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  • Can Do Research Brief PDF
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 Can Dos

WIDA's Can Do Descriptors

by grade level cluster

September 2012 Update!: Check out our new Can Do name charts you can use to record students' names with their proficiency levels in each language domain. Also, be sure to download the grade-level cluster Can Do Booklets and see the Spanish translations on pp. 8-11. If you have a chance, please send your feedback on these new resources to

The WIDA Can Do Descriptors are commonly used by ESL teachers in coaching general education teachers about differentiated instruction for English language learners (ELLs). They can also be used to plan lessons or observe students' progress. Read several teachers' accounts of how they use the Can Do Descriptors for the following grade levels/subjects on our blog blogger icon

The Can Do Descriptors can also be distributed with ACCESS for ELLs or WIDA MODEL score reports to help give teachers a basic overview of what the Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing proficiency level results indicate about their students' abilities.

Download or Purchase

The WIDA English Language Learner Can Do Booklets for PreK-Kindergarten, Grades 1-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12 are available for free download or for purchase as a spiral-bound, laminated booklet. Order Now

The Can Do Descriptors are also available in a two-page downloadable document that addresses PreKindergarten through 12th grade globally in both English and Spanish. This translated version may be shared with families when discussing test results.

Development Process

With the guidance of WIDA's Lead Developer, Margo Gottlieb, the Can Do Descriptors were written and later approved by consortium teachers through a survey rating process. You may read an account of one teacher's participation in the initial phase of the project.

A four-page description of the survey rating research, its results, and more suggestions for use of the Can Do Descriptors are available in the Research Brief listed under Downloads.