WIDA International School Consortium to transition to new Multilingual Learning Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

February 17, 2023

The WIDA International School Consortium will be reimagined and transition to a new research center in July 2023. The Multilingual Learning Research Center (MLRC), which will be housed within the Wisconsin Center of Education Research (WCER), launches this summer. The new center will be co-directed by Mariana Castro and Jon Nordmeyer.

“We are thrilled about this new research center focusing on the teaching and learning of multilingual learners,” Courtney Bell, WCER director, said. “Consistent with WCER’s values, the new center will carry out interdisciplinary mixed-methods research that investigates how to support multilingual learners’ academic excellence, school belonging, and thriving. The research–practice partnership will engage with practitioners and researchers around the world while building on the foundation of an existing global school network.”

WIDA established the International School Consortium in 2013 to create a community of independent and international schools that use WIDA resources to serve multilingual learners. Over the past 10 years, the WIDA International School Consortium has grown to include more than 500 schools in 120 countries.

“We have observed the powerful impact of building a community across the unique context of international schools,” Tim Boals, WIDA founder and director, said. “Jon and the international team have built and nurtured this global network of schools and I am proud to say that it is time for this community to evolve into its next iteration as part of a new research-focused center.”

The MLRC’s global research-practice partnership network will have access to a range of opportunities to participate in educational research through data sharing, implementation of school-based inquiry tools, and global dialogue across a community of practice. Member schools will also benefit from resources such as self-access professional learning and curated literature reviews. WIDA International School Consortium members will be invited to join the new network and membership will be open to all independent and international schools.

“I’m excited that WIDA and the new research center will both be part of WCER and UW-Madison,” Boals said. “We’ll continue to work in collaboration to advance the field of teaching multilingual learners.”

WCER is within UW–Madison’s highly ranked public School of Education and is one of the first, largest, and most productive education research centers in the world. WCER has assisted scholars and practitioners to develop, submit, conduct and share grant-funded education research for nearly 60 years.

More details about the MLRC will be available in the coming months. During this interim phase (February – June 2023) the WIDA International School Consortium will provide existing member benefits including the ability to purchase WIDA MODEL. After July 1, international and independent schools will continue to be able to purchase WIDA MODEL from the WIDA Store.  Subscribe to the WIDA International Newsletter to stay up to date on this transition, and learn about future membership options. Questions can be directed to international@wida.us.


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