Present and Progressive
As international educators, we don’t need to be reminded that Covid-19 has had a global impact, and as language teachers we are painfully aware that the pandemic is not yet simple past nor future perfect but rather a kind of present progressive. In this moment, we need to continue to rely on the global community to help find our way forward, and we need educational leaders and scholars who remind us what’s important while challenging us to renew our vision of what is possible. In this month’s newsletter, we feature some of these progressive leaders within the global WIDA community.
Our WIDA colleague, Sam Aguirre, is the forward-thinking director of WIDA Español. This month, Sam and his team introduce an innovative new resource, Marco ALE, the first Spanish language arts framework of its kind in the United States, which elegantly weaves together our shared commitment to support both equity and multilingualism. One core ideological principle of the Marco ALE is transculturalismo:
Marco ALE defines transculturalismo as the act of living and flowing across cultures and recognizing that several cultures can fluidly coexist in the daily experiences of people. In the classroom, transculturalismo opens the door for students to further develop their own identity by engaging with a variety of cultures.
As global educators, we recognize that the complex identities of transnational and multilingual students in international schools is a valuable resource for learning and community development.
Another WIDA scholar, Lynn Shafer Willner, is this month’s Spotlight feature. Lynn has been a national leader in developing standards and promoting accessibility through a number of lenses. A brilliant thought-partner and true innovator, Lynn is committed to helping others stretch their vision of what is possible. This month’s spotlight article shares some of Lynn’s recent publications and offers insights into how WIDA can serve a variety of educators. Lynn is currently working with the WIDA Assessment team to consider connections between WIDA and other standards and assessment systems.
And finally, the new WIDA Global Community of Practice launches this month, bringing together WIDA scholars, teacher leaders and school-based teams from around the world for a year-long inquiry into how we serve multilingual learners. International schools live at the unique intersection of policy and practice, with both change and community as the twin engines of innovation. Looking ahead to a reimagined future, the Global Community of Practice opens a worldwide conversation about leveraging WIDA resources to build school-wide systems that are both contextualized and based on current research. We are looking forward to starting the conversation and hope you’ll join us.
Jon Nordmeyer, WIDA International Programs director
*Slovenian: yours sincerely