three teachers working at a table with a laptop


The overarching goal of research at WIDA is to promote equitable educational opportunities for multilingual children and youth by collaborating in the research and development of innovative and transformative practices, products, and services.

To achieve this goal, we work in partnership with districts, states and national experts to conduct research focused on understanding and supporting equitable educational practices and outcomes for multilingual learners. Through our research, we also aim to inform the decision-making needs of educators and policymakers who serve these children and youth.

The WIDA research team is housed within the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER). Located at the highly ranked School of Education at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, WCER is one of the first and most productive education research centers in the world.

Research Areas

Educational Practices

WIDA researchers study language development and educator practices that promote student engagement in disciplinary learning. Research in this area aims to enhance collaboration and reciprocal learning with internal and external partners, and ensure that our projects contribute to transformative and innovative ideas that lead the field of multilingual education and promote equal educational opportunities for multilingual learners.

Equitable Teaching and Learning

WIDA researchers collaborate with states, districts, and schools to explore how teachers and students learn. The purpose of this work is to inform professional learning initiatives in and outside of WIDA; guide the development of resources for educators, students, and families; and expand our collective understanding of the structures and practices that support equitable student engagement in disciplinary learning and teachers’ professional growth.


Our researchers are continually investigating multiple facets of assessments, including item and test design, accessibility features, the consequences of testing, as well as the psychometric properties of all WIDA assessments. Our team works closely with the Center for Applied Linguistics and Data Recognition Corporation, along with the WIDA Technical Advisory Committee.


Our researchers conduct research intended to guide practice and policy for promoting academic and social success among multilingual learners. This includes research focused on the design, implementation, and effects of programs and policies that affect multilingual learners. This team works closely with policymakers and practitioners at district and state levels to ensure that research results inform decision-making.

Technical Assistance 

Our researchers support the decision-making needs of states and districts. The technical assistance team carries out research that informs the decisions states need to make to comply with state and federal assessment and accountability policies. Our researchers work with states and districts to understand the implementation and outcomes of particular programs and to drive program improvement.


WIDA researchers share the results of their work through a variety of outlets. WIDA disseminates research findings nationally to policymakers, educators and researchers via WIDA bulletins, reports and briefs. WIDA researchers also contribute regularly to scholarly publications including journals and books.

See the full list of research publications and articles on the Research Publications page.