One thing that I think EL teachers need to get better at is explaining our profession. However, one of the largest organizations for teaching English, WIDA, doesn’t make it easy when they decided to call their framework of instructional tools, “standards”.
What is WIDA?
WIDA stands for the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment. It’s a consortium of states who have agreed to adopt the assessments and standards put out by this group, which is based out of Madison, WI. According to the WIDA website, 37 states have adopted these standards.
So, what are the standards? Specifically, the WIDA “standards” are 5 broadly defined statements about what language learners are expected to do.
|5 WIDA ELD standards from the 2012 ELD Guide (Amplified)|
Many teachers who hear the word “standards” compare this with their own state standards and say, “HUH?” To be completely honest, at first I did as well. But that was because I also heard the word standards and was only looking at those 5 items while writing lesson plans. Simple enough. Right? Wrong. WIDA is so much more than just these 5 blanket statement standards. It’s an entire framework of scaffolding tools to support students in learning the same, high quality content everyone else is learning.
|Example of the WIDA Can-Do Descriptors (Key Uses) Edition|