Common Problems for English Learners in Morocco
Morocco’s official languages are classical Arabic, and Berber ( indigenous language in North Africa) Classical Arabic, and second unofficial language in Morocco is the French language taught in General educational curriculum from primary school, and Spanish taught in the north as a second unofficial language, Thus learning a third or even fourth language for a Moroccan learner is not a big challenge, however, there are some difficulties to learn a language efficiently and accurately.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate MOHAMMED t. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
English is emerging, especially in larger cities. And it is widely being taught for Moroccan students until the high school level in Public schools (A government institution), and at early primary school level along with French and Arabic language in Private schools.
In the following paragraphs am going to shed light on the main problems and challenges that a Moroccan learner might have during his learning process of a foreign language.
One of the fundamental problems of learning a foreign language in Morocco is the lack of accuracy and efficiency of teachers in the public sector, most of the teachers are equipped and structured within a pre-planned and strict curriculum, and pedagogy that is decided and planned by Government decision-makers, and the policy is centralized and applied on every public school in the country.
This reduces the role of a teacher in applying and design some approaches and Methods for his/her class, thus he is asked to apply any kind of extra course and focus mainly on the final results/records of his/her students and not the performance or quality of teaching and applied methods.
AS the teacher is considered as a government officer, this position doesn’t encourage the teacher to be recognized in his/her socio-professional life and also interpersonal attitudes towards parents of students or students themselves.
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From another side, the socio-economical situation of teachers in Morocco is not satisfactory, and it is claimed and advocated along the school year through advocacy and manifestations of the teachers syndicates, this fact encourage teachers in public school to work also in the private sector because of encouraging salaries and conditions, and also giving tutoring classes for groups and individuals.
We can say that in Morocco learners of Private sector providing foreign language teaching are more qualified trust worth and efficient course providers than public sector where learning a foreign language at school became just a must to do, and overloaded minds with information, where learning and acquiring is based on only memorizing and learning by hearth until the exams day.
We can distinguish that learning a foreign language in Morocco requires us to invest enough money and time and a motive to learn it.
As nowadays the government policy is going to the direction of privatization of all vital sectors, such as education, health, infrastructure and labor, and because of economic difficulties of middle-class learner’s family, it cause a decrease of motivation to learn a foreign language academically and efficiently and leaves the learner limited with his/her choices to acquire and learn only from public schools.
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Another main problem that concerns the learner in the class, is the overcrowded classrooms, whereas the teaching methodologies becomes almost hard and inapplicable for a group of different student’s levels and number. And this decreases the motivation of the learner and teacher to maintain a sustainable understanding of the needs and motivation to learn, and learn to learn for the teacher to improve his socio-professional career.
Private schools are much better than public school because they afford material and pedagogical supports and supply teachers with a monitoring system and a quality assessment, while in public school the only monitoring system is the head of school and parents indirectly and also student’s family institution that advocates to improve the quality of education and negotiate with stakeholders to intervene in the education of their children.
Therefore teacher in public school is left limited in term of using new pedagogical approaches, and methods, which force the Moroccan learner to work with undesirable materials, and a very structured curriculum to follow.
To conclude, I can say that a Moroccan Learner should not be only relying on formal education and inputs acquired in the school, but a great effort is awaiting him/her, and active participation in a civic organization in Morocco is advised, as in Morocco there are plenty of civic association and clubs which offers voluntary teaching programs for free, and host foreign teachers to provide a non-formal education course, based on energizers, games, role play, working groups, presentation and public speaking and also theater sessions…etc where the Moroccan learner feels more comfortable, and motivated to actively participate and engage in his/her learning process.
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Those organizations are gradually improving in term of quality assessment and need assessment of their target groups of learners, and also teachers through providing a recognized certification for foreign teachers for free, and gain experience through applying and sharing their feedback from their classes, and generate different materials and approaches teachers from different countries are applying and testing with Moroccan Learners.
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