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WIDA Levels: Speaking and Writing
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WIDA Performance Definitions Speaking and Writing, Grades K–12

A student's English Language Proficiency is designated by "WIDA Levels."  With each higher level, the student is able to understand and use more and more Academic English.  Every student's goal is to reach Level 6, which is a level of proficiency comparable to native English speakers. The chart below describes the specific features of English the student will have to master at each level.

 

Discourse Level
Linguistic Complexity

Sentence Level
Language Forms & Conventions

Word/Phrase Level
Vocabulary Usage

Level 6
Reaching

Language that meets all criteria through Level 5, Bridging

Language that meets all criteria through Level 5, Bridging

Language that meets all criteria through Level 5, Bridging

Level 5
Bridging

Multiple, complex sentences

Organized, cohesive, and coherent expression of ideas

 

A variety of grammatical structures matched to purpose and nearly consistent use of conventions, including for effect

A broad range of sentence patterns characteristic of particular content areas

Technical and abstract content-area language

Words and expressions with precise meaning related to content area topics

Level 4
Expanding

Short, expanded, and some complex sentences

Organized expression of ideas with emerging cohesion

A variety of grammatical structures and generally consistent use of conventions

Sentence patterns characteristic of particular content areas

Specific and some technical content-area language

Words and expressions with multiple meanings or common collocations and idioms across content areas

Level 3
Developing

Short and some expanded sentences with emerging complexity

Expanded expression of one idea or emerging expression of multiple related ideas

Repetitive grammatical structures with occasional variation and emerging use of conventions

Sentence patterns across content areas

Specific content words and expression (including content-specific cognates)

Words or expressions related to content areas

Level 2
Emerging

Phrases or short sentences

Emerging expression of ideas

Formulaic grammatical structures and variable use of conventions

Repetitive phrasal and sentence patterns across content areas

General content words and expressions (including common cognates)

Social and instructional words and expressions across content areas

Level 1
Entering

Words, phrases, or chunks of language

Single words used to represent ideas

Simple grammatical constructions (e.g., commands, Wh- questions, declaratives)

Phrasal patterns associated with common social and instructional situations

General content-related words

Everyday social and instructional words and familiar expressions

Your student's teacher and ESL teacher can provide you with evidence showing your student's current WIDA Level in all four domains (Listening and Reading, as well as Speaking and Writing).