The WIDA™ Consortium is a non-profit cooperative group whose purpose is to develop standards and assessments that promote educational equity for English language learners (ELLs). Through standards, assessments, research, and professional development, WIDA™ provides meaningful tools and information to educators working with ELLs that are anchored in research-based practices for serving these diverse learners. Saint Paul Public Schools uses WIDA resources to inform services for EL students.
The documents below from WIDA™ synopsize the beliefs of the Office of Multilingual Learning which values and honors the assets, contributions, and potential of linguistically diverse students.
WIDA™ believes that Language is a powerful force that helps shape ones individual and collective identity. Language is a resource and ELLs as valued contributors to learning communities. The Principles of Language Development acknowledge the diverse linguistic resources our students draw from and the unique pathways they follow throughout the process of learning English. The Guiding Principles of Language Development were drafted by WIDA staff in collaboration with a WIDA™ standards expert panel, and group of researchers and practitioners in the field of academic language from across the US.
The WIDA™ Can Do philosopy embraces inclusion and equity and focuses attention on expanding students' academic language by building on the inherent resources of English language learners (ELLs) and accentuating the positive efforts of educators. WID™A enacts the Can Do Philosophy through standards, assessments, professional learning and research that provides timely, meaningful, and actionable results to educators, advancing awareness of the role of language learning in achievement along with the unique traits attributable to language learners.
WIDA’s five English Language Development Standards represent the social, instructional, and academic language that ELLs need to engage with peers, educators, and the curriculum in schools. The Office of Multilingual Learning embraces inclusion and equity for all students. English Learners in mainstream classrooms receive equitable access to standards-based grade level curriculum and content area language instruction. English Language Development Standards include Social and Instructional language, Language of Language Arts, Language of Mathematics, Language of Science, and the Language of Social Studies. When teachers are using the WIDA™ standards, they provide language instruction and language scaffolding for students.
State and federal laws require that all identified EL students are assessed annually to measure their English language proficiency and progress in learning English in the four domains of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. In accordance with this law Saint Paul Public Schools uses WIDA assessments to identify and measure student progress.