“…The improvement of the curricula, the pedagogical methods, the assessment and the orientation, the rehabilitation of school, as well as the reinforcement and the updating of the teaching of languages…” – extract from the national chart of education
Lately, the Moroccan government has offered more importance to teaching foreign languages in general, and English in particular.
The white-book determines the headlines of the linguistic policy in the Moroccan educational system, in this paper the focus is going to be on the importance of teaching English in Morocco and what causes Moroccans to invest in this significant field?
Across decades the greatest effort of the ministry of education has been given to the improvement of teaching Arabic, the official language and the mother tongue of the most of Moroccans, especially during the eighties through the Arabization policy. Frankly, French comes second because of many reasons; firstly, France is the first economic partner and the ex-colonizer of Morocco, this fact makes the political and economic Moroccan elite influenced by the French culture along generations. This reality emphasizes the status of French in the Moroccan linguistic landscape.
Recently, English is established as a foreign language to be studied at different levels of the and not only universities and high schools as happened in the past. Today teaching and learning English is another duty given to the student along his educational life. But what is given to teaching and learning English does not come by chance but is implied by various conditions inside and outside the country. For instance, the radical changes that have occurred within the economic policy of Morocco since it was based on agriculture, as a strategic plan for the establishment of a strong economy through producing a big amount of different sorts of food to encounter the increasing demands inside the country, and exporting what is still to abroad to get the necessary industrial materials. Unfortunately, Morocco fails to gain this kind of balance between imported products and exported food.
Many reasons were behind this failure, the change that affects the universal climate which makes Morocco receive small degrees of rain, therefore, production decreases. Moreover, the price of food in the international market is lower if added to the sharp competition that Morocco faces from dozens powerful economies such as that of Spain or Tunisia are signaling that the economy is ill.
The elements motioned above implies a revision of all the strategic choices in economy to a new field which is considered to be appropriate and productive, it is tourism and other services linked to it such as crafts and tradition exhibitions. Morocco adopted a plan prepared by the ministry of tourism to have 10 millions of tourists from the four corners of the globe each year. Besides, the educational authorities have been mobilized to reform education to prepare the needed well-trained workers that is why the charter of education and training declares that schools and universities should be opened on their socioeconomic environment.
On the other hand, Morocco is ambitious to receive external capital and companies from the U.S. and the E.U to invest in the country in different domains after his agreement with “G.A.T .T agreement” in the year 1994 in Marrakesh which allows productions and people transition freely without taxes.
No wonder, most of the tourists and investors who Morocco invites and to whom Moroccans would like to expose the mountains, the desert and, even the shining sun as a special touristic production. No wonder 90% of them do not speak Arabic, Tamazight or even French, they are going to use the lingua franca of today, which is English and more English, that is why I’m optimistic about the future of this language at least after another century.