Four Language Domains: WIDA

The WIDA Model Performance Indicators (MPI) provide a comprehensive framework for assessing language proficiency across the four language domains: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. Each domain represents a crucial aspect of language usage, and the MPIs offer concrete examples of language skills and abilities at different proficiency levels and grade clusters. The MPIs are sequenced developmentally, allowing educators to track students' language growth and target instruction effectively.

What Are the Levels of WIDA?

WIDA, or the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment, has six levels that are used to measure the language proficiency of English language learners (ELLs). These levels are designed to assess the students abilities in reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills across various content areas.

The highest level, Level 6 or Reaching, indicates that the ELL has achieved an advanced level of English proficiency. At this level, students are able to fully comprehend and use academic language in all content areas. They can express complex ideas and opinions, and are able to critically analyze and evaluate information.

Level 5 or Bridging is the second highest level in the WIDA framework. This level signifies that the ELL is able to understand and use general and some specific language of the content areas. They’re able to convey their thoughts and ideas effectively, although they may still require some support in using language accurately.

They’re able to understand and use basic language to convey simple information, although they may struggle with more complex tasks.

They’re able to respond to basic questions with one-word or short responses, but require significant support to communicate their meaning.

When it comes to assessing language development in students, the WIDA framework offers a comprehensive approach through it’s four components. These components, including the WIDA ELD Standards Statements, Key Language Uses, Language Expectations, and Proficiency Level Descriptors, work harmoniously to paint a complete picture of language growth. By understanding how these building blocks interact, educators can effectively evaluate students’ language abilities and provide targeted support where needed.

What Are the 4 Components of WIDA?

The first component of WIDA is the ELD Standards Statements. These statements identify the language skills and abilities that English language learners should develop in order to be successful in academic settings. The standards are organized into five levels of proficiency, ranging from the beginner level to the advanced level. Each level has specific language goals that students should strive to achieve.

The second component of WIDA is Key Language Uses. These are the language functions that English language learners need in order to participate effectively in academic tasks and social interactions. Some examples of key language uses include asking for clarification, providing explanations, expressing opinions, and summarizing information. By focusing on these key language uses, educators can help English language learners develop the language skills they need to succeed in school and beyond.

The third component of WIDA is Language Expectations. These expectations provide guidance on the types of language knowledge and skills that English language learners should develop at each proficiency level. The language expectations are divided into four domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. By addressing these language expectations, educators can ensure that English language learners have a balanced approach to language development.

The final component of WIDA is Proficiency Level Descriptors. These descriptors provide detailed descriptions of the language abilities that English language learners should demonstrate at each proficiency level. The descriptors cover a range of language skills, including vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and fluency.

Source: WIDA Standards Framework FAQ Introduction

Furthermore, WIDA recognizes that language development isn’t one-dimensional and offers a comprehensive framework that focuses on three dimensions: word, sentence, and discourse. These dimensions serve as a guide to assess learners’ proficiency levels based on performance criteria. It’s worth noting that WIDA also provides age-appropriate resources tailored to early language development, ensuring that all learners receive the support they need to thrive in their language learning journey.

What Are the WIDA Dimensions of Language?

The WIDA dimensions of language are a framework used to assess and analyze the English language proficiency of students. These dimensions provide a comprehensive understanding of language development across various domains. There are three main dimensions within the WIDA framework: word, sentence, and discourse.

The word dimension focuses on vocabulary and understanding of individual words. It includes aspects such as word choice, word order, and word meaning. This dimension helps to assess a students ability to understand and use words in various contexts.

The sentence dimension focuses on grammar and syntax. It looks at how students use and manipulate words to form grammatically correct and meaningful sentence structures.

The discourse dimension focuses on the overall organization and coherence of spoken and written texts. It looks at how students piece together sentences and paragraphs to create meaningful and coherent communication.

Furthermore, language development is differentiated across six proficiency levels according to performance criteria using these three dimensions of language. The levels range from entering (level 1) to bridging (level 6), with each level representing a higher level of language proficiency and complexity.

WIDA provides resources and support for language development at different age levels. These resources aim to support young learners in developing their vocabulary, sentence structure, and overall language proficiency.

By examining the word, sentence, and discourse dimensions, educators can gain insights into a students language development and provide targeted instruction to support their language learning journey.

The WIDA English Language Development (ELD) Standards Framework serves as a crucial guideline for educators, promoting comprehensive curriculum, effective instruction, and accurate assessment practices for students in kindergarten through grade 12 who’re learning English as a second language. These standards help create a solid foundation for multilingual learners, enabling them to thrive academically and effectively communicate in English.

What Is WIDA Standards?

The WIDA English Language Development (ELD) Standards Framework is a comprehensive set of guidelines for curriculum, instruction, and assessment tailored specifically for multilingual learners in kindergarten through grade Developed by the World-class Instructional Design and Assessment Consortium, the WIDA standards are widely recognized and implemented across the United States and around the world.

The main goal of the WIDA standards is to support the academic success of multilingual learners by promoting their English language development and providing them with equitable access to educational opportunities. The framework encompasses four language domains – listening, speaking, reading, and writing – and provides a progression of language proficiency levels to guide instruction and assessment.

The standards help teachers identify appropriate learning targets, design meaningful lessons, and provide timely and specific feedback to students. Additionally, the framework offers a common language for educators to communicate student progress and collaborate with colleagues across grade levels and content areas.

By using these standards, educators can foster an inclusive and equitable learning environment that values and promotes the linguistic diversity of todays classrooms.

Differentiating Instruction for Multilingual Learners: Explain How Teachers Can Use the WIDA Standards to Differentiate Instruction and Meet the Diverse Needs of Multilingual Learners in the Classroom.

  • Teachers can use the WIDA standards as a guide to assess the language proficiency levels of multilingual learners.
  • Based on the assessment results, teachers can differentiate instruction by targeting specific language skills that need improvement.
  • Teachers can provide modified materials and resources that cater to the diverse needs of multilingual learners.
  • Through differentiated instruction, teachers can incorporate various instructional strategies and techniques that help multilingual learners acquire language skills effectively.
  • Teachers can create language-rich environments that promote language development and encourage multilingual learners to practice their skills.
  • By designing activities and assignments that align with the WIDA standards, teachers can ensure that instruction is both rigorous and accessible for multilingual learners.
  • Collaboration among teachers, language specialists, and multilingual learners’ families can further enhance differentiated instruction by sharing insights and strategies.
  • Ongoing assessment and progress monitoring can help teachers evaluate the effectiveness of differentiation and make necessary adjustments.
  • By leveraging the WIDA standards, teachers can provide equitable learning experiences that support the academic success of multilingual learners.


In conclusion, the WIDA framework encompasses four essential language domains: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing, each of which plays a crucial role in language development and proficiency. By presenting these indicators in a developmental sequence, educators and learners can easily navigate through the various language domains and utilize the MPIs as valuable tools for assessing and enhancing language skills. The comprehensive nature of WIDA's approach ensures that learners receive a well-rounded language education, supported by targeted instruction and assessment in all four language domains.

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