Study to link WIDA MODEL with the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)

In January 2023, WIDA researchers and international educators will collaborate for two days in Madrid to support an upcoming study to link WIDA MODEL Online test scores to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

Findings from the linking study will provide test users with WIDA MODEL Online scale score distributions that are associated with specific CEFR score bands. For example, users may understand that in grades 3-5, the range of reported scale scores in the Listening domain test covers CEFR bands A1 to B1.

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (CEFR) provides a common basis for describing the skills needed to reach different levels of language proficiency. The CEFR is commonly used by language educators, curriculum designers, and agencies working in the field of language development. Language test developers routinely report test scores in terms of the CEFR. The CEFR describes language proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening on a six level scale:

A1–A2 (Basic User)
B1–B2 (Independent User)
C1–C2 (Proficient User).

The CEFR and its numerous scales, spanning all four language domains, were designed to describe the language development of adults. In 2018, after commentary that the CEFR was not directly relevant to younger learners’ language development, the Council of Europe released banks of supplementary descriptors.

These new descriptors are designed to be relevant to young learners in two age groups: (1) ages 7-10 and (2) ages 11-15 and these CEFR descriptors will be used in the CEFR linking study for WIDA MODEL.

WIDA staff will work with panelists in four groups to conduct the linking study, each focusing on one of the MODEL grade cluster tests (1-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12). WIDA will provide training and familiarization with the MODEL test, the CEFR descriptors, and provide detailed guidance on how to complete the linking study. Panelists will need experience working with WIDA MODEL Online and some familiarity with the CEFR. For participating educators, the study will take two full days, with training provided on the morning of the first day to the whole group. Educators will then work in breakout groups (based on the four MODEL grade clusters) for the remaining 1.5 days.

If you are interested in participating in this important study or would like more information, please complete this questionnaire.

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