This October 18-19, Senior Associate Brian Lettinga joined participants at the WIDA 2023 Conference in Wisconsin to help celebrate 20 years of WIDA!
The central office of WIDA, also known as World-class Instruction Design Assessment, is housed at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. This year’s in-person conference, which welcomed over 1,300 to Milwaukee, was the perfect setting for the exchange of knowledge and experiences related to multilingualism and the power of translanguaging. Teachers from across the country took time to engage in workshops and presentations designed to connect, educate, and share best practices in English language acquisition. The conference was not limited to the in-person session; an online “live” virtual component to the events allowed educators from around the world to participate as well. The full day of the live-stream component included keynote presentations and a wide variety of other learning opportunities.
This year’s theme, "Adelante with a Multilingual Mindset," was the perfect way to help celebrate the work of WIDA and its team for the last 20 years. Keynote Speaker headliners Shereen Marisol Meraji and Carmen Ayala both showcased the importance of teachers recognizing, supporting, and celebrating multilingualism in the classroom.
The heart of the conference was found in the numerous teacher-led sessions. Attendees were treated to an extensive lineup of workshops focused on best practices to support our EAL (English as an Additional Language) learners, as well as current research on translanguaging and multilingual education. Sessions included the following topics:
- Equity and Social Justice
- Family and Community Engagement
- Bi/Multilingual Education
- Language Assessment
- Professional Learning in Schools and Districts
- Specific Populations: Multilingual Learners with Disabilities, Newcomers, Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE), Migrant, Refugee, Long-term Multilingual Learners
- Early Language Development and Pre-Kindergarten
Search Associates is excited to continue connecting with our friends at WIDA, and with teachers and schools across the globe. Be sure to look for our upcoming article from the NAIS People of Color Conference, where Senior Associates Brian Lettinga and Arnelle Grundhoefer will be on hand to partner with this great organization.