Focus School: Liger Leadership Academy

Submitted by Hannah Trivitt
March 2019

How/why did you start using WIDA tools and resources?

Girl writing at table
Photo courtesy of Liger Leadership Academy

Liger is a school that operates a bit outside the box – we do a core set of subjects, including Khmer and English Literacy, Math and Engineering, but we focus on project-based learning as well. We felt that WIDA complemented our school because it showcased our students’ language learning in a more formalized way. We liked that we could show progress in their language learning relative to themselves and their individual growth over several years. This is the seventh year our school has been in operation, so we have data going back to when our students first entered English immersion in 2012.

Furthermore, we began with only one cohort of fifty students, but now have two cohorts, so it is also very informative to be able to compare the English language learning progress of our Senior and Junior cohorts when they reach a similar stage – we have clarified our program over the years, including fine-tuning our immersion program, so we have raised our expectations of the rate at which Liger students, all of whom enter as English Language Learners, reach proficiency. The WIDA MODEL Assessment is a helpful indicator of language development which assists in the planning and teaching approach for our learning facilitators.

Young woman talking and pointing to chart
Photo courtesy of Liger Leadership Academy

How has it supported student learning and program growth?

The WIDA MODEL Assessment has been used as a tool to gauge student progress in the learning of English as a second language. The students have individual blogs that are used to showcase student writing and other ongoing projects. We have followed the WIDA writing rubrics to assess writing levels and provide consistent feedback to students. Our facilitators use the assessments at the end of the year to measure language growth which then sets up a starting point in the planning process.

young man talking to group
Photo courtesy of Liger Leadership Academy

School Website

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 hillwild@wisc.edu to nominate your school – or a colleague’s – to become a Focus School for an upcoming issue of the WIDA International Newsletter.