WIDA Summer Research Internship

WIDA offers summer research internships in language assessment to graduate students. Interns will participate in WIDA Assessment research projects and collaborate with WIDA researchers on projects that address academic language development in the K-12 context.

About the Assessment Team

The WIDA Assessment Team pursues a validation research agenda that supports the WIDA suite of language assessments, ACCESS for ELLs, WIDA Screener, and WIDA MODEL. Interns may contribute to various aspects of this research agenda, such as study design, data collection and analyses, manuscript/report authoring and review, and presentation of findings. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods projects may be assigned to interns, depending on the background of qualified applicants. Interested applicants may also participate in test development activities, such as content reviews. Specific projects will be assigned to each intern, based on individual interests and strengths at the beginning of the internship.

Important Dates for Summer 2023

Application submissions will be accepted beginning in mid-December, 2022.

Application Deadline: February 3, 2023
Notification of Decision: March 3, 2023
Internship Dates: June 5 - August 11, 2023 (dates are somewhat flexible)
Compensation: Paid internship with a competitive hourly salary (interns typically work 30 hours per week)


  • Full-time enrollment in a doctoral program related to language assessment
  • Completion of a minimum of two years of coursework toward a doctoral degree, prior to beginning the internship

Application Procedure

To apply, submit the following via email to widainternships@wcer.wisc.edu:

  • Statement of purpose
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Unofficial or official copies of graduate transcripts
  • Contact information of two academic/professional references


Interns will be selected based on their scholarship and alignment of research interests with the current WIDA assessment research agenda. Finalists will be invited to Zoom interviews.


For more information, contact widainternships@wcer.wisc.edu.

Previous Intern Projects

2021 Project: English learner identification of kindergarten children

Haeun (Hannah) Kim , Iowa State University


West, G. B., Kim, H., Kemp, J. (2022, September). Rethinking and Recalibrating Approaches to Coding Young Multilingual Learners’ Spoken Responses. Paper presented at the meeting of the Language Assessment Research Conference (LARC), Chicago, IL.

2021 Project: Examining the difficulty of ACCESS listening items

Monique Yoder, Michigan State University


O’Connell, S., Yoder, M., Kim, A., & Feldmann, J. (2022, March). Developing a Coding Scheme to Explore Listening Item Difficulty for Young Multilingual Learners. Poster presented at the virtual meeting of the Language Testing Research Colloquium (LTRC).

2020 Project: Complexity and fluency of English learners' responses on ACCESS speaking test

Soohye Yeom, New York University

Conference Presentation:

Yeom, S., West, G. B., Kemp, J. A., & Kim, A. (2022, March). Effects of Proficiency Levels and Standards on Features of Young English Learners’ Speaking Task Responses. 
Paper presented at the meeting of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL), Pittsburgh, PA.

2020 Project: Educator Friendly Assessment Use Argument

Shireen Baghestani, Iowa State University

Conference Presentation:

Kim, A., Baghastani, S., MacGregor, D., & Ho, P. (2021, Oct.). Developing an Educator-Friendly Assessment Use Argument to Enhance Educators’ Language Assessment Literacy. Poster presented at the virtual meeting of the Midwest Association of Language Testers (MwALT).

2019 Project: Examination of technology-enhanced items in ACCESS reading test

Rurik Lol Tywoniw, Georgia State University

Conference Presentation(s):

(2021, March) Examining Technology-Enhanced Items vs. Multiple-Choice Items on K-12 English Language Proficiency Assessments, American Association for Applied Linguistics 2021 Virtual Conference

(2019, October) Technology Enhanced Items and Young English Learners: What Construct are We Measuring?, Midwest Association of Language Testers (MwALT)


Kim, A., Tywoniw, R. L., & Chapman, M. (2022). Technology-Enhanced items in grades 1–12 English language proficiency assessments. Language Assessment Quarterly. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/15434303.2022.2039659

2019 Project: Complexity and fluency of English learners’ responses on ACCESS speaking test: A pilot study

Yangting "Tina" Wang, University of Texas at San Antonio

Conference Presentation(s):

(2021, March) Spoken Academic Language Development of K-12 English Learners: relationships between task variables and CAF measures, American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) virtual conference

2018 Project: Grades 1-12 English learners’ use of universal tools, embedded in ACCESS

Meltem Yumsek, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Conference Presentation(s): 

(2020, April) How do English learners with and without disabilities use accessibility features in online language assessments?, paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), San Francisco, CA

(2019, September) Examining How Language Proficiency Affects Grades 1-12 English Learners’ Use of Online Accessibility Features, East Coast Organization of Language Testers (ECOLT)

(2019, April) Grades 1-12 English Learners’ Use of Accessibility Features in Online Language Assessments, National Council on Educational Measurement (NCME)

(2019, March) Do test accessibility features have the intended effect for K-12 English learners?, Language Testing Research Colloquium (LTRC)

2017 Project: Effect of writing test mode on Grades 1-3 English learners’ performance

Shinhye Lee, Michigan State University


Kim, A., Lee, S., Chapman, M., & Wilmes, C. (2019). The effects of administration and response modes on grade 1-2 students’ writing performance. TESOL Quarterly, 53(2), 482-513.

Kim, A., Monroe, M., & Lee, S. (2020). Examining K-12 educators’ perception and instruction of online accessibility features. Computer Assisted Language Learning. Advance online publication.

Conference Presentation(s):

(2018, July) The effects of administration and response modes on Grades 1-2 students’ academic writing performance, Language Testing Research Colloquium (LTRC)

(2018, March) Examining the fluency, complexity, and accuracy of Grades 1-3 children’s second language writing performance on paper vs. online test modes, American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL)

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2021 Intern: Monique Yoder

"The internship gave me a front seat view of WIDA research at work. It definitely takes all sorts of people to create, validate, and maintain large-scale assessments. I’m grateful to have had this opportunity to work collaboratively, as an equal, with senior researchers on a meaningful research project."

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"The internship experience at WIDA will be truly unforgettable. It was a great opportunity to further develop my research interests in assessing young multilingual learners and learn about the work that researchers at WIDA are involved in. Everyone on the assessment team was very supportive and welcoming "

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2020 Intern: Soohye Yeom

"Through this internship, I learned to effectively collaborate as a team. Although the internship went online due to the pandemic, the internship program was well organized."

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2020 Intern: Shireen Baghastani

"Working at WIDA gave me an opportunity to apply what I've been learning as a PhD student in new and interesting ways. I had the chance to collaborate with other researchers and see the impact of the work that we do."