This month, almost 100 international educators attended WIDA Institutes in Dubai and Brussels. They explored an asset-based, school-wide approach to serving multilingual learners. “WIDA is more than a test” was a consistent theme in teachers’ reflections. At the Institutes, teachers learned how the asset-based Can Do Philosophy is baked into the DNA of everything we do at WIDA. Participants explored using student data to inform instruction, created Can Do student portraits, practiced scaffolding content learning and identified new approaches to collaboration. Based on the WIDA Guiding Principles of Language Development, participants explored how to support multilingualism and utilize translanguaging practices in the classroom.
Teachers also shared how much they appreciated being part of the WIDA global network—connecting with and learning from educators around the world. As a non-profit, university-based research center, WIDA offers opportunities for inquiry, tools for professional learning and instructional resources. We connect teachers to scholars at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and we build on teachers’ questions by engaging in new research to contribute to the field.
As many school communities take some well-deserved time off for the holidays, we here at WIDA are grateful for the work that educators do on behalf of multilingual learners around the world, and look forward to collaborating with you in 2019!
Warm wishes from chilly Madison,