When it comes to foreign languages, two criteria that assess student learning are performance

and knowledge.  What we mean by this is simply, ‘what can our students perform’ and ‘what do

the know.’  Oftentimes language programs fall into the rut of teaching their students about a

language, but then fail to teach their students how to perform in their language.  We value both

sides of the equation here at Sanford.  We want our students to perform in the language and

have knowledge about the language and its cultures.

In terms of performance, students should be able to ask questions and answer them using small

chunks of the language.  For the beginner students, it means being able to greet and ask for

introductions.  For more advanced students, it means being able to ask everyday questions (e.g.

Can I use the scissors?) and understand explanations of items in Arabic.

In terms of knowledge, students should gain an understanding of Arab culture and their own

when they study each thematic unit.  So when we study introductions and greetings, students

should know the role of respect and hospitality in Arabic greetings and also be able to identify

the features and diversity in their own greetings (e.g. saying “hello” vs. “howdy” vs. "sup").