Christina Nelson is an experienced international educator and a professional learning specialist with WIDA’s International Program. She recently led the development and launch of the WIDA Virtual Institute.

photo of Christina Nelson, WIDA professional learning specialist Christina Nelson is a professional learning specialist with WIDA’s International Program. Her passion for education is deeply rooted in social justice. She sees herself as not only an educator, but an advocate for linguistically and culturally minoritized students. She spent 10 years teaching in Kansas, Ecuador, Turkey and Vietnam, working with secondary multilingual students and teachers at the classroom level and administrators at the systems level to create more equitable and accessible practices.  

While teaching internationally, Christina discovered WIDA by attending a WIDA Institute and was drawn to WIDA’s asset-based approach to support multilingual learners and their teachers. She was especially impressed by the global network of eager educators working to expand their skills and shifting their paradigms to evolve& and apply recent research. Christina joined WIDA as a professional learning specialist in 2019 and facilitated WIDA face-to-face institutes in Thailand, Italy, Korea and U.A.E., before the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the world.

Although COVID-19 required a lot of personal and professional adjustments during a time of social isolation, Christina was able to find the silver lining through professional collaboration. She is proud to have been project team lead for the Virtual Institute, working with Jon Nordmeyer, Esther Bettney and the WIDA Digital Learning Innovation Team (DLITe) team to create a self-paced virtual option to engaging with the WIDA Institute. She also joined the WIDA Social Justice Change Team to continue to work towards anti-racist, equitable classroom practices for all learners.

You can find an article written by Christina and Mariana Castro, Taking Action: Advancing Social Justice through the Transformation of International Schools at TIE Online and you can access the full AIELOC and Women of Color in ELT Conference where Christina and Mariana presented on this topic.

To learn more about Christina’s work as an advocate for linguistically and culturally minoritized students, follow her on Twitter @MissNelsonEAL or reach her by email at