Need-to-know information about WIDA for international schools

October 6, 2023

As announced this summer, the WIDA International School Consortium membership program ended June 30, 2023. While there is no longer a WIDA membership program for independent and/or international schools, you can still continue to use and access WIDA resources, assessments and professional learning (and we encourage you to do so)!

Read on for the need-to-know details about what’s changed (or not changed) in the world of WIDA assessments, WIDA professional learning, the Multilingual Learning Research Center (MLRC), and more.

Need-to-know: What’s changed and not changed

As you engage with WIDA resources and tools this school year, here’s a summary of what has changed (or not changed) for independent and/or international schools:

  • Schools can continue to purchase WIDA assessments and resources from the WIDA Store.
  • There is no longer a WIDA membership fee for independent and/or international schools and membership is not required to make a WIDA Store purchase. (Note, as you look at WIDA Store products, international schools are now considered “non-members.” The correct price will be displayed when you log in to the WIDA Store.)
  • All WIDA assessments still include self-paced training.
  • If you need access to the WIDA Screener Paper training modules, please email the WIDA Client Services Center. Access to the WIDA Screener Paper training modules is free for schools who  purchased WIDA Screener Paper.
  • The WIDA International Secure Portal ended on June 30, 2023 and is no longer available. (Many of these valuable WIDA resources are now in the new MLRC School Network member hub; learn more the MLRC School Network below.)
  • The WIDA website continues to offer a wealth of free research-based tools and resources, dedicated to language development for multilingual learners in classrooms around the world. Highlights include the  WIDA English Language Development Standards Framework,  WIDA Focus Bulletins,  WIDA All Year Long  and the  Can Do Descriptors. View all resources by type or topic on the  Resources page.

Need-to-know: WIDA assessments

Independent and/or international schools can continue to purchase WIDA assessments and resources from the WIDA Store. Membership is not required to make a purchase and all WIDA assessments still come with self-paced training. If you’d like to learn more about WIDA assessments, the WIDA Assessments webpage  provides information about which WIDA assessments are available to independent and/or international schools. In addition, here are details about the two WIDA assessments used most by independent and/or international schools.

WIDA Screener Paper is an English language proficiency assessment given one time to new students in grades 1–12 to help educators identify whether new students are English learners (ELs).

  • What does it assess? Each of the four language domains: Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing.
  • When can I use it? Anytime during the school year, but only administered to a student once.
  • How is it administered? It is administered locally by trained test administrators, with parts of the Listening and Speaking domains delivered electronically. (WIDA provides training to become a test administrator.)
  • How is it scored? It is scored locally by trained raters. It reports proficiency level scores, from 1 to 6, for each language domain and for three composite scores: Oral Language, Literacy and Overall. (WIDA provides training to learn how to score the assessment.)
  • How can I use the scores? Scores are used for identification purposes. If a student is identified as an EL, proficiency level scores can be used by educators to plan differentiated levels of support for each child.

WIDA MODEL can be used to measure English language proficiency and monitor student progress over time.

  • What does it assess? Each of the four language domains: Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing.
  • When can I use it? Anytime during the school year, but no more than twice per school year per student.
  • How is it administered? WIDA MODEL Online, for students in grades 1-12, is delivered and facilitated through the online test platform. WIDA MODEL Paper, for students in grades 1-12, is delivered face-to-face between Test Administrators and students. WIDA MODEL for Kindergarten is delivered face-to-face as well.
  • How is it scored? WIDA MODEL for Kindergarten reports proficiency level scores from 1 to 6. For grades 1-12, WIDA MODEL reports both proficiency level scores (from 1 to 6) and scale scores (from 100 to 600).
  • How can I use the scores? WIDA MODEL scores provide information that informs instructional planning and other decisions related to students’ education. Scale scores in grades 1-12 are useful for interpreting student progress, as they provide a more nuanced understanding of language proficiency.

Need-to-know: Professional learning

Independent and/or international schools have several professional learning options:

  • The  WIDA Annual Conference  will continue to be the premier event for educators of Pre-K through grade 12 multilingual learners, giving educators from around the globe the opportunity to share best practices and discover innovative classroom strategies. The conference now includes a virtual track, making it easier for educators around the world to attend.
  • A variety of WIDA licensed workshops and webinars, led by WIDA-trained facilitators, can be purchased from for your school.
  • The new Multilingual Learning Research Center (MLRC) School Network offers self-access professional learning, including unlimited access to the WIDA Virtual Institute and a WIDA Toolkit to support the use of WIDA assessments and resources.

Need-to-know: The MLRC School Network

The MLRC launched in July! The MRLC is a research-focused network working with leading schools around the world to collaborate on ground-breaking research that will transform how we teach multilingual learners. Part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the MLRC is a separate entity from WIDA. The MLRC School Network connects educators to study innovative teaching practices and develops research insights to change how schools serve multilingual learners. The MLRC School Network Hub includes research summaries, teacher learning tools and a WIDA toolkit designed for international schools. You can learn more about membership on the MLRC School Network webpage.

Need-to-know: Who do I ask for help?

Questions related to WIDA resources, assessments and services can be directed to the WIDA Client Services Center.

Questions related to purchasing WIDA assessments, resources and professional learning can be directed to the WIDA Store.

Questions relating to the MLRC School Network and WIDA Virtual Institute can be directed to the Multilingual Learning Research Center.


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