Wednesday, January 30, 2013


The first time I heard the name WISACALD, I couldn’t help but smile.  I thought to myself, “What’s a WISACALD?” Reading my mind, Amy Christianson explained.  Amy is the OELA Grant Program Coordinator and my go-to person for questions about WISACALD.  I must say, I was immediately impressed by this innovative approach to reaching out and connecting educators of ELLs.  For those of you in Wisconsin, what a treat you have! For those of you outside Wisconsin, WISACALD might spark an idea for your state or region. 

So back to the question…what’s WISACALD?  And the answer is…

WIDACALD is a new initiative whose purpose is “to connect language educators and practitioners with resources and opportunities.”  Their work is of critical importance because of the demographics in Wisconsin. I recently read an article that said nearly half of all ELLs in Wisconsin are served in small and rural programs.  WISACALD is coordinated through Edgewood College in Madison but covers the entire state of Wisconsin.  Their focus on students from birth through adulthood is clear when you review their list of partner organizations.  On the list you will find Early Dual Language Learner Initiative (EDLLI), WI Department of Public Instruction) (DPI), Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS)  and WIDA.  Teacher organizations like the WI Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (WITESOL) and the WI Association of Bilingual Education (WIABE) have also partnered with WISACALD. Of course, this should come as no surprise considering their mission statement:

 The Wisconsin Alliance for Cultural and Linguistic Diversity (WISACALD) is committed to promoting awareness, advocacy, and professional development resources to language educators and practitioners of students from birth through adulthood. As our state becomes more culturally and linguistically diverse, the Alliance aims to merge efforts and interests of educators and practitioners that highlight, embrace, and celebrate our changing population in Wisconsin.

In a sense, they are a one-stop shop for resources, advocacy and professional development efforts occurring in Wisconsin.  Currently WISACALD staff is building awareness of their services by presenting at various institutions around the state and expanding their website resources. In the future, they will present at conferences and sponsor networking and professional development opportunities around the state. 
Check them out online on their website and on facebook and see for yourself why Amy proclaims that “We’s a called to do WISACALD!”

Written by: Tammy King

First Image:

WISACALD logo: Courtesy of WISACALD and Edgewood College


  1. Thanks for sharing the news about WISACALD! :)
    We are excited to get information out-and-about in Wisconsin...and appreciate the support!

  2. Thanks for all of the support and sharing the news about WISACALD! It is appreciated!