The WIDA MODEL (Measure of Developing English Language) is a series of English language proficiency assessments for Kindergarten through Grade 12. MODEL can be used by educators as an identification/placement assessment for newly enrolled ELLs or as an interim progress monitoring assessment.

WIDA MODEL Paper covers grades K-12

WIDA MODEL Online covers Grades 1-12


MODEL test items are written from the model performance indicators of WIDA's five English Language Proficiency (ELP) standards:

  • Social & Instructional Language
  • Language of Language Arts
  • Language of Mathematics
  • Language of Science
  • Language of Social Studies

Test forms are divided into five grade level clusters:

  • Kindergarten
  • Grades 1–2
  • Grades 3–5
  • Grades 6–8
  • Grades 9–12

Each form of the test assesses the four language domains of Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.

MODEL is an adaptive test allowing flexible placement within sections of the test based on student performance.

Purpose and Use

As a flexible, on-demand language proficiency assessment, this test can be administered at any time during the school year, depending on the needs of the district, school, teacher, or student. MODEL can be used for these purposes:

  • To identify students who may be candidates for English as an Additional Language (EAL)/bilingual services;
  • To determine the academic English language proficiency level of students new to a school;
  • To place students into the necessary amount and type of instructional services and support; and
  • To serve as a progress-monitoring assessment, providing information that informs instructional planning and other decisions related to students' education.

Training Materials

The Test Administration Manual, Training CD-ROM, and DVD are provided in all paper kits to aid educators in the administration of WIDA MODEL. The Test Administration Manual contains all the information needed to administer and score the test. The CD-ROM includes PowerPoint presentations about administering and scoring the test which may be used by local trainers to train other test administrators on MODEL. The DVD provides test administration training guidance as well as footage of administering the tests to students.

Scores and Proficiency Levels

WIDA MODEL yields valid and reliable results that are provided as scale scores and English language proficiency levels.

Scores are reported for each of the four language domains and in several composites as follows:

  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Oral Language (50% Listening, 50% Speaking)
  • Literacy (50% Reading, 50% Writing)
  • Overall (30% Oral Language, 70% Literacy)

The proficiency levels (1-6) resulting from the WIDA MODEL are directly related to the WIDA ELP Standards. Another useful resource for teachers is WIDA's grade-level cluster CAN DO Descriptors. This publication provides examples of what ELLs can be expected to do in each of the four domains at each of the five proficiency levels defined in the WIDA ELP Standards. To interpret students' results on MODEL, refer to the WIDA ELP Standards and/or CAN DO Descriptors.

Scoring Tools

The WIDA MODEL Score Calculator is a tool to save test administrators the time and trouble of following every step on the scoresheet to calculate or look up proficiency level (PL) and scale scores. With the click of a button, it calculates Speaking, Reading, Writing, Listening, and composite proficiency scores.

The MODEL Score Tracker spreadsheet, available on the Training Toolkit CD-ROM in each kit, is an optional tool to help educators locally store and track MODEL results for each student. As scores are collected for each student over a period of time, it allows educators to plot students' progress on a chart. The Training Toolkit CD-ROM also includes user instructions for this spreadsheet and an example completed spreadsheet.

WIDA MODEL Online score reports are automatically generated at the completion of a test within the WIDA MODEL Online test portal.