WIDA Español: Differentiation for Dual Language Learners

En español


Dual language learners need instruction that is differentiated to meet the needs unique to learning an additional language and grade-appropriate content. Participants will approach the idea of differentiation of language from an asset-based perspective, recognizing that ELLs bring many contributions to the school community. Participants will collaborate to customize instruction for multilingual learners utilizing the WIDA ELD and SLD Frameworks. While planning, participants will have time to reflect on how to leverage productive struggle within a safe learning environment.


  • Describe what language differentiation means in the instruction and assessment of dual language learners.
  • Describe how content, product, process and environment are taken into account for language differentiation.
  • Use the Performance Definitions, Definiciones de desempeño, the Can Do Descriptors, and Los podemos to identify differentiation of language (i.e. supports, domains, classroom talk, etc.)
  • Describe how scaffolds and supports engage dual language learners at various levels of Spanish language proficiency and English language proficiency in content instruction.
  • Create a differentiated plan for participants’ teaching and learning context (collaboratively or individually).


  • Defining the four types of differentiation
  • Developing a student portrait or resume
  • Identifying student language differentiation needs and supports based on proficiency levels


Morning Session

      • Introduction & Logistics
      • Establish a common understanding of differentiation
      • Know your students: Where do I start?
      • Cultural & Linguistic Assets: Develop a student portrait or resume
      • Utilizing the WIDA Performance Definitions for Differentiation
      • Exploring and summarizing the WIDA Focus On Differentiation Bulletin
      • Identifying strategies that incorporate all four language domains
      • Applying learning to personal teaching and learning context Afternoon Session

Afternoon Session

      • Scaffolds and Supports
      • Examine the WIDA Focus on Differentiation Bulletin
      • Balancing Domains: Strategies that incorporate all four language domains
      • Action Planning
      • Closing

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