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WIDA Levels: Listening and Reading
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WIDA Levels: Listening and Reading
WIDA Levels: Listening and Reading


WIDA Performance Definitions Listening and Reading, 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.

At each grade, toward the end of a given level of English language proficiency, and with instructional support, English language learners will process…

 

Discourse Level
Linguistic Complexity

Sentence Level
Language Forms and 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)

Rich descriptive discourse with complex sentences

Cohesive and organized related ideas

Compound, complex grammatical constructions (e.g., multiple phrases and clauses)

A broad range of sentence patterns characteristic of particular content areas

Technical and abstract content-area language

Words and expressions with shades of meaning for each content area

Level 4
(Expanding)

Connected discourse with a variety of sentences

Expanded related ideas

A variety of complex grammatical constructions

Sentence patterns characteristic of particular content areas

Specific and some technical content-area language

Words and expressions with multiple meanings or collocations and idioms for each content area

Level 3
(Developing)

Discourse with a series of extended sentences

Related ideas

Compound and some complex (e.g., noun phrase, verb phrase, prepositional phrase) grammatical constructions

Sentence patterns across content areas

Specific content words and expressions

Words or expressions related to content area with common collocations and idioms across content areas

Level 2
(Emerging)

Multiple related simple sentences

An idea with details

Compound grammatical constructions

Repetitive phrasal and sentence patterns across content areas

General and some specific content words and expressions (including cognates)

Social and instructional words and expressions across content areas

Level 1
(Entering)

Single statements or questions

An idea within words, phrases, or chunks of language

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

Common social and instructional forms and patterns

General content-related words

Everyday social and instructional words and 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).