Spanish Language Development Standards

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A tool to help educators support Spanish language development of bi/multilingual learners

The WIDA Spanish Language Development (SLD) Standards outline the progression of Spanish language development in Grades K-12 for students who are learning Spanish as a first or additional language. WIDA specifically developed the standards for the Spanish language to provide a framework that represents the skills that learners need in order to succeed in academic environments, as well as when engaging with peers and educators.

Using the Standards for Instruction

The WIDA SLD Standards serve as a resource for planning and implementing language instruction and assessment for bi/multilingual students who are learning academic content in Spanish. Educators can use the standards to

  • Guide the language development of academic Spanish and the academic success of students receiving content instruction in Spanish
  • Develop curriculum, instruction, and assessment of students receiving content instruction in Spanish
  • Encourage and maximize the use of multiple language resources in the classroom community
  • Support and frame collaboration among educators of bi/multilingual students and instructional teams who serve them

WIDA designed the SLD Standards upon the same framework as the WIDA English Language Development (ELD) Standards. However, the SLD Standards are not a direct translation of the ELD Standards. They approach language use through the same lens, but were developed by bilingual educators with a focus on the unique nature of the Spanish language.

Get the Spanish Language Development Standards

The Five Standards

  • Standard 1 – Social and Instructional Language
    Emergent bilinguals communicate for social and instructional purposes within the school setting
  • Standard 2 – The Language of Language Arts
    Emergent bilinguals communicate information, ideas and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of language arts
  • Standard 3 – The Language of Mathematics
    Emergent bilinguals communicate information, ideas and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of mathematics
  • Standard 4 – The Language of Science
    Emergent bilinguals communicate information, ideas and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of science
  • Standard 5 – The Language of Social Studies
    Emergent bilinguals communicate information, ideas and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of social studies
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WIDA Español offers educators who teach academic content in Spanish a system for supporting instruction and assessment.

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WIDA Español provides professional learning opportunities for educators working with Spanish language programs.

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Explore additional Spanish language tools and resources to support Spanish language development.

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Get an overview of the WIDA ELD Standards Framework, the Big Ideas, and the four components of the framework.