teacher at front of classroom with students raising hands

Assets-based instructional resources for educators and practitioners of multilingual learners 

Helping educators understand multilingual learners’ development

As an educator, you know it’s imperative to check in on your students’ language development – early on and as they progress. WIDA’s world-renowned assessment tools help you to gauge your students’ progress.  Understanding their progress helps inform your instruction in ways that meet their needs, and helps you identify professional learning opportunities that meet yours. 

Helping educators build developmentally appropriate practices

Built on the foundation of the WIDA Language Development Standards and enriched by practitioner feedback, our instructional resources work together as part of a larger system. In combination with assessment information and WIDA professional development, our teaching tools can enhance your instruction of multilingual learners. 

Empowering educators and advancing the field

As you support multilingual learners, you are building capacity in the areas of language development, instructional practices and assessment. WIDA can accelerate your growth with conferences, e-learning and more. Our research also expands knowledge on effectively supporting multilingual learners for educators, policymakers, and the research community. 

Instructional tools that positively impact the entire community

Working with multiple education partners, WIDA developed the Can Do Philosophy – an approach that transforms the conversation from what learners can’t do to what they can do. By shifting from a focus on deficits to a focus on assets, together we send a powerful message: that multilingual learners and their families enrich our early childhood programs and K-12 schools.

  • WIDA helps teachers discover what their learners "can do."
  • WIDA values what families do to support their children’s education.
  • WIDA's culturally-responsive language development frameworks help increase equity for multilingual learners.
Madison Leech posing in costume in classroom

Featured Educator

“WIDA has been one of the guiding forces as language classrooms continue to adapt and change. Whether I was teaching two students or a class of 25, WIDA has helped me to continually provide consistent, high expectations for each language learner and helped anchor me when students were struggling to find footing or I was struggling to navigate next steps with a student.”

Madison Leech, ELD specialist
Warrington, PA

Read more about Madison

WIDA's Can Do Philosophy

Watch the brief video below for an overview of our philosophy, then read The WIDA Can Do Philosophy to learn more about multilingual learners' assets, contributions and potential.

Video Transcript

The can-do philosophy permeates everything that we do at WIDA. Assessment, professional learning, standards. And bringing content and language together is always, always to build upon the assets that children have.

With anything that we do at WIDA, we're constantly thinking about how we can honor and not just celebrate. But really use the assets that children are bringing to the classroom.

Culturally, linguistic, cognitive, and academic. Kids come into our classrooms with many ways of knowing, many ways of learning. And many different experiences that can enrich what we're already doing.

Teachers bring to the classroom a lot of experiences also. And a lot of ways of knowing and doing things that also benefit the classroom.

Our can-do philosophy has many tools built around it. To help you understand and create language-rich, literacy-rich, and culturally appropriate classrooms. And it turns out those classrooms are good for all kids. They're engaging classrooms that work for every learner in your school. But they're particularly important for English language learners. Who need to learn English, but they also have to keep up with rigorous academic content.

We want to make sure that indeed, this can-do philosophy is very much a part of the educational fabric and is infused in everything we do. And you do.

Our can-do philosophy really exemplifies who we are as educators. And how our multilingual learners are indeed a tremendous resource. How their contributions, not only to teaching and learning, but to our educational communities. And to the world.

Key Instructional Resources for Can Do Learning

Can Do Descriptors – Key Uses Edition 

Descriptors that highlight what early childhood and K-12 multilingual learners can do at various ages and stages of language development. 

English Language Development Standards Framework

A framework that provides a foundation for curriculum, instruction and assessment for multilingual learners in kindergarten through grade 12.

Early Language Development 

A developmentally sound framework for providing quality care and instruction to young multilingual children in early care and education settings.