Global Community of Practice

illustration of two people at computers with a person talking on their screens

During the 2021-22 school year WIDA International Programs piloted the WIDA Global Community of Practice – a new yearlong professional learning program exploring schoolwide systems for multilingual learners. Thank you to the 2021-22 WIDA Global Community of Practice participants, WIDA has a tremendous amount of data and feedback on this yearlong pilot program. Now, WIDA staff are taking some time to analyze those insights and determine our next steps in improving how we serve the WIDA global community of schools.  

In the meantime

2021-22 WIDA Global Community of Practice 

The WIDA Global Community of Practice serves as a year-long forum for innovation and reciprocal learning focused on improving school-wide systems for multilingual learners. In this sustained professional learning journey, participants will identify a problem of practice at their school, investigate the related research and resources from WIDA and the wider University of Wisconsin-Madison community and design a solution for their context. Participants will collaborate on shared issues with other school-based teams across the WIDA International School Consortium and with support from WIDA.

The community of practice will engage in intentional learning to support schools in achieving the following outcomes:

  • We can evaluate strengths and areas for growth in how we serve multilingual learners
  • We can identify a problem of practice in our school
  • We can clarify how best to utilize WIDA resources to serve multilingual learners
  • We can gain insights from professional literature to help develop our school-wide systems
  • We can learn from what works in other international schools and apply it in our context
  • We can collaborate with others to design a solution for our identified problem of practice

This year-long process will culminate with a capstone celebration in which school-based teams will present to showcase innovation to a broader international audience. This capstone celebration will be open to all WIDA International Consortium member schools.

Who Should Attend

Participation in the WIDA Global Community of Practice is an exclusive benefit for members of the WIDA International School Consortium. This opportunity is the next step to support action planning and implementation for educators who have experience using WIDA resources or have participated in a WIDA Institute.

Please note:

  • Participants should have previous training/experience with WIDA. Ideally, participants have completed a WIDA Institute or the WIDA Virtual Institute.
  • Individual educators are welcome to join, but we suggest participating with a school-based team of EAL teachers, administrators and classroom/subject teachers.

What You Will Learn

You will complete a self-evaluation of your school-wide systems serving multilingual learners. You will connect with other school-based teams, WIDA staff and UW-Madison scholars through an online platform. The platform will be organized around eight activity systems:

  • Multilingualism and Language Policies
  • Admissions and Transition Policies
  • Curriculum Development and Program Design
  • Capacity, Staffing and Professional Learning
  • Collaboration
  • Assessment and Data
  • Inclusive Policies and Practices
  • Virtual/Hybrid Learning Environments

Across these activity systems, school-based teams will engage with current research and insights from international educators. Within the WIDA Global Community of Practice you will have opportunities to highlight how you serve multilingual learners while learning about innovative practices at other international schools. Each team will select one focus area to investigate within their school context and present their findings at the May capstone event.

2021-22 Schedule

Regional Kick-off Events: Oct-Dec 2021

  • Learn about the community of practice and Canvas, the online learning platform
  • Meet "Community Gardeners" – our WIDA international teacher-leaders
  • Learn about the eight activity systems and engage with resources and research
  • Identify problems of practice

Team and Community Engagement: Jan-Apr 2022

  • Participate in synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities  
  • Join regional meet-ups to explore common issues
  • Exchange resources for community feedback
  • Engage in discussion boards organized around activity systems

Capstone Celebration: May 12, 2022

four people standing side by side holding a book, laptop, tablet. Confetti, stars, speech bubbles in the background.

What One Team’s Journey Might Look Like

  • We identified what’s working well and where we could grow, then decided to focus on revising our school-wide language policy as our problem of practice.
  • We explored professional literature, investigated WIDA resources (e.g. the 2019 WIDA Guiding Principles) and connected with WIDA scholars.
  • We engaged with our community as well as with other international schools in the WIDA global network for specific questions and to share drafts for feedback.
  • We finalized our new school-wide language policy which reframes multilingualism as a resource.
  • We celebrated our progress and shared what we learned with the global WIDA community!

For questions or more information, contact