Foreign Languages in Morocco: English as Example

“…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 […]

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Tuesday, November 9th, 2010


“…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.

E. Mohamed
http://www.4skills.en.ma/

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Posted on Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

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10 comments on “Foreign Languages in Morocco: English as Example”

  1. Agreed english is the international language of commerce ect, Arabic is the language of learning and is the most important language in the world becouse of its variety as it is also the base of all languages.
    Arabic is the mother of all language.
    English is for commerce, becouse it is easy and therefore used by everyone. Both languages are important to be spoken fluently in morroco, one for commerce the other for learning and knowledge.


    • first of all thx my friend” Trudy ” about your comment ; but I’d like just to tell that this article aims only to show the economic and political conditions which makes teaching and learning English as significant as it is today;I’m Moroccan and I consider Arabic as my mother thong and as a national lge with an other rich lge which is “Amazighiya ” ; I read a lot in Arabic in different domains and I have some attempts of writing essays in different fields . Tamim Barghouti ; Mahmoud Darouish and Abd errahman Mounif are my preferable writers.
      thx again


  2. I’m glad to see the Moroccan government has offered more importance to teaching foreign languages in general in their country. This will open up so many more opportunities for international trade.


    • thanks for your comments but we still need to invest more in education especilly foreign languages ; the government is asked also to enhance the democracy in education and training


    • hi any researcher can say anything he likes , languages are not like physics or maths are so hard to be studied and commented , linguistics is developed now and it starts to show day after an other to what extent it is possible for an andividual to speak fluently more than one language at once , no matter what this language is ! moreover we shouldn’t forget the ideological war between Israel and the Arab world ,so who knows who’s right and who’s wrong ?!!!!


      • Silly Massoud…doesn’t know how crafty Jewish propaganda can be. You are right of course E. Mohamed. Language exists in a vacuum and neither influences nor is influenced by the culture surrounding it.

        Also, Rosalind Franklin was really waging ideological war against Arabs when she discovered the structure of DNA. And so did those evil Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Albert Einstein, David Gross and Robert Hofstadter. When they claimed to be doing science, what they really were after was to pick on Arabs and Allah.

        And as we all know, Carl Sagan was a Zionist golem in disguise doing the devil’s work. The Demon-Haunted World is the ultimate anti-Arab manifesto.

        P.S: Do you even know what an MRI is? Do you know that the man who conducted the work – Dr. Rafiq Ibrahim – is an Arab?


  3. i agree with you, english today becomes the most important language in Morocco even if french is the second language of the country. As the evolution of industrial world, there is another talk about english, which is Business English. this term was not taught in schools and univesities, whereas it is a new culture whithin ours. the economy is in a need of this english so as to participate in the economy of the world.


  4. Hello I am a techer in Spain, my name is Amparo, but now I am not working, I would like to improve my English in the north of Marocco, and to work as spanish teacher, for instance in Martil, chefchaouen, Tetuán…I would like to share a house with English people. But I dont find nothing since Madrid. Do you have any contacts or information page for me?Thank you for your time. nice to meet you!


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