Family Engagement

mother with girl listening to teacher at table

Resources to strengthen connections with families

Language development is vital to the success of multilingual children and youth at all stages of their education. Families play a key role in their children’s language development and possess a wealth of knowledge about their children’s language use. You can learn from family members as you work to support students' language development.

WIDA supports language-focused family engagement, an approach that recognizes the importance of families and educators working together to support the language learning and development, and overall success, of multilingual children and youth.

The resources below can:

  • Guide language-focused family engagement
  • Promote collaboration and two-way communication
  • Support school-wide awareness of the unique needs and experiences of linguistically and culturally diverse families

ABCs of Family Engagement

This guide presents six key considerations for strengthening family engagement practices and building relationships with families. The ABCs are grounded in research and can be used by educators to initiate reflection and dialogue on local efforts to engage with families. This resource is applicable to educators in early childhood through Grade 12.

ABCs of Family Engagement

Family Engagement Focus Bulletins

WIDA Focus Bulletins are a great resource for learning more about working with diverse families. These resources provide practical ideas for implementing language-focused family engagement in local settings.

Assets-Based, Language-Focused Family Engagement for Dual Language Learners

Focus on Family Engagement

Focus on Language-Focused Family Engagement

ACCESS for ELLs Resources

These resources are designed to help parents of English language learners better understand the ACCESS for ELLs assessments and Individual Score Reports. We recommend reviewing them with families at key times, including the beginning of the school year, before the testing period, and just before or after parents receive the score report.

ACCESS for ELLs Parent Handouts (available in several languages in the Resource Library)

Parent Guide for ACCESS for ELLs Score Reports (available in several languages in the Resource Library)

Parent Guide for Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Score Reports (available in several languages in the Resource Library)

K-12 Family Webinar Series for WIDA Consortium Member States

Educators may share WIDA’s webinar series directly with families of multilingual learners in Grades K-12. We recommend viewing the webinars with families and stopping them intermittently to discuss the content and address questions families may have.

  1. My Child is an ELL Series - What does it mean to be an English Language Learner?
  2. My Child is an ELL Series - How was my child identified as an English Language Learner?
  3. My Child is an ELL Series - Will my child always be an English Language Learner?
  4. My Child is an ELL Series - How is my child expected to use language at school?
  5. My Child is an ELL Series - What are English Language Development Standards?
  6. My Child is an ELL Series - What can I do to support my child?
  7. My Child is an ELL Series - What does the ACCESS score report tell me?

While parents are the primary audience for the webinars, educators can also benefit, as these resources raise awareness about the types of questions parents of English language learners may have and offer opportunities to examine local practices in order to enhance communication with families of English language learners.

My Child is an ELL Flyer

This visual was developed to help educators explain the ELL identification process to parents and family members.

My Child is an ELL Flyer (English)

My Child is an ELL Flyer (Spanish)

Resources for Educators and Practitioners

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Take our Language-Focused Family Engagement interactive workshop
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Additional resources to help you engage with families of multilingual learners
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Check out our Leading Schools for Multilingual Learner Achievement workshop