Language for Learning

teacher showing young students a chemistry set

Supporting multilingual learners' academic success through language-focused instruction

As children grow and transition from PreK settings into K-12 classrooms – as well as between educational and home (or community) settings – they expand their language knowledge and use language in new ways. WIDA supports educators and administrators in creating meaningful opportunities for multilingual children and youth to participate in learning.

From PreK through grade 12, it is essential for multilingual learners’ success that they have consistent opportunities to deepen their content-area understanding at the same time as they further develop their language competencies. WIDA has designed the resources below to support multilingual learners’ success.

As part of its commitment to the academic achievement of multilingual learners, WIDA offers a comprehensive system of standards and assessments to support educators in designing instruction that advances multilingual learners’ language development and engagement in content-area learning.

What informs our system of standards and assessments

The Can Do Philosophy

  • Describes our belief that multilingual learners, their educators and their families possess unique and valuable assets that can support individual student learning as well as the learning of classroom and school communities
  • Represents a resource educators can use to advocate on behalf of multilingual children and youth

The WIDA Guiding Principles of Language Development

  • Describe the theoretical foundations related to language use
  • Foreground the importance of context in language development
  • Outline the process of language development and some of the factors that influence it

The WIDA Early Years Guiding Principles of Language Development

  • Outline theoretical foundations related to language use as children grow and develop
  • Emphasize the importance of play and interaction in language development
  • Highlight factors influencing language development

For more information about the theories and approaches that reflect WIDA’s stance on language development, see Appendix F in the WIDA ELD Standards Framework, 2020 Edition.

Related Pages

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Understanding What Students Can Do

An asset-based approach to working with multilingual learners.

two young students talking and reading from tablet

Doing and Talking Math and Science

Resources that support multilingual learners' engagement in meaningful STEM discussion.

group of young students gathered around a teacher showing them a tablet

Teaching with Standards

Tips on using WIDA Standards for planning and lesson delivery.

students writing in classroom

Understanding Language Learners

WIDA supports you in understanding the strengths and needs of your multilingual learners.