Understanding What Students Can Do
WIDA's asset-based approach to each student
The WIDA Can Do Philosophy reflects the foundational belief that everyone brings valuable contributions to everything they do. Linguistically and culturally diverse learners, in particular, bring a unique set of assets that have the potential to enrich the experiences of all learners and educators.
As young children and students learn additional languages, educators can draw on their assets for the benefit of both the learners themselves and for everyone in the community. By focusing on what language learners can do, we send a powerful message that students from diverse backgrounds enrich our early childhood programs and K-12 schools.
WIDA believes that multilingual students bring linguistic, cultural and experiential assets not only to the classroom but to the larger community as well. Some of these assets may be immediately contributed, while others represent future potential. Whenever possible, WIDA promotes the Can Do Philosophy beyond our organization and into the educational systems and organizations with whom we interact.
"I often share the WIDA Can Do Descriptors with mainstream educators to explain where our students are and what can be expected from them at this level. WIDA resources help me and my non-ESL colleagues set realistic expectations and provide ample support to our learners."
Luis Javier Pentón Herrera, ESL Teacher
Understand what multilingual learners can do at various stages of language development.