2020 Vision for Standards

A fresh look at the WIDA ELD Standards

The WIDA English Language Development Standards, 2020 Edition Kindergarten – Grade 12 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

WIDA staff have been hard at work to develop a new, comprehensive edition of the WIDA ELD Standards that promotes equity for multilingual learners. The development has been a multi-phased process that has included:

  • The release of updated Guiding Principles, along with the explanation of WIDA’s shift to the term multilingual learner
  • The announcement of the development of the 2020 Edition of the WIDA ELD Standards in October 2019
  • The involvement of educators from around the world during the public input period, held fall 2019 – winter 2020, where they viewed drafts and provided critical input to the development team
  • The partnership with consortium subcommittee members that provided different perspectives and suggested next steps on different iterations of conceptual questions and standards prototypes
  • The gathering of several panels and focus groups of national experts that included linguists, higher education faculty, assessment developers, and national and international educators
  • Collaboration with state education agencies to determine the best timeline for the release of the 2020 Edition due to the impact of COVID-19 on schools and communities around the world

Resources for Educators

graphic of light emanating from lighthouse

Educator steps for the journey ahead


  • Share the news: the 2020 Edition is coming winter 2020-2021
  • Learn and prepare with the 2020 Vision flyer and updated Guiding Principles
  • Establish a stakeholder group to build and implement an action plan
  • Attend the WIDA eSummit or watch the recorded sessions
  • Stay tuned for additional virtual learning opportunities
  • Join discussions on WIDA social media with #WIDAstandards

2021 and beyond

  • Learn about the WIDA ELD Standards, 2020 Edition with your colleagues
  • Refer to WIDA resources to help guide your process
  • Learn about possible impacts to ACCESS for ELLs*
  • Refer to your department of education’s guidelines for rollout and implementation

*WIDA estimates that new ACCESS Online test items based on the 2020 edition would be operationalized no sooner than 2024-25.