Mariana Castro

Language Development Researcher

Mariana Castro is a researcher in the Research and Development division at WIDA. She brings more than 25 years of experience in education to WIDA. Her extensive service to the field of education includes teaching and learning with children and youth in classrooms, teacher preparation and professional learning. Her work at WIDA has provided Mariana an opportunity to combine her background as an educator, her passion for working with multilingual children, youth and their teachers, and her commitment for social justice.  Mariana started with WIDA in 2006 as a professional learning delivery specialist and since then has held positions coordinating, managing and directing Professional Development, Teaching and Learning and now the Standards Department.  Mariana currently serves as the PI for research related to language practices, including multilingual development, teacher professional learning and family engagement.  She has also lead the development of WIDA Standards and related initiatives for early years and K-12 in English and Spanish.  

Mariana has a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a M.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.   Her research interests include language development through the life span of multilingual children and youth, translanguaging, teacher professional practices and development, and organizational change in educational systems.

Contact info:, 608-263-3976

Contact Information
Phone: (608) 263-3976
Office: 1263 M Ed Sciences

Current Projects


Completed Projects

ASSETS: Assessment Services Supporting ELs through Technology Systems