Featured Videos

WIDA Video Contests

In 2015, WIDA sponsored its second video contest. In 2011-2012, WIDA sponsored its first video contest for educators of English language learners. We were impressed by not only the number of submissions we received but also by the commitment of the educators involved. Each video shows examples of educators promoting language development and content learning through innovative school experiences. The teachers were also invited to reflect upon their teaching regarding the decisions they made and how to continue developing their students’ social and academic language.

To support reflection around the videos, we have provided questions intended to address some of the important considerations for working with ELL students. Download the questions PDF Icon

2015 Video Contest

Video Contest Banner

Congratulations to all our 2015 contestants for showing their deep dedication to English language learner education.


We are pleased to announce the following winners:

1st place: Academic Vocabulary Development by Andy Mizell, a 5th-8th grade ELL teacher at Margaret Allen Middle Prep in Nashville, TN. Andy collaborated with Nicole Fedele and Kellee Hill on this video project.

2nd place: Fostering Active Comprehension: Asking and Answering Questions by Shadia Salem, a first grade Transitional Arabic Bilingual Teacher at Dorn Elementary School in Hickory Hills, IL.

3rd place: ENL New Arrival High School Students: Encouraging Communication in a New Language by Mindy Lewis-Hitch, the 9th grade English as a New Language Department Lead Teacher at Ben Davis 9th Grade Center in Wayne Township, IN.

All Consortium members who successfully completed the submission process received a $15 Amazon gift card to purchase books or materials for your classroom. 

Outcomes were rated based on the following contest guidelines and rubric:

Download the contest guidelines PDF Icon

Video Contest Rubric PDF Icon

Video Contest Archive

In 2011-12, WIDA sponsored a video contest for educators of English language learners (ELLs). We received 66 submissions and greatly appreciated the time and energy that went into creating each one! We requested 5- to 10-minute video submissions of:

  1. Classroom events promoting effective teaching, learning, and/or assessment of content and language for ELLs;
  2. Educator reflections on those classroom events.

We are proud to announce our four winners! You can watch the winning entries below and read a brief explanation for why the WIDA contest award committee selected them.

Note: by clicking the icon in the lower right corner, you can expand the videos to full screen.

1st place: Kara Lawson, Increasing the Use of Academic Language During Guided Math Groups

Full Video Transcript

We loved this video because of the message it conveys about learning and teacher reflection. Kara demonstrates how to create and support a student-centered environment in which learners engage in higher order thinking as they use the language of mathematics for an authentic purpose. Her reflection on the teaching and learning happening in her classroom captured our attention and our wonder. We were thrilled that her reflections on the video clips she collected inspired her to create additional opportunities for her students to think about their own linguistic roles and how to enact them. The students in her video engaged in mathematical discourse in an explicit, contextualized manner and saw themselves as both apprentices and co-constructors of the knowledge in that classroom. Thanks to Kara for the privilege to glance into her classroom and experience the wonderful learning of both content and language happening there for ELLs.

2nd place: Marybelle Espin & Sandra Nahmias, In the Path of Nature's Wrath: A Project-Based Learning Approach to the Study of Natural Disasters

Marybelle and Sandra put together a powerful synthesis of student learning in their classroom. We enjoyed seeing what collaboration among teachers can bring alive. The integration of multiple domains—listening and speaking through discussion during research and planning, reading and writing throughout the whole project, and multi-modal representations of knowledge aided by the use of technology—provided rich opportunities to see language use across one project. Watching the final projects was one of the highlights of our day. It demonstrated clearly the wealth of student learning that took place during this project. We particularly liked how students used academic language and contextualized it by making real-life connections. A special hurray for the authentic uses of registers and appropriate genres in journalism!

3rd place (tie): Aggeliki Alimonos, The Language of Mathematics: Constructing a Tetrahedral Kite

Aggeliki's unit was outstanding. The description of her plan and how she integrated disciplinary contexts, language domains and content and skills was inspiring. We were all impressed with her creative ability and her attention to language. We also felt this video had a strong focus on listening and reading comprehension that are often hard to incorporate into lessons. Thank you, Aggeliki, for the thoughtfulness in the organization of teaching and learning and your focus on language.

3rd place (tie): Kari Miller, Playground Project

Kari reminded us of the importance of meeting the academic standards through authentic experiences for children. We liked meeting her students and seeing how she built upon a shared enjoyable experience then integrated technology and writing to engage students in academic language learning. We were curious about the conversations of students around the development of their projects and the metalinguistic approach Kari took while affording students the opportunity to discuss their use of language in this project. Kari showed us how a project can build on what students already know and celebrate their growing command of language as they work to express ideas about which they care.