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Introduction of the study:
Significance of the study
Chapter 1: The Linguistic Environment In Morocco.
Chapter 2: A French dominance versus an English spread in Morocco: Education as an example.
The French dominance :
The English Spread:
Chapter 3 : Research methodology
The universe of the study:
Data collection procedure:
Data analysis procedure:
Chapter 4 : Findings and discussions
The decision to study English:
The level of respondents ’ French level compared with their English level:
Learning English versus learning French:
Accent ’ s difficulty:
Early English language teaching:
The listening skill:
Moroccans ’ interest in English in relation to the French dominance:
The multilingual use of foreign languages:
English subtitles in Moroccan movies:
Subtitles in English movies:
Subtitles in French Movies:
English and the Moroccan media:
The status of English in the world versus the status of French in Morocco:
The value of the dominant language:
Could English become the first foreign language of Morocco?
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all the participants in this thesis.
First and foremost, I would like to express the deepest appreciation to my supervisor and teacher, M.ABDELHAK JEBBAR for his interest, and his insightful comments and suggestions throughout this thesis process.
I would like also to show my greatest appreciation to the English department’s teachers (Sultan Moulay Slimane University), and I want to admit that my intellectual debt is to them.
Special thanks to my classmate, M.JAMAL EDDINE ADIM, who helped me in the process of distributing the questionnaire. And I want to thank my friend, Mrs.CHAKIB OUMAIMA, for her assistance during the quantitative data analysis.
Without the cooperation of my classmates, the practical part would not have been possible for me to discuss. I really owe my deepest gratitude to them.
I appreciate the feedback offered by M.MOULAY EL MOUSTAPHA CHARAF, an author, poet and a family member.
And last but not least, I owe a very important debt to my parents, who were supporting and encouraging me. And I wish that they are proud of me.
Before discussing the historical events and reasons that led to the existence of foreign languages in Morocco - Mainly French and English -, Chapter 1 will introduce briefly the linguistic environment in Morocco. A complex environment where many local/foreign, formal/informal varieties coexist. The local varieties in this linguistic situation are: Moroccan Arabic, Amazigh varieties and some minority varieties such as Saharian dialect and Judeo-Arabic. Classical Arabic or Standard Arabic is somehow local as it represents the Islamic identity of Moroccans, but it is not used in the Moroccan everyday life.
The foreign languages -French, English and Spanish- are divided into two categories, colonial and global foreign languages. French and Spanish invasion of the Moroccan linguistic situation was the result of the Colonial policy, enforced in the 20th century. English also introduced to Moroccans in that period, when Moroccans got into contact with British and Americans. But the serious spread of English was a result of Globalization.
Then chapter 2 will discuss the French dominance facing the English spread in Morocco, and education will be an example of that, whether in primary school, junior and secondary high school or Higher Education.
Thus, the attitudes of students towards English and French are important to highlight this issue of dominance and spread. After conducting a study in Sultan Moulay Sliman University, precisely the English department, I have collected a data which enables me to discuss this relationship between French and English in the Moroccan context.
The Moroccan linguistic situation is known by its complexity. As a result, many languages are in contact in this linguistic environment. Besides the local languages, for some historical/economical and social reasons, other foreign languages came to exist.
In many domains, foreign languages are more dominant than the local ones. Among these foreign languages, French and English are at the forefront ; but French is more dominant than English, because the contact of Moroccans with French lasts for many years -since the signing of the Treaty of Protection-, while the Moroccans contact with English was not that old.
Thus, in Morocco, French is the first foreign language, while English is the second. Nowadays, The French dominance faces an English spread. This spread is supported by globalization and the fact that English is the lingua franca of the world. So, as English is the global language, it provides more opportunities to people who master it. As a result, the Moroccan interest in English may be at the expense of French. And this concurrence may lead to a reordering of powers, that is to say, English becoming the 1st foreign language of Morocco.
1. To understand the nature of the existence of French and English in the Moroccan linguistic environment, depending on a historical overview.
2. To notice if Moroccans support the English spread, or cling to their old relationship with French.
1. How French and English came to exist in the Moroccan linguistic situation ?
2. Is there really a spread of English that could be a menace to the French dominance ?
3. How students react to that English spread, at the expense of the French dominance ?
This research paper was an attempt to include the important historical and social events which interfered in the existence of foreign
languages among Moroccan varieties, and to discuss the conflict between the French dominance and the English spread. Thus, this research paper will be helpful for students that are interested in this topic, so they can move this discussion forward.
The Moroccan history had witnessed the domination of numerous populations: starting from the Phoenicians, Romains, Vandals, Arabians, Portuguese, Spanish and French.1 This openness on Western and Eastern civilizations had resulted in a language contact, which leads in his turn to the coexistence of different varieties.
The Moroccan linguistic situation is characterized by its complexity and its multilingual nature. You might encounter for example a Moroccan Arab bilingual who can speak Moroccan Arabic and Tamazight/French/English/Spanish, or a Moroccan Amazighophone who is able to speak Tamazight and Moroccan Arabic/French/English/Spanish. There are also multilingual Moroccans who are able to speak more than two varieties. I will try to cover the main varieties that exist in Morocco: local varieties, Classical/Standard Arabic and Foreign languages.
Moroccan Arabic, the dominant code in verbal communication; it is spoken by the majority of the population (about 60% to 70%) 2, an unstandardized but daily used variety. At one extreme, it is considered to be a low variety in relation to Standard Arabic. On the other extreme, it is seen as a modern language. “Dominique Caubet” states that: Darija which had been associated with illiteracy and underdevelopment for a long time is no longer considered with contempt. Instead, it is perceived to be an important component of the Moroccan identity, and a creative language which is capable of adapting to modernity. Recently, Moroccan Arabic has a written form thanks to its massive use in the media and the new technologies, cell phones, social networks…etc.3
Amazigh varieties are in the second place in relation to verbal communication. Tamazight had adopted the Tifinagh alphabet in 2002, after the creation of the Royal Institute For Amazigh Culture (IRCAM) in 2001. Tamazight became standardized, taught in schools and used in Amazigh literature and media. Tamazight was recognized as an official language in the new constitution of July 2011. Tamazight is spoken by 40% to 55% of the population “A.Boukous”. It is the mother tongue of Amazighophones, including its three varieties: TArifit in the north east, Tamazight in the center and Tachelhit in the south west.4 Although there are many features shared by the three varieties, Tarifit, Tachelhit and Tamazight are not mutually intelligible.
There are also some varieties spoken by the minority of the Moroccan population, such as “Hassani” (the Saharian variety) and Hebrew/Judeo-Arabic which are important elements of the Moroccan linguistic and historical heritage. It is also considered as a multilingual and multicultural heritage.5
Moroccan Arabic, Tamazight and minority varieties have mainly a verbal function.
The official formal language in Morocco is Arabic. It was official since 19566 (the independence of Morocco). It is mutually intelligible between all the arabophones (from Morocco till Iraq). There are two formal varieties of Arabic in Morocco, the Classical and the Standard Arabic. Whereas Classical Arabic is sacred since it is the Koran’s language, Standard Arabic is a more developed version of Arabic and a language which is able to adapt with the demands of globalization. Classical Arabic was used in religious education but never used in the daily communication. Standard Arabic on the other hand is modern; its lexicon includes Classical Arabic’s vocabulary as well as Moroccan Arabic’s one.7 Standard Arabic is used in politics, audiovisual media, social networks…etc more than Classical Arabic. Although Classical and Standard Arabic are the official languages in Morocco, they are not native languages.
We cannot discuss the Moroccan linguistic situation without mentioning the foreign languages. Colonization caused the existence of some foreign languages, directly or indirectly. French and Spanish existence was a direct result of the colonization, while English was an indirect one.
Spanish had faced a French dominance. As a result, its sociolinguistic functions were reduced little by little since the Moroccan independence. Spanish lost its vitality and it exists only in the regions which were under the Spanish domination in the colonial period (Tetouan, Nadour …).8 It is frequently used by the northern families. Spanish is somehow present in the Moroccan media (the news mainly). It is also taught in schools and universities. According to El-gherbi Spanish is the third foreign language in Morocco.9
If we are talking about foreign languages in Morocco, We may put languages in the following order: French, the first foreign language; English, the second foreign language ; Spanish, the third foreign language.
French and English are the focus of this research paper. After discussing the linguistic situation on Morocco, now we can discuss their existence within this linguistic situation, starting by French as its contact with Moroccans is older than the contact of English.
French was the official language of the protectorate regime and its institutions since the signing of the treaty in 1912 until the independence in 1956.10 It is actually the first foreign language of Morocco. It was taught in Moroccan schools after the independence with the help of the French cooperants.11 After the Arabization of the educational system, French became the foreign language in the school system, but it remained always the language of teaching of the majority of university’s curricula.12 French is massively present in the institutions, in all ministries except for one. In Economy it is the main language. It is used also in the public life and media. French is rejected by many for historical reasons; however, Boukous states that French is more used than Standard Arabic in the oral interaction, in institutions requiring communication in a formal frame work.13
English on the other hand is the second foreign language in Morocco. If we refer to French as a colonial language, then we may consider English the language of globalization and the lingua-franca of the world. There are two main events which lead to the contact between Moroccans and English. The first event was when Tangier became an international zone by law in 1923; many British and Americans were moving to Tangier. As a result, English was the lingua-franca used to communicate between the speech communities existing in this international spot. The second event was when the American army established military bases in Casablanca, Kenitra and Tangier Coinciding with the World War II. 14 Thus, some Moroccans learned English in order to communicate with the American soldiers, and vice versa. Globalization had encouraged English language learning in order to adapt to the demands of contemporary life.15 In relation to education, English is introduced into public education since the last year of junior high school; but in private schools, it is taught in the primary school.
For many historical and political reasons, Morocco has a complex linguistic environment where many varieties (Native/non-native, local/foreign, verbal/non-verbal) exist. The foreign languages are very important; they enable the country to be open to the world, and this openness is necessary in the Globalization era.
The French domination faced with an English spread resulted in a “war of languages” between the two foreign languages. The French domination with its strong historical roots is facing a wide spread of English - The international language
-. Chapter 2 will discuss this issue more precisely.
After 1956, Morocco became independent from France, but not from French. Moroccans faced the fact that French was the only high variety in this linguistic environment, which makes it socially prestigious. As a result, French was used in the majority of domains and it was the only language that monopolizes teaching scientific subjects. “Education was the main element in the issue of power.16 So French was mainly maintained by its function as a language of instruction more than other functions.17 So English was taught in Morocco by means of the French educational system. English remained one of the foreign languages that a student optionally chose to learn during the last three years of high school education.18 Nowadays, English is still an optional foreign language to study, but it is taught in the last year of junior high school. French on the other hand is taught since the third year of primary school. (This concerns the Moroccan public school. In the private school, foreign languages’ teaching is more reinforced).
In order to discuss the French dominance on education, I started an investigation by asking junior and secondary high school students. After this investigation, I’ve collected the following data:
The following table shows the number of hours dedicated to French and English teaching.
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
Lges: Languages H: Humanities
In the last year of junior high school, the number of hours dedicated to teaching foreign languages is 6 hours per week, 4 hours to French and 2 hours to English.
In high school, the number of hours dedicated to foreign languages differs from one discipline to another.
Concerning Letters, in the first and second year and in humanities’ baccalaureate, 9 hours per week are given to foreign languages’ teaching: 5 hours to French and 4 hours to English. In Languages’ baccalaureate, 10h are dedicated to teaching foreign languages: 5 hours for each language.
Concerning sciences, 7 hours are dedicated to foreign languages in the first year: 4 hours to French and 3h to English. And in the second year and baccalaureate year, 8 hours are dedicated to foreign languages: 5h to French and 3h to English.
To conclude, the hours dedicated to teaching French are more than the hours dedicated to teaching English. So in all the levels and disciplines ( except for languages discipline, where the number of hours dedicated to French is equivalent to the number of hours dedicated to English. ) French is the dominant foreign language.
So, from all these facts, we can notice that there is a French domination. The English spread will be discussed further on in this chapter (Always in relation to education).
As mentioned in the first chapter, English is the language of globalization and the lingua franca of the world. Regardless to the historical reasons that led to the contact between Moroccans and English, the fact that English is the first international language facilitates its spread. The speakers of English have more chances to access the international market than speakers of French, in all the domains: economy, science, technology and even art. So in order to adapt to the demands of contemporary life, people are encouraged or sometimes obliged to learn English language.
“In the early seventies, there were only two departments of English in Morocco (One in Rabat and the other in Fes … ). In October 1987, the number of English departments in Morocco reached eleven [ … ] the flow of students wishing to register in English departments were often wider than administrative expectations.” [F.Sadiqi].
F.Sadiqi provided also a table to show the wide spread of English at the university level.
g“The decrease in the number of students is sometimes due to the opening of new departments (e.g. Tetouan, Kenitra, - etc.) and sometimes to a sudden drop in the number of baccalaureate holders. ” [F.Sadiqi]
Although the increase of registrants in English departments in this example is not stable - because of the drops caused by the opening of new English departments and the drops in the number of baccalaureate holders -, we can notice that this increase throughout the years was important.
In the case of Fes University, the increase was not that significant. From 410 in 81- 82, the number of registrants had decreased to 344 in 83 - 84, then increased again to 390 in 87 - 88.
The important increase in this example is that of Casablanca University. Just in one year, the number of registrants in the English department had increased significantly, from 150 in 81 - 82 to 461 in 82 - 83.
The increase in the number of registrants in English departments led to an increase in the number of graduates. As a result, the number of Moroccan English language teachers increased as well. This increase in the number of English teachers is a result of the spread of English, a result that will help that spread go even wider.
In order to discuss the English spread in Morocco, I carried out an investigation in Sultan Mulay Slimane University-Beni Mellal. I have collected the lists of registrants in English and French departments in 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17, in an attempt to compare the number of registrants in both departments.
The following table contains the collected data:
The total sum of registrants in both departments in 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17 is : 3584 registrant. 2287 registrant in the English department versus 1297 registrant in the French department.
The number of registrants in the English department is 1000 more than the number of registrants in the French department.
1 Benzakour, F. (2000). Normes Et Identités , Le Fran ç ais Au Maroc : Lexiques et contacts de langues. Langues et linguistique, n° 28, 2002 : (pp. 27-43). Québec (Québec) Canada : Département de langues, linguistique et traduction, Faculté des lettres, Université Laval. P, 29
2 Abou Haidar, L. (2012(. Statut du fran ç ais au Maroc Repr é sentations et usages chez des lyc é ens marocains. Saint-Étienne France : CEDICLEC - CELEC, Université Jean-MONNET. P, 3
3 Abou Haidar, L. (2012(. Statut du fran ç ais au Maroc Repr é sentations et usages chez des lyc é ens marocains. Saint-Étienne France : CEDICLEC - CELEC, Université Jean-MONNET. P, 3
4 Abou Haidar, L. (2012(. Statut du fran ç ais au Maroc Repr é sentations et usages chez des lyc é ens marocains. Saint-Étienne France : CEDICLEC - CELEC, Université Jean-MONNET. P, 4
5 Abou Haidar, L. (2012(. Statut du fran ç ais au Maroc Repr é sentations et usages chez des lyc é ens marocains. Saint-Étienne France : CEDICLEC - CELEC, Université Jean-MONNET. P, 5
6 Abou Haidar, L. (2012(. Statut du fran ç ais au Maroc Repr é sentations et usages chez des lyc é ens marocains. Saint-Étienne France : CEDICLEC - CELEC, Université Jean-MONNET. P, 5
7 El Himer, M. (2000). Alternance codique dans le discours des locuteurs slaouis de souche: Atelier : Aménagement et politique linguistiques dans les pays arabophones. P, 254
8 Quitout, M. L ’ arabe, le Fran ç ais, l ’ amazighe au Maroc : un patrimoine culturel national. Toulouse, France : Centre d’études du monde arabe et de l’Asie (CEMAA). P, 63
9 El Himer, M. (2000). Alternance codique dans le discours des locuteurs slaouis de souche : Atelier : Aménagement et politique linguistiques dans les pays arabophones. P, 255
10 Quitout, M. L ’ arabe, le Fran ç ais, l ’ amazighe au Maroc : un patrimoine culturel national. Toulouse, France : Centre d’études du monde arabe et de l’Asie (CEMAA). P, 62
11 Abou Haidar, L. (2012(. Statut du fran ç ais au Maroc Repr é sentations et usages chez des lyc é ens marocains. Saint-Étienne France : CEDICLEC - CELEC, Université Jean-MONNET. P, 6
12 Abou Haidar, L. (2012(. Statut du fran ç ais au Maroc Repr é sentations et usages chez des lyc é ens marocains. Saint-Étienne France : CEDICLEC - CELEC, Université Jean-MONNET. P, 7
13 El Himer, M. (2000). Alternance codique dans le discours des locuteurs slaouis de souche : Atelier : Aménagement et politique linguistiques dans les pays arabophones. P, 255
14 Loutfi, A., & Noamane, A. (2014). English In Morocco: A Historical Overview. <halshs-01447545>. P, 3
15 Loutfi, A., & Noamane, A. (2014). English In Morocco: A Historical Overview. <halshs-01447545>. P, 5
16 Benzakour, F. (2000) Enjeux Et Réalité , Le Fran ç ais Au Maroc. Québec, Canada / Rabat, Maroc : Université de Sherbrooke, Université de Rabat. P, 35
17 Benzakour, F. (2000) Enjeux Et Réalité , Le Fran ç ais Au Maroc. Québec, Canada / Rabat, Maroc : Université de Sherbrooke, Université de Rabat. P, 35
18 Sadiqi, F. The Spread Of English In Morocco. Fes, Morocco: Faculty of letters. P, 69
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