Educator is a monthly interview with a classroom, district, or state-level educator on how he or she is making a difference for language learners. You can honor an exceptional colleague by emailing info@wida.us with “Featured Educator Nomination” in the subject line.

June
24
2013

New Bulletin: WIDA Focus on Language Growth

This resource aims to help educators understand the ACCESS for ELLs Teacher Report, investigate student growth, and use this data to make instructional decisions about student progress in language proficiency. It also contains percentile growth charts and discussion questions for examining growth in a team of educators. Download Focus on Language Growth

June
6
2013

WIDA Annual Board Meeting Held

Thank you to all 31 WIDA member state departments of education for sending your staff to participate in this significant event held June 3-6 in Madison, WI. WIDA relies heavily on the input of its member states to shape the direction of our work, so all of the wonderful ideas and opinions shared will guide us for months to come! For photos of the Board meeting and all our other events, take a peak at the WIDA Facebook photo albums.

June
5
2013

June Featured Educator: Marcia Gaudet of Sioux Falls, SD

This month, we are pleased to recognize Marcia Gaudet, an ELL Instructional Coach in the Sioux Falls School District in South Dakota. Additionally, she is the Director of Dakota TESOL and an adjunct faculty member teaching English as a New Language Endorsement Classes at Augustana College. Read more

Featured Educator is a monthly interview with a classroom, district, or state-level educator on how he or she is making a difference for language learners. You can honor an exceptional colleague by emailing info@wida.us with “Featured Educator Nomination” in the subject line.

maY
15
2013

Early English Language Development Standards Framework

WIDA is developing Early English Language Development (EELD) Standards to be used by early childhood practitioners, including child care, Head Start, preschool/prekindergarten educators, and caregivers. The purpose of the EELD standards is to provide a developmentally sound framework for supporting, instructing, and assessing dual language learners, ages 2.5-5.5 years. The EELD Standards provide early childhood practitioners with a map of English language development and give direction for supporting, instructing, and assessing dual language learners (DLLs) in developmentally appropriate social and academic English.

The draft EELD Standards are now available for your review! Please consider taking a few minutes to give us your feedback by completing an online survey. The standards documents and survey link are available on the new EELD standards page.

maY
14
2013

Reminder: Early Bird Conference Registration Ends May 31 at Midnight

WIDA is hosting its first annual national conference, "Language Learner Success: Building on Strengths," October 17-19, 2013 in Milwaukee, WI. The conference is intended for all who support the education of language learners. Early bird registrants receive a $100 discount. Space is limited, so please take advantage of these discounted rates now! Learn more

May
6
2013

Recording of RtI2 for ELLs Webinar Now Available

WIDA is currently finalizing its newest publication, Developing a Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Approach to Response to Instruction & Intervention (RtI2) for English Language Learners, available as a draft on the Resources page.

To support educators in using this new document, an interactive webinar presented by Cristina Sanchez-Lopez and Laurie Donnell was recently recorded and is now available. The presenters share considerations for data collection around solution-seeking for ELLs. Viewers can also learn how WIDA tools and resources can be used within an RtI2 framework through viewing real examples from school districts across the consortium. Watch now

May
1
2011

May Featured Educator: Magali Williams of Hoffman Estates, IL

This month, we are pleased to recognize Magali Williams, who teaches fourth grade at the John Muir Literacy Academy in suburban Chicago. Her philosophy toward teaching includes being a role model, taking risks, and building a miniature global community in her classroom. Read more

Featured Educator is a monthly interview with a classroom, district, or state-level educator on how he or she is making a difference for language learners. You can honor an exceptional colleague by emailing info@wida.us with “Featured Educator Nomination” in the subject line.

April
16
2013

Summer Academy Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for WIDA's Summer Professional Development Academy to be held June 25-27 in Madison, WI. The Academy is entitled "Data Digging." Teams will engage in a structured data analysis process to examine data related to the performance of their ELLs. They will explore a variety of data sources including demographics and ACCESS for ELLs growth. They will identify trends and patterns in their data and use these findings to designate areas where more knowledge and data are needed. Participants will leave the academy with a plan for promoting data literacy and sustaining the data analysis process in their districts or schools.

View more details, download the academy agenda, and register now on the Academies page.

April
5
2013

Free RtI2 for ELLs Webinar

WIDA is pleased to announce the release of a new publication, Developing a Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Approach to Response to Instruction & Intervention (RtI2) for English Language Learners, available on the Resources page.

To support educators in using this new document, an interactive webinar presented by Cristina Sanchez-Lopez and Laurie Donnell will take place on April 26 at 10:30am CDT. Learn more

April
2
2013

WIDA Conference Registration Now Open

WIDA is hosting its first annual national conference, "Language Learner Success: Building on Strengths," October 17-19, 2013 in Milwaukee, WI. Early bird registration is now open to general education/content area, special education, and ESL/bilingual teachers, as well as school, district, and state administrators and all others who support the education of language learners. Early bird registrants receive a $100 discount and space is limited, so please register today! Learn more

In addition, two pre-conference workshops will be facilitated by Dr. Jeff Zwiers of Stanford and WIDA Lead Developer Dr. Margo Gottlieb. Milwaukee Public Schools has generously collaborated with us to set up an intriguing menu of school site visit options. Individuals who also attend the conference will receive a discount on these pre-conference opportunities.

The draft conference program will be announced soon! Be sure to visit www.widaconference.us regularly for the latest updates.

april
1
2013

April Featured Educator: Adrienne Viscardi of Bedford, NY

This month, we are pleased to recognize Adrienne Viscardi, the Director of ESOL Programs in the Bedford Central School District. Her district's approach to English language learner achievement hinges on multi-faceted support for teachers to build their linguistic expertise and cultural competence. Read more

Featured Educator is a monthly interview with a classroom, district, or state-level educator on how he or she is making a difference for language learners. You can honor an exceptional colleague by emailing info@wida.us with “Featured Educator Nomination” in the subject line.

march
25
2013

CLIMBS and Certification Institutes' Application Deadlines

WIDA offers two professional development institutes for individuals who are interested in becoming trained facilitators on WIDA products and resources. Both are now accepting applications for their respective summer institutes now through April 22.

CLIMBS Facilitator Institute

July 16-19, 2013, Madison, WI: After completing this institute, facilitators can offer the CLIMBS program to school teams of ESL/bilingual and general education teachers. The semester-long professional development program consists of five face-to-face sessions in which participants learn to implement the WIDA ELD Standards to support ELLs' development of academic language and help ensure their access to intellectually challenging grade-level content. Learn more

Professional Certification Institute

August 5-9, 2013, Madison, WI: Through the certification process, trainers can gain the expertise to create professional development opportunities that are transformational for educators of ELLs using WIDA standards and assessments. Participants may be sponsored by a district or state, or attend as an independent consultant or higher education faculty member. Learn more

march
22
2013

Focus on Group Work for Content Learning

WIDA offers a series of bulletins on topics of interest to educators of English language learners known as our Focus Bulletins. The latest edition focuses on answering questions with strategies and research related to group work for language learners.

Do your students have opportunities to engage in academic conversation? How might collaborative interactions help students meet the U.S. college- and career-readiness standards? How might they help English language learners (ELLs) master the language of the disciplines? What are some promising ways to support group-based learning for ELLs in your classroom?

Read the March 2013 WIDA Focus Bulletin to explore this topic

march
13
2013

Join WIDA's Margo Gottlieb at Common Core and More

For information about Common Core and More, a summer institute designed for teams of teachers, school leaders, and administrators looking to enrich their use of standards (including the WIDA ELD Standards) in their work with language learners, visit the Illinois Resource Center website.

march
6
2013

Bring the CLIMBS course to your district or region

CLIMBS (Content & Language Integration as a Means of Bridging to Success) is a professional development course designed to assist teams of K-12 educators in meeting the needs of their English language learners (ELLs). Delivered to school teams of ESL/bilingual and general education teachers by local educators who are trained and authorized by WIDA, the course spans a full semester and consists of five full days of face-to-face meetings with assignments in between. CLIMBS helps educators integrate content and language standards; apply a research-based, comprehensive approach to scaffolding content and language instruction; use data from ACCESS language proficiency tests to inform instruction; and build collaborative relationships with other educators.

If you're interested in bringing CLIMBS to your district or region as a CLIMBS Facilitator, visit www.wida.us/CLIMBS or email pdinfo@wcer.wisc.edu. Facilitators must apply for and attend a training institute scheduled for July 16-19, 2013.

march
5
2013

WIDA is now hiring!

Learn more about three open position listings related to early childhood dual language learners, educator outreach, and event planning on the Employment page. We tremendously appreciate your help in spreading the word to qualified individuals.

March
1
2013

March Featured Educator: José Reyes of Gadsden, NM

This month, we are pleased to recognize José Reyes, a district bilingual instructional specialist who has dedicated his 32-year career as an educator to promoting bilingualism, cultural preservation, and educational equity on the U.S. border with Mexico. Read more

Featured Educator is a monthly interview with a classroom, district, or state-level educator on how he or she is making a difference for language learners. You can honor an exceptional colleague by emailing info@wida.us with “Featured Educator Nomination” in the subject line.

February
15
2013

WIDA Annual Conference Website is LIVE!

A new website, www.widaconference.us, is dedicated to sharing information on registration, hotels, travel, who we've invited as keynote speakers, and more on this first annual event to be held October 17-19 in Milwaukee. The conference theme is "Language Learner Success: Building on Strengths," and is intended for PreKindergarten through Grade 12 general education, content area, special education, and ESL/bilingual teachers; school and district administrators; and other stakeholders in language education. We have confirmed several great sponsors and exhibitors and are looking for more, so be sure to visit the website to find out who will be there.

We are thrilled to have more than 100 proposals already, but heard from many potential presenters who wanted more time so the deadline for proposal submission has been extended until March 1. Please consider submitting a proposal about your innovative practice supporting ELLs!

We hope you'll make plans to join us in Milwaukee for the first ever WIDA national conference!

february
11
2013

Three weeks left in Lesson Plan Share Space Contest

We are looking for lessons that accomplish at least one of the following...

  • address English Language Development and content area standards
  • include language targets or objectives
  • differentiate instruction according to students' English language proficiency levels
  • offer support for ELLs to access content learning and engage in cognitive challenges

Take time to upload a language-focused lesson plan for a chance to win one of the four remaining drawings for an Amazon gift card. One more participant's name will be drawn each Friday plus the grand prize on March 1. And check out others' work while you're there!

Visit the Lesson Plan Share Space to learn more

February
7
2013

LADDER Project Featured on WCER Website

The Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WIDA's home) has featured the LADDER project in a website cover story. This article details the program through interviews of past participants and WIDA staff facilitators about the journey districts can take toward collaboratively analyzing data and setting goals for educating English language learners based on that data. Read the article: Districts Climb to New Gains in WIDA's LADDER Program

The next LADDER coaching institute will take place May 14-16 in Madison, WI. The deadline to register is March 1. There are limited spots available, so please sign up now! More information is available at www.wida.us/ladder

february
5
2013

New Video to Demonstrate Packing and Shipping Test Booklets

Thanks to WIDA's partner company, MetriTech, Inc., a new video has been created to demonstrate packing test booklets for return shipping. If you are responsible for returning the secure ACCESS for ELLs and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs test booklets to be scored, this video takes you through the process with clear step-by-step instructions. Watch now

february
4
2013

New Website Section: Featured Educator of the Month

We at WIDA feel that educators are heroes. They routinely go the extra mile to see their students learn and grow. Please help us celebrate the hard working educators in your life!

Read about the Featured Educator for February 2013: Jessica LeCrone of Wilson, NC. She is an ESL teacher in a K-8 public charter school that emphasizes the arts. Jessica took the time to discuss with us how she integrates language learning and the WIDA ELD Standards within the arts and other subject areas to motivate students and encourage high attendance.

Featured Educator is a monthly interview with a classroom, district, or state-level educator on how he or she is making a difference for language learners. You can honor an exceptional colleague by emailing info@wida.us with “Featured Educator Nomination” in the subject line. Briefly tell us why you think he or she is doing an amazing job. Please include the person’s name, what they do, and contact information we can use to set up an interview. Thank you for helping us feature amazing educators of language learners and we hope you enjoy this new offering on the WIDA website!

January
31
2013

Response to Instruction & Intervention (RtI2) for ELLs Publication

WIDA is excited to announce the release of Developing a Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Approach to Response to Instruction & Intervention (RtI2) for English Language Learners. Within this guide, WIDA proposes a framework for proactively supporting instruction, intervention, and assessment for ELLs within an RtI2 process. The information gathered about student performance for the proposed framework will help educators implement culturally appropriate instruction and assessment practices. Check it out

We are interested in hearing your feedback on the content and usefulness of the document before it is published. For this purpose, an evaluation form is available along with the guide on the website. We hope that you will fill it out and share your opinions about whether it will assist states and LEAs in implementing the Response to Instruction and Intervention school-wide reform initiative. The evaluation form will be available until March 29, 2013. Review the guide

January
28
2013

LADDER Registration

Register now for WIDA's new professional development program: LADDER, which enriches collaboration, reflection, and action around data to support English language learners. The district registration deadline is March 1, 2013 to attend the LADDER Coaching Institute on May 14-16, 2013 in Madison, Wisconsin. Limited spots available.

Watch the LADDER Webinar or visit the LADDER website to learn more

January
15
2013

Now Accepting Applications to become a WIDA Certified Trainer

Through the certification process, you can gain the expertise to create professional development opportunities that are transformational for educators of ELLs using WIDA products. Certification participants will be able to:

  • Understand and explain the connection between WIDA Standards and Assessment
  • Articulate the theoretical foundations of WIDA's work using the Can Do Philosophy
  • Contextualize WIDA resources into dynamic PD opportunities

Learn more

JanuarY
14
2013

New! Lesson Plan Share Space

WIDA is excited to announce the debut of an online Lesson Plan Share Space! In response to numerous educators' requests for example lesson plans incorporating both English Language Development (ELD) and content standards, we have created this new resource. On this page, educators can download a sample lesson plan template along with a guide to using the template.

To get our share space off to a strong start, we are offering a raffle contest for educators who upload lessons from now until March 1, 2013. For each lesson uploaded to the Lesson Plan Share Space, teachers will be entered into a drawing to win one of several Amazon gift cards that can be used to purchase classroom books or supplies.

Please direct any questions or feedback to help@wida.us; we will do our best to make this a flexible, user-friendly, and valuable resource by considering your ideas and needs.

January
11
2013

Michigan adopts the WIDA ELD Standards

In addition to Utah and Idaho, Michigan has formally adopted WIDA's English Language Development Standards. These three states do not participate in other consortium activities, but we are thrilled to include them in our mission of advancing academic language development and academic achievement for language learners. See the map of current Consortium members

December
13
2012

Spring Academy Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for WIDA's Spring Professional Development Academy to be held April 3-5 in St. Louis, MO. The Academy is entitled "A Custom Design: Integrating the WIDA ELD Standards, Common Core State Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards." Participants will discuss the language demands of the CCSS and the NGSS. In school teams, participants will work in integrating content and language standards to develop a custom design for the instruction and assessment of ELLs. Teams will create materials for implementation of the three sets of standards back in their school sites.

View more details, download the academy agenda, and register now on the Spring Academy page.

December
11
2012

Language Learner Success: Building on Strengths

WIDA is pleased to announce our WIDA 2013 National Conference, "Language Learner Success: Building on Strengths." The Content Committee invites all educators to submit proposals to share their innovative educational practices. This is open to ALL educators, not just members of the WIDA Consortium. More information, guiding questions, and a sample proposal, is available here: http://www.widaconference.us/

December
7
2012

ASSETS Website Live

ASSETS is a 30-state consortium, building on the work of the WIDA Consortium, to create the next generation of English Language Proficiency tests. The Consortium's work is supported through a federal Enhanced Assessment Grant (EAG) with plans for full operationalization of the new assessment system in 2015-16. Learn more on the brand new ASSETS website

December
6
2012

Draft Spanish Language Development Standards Posted

WIDA is pleased to release a draft of the Spanish Language Development Standards. After reviewing the file on the SALSA page, please send any feedback to Lorena Mancilla (lmancilla@wisc.edu). WIDA appreciates your ideas and support in completing this publication! The final publication is scheduled for release in early 2013. Download the SLD standards

November
29
2012

UW-Madison ranks high in research

As the largest project in one of the largest research centers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, WIDA is very proud of the recent distinction ranking the UW as the fourth largest research university in the nation. Read the full article

The Wisconsin Center for Education Research, where WIDA is housed, is one of the oldest, largest, and most productive university-based education research centers in the world. From the WCER web page: "The future of education starts with sound research and development" and WIDA is eager to continue contributing to that vision for the future. Learn more about WCER

november
15
2012

Introductory Webinars to the 2012 Amplification of the WIDA ELD Standards

WIDA is pleased to announce a FREE opportunity for educators. If you weren't able to participate in WIDA's 2012 Amplified Standards Debut Events recently held in Madison, Denver, Charlotte, and Boston, we'd like to bring a little piece of the debut event to your computer screen. Two webinars will be held on November 29, 2012 and January 11, 2013. We hope you will join us to get started exploring WIDA's 2012 Amplification to the English Language Development Standards. Registration is limited so be sure to sign up today! Learn more

november
12
2012

LADDER Informational Webcast

Does your district want to use data to improve instruction for ELLs? Register now for live webcasts to be held on January 17 to learn more about WIDA's new professional development program: LADDER. Webcasts will take place at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm (CST).

LADDER works to build local capacity of districts and schools through the continuous improvement of programs, instruction, and assessment of English language learners. Learn more

november
5
2012

Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Updates

The Alternate ACCESS for ELLs section of the WIDA website has been updated in preparation for large-scale assessment in all consortium member states this year. Among the changes, you will find new information about 2012-13 testing participation criteria, new draft Performance Definitions, accommodations, and how to interpret 2011-12 score reports. Check it out!

October
29
201

2012-13 ACCESS for ELLs Test Administrator Training Toolkit

The Training Toolkit has been updated for this year's test administration. WIDA encourages local professional development trainers to use these materials, including PowerPoint presentations, to assist in preparing for the 2012-13 testing season. Please login to download and view the files.

october
12
2012

The ACCESS for ELLs Item Writing Course will be on hiatus for Spring 2013

As WIDA transitions from the paper based ACCESS for ELLs assessment to a new technology delivered assessment, the annual ACCESS for ELLs Item Writing Course will be on hiatus for Spring 2013. Further information will be forthcoming in 2013.

With this said, WIDA will still continue to include educators in the test development process such as Bias and Content, Post Field Test, and Forms Reviews. Educators from across the consortium will be invited to participate in these various offerings as opportunities arise.

october
11
2012

Welcome to the Consortium, Nevada!

Nevada has just become WIDA's 31st Consortium member. Nevada previously adopted the English Language Development Standards and is now preparing to participate in ACCESS for ELLs testing for the first time. We look forward to assisting Nevada educators and further extending our mission of promoting educational equity for English language learners!

OCTOBEr
10
2012

WIDA/WestEd Academic Literacy Conference Underway

This week we are excited to host a conference on the Sociocultural Contexts of Academic Literacy Development for Adolescent English Learners. This event was coordinated in partnership with WestEd and funded by the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Additional funding is generously provided by the Wisconsin Center for Educational Research (WCER). Learn more

October
9
2012

2012-13 ACCESS for ELLs Test Administration Manuals Now Available

The Kindergarten and Grades 1-12 Test Administration Manuals have now been posted inside the secure ACCESS for ELLs training course. Please login to download and view the files.

october
1
2012

Welcome to the Consortium, Colorado!

Colorado has just become WIDA's 30th Consortium member. Colorado previously adopted the English Language Development Standards and is now preparing to participate in ACCESS for ELLs testing for the first time. We look forward to assisting Colorado educators and further extending our mission of promoting educational equity for English language learners!

September
18
2012

Save the Date!

WIDA will hold its first national conference October 17-19, 2013 at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center. Our goal is to offer educators a forum in which to learn, connect, and explore effective learning for language learners. More information will be available soon.

September
11
2012

Can Do Descriptors Updates

Have you visited the Can Do Descriptors page lately? If not, be sure to check it out. We've added name charts allowing you to type in your students' names under their levels for each language domain. The booklets for each grade level also contain a Spanish translation to share with students and families. Have a look, and be sure to send us your feedback and ideas for using these new resources at info@wida.us. We always appreciate educator ideas, reactions, and stories about our resources in practice.

September
5
2012

WIDA is now hiring a Spanish Language Development Project Manager

The Program Manager is responsible for overseeing the completion of the Spanish Language Development Standards publication, managing the communication channels between the development team, the expert advisory committee, WIDA departments, participating school districts, State Education Agencies (SEAs), and the Center for Applied Linguistics. The manager will develop and implement a transition plan to integrate the SLD standards and related publications and professional services into the broader WIDA system. The successful applicant will have experience in K-12 education and be bilingual and biliterate in English and Spanish. View position description to learn more

JuLY
23
2012

Annual Report Now Available

WIDA's Annual Report for July 2010-December 2011 is now available on the Resources page. The Annual Report details our mission and information about all WIDA activities conducted during this time frame, including Consortium member relations, grants, finances, testing, professional development, and research.

JuLY
16
2012

Welcome to the Consortium, Northern Mariana Islands!

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands have just become WIDA's 29th Consortium member, adopting the English Language Development standards and preparing to participate in ACCESS for ELLs testing in 2012-13. We look forward to assisting CNMI educators and further extending our mission of promoting educational equity for English language learners!

JuLY
9
2012

The 2012 Amplification of the English Language Development Standards is here!

WIDA is pleased to announce the release of the 2012 Amplification of the ELD Standards.This document was developed with input from educators in WIDA Consortium member states as well as leaders in the field. The work was also informed by the latest developments in both English language development research and states' content standards for college and career readiness.

Additions and enhancements to the standards framework include strengthening links between WIDA standards and content standards with illustrations at individual grade levels, overlaying cognitive demand on linguistic model performance indicators, and clarifying the features of academic language. In support of this release, WIDA will be holding four two-day events around the country from August to November. At these Debut Events, participants will:

  • Discuss how to infuse language development standards into their practice
  • Explore connections to the Common Core State Standards
  • Reflect on the sociocultural context of classrooms
  • Connect with colleagues and other experienced educators.

Please visit the ELD Standards page to download the new publication and register now for a Debut Event.

JuLY
2
2012

Annual Technical Report for 2010-11 Testing Now Available

The ACCESS for ELLs Technical Reports address the validity and reliability of ACCESS for ELLs in its ability to accurately assign students their proficiency level scores. To download the latest Technical Report, please visit the ACCESS for ELLs Technical Reports page.

JuNE
29
2012

Take a Tour Inside MetriTech

Have you ever wondered what happens to ACCESS for ELLs after you ship it back? Watch a short video on the Partners page to see how the whole process works and "meet" the folks at MetriTech who work hard to get your students' scores to you.

JuNE
18
2012

New Video, Academic Language: WIDA's "Can Do" Approach

A new video has been posted to introduce WIDA's Can Do Philosophy toward educating language learners. Over several months, we visited consortium schools to capture classroom footage and interview educators, plus we also interviewed a few of our own staff members and partners. Some of the footage we captured appears in this video, and more will be used in upcoming projects. A big thank you to all involved! Check out the final product

WIDA would appreciate your feedback on the video and your ideas on how you might use this resource. Please send us your thoughts at info@wida.us.

JuNE
12
2012

WIDA welcomes its 28th member state, Massachusetts!
Massachusetts has just become the 28th state to join the WIDA Consortium, adopting the English Language Proficiency standards and preparing to participate in ACCESS for ELLs testing in 2012-13. We look forward to assisting Massachusetts educators and further extending our mission of promoting educational equity for English language learners!

JuNE
11
2012

Board meetings a success!

Thank you to all our wonderful state and local education agency representatives who attended our WIDA Consortium and ASSETS board meetings last week in Madison, WI. You truly inspire our work and we draw energy from these meetings all year long. Thanks also to our partners from CAL and MetriTech who always contribute so much to the effort. We look forward to seeing some of you at the Executive Committee meeting in November!

MaY
22
2012

And the winner is...

We are excited to present the four winning entries of the 2011-2012 WIDA Video Contest! Kara Lawson took first place for her video, Increasing the Use of Academic Language During Guided Math Groups. You can watch Kara's video and the other winning entries on the Video Contest page, as well as read a brief explanation of why the WIDA video contest award committee selected them. Contestants had to create a 5 to 10-minute video submission that included two components: (1) classroom events promoting effective teaching, learning, and/or assessment of content and language for language learners, and (2) reflections on those classroom events. A big thank you to all who submitted videos to this year's contest!

MAY
7
2012

2012 ACCESS for ELLs Interpretive Guide for Score Reports

The 2012 ACCESS for ELLs Interpretive Guide for Score Reports is now available. Download it from the ACCESS for ELLs page in the right hand column under "Downloads & Products."

This publication is refreshed annually to support educators' interpretation of ACCESS for ELLs score reports. Part 1 of the Interpretive Guide describes the types of scores generated by ACCESS for ELLs assessment and provides cut score tables for each grade level. Part 2 describes each score report and offers information on how to use the data in each reports.

MAY
2
2012

Now accepting registrations for WIDA's Fall Academy

Registration is now available for both professional development academies being offered this year. The Summer Academy entitled "Dynamic Formative Language Assessment for ELLs" will be held June 26-28 in Madison, WI. We will be in Baltimore, MD October 3-5, to present "Two are Better Than One: Collaborating to Support ELLs Within the WIDA Framework." Both academies cost $400 per person and attendees are responsible for travel expenses. Please register now before these opportunities fill up! To learn more, please visit the PD Academies page.

APRIL
2
2012

Register now for the WIDA ELD Standards, 2012 Edition Debut Events!
Registration is now open for our four debut events scheduled for August-November in Madison, WI, Denver, CO, Charlotte, NC, and Boston, MA. The cost is $125 per person for 2 days and payments can be submitted online using credit card. Group rates at hotels will be posted very soon. Reserve your place at these landmark events now!

MARCH
30
2012

Draft Spanish Language Development (SLD) Standards Surveys

WIDA is conducting a series of surveys on the academic Spanish Language Development (SLD) standards being developed under the SALSA grant. The general purpose of the surveys is to determine if each strand of model performance indicators (continuos del Desarrollo Lingüístico) contain appropriate representations of the language skills necessary for specific content areas within a specific grade level.

We invite all educators who are familiar with students receiving content instruction in Spanish to participate in the online surveys to provide feedback on the drafts of the Spanish Continuos del Desarrollo Lingüístico. The surveys will be available until May 2, 2012. Visit the SALSA page to get started.

March
14
2012

Standards Debut events coming to a city near you!

Starting in August 2012, WIDA will be holding four unprecedented events to introduce educators to the 2012 Edition of its English Language Development Standards. Featuring nationally-recognized keynote speakers, several WIDA presenters, and a panel of local experts from each region, these events will be a transformative opportunity for educators of English language learners. Visit the Debut Events page to download the draft agenda, view dates, locations, the cost, and sponsorship opportunities. More details will be added in the coming weeks. Please check back regularly for updates.

february
2
2012

Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Test Administration Manual and Quiz

The Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Test Administration Manual and certification quiz for test administrators are now available. In 2012, recommended training for test administrators will consist of three steps:

  1. Review a tutorial and/or recorded webinar.
  2. Read the Test Administration Manual.
  3. Complete the certification quiz with a passing score of 80% or higher.

Please note that some states or districts may have additional requirements of their test administrators, or offer local training on the topic.

For more information about this new assessment, please visit the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs page.

JanuarY
27
2012

Spanish Academic Language Surveys

Now through February 17, 2012, WIDA is conducting surveys as part of a research study called "Exploratory study of expressive language domains in academic Spanish." As part of this research, we invite all educators who are familiar with students receiving content instruction in Spanish to participate in an online survey to provide feedback on speaking and writing prompts related to the areas of language arts and mathematics. To learn more or start the survey, please visit the SALSA page.

January
10
2012

Recruiting Teachers for ACCESS for ELLs Field Tryouts

WIDA and CAL are currently accepting applications for participation in field tryouts of ACCESS for ELLs speaking and writing items. Field tryouts are an important step in preparing items for use on ACCESS for ELLs tests. During the Field Tryouts, teachers administer test items to their students, and then give feedback to test developers via an online survey. The speaking items are slated to appear on Series 301 (2012-2013), while the writing items are expected to appear on Series 302 (2013-2014).

  • Eligibility: Any licensed teacher who is currently teaching
  • Task: Administering field test items to students and recording feedback and observations per instructions received from CAL
  • Testing Window: March 5 to March 16, 2012
  • Remuneration: $75 to $200 depending on the number of items tested. If you are unable to accept payment, a donation in the form of a gift card will be made to your school, redeemable for books or school supplies.
  • Application deadline: January 27, 2012

Apply Online

January
9
2012

Professional Certification for Trainers Website

The new Professional Certification for Trainers website was launched today! If you facilitate local trainings on WIDA standards and assessment, you could attend our Jul. 30-Aug. 3 institute and become a certified trainer. You may also browse the workshops offered and find trainers in your area to provide professional development to your school or district.

December
27
2011

Alternate ACCESS for ELLs

Two new resources, an administration training tutorial and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs sample items document, have been added to the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs page!

December
1
2011

Visit the WIDA Blog site!

Have you visited WIDA's new blog site? Great questions have been rolling in about Tammy King's 2-part exploration of transforming strands of MPIs. Tammy, our primary blogger, is a professional development facilitator who has worked as a district ESL/bilingual program director, an ESL resource teacher, and a 4th/5th grade bilingual teacher. Check it out (and bookmark the site!)

NOVEMBER
15
2011

New WIDA MODEL Tote Bag Available in Online Store

WIDA is now selling tote bags specially designed for the WIDA MODEL Kindergarten assessment. It has enough space for the activity board, card pouch, student booklets, pencils, and even a water bottle or hand sanitizer. Of course, it could serve any number of additional purposes, all while declaring one's enthusiasm for WIDA's CAN DO approach to educating English language learners! All double kits sold will now contain a tote bag as well. Check it out in the online store.

November
11
2011

New Speaking Test Sound Files Available

This year, WIDA is pleased to bring ACCESS for ELLs Speaking Test administrators (TAs) a new training resource. New sound files (66 of them!) have been added to our online course, including students at all levels of language proficiency from grades 1-12. This new section of the online training course is intended to provide additional support and practice to Speaking TAs, particularly for veteran TAs who have already completed the training course but need a refresher of what to expect from students on the Speaking Test. It is recommended that TAs listen to sound files each year as close to the time they will administer the test as possible, but not more than two weeks in advance of the start of testing.

November
4
2011

Tech Report Release
The ACCESS for ELLs® Annual Technical Report No. 6, Series 201, 2009-2010 Administration is now available. These documents address the validity and reliability of the ACCESS test to accurately assign students their proficiency level scores.

OCTOBER
13
2011

ACCESS for ELLs Test Administrator Training Course Updates
The Speaking Module has been updated with information on the new T2 Start procedure for the Speaking Test for students taking Tiers B and C of the group administered components (Listening, Reading, and Writing). Test Administrators giving the Speaking Test must complete this updated module before administering the ACCESS for ELLs test for the 2011-2012 school year. The updated module also includes a new T2 Start video tutorial. Login with your personal training account to review the updates!

OCTOBER
11
2011

New Tier Placement Tutorial Available Now!
A new tutorial on Tier Placement has been posted. Feel free to use this resource along with the Tier Placement Protocol to help determine the appropriate tier placement for each student.

Watch the tutorial

Placing each student into the tier that most appropriately targets his/her range of language skill is important to ensure the best possible testing experience for each student and the most meaningful results.

SEPTEMber
30
2011

Video Contest for Educators of ELLs
WIDA recognizes that there is a wealth of expertise within our Consortium, and we believe it's important to honor those educators whose model classroom practices develop students' academic language and advance ELL achievement. Further, we believe that sharing these model practices with the rest of the Consortium will benefit educators and students alike. With these goals in mind, we are excited to introduce a video contest for educators of English language learners (ELLs). Details are available on the Get Involved page.

All Consortium members who successfully complete the submission process will receive a free copy of the 2012 elementary or secondary English Language Development Standards booklet. The first-place award winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize and a scholarship for the awardee and a colleague to attend a 2012 WIDA Professional Development academy. The second-place award winner will receive a $500 cash prize and a scholarship for the awardee and a colleague to attend a 2012 WIDA Professional Development academy. The third-place award winner will receive a $250 cash prize and a scholarship for the awardee and a colleague to attend a 2012 WIDA Professional Development academy.

If you have any questions about the contest, please e-mail WIDA Media Specialist Connie North (cenorth@wisc.edu).

SEPTember
23
2011

2012 Teacher Collaboration and Standards-Based Test Item Writing Course
Starting October 1, WIDA will be accepting online applications for the 2012 Item Writing course. Please review the information page and consider applying! A wait list will be available if necessary. Participants are encouraged to enroll as ESL/General Education teacher pairs.

SEPTember
21
2011

WIDA to Build Next-Generation Comprehensive Assessment System
We are pleased to announce that the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, on behalf of WIDA, has been awarded an Enhanced Assessment Grant for nearly $10.5 million over 4 years to build a comprehensive and balanced technology-based assessment system for English language learners.

The assessment system will be anchored in WIDA's English Language Proficiency Standards that are aligned with the Common Core State Standards, will be informed by rigorous ongoing research, and supported by comprehensive professional development and outreach. WIDA will maintain its consortium approach to decision-making about the design and direction of the project and will involve the expertise of partners such as the Center for Applied Linguistics, UCLA, WestEd, Data Recognition Corporation, and MetriTech, Inc. The system will include a summative test, an on-demand diagnostic (screener) test, classroom benchmark assessments, and formative assessment resources.

To learn more, read the award letter and project abstract PDF icon.

SEPTember
14
2011

The English Language Development Standards, 2012 Edition Draft Release
The English Language Development Standards, 2012 Edition, is now available in DRAFT form for your review! For several years we have listened to educators from our Consortium, our organizational partners, and experts in the field. The development process began with the goal of improving how we illustrate academic language within our standards framework, especially considering the wide impact of the Common Core State Standards on curriculum and instruction. We have presented our ideas, plans, and templates at focus groups, workshops, and professional learning institutes. We have shared our vision with our member states, Executive Board, and Standards National Advisory Panel. We have involved hundreds of teachers, consultants, administrators, university faculty, and test developers. Thanks to the input and support of many, the vision of reframing how we represent our language standards has become a reality. But we need your feedback to finalize the draft!

On the ELD Standards page, you will find a a set of FAQs, a glossary, a 10-minute overview tutorial explaining the rationale behind our work and introducing you to the new elements of the standards matrices, and the drafts themselves. Note that we have not changed our five standards since originally published in 2004; however, we have extended their representation to address other school subjects and break down the linguistic elements represented in our Performance Definitions.

Your opinion is important to us! Please review the drafts and submit your comments and suggestions by mid October. Following the incorporation of your feedback, we anticipate the final version of the 2012 Edition will be released in the spring. Thank you in advance for taking the time to support this exciting initiative!

Finally, if you are interested in professional development to support local implementation of the 2012 Edition, please take 3-4 minutes to respond to our ELD Standards Professional Development Interest survey. This will help us tailor our offerings to meet your needs.

SEptember
1
2011

Order WIDA MODEL for Grades 6-8 and 9-12 today!

The WIDA MODEL assessment suite is now complete! The grades 6-8 and 9-12 kits are now available. Place your order today using our online store. To learn more about the assessment, please visit the WIDA MODEL page, which will soon be updated with more information.

JuLY
27
2011

Get familiar with our new website! Watch the tutorial.

Welcome to our new website! If you would like a brief orientation to the features and navigation of this site, you may click the button below to watch a tutorial (make sure your sound is turned on!).

Watch the tutorial

June
13
2011

WIDA Launches New Website for Beta Testing
This June and July, WIDA is offering a sneak preview of this new website and hopes to collect your feedback and ideas. We wanted to give you this unique opportunity to be among the first to see the site.

Here are some new features you may want to check out:

If you have 3-5 minutes to spare, please click on the survey link below to share your reactions to the changes.

Take the Feedback Survey

June
7
2011

WIDA welcomes its 26th and 27th member states, Maryland and Montana!
We look forward to assisting educators in these two states and further extending our mission of promoting educational equity for English language learners!

April
20
2011

2010-11 Translated ACCESS for ELLs Parent/Guardian Reports
WIDA and MetriTech, Inc. are excited to introduce a FREE new tool granting district and school administrators the ability to generate translated Parent/Guardian reports in many native languages. This tool will be hosted on MetriTech's secure web page and will become available to your district and school once MetriTech has shipped the score reports. Please check on your state's page for the estimated shipping dates of your district's score reports.

For more information please download the Parent/Guardian Report translations flyer  .

Please contact MetriTech Customer Service at 800-747-4868 or email wida@metritech.com with your district information to request access to the secure web page.

March
16
2011

WIDA ELP Standards to Common Core State Standards Alignment Study Report
The WIDA ELP Standards to Common Core State Standards Alignment Study Report is now available; please contact Meredith Alt to request a copy.

Key findings of the report include that the WIDA ELP Standards strongly link to the Common Core State Standards across the majority of grade-level clusters. In many cases, the WIDA ELP Standards were found to go beyond what is currently required in federal guidance by not only matching, but also broadly covering and meeting the cognitive demands of the Common Core State Standards.

Read the press release  to learn more about the study which was conducted by the University of Oklahoma Department of Educational Training, Evaluation, Assessment, and Measurement (E-TEAM) in November 2010.

February
10
2011

Tech Report Release
The ACCESS for ELLs® Annual Technical Report No. 5, Series 200, 2008-2009 Administration is now available. These documents address the validity and reliability of the ACCESS test to accurately assign students their proficiency level scores.

January
20
2011

WIDA welcomes our 25th member state, Alaska!
We look forward to assisting Alaska's educators and further extending our mission of promoting educational equity for English language learners! Please see Mary Ann Zehr's Education Week blog to read about WIDA's continued growth. Alaska will begin testing with ACCESS for ELLs in 2011-12.

January
12
2011

PRIME Update
For educators looking to select instructional materials for ELLs, the WIDA PRIME program can provide you with information about how the materials correlate to the WIDA ELP Standards. The PRIME Inventory is a methodology for examining materials resulting in a correlation document that publishers are beginning to use. See the first published correlations documents to learn more.

WIDA will also be hosting a WIDA ELP Standards and PRIME Correlations training on March 29-30, 2011 in Madison, WI. This training could be of interest to publishers seeking to correlate their materials to the WIDA ELP Standards, or to state or district personnel who wish to gain a deeper understanding of how to evaluate whether or not curricular materials address the academic language development continuum outlined in WIDA's standards.