Focus School: International School Manila

Why did you start using WIDA?

We were not satisfied with previous assessment tools and looking for a measure of language that considered both social and academic language. We formed a committee to explore various options and agreed that WIDA best tool on the market. WIDA provided us with not only an assessment tool, but an instructional one based on a Can-Do philosophy that describes what ELLs can do at each level of proficiency and highlights the assets learners bring with them.

How has WIDA supported student learning and program growth?

WIDA English proficiency levels give us a common language across the school to share with our colleagues, students and parents about what students can do at each level of proficiency. Initially, we used WIDA only as an assessment tool; however, we started to see the benefits of WIDA as an instructional framework. The data from WIDA helps us identify appropriate supports and scaffolds for learners at each level of proficiency. This helps us not only what learners can do, but also helps us identify what they need to do at the next level of proficiency. We have also found the W-APT screener a very useful tool that gives us valuable data during the Admissions process so that we are better able to support ELLs as they transition at school.

Teachers at ISM share their perspectives on WIDA:

"WIDA empowers teachers to plan targeted lessons to focus on individual students strengths and areas for growth to progress language," - Sean Bizley, Grade 6 EAL

"We are using backward design and WIDA to support learning experiences in order to strengthen English proficiency as well as academic achievement," - Jacky Mateo, High School EAL

two women reading a booklet together

Become a WIDA Focus School

Tell us about the ways WIDA has helped your school discover what your learners can do. Please contact Jenny Hill-Wild at to nominate your school – or a colleague’s – to become a Focus School for an upcoming issue of the WIDA International Newsletter.