We enjoyed seeing many of you in person recently to collaborate around better serving our ELs at the 2019 WIDA conference in Providence, Rhode Island. In this blog post, we’d like to share SupportEd’s Top Three Takeaways from that conference. 

Disrupting ELs’ and multilingual learners’ education
was a common theme that surfaced during WIDA 2019. Many presentations emphasized the urgent need to change the status quo and showed ways to disrupt and improve systems. For example, the Council for Aid to Education shared their novel and collaborative approach to formative assessment of ELs in New York City schools. The Corwin EL Collective presented their new book Breaking Down the Wall: Essential Shifts for English Learners’ Success, which highlighted calls to action from authors who paired up to suggest new pathways to EL success.

Equity for ELs was another common thread throughout the conference. Presentations we attended on instructional practices for ELs, choice of texts for ELs, crafting professional development for teachers of ELs, and supporting pathways to graduation for ELs showed that no matter what role we play in our work with ELs, there are many opportunities to advance equity.

During the sessions and in conversations with individual educators, we heard again and again the powerful impact that ESOL teachers are having as advocates and site-based experts. Motivated to take on roles of advocate and teacher leader, we saw how ESOL teachers have the agency to change school climate to promote more equitable practices for ELs and their families.

What are your top takeaways from WIDA? We invite you to share your experience with us on Twitter using the hashtag #UnlockingELsPotential and help us keep conversation moving around these important topics.

Click here to join the SupportEd Team on Twitter

Again, thank you for your collaboration during WIDA 2019; we look forward to connecting again soon!