International educators work with WIDA researchers to link WIDA MODEL to the CEFR

In January, international school educators joined WIDA researchers in Madrid to link WIDA MODEL Online scores to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The CEFR is an international standard for describing language proficiency and is used by schools and organizations around the world for teaching, learning, and assessment.

Twenty panelists from WIDA International School Consortium member schools travelled to Madrid for an in-person meeting at the study host school, SEK-El Castillo. There, they used their experience working with multilingual learners, their familiarity with the CEFR, and their familiarity with WIDA MODEL to recommend CEFR level cut scores (pre-A1, A1, A2, B1, B2, and C1) on the MODEL scale.

WIDA relied on a combination of standard setting procedures recommended by the Council of Europe to conduct the linking study. In breakout groups specific to the four MODEL grade-level clusters (1-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12), educators used a Bookmarking method and a Body of Work method to evaluate MODEL Online test content and student Speaking and Writing test responses against CEFR descriptors. Based on panelists’ evaluations and iterative discussions, each group recommended CEFR level cut scores for each language domain.

WIDA plans to release a research report detailing the study’s findings this summer, along with a resource educators can use to interpret MODEL scale scores for each language domain according to their established, corresponding CEFR levels (pre-A1, A1, A2, B1, B2, or C1). WIDA hopes this new understanding of the relationship between WIDA MODEL and the CEFR will provide teachers, families, and students with valuable information about students’ language abilities. We also hope it will help educators make meaningful connections between MODEL scores and the other aspects of their work.

WIDA would like to thank both our wonderful host school, SEK-El Castillo, and the study’s amazing panelists – educators who took the time out of their busy schedules and traveled long distances to participate in this study.

three students at a table working together

WIDA in Global Contexts

Learn how WIDA serves multilingual students, and how educators around the world use WIDA to improve teaching and learning.