Preschool English Learners


The Center: Early Childhood Professional Learning (ECPL) leverages its partnerships with local and national providers to bring you FREE high quality, relevant professional learning focused on preschool English learners (ELs). As part of ECPL's and ISBE's partnership with WIDA Early Years, you have free access to WIDA Early Years eLearning resources which include self-paced, on demand courses and downloadable resources. That's right - free online professional learning resources at your fingertips! ISBE and/or Gateways credit is available.

Live Webinars

This year's webinars have ended. Future webinars will be scheduled based on funding.

Live Online Administrator Academy

This year's online administrator academies have ended. Future online academies will be scheduled based on funding.

On Demand Courses from WIDA Early Years

WIDA eLearning

WIDA Early Years eLearning is intended for ECE professionals, including pre-service and in-service teachers, teacher educators, practitioners, coaches, trainers, and leaders/administrators. One hour of ISBE and/or Gateways credit is available upon completion of each course.

                                Important Notice!

WIDA Early Years as a separate membership program is ending June 30, 2023; you will need to finish your Early Years eLearning coursework by then. Although the Early Years program is ending, WIDA will continue to make PreK–3 resources available on the WIDA website under Early Language Development (this page will be renamed Teaching in PreK–3 starting July 1, 2023).



Ready to start an On Demand Course from WIDA EY eLearning? Please note: Any of these courses need to be completed by June 30th, 2023.

  1. Go to
  2. Follow the directions to create a WIDA Secure Portal account.
  3. You will receive a confirmation email to finalize setup of your WIDA Secure Portal account. Follow the directions in the email and click the link provided to confirm your account and setup a password.
  4. After you are logged in to the WIDA Secure Portal, select "Professional Learning" from the main menu.
  5. Learn more about the available courses by selecting "Course Details", and click Enroll Now" to enter the course!

Course titles include:

  • Dual Language Learners and their Families
  • Dual Language Learners with Disabilities
  • Making Connections
  • Scaffolding Language Learning
  • Are We Ready? What K-12 Educators Can Do to Support Young Multilingual Children
  • NEW! Essential Actions Resource Kit
  • NEW! Exploring WIDA Early Years Essential Actions

As of September 1, 2023, WIDA will offer two new PreK-3 resources:

1.    A new self-paced workshop, Exploring the WIDA PreK-3 Essential Actions, will introduce educators to the new WIDA PreK-3 Essential Actions. Educators will have an opportunity to build their knowledge and understanding of the Essential Actions and to reflect on their own ideologies, practices, and settings. Access to the course will require a WIDA Secure Portal account. 

Contact for information about how to set up a WIDA Secure Portal account and access this and other WIDA self-paced offerings.

2.    A new Are We Ready? This resource will support PreK–3 educators to promote and provide equitable transitions for multilingual children and their families as they move through PreK-3. This resource will be available on the WIDA website


Recorded Webinars

5/18/2022 - Frequently Asked Questions about Serving English Learners in Preschool Programs


Downloadable Resources
Downloadable Resources

Making Connections, is a comprehensive resource that offers suggestions, tools, and sample plans for teachers who use the Illinois Early Learning and Developmental Standards and WIDA Early Years resources to plan equitable learning opportunities to young multilingual children.

Multilingual Children and Their Families - Snapshot

Promoting Equity for Young Multilingual Children and Their Families 

WIDA Early Years Guiding Principles of Language Development

ABCs of Family Engagement


Frequently Asked Questions - Serving English Learners in Preschool Programs in Illinois Public School Districts (Revised March 2022)


ISU Preschool Videos Featuring Bilingual Preschool Teacher, Eva Gonzalez Heredia 

"The Power of Enrolling Your Child in a Pre-K Program with Bilingual Education Services" video

Teaching at the Beginning: 20 Videos of young dual language learners in early childhood education settings

We gratefully acknowledge our partnership with ISBE that brings these resources to the early care and education (ECE) community across Illinois.

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