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Theoretical Framework

Theoretical Framework

The purpose of the Theoretical Framework section:

The purpose of this section is to substantiate the research on which the theoretical foundation of the WIDA standards framework was built. This foundation supports language use in academic contexts: the language that English learners must acquire and negotiate to participate successfully in educational settings (WIDA, 2014).

WIDA Resources:

RESOURCE NAME: Overview of the WIDA Standards Framework

Suggestion for use: The WIDA Standards Framework consists of a set of interactive and interdependent components that demonstrate WIDA's vision for academic language development and provide a foundation for WIDA's ELD standards. Page 3 of the 2012 Amplification of the English Language Development Standards: Kindergarten-Grade 12 document provides an overview of the WIDA Standards Framework and explains each component of the framework. (Adapted from WIDA, 2012)

Citation: Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. (2012). 2012 Amplification of The English Language Development Standards: Kindergarten–Grade 12 (Publication). Wisconsin Center for Education Research which partnered with The Center for Applied Linguistics.

WIDA standards framework circle. Outer layer: Guiding Principles of Language, exemplifying the WIDA Can Do philosophy. Next layer: Developmentally appropriate academic language in sociocultural contexts. Center of circle: performance definitions, standards and their matrices, and can do descriptors.

RESOURCE NAME: The WIDA Standards Framework and its Theoretical Foundations

Suggestion for use: The components of the WIDA ELD standards framework interact and influence each other in the design of curriculum, language instruction, and assessment of English learners. Educators and school leaders may consult the framework to support the specific needs of their districts, schools, and individual students. (Adapted from WIDA, 2012) As explained on page 2, “A functional view of language primarily informs the WIDA standards framework.” (WIDA, 2012, p. 2)

Citation: Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. (2012). The WIDA Standards Framework and its Theoretical Framework (Publication). Wisconsin Center for Education Research which partnered with The Center for Applied Linguistics.

RESOURCE NAME: Appendix F: Theoretical Foundations of the WIDA ELD Standards Framework, 2020 Edition

Suggestion for use: The Theoretical Foundations of the WIDA ELD Standards Framework, found on page 354 of the WIDA English Language Development Standards Framework, 2020 Edition Kindergarten – Grade 12, provides clarification of WIDA’s theoretical framework with a renewed emphasis on a functional theoretical approach to language development. (Adapted from WIDA, 2020).

Citation: Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. (2020). WIDA English Language Development Standards Framework, 2020 Edition Kindergarten – Grade 12. (Publication). Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

RESOURCE NAME: Appendix I: Big Ideas that Permeate the 2020 Edition of the WIDA ELD Standards Framework

Suggestion for use: Four Big Ideas have been at the foundation of WIDA’s work since the first edition of the ELD Standards in 2004. These Four Big Ideas are found in Figure F-1, on page 355 of the 2020 edition. (Adapted from WIDA, 2020)

Figure F-1: Four Big Ideas in WIDA ELD Standards Framework, 2020 Edition. Equity of Opportunity and Access, Integration of Content and Language, Collaboration among Stakeholders, Functional Approach to Language Development.
 

Citation: Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. (2020). WIDA English Language Development Standards Framework, 2020 Edition Kindergarten – Grade 12. (Publication). Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

RESOURCE NAME: The WIDA Can Do Philosophy

Suggestion for use: The WIDA Can Do Philosophy articulates the foundational belief that English learners bring a unique set of assets (linguistic, cultural, experiential, social-emotional) that have the potential to enrich the experiences of all learners and educators. As students learn additional languages, educators can draw on these assets for the benefit of both the learners themselves and for everyone in the community. By focusing on what English learners can do, educators send a powerful message that students from diverse linguistic, cultural, and experiential backgrounds contribute to the vibrancy of K–12 schools. (Adapted from WIDA, 2019)

Citation: Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. (2019) The WIDA Can Do Philosophy(Publication). Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

RESOURCE NAME: WIDA Can Do Philosophy Video

Suggestion for use: This video provides an overview of the WIDA Can Do Philosophy and can be used during professional learning to provide educators with an introduction to WIDA’s Can Do Philosophy.

Citation: Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. (2021) WIDA Can Do Philosophy Video. Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

RESOURCE NAME: WIDA's Guiding Principles of Language Development

Suggestion for use: WIDA's Guiding Principles of Language Development outline WIDA’s foundational beliefs, highlighting the Can Do Philosophy, as well as the language acquisition research utilized by WIDA to develop the ELD standards framework. The Guiding Principles of Language Development may be shared with educators, parents, and families and are available in 13 languages, each in their original format, which cites the research base behind each Guiding Principle, and in an illustrated format, which may feel more student and community friendly.

Citation: Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. (2019) Guiding Principles of Language Development. (Publication). Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

RESOURCE NAME: WIDA's Essential Actions Handbook

Figure B: Audiences and Uses of the Handbook

Audiences

Uses of the Handbook

Teachers, including language and content teachers, special education teachers, and “specials” teachers

Plan for students’ language learning

Collaborate with one another and share information on language learners

Apply to the design of standards-referenced instruction and classroom assessment

Instructional leaders, including superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals, and instructional coaches

Provide a common ground for discussing issues related to academic language learning

Guide curriculum, instruction, and school-based assessment for language learners

Use in the design of standards-referenced curriculum and common assessment

Teacher educators, including pre-service teachers and professional development providers

Provide a theoretical basis for the Framework for Language Development Standards

Use as a needs assessment for districts or schools

Offer deeper understanding of the components of the framework

Figure E: Essential Actions for Academic Language Success

ACTION 1

Capitalize on the resources and experiences that ELLs bring to school to build and enrich their academic language.

ACTION 2

Analyze the academic language demands involved in grade-level teaching and learning.

ACTION 3

Plan differentiated language instruction around the conceptual knowledge and language development of ELLs.

ACTION 4

Connect language and content to make learning relevant and meaningful for ELLs.

ACTION 5

Focus on the developmental nature of language learning within grade-level curriculum.

ACTION 6

Reference content standards and language development standards in planning for language learning.

ACTION 7

Design language teaching and learning with attention to the sociocultural context.

ACTION 8

Provide opportunities for all ELLs to engage in higher-order thinking.

ACTION 9

Create language-rich classroom environments with ample time for language practice and use.

ACTION 10

Identify the language needed for functional use in teaching and learning.

ACTION 11

Plan for language teaching and learning around discipline-specific topics.

ACTION 12

Use instructional supports to help scaffold language learning.

ACTION 13

Integrate language domains to provide rich, authentic instruction.

ACTION 14

Coordinate and collaborate in planning for language and content teaching and learning.

ACTION 15

Share responsibility so that all teachers are language teachers and support one another within communities of practice.

Suggestion for use: WIDA's Essential Actions Handbook is a “call for teachers and teacher educators to take action and collaborate in designing and implementing curriculum, instruction, and assessment through standards." (WIDA, 2012, p. vi). Figure B, found on page 4, delineates the intended audiences, and use of the handbook. Figure E, found on page 11, illustrates the actions necessary. “Through this coordinated effort, all students can benefit from a personalized and challenging standards-referenced education that is geared towards advancing their individual and collective academic success. As a result, language (English) learners, by having exposure to both language and content standards, will build stronger academic language to use inside and outside of school.” (WIDA, 2012, p.vi ).

Citation: Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. (2012). Essential Actions a Handbook for Implementing WIDA's Framework for English Language Development Standards: A Companion to 2012 Amplification of the ELD Standards. (Publication 3). Wisconsin Center for Education Research which partnered with The Center for Applied Linguistics.