English Language Development Standards
A tool to help educators support language development in multilingual learners
WIDA English Language Development (ELD) Standards represent the social, instructional and academic language students use to engage with peers, educators and the curriculum in schools. The Standards highlight the language needed to meet academic expectations as described by state, college and career readiness standards, and other content standards such as Next Generation Science Standards.
Scroll down to learn more about the WIDA 2020 ELD Standards.
Using the Standards for Instruction
The ELD Standards serve as a resource for planning and implementing language instruction and assessment for multilingual learners as they learn academic content. Educators can use the standards to:
- Promote and guide students’ English language development
- Aid in the development of curriculum, instruction and assessment
- Encourage and maximize the use of multiple language resources in the classroom
- Support and frame the collaboration among educators of multilingual learners and instructional teams who serve them to ensure educational equity for all students
The WIDA ELD Standards work along with content standards to ensure students engage in the learning of the content standards as they continue to develop English.
For ideas on how to incorporate the standards in your classroom, see the ELD Standards in Action page.
*Please see the Teaching Internationally page for how the ELD Standards are used in international contexts.
The Five Standards
The Standards provide educators with a connection between language development and academic content.
- Standard 1 – Social and Instructional Language
English language learners communicate for social and instructional purposes within the school setting.
- Standard 2 – Language of Language Arts
English language learners communicate information, ideas and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of language arts.
- Standard 3 – Language of Mathematics
English language learners communicate information, ideas and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of mathematics.
- Standard 4 – Language of Science
English language learners communicate information, ideas and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of science.
- Standard 5 – Language of Social Studies
English language learners communicate information, ideas and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of social studies.
2020 Standards Resources
WIDA English Language Development Standards, 2020 Edition Kindergarten – Grade 12
The WIDA ELD Standards, 2020 Edition illuminates a vision where all students can develop language and learn content together.
The 2020 Edition:
- Builds on ideas and concepts from existing resources and prior editions
- Addresses the latest theory, policy and practice
- Incorporates ideas and feedback from educators around the world
- Complies with all federal requirements under ESSA and serves as the foundation for systems that foster students’ engaged interactive learning and collaborative educator practice
The public input period has closed, but you can still participate by spreading the word with the following resources:
- Updated in 2019! View this list of WIDA's foundational beliefs:
The Guiding Principles of Language Development
- Share this flyer to spread the news about WIDA's plans for a 2020 Edition:
2020 Vision for Standards Flyer
- Use these slides to inform others about the 2020 Edition:
2020 Vision PowerPoint Slides
2012 Standards Resources
2007 Standards Resources
The 2012 Standards Resources are an update and amplification of the 2007 English Language Proficiency Standards Resources. For information on the 2007 Standards, see the resources below.
Prime V2 for Standards Correlation
If you would like to find instructional materials that have gone through the WIDA PRIME V2 correlation process to determine how well they correlate with the WIDA English or Spanish Language Development Standards, or to receive training on how to correlate educational materials, please visit our PRIME V2 website.