The Status of English in Morocco: Lessons from Spontaneous Debates in Social Media

  • Abdelmajid Bouziane Faculty of Letters and Humanities Ben Msik,Hassan II University of Casablanca, Morocco https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4138-2450
  • Mohamed Saoudi
Keywords: social media, language attitudes, policy, Morocco

Abstract

Morocco, a multilingual country with historical and geo-political legacies, has opened a hot debate on languages recently. Within this debate, this article investigates spontaneous comments in social media on languages in Morocco, especially adopting English as a first foreign language. It aims to bring this topic to the surface and thus discuss it in the light of research on language attitudes and language awareness. To do so, it analyses the reactions to texts about the declarations by the Minister of Higher Education shared in social networks and sites. The data consisting of 2,018 comments is classified according to 12 frequent patterns whose frequencies are calculated. The findings show that most of Moroccans have positive attitudes towards English while some show opposing reactions towards French. These participants hold ambivalent opinions about the rest of languages used in Morocco; however, they tend to insist on Morocco having a clear language policy which, seemingly, prioritises the mother tongues, Arabic and Amazigh. The discussions show that some investigated reactions are mitigated as they may be illusionary.

Author Biographies

Abdelmajid Bouziane, Faculty of Letters and Humanities Ben Msik,Hassan II University of Casablanca, Morocco

Abdelmajid Bouziane is a professor of education at Hassan II University of Casablanca, Morocco. He has served as a project manager and participant in different national and international projects related to education. He has published widely in the areas of teaching English as a foreign language, ICT, and education in general. He serves as a peer reviewer for some international journals. His areas of interest are: TEFL, ICT in education, research methods, teachers’ associations, and language policy. He has supervised several master and doctorate theses.

Mohamed Saoudi

Mohamed Saoudi is a freenlance teacher of English. He earned a master’s degree in Moroccan American Studies from the Faculty of Letters and Humanities Ben M’Sik, Casablanca, Morocco.

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Published
2021-12-30
How to Cite
Bouziane, A., & Saoudi, M. (2021). The Status of English in Morocco: Lessons from Spontaneous Debates in Social Media. English Studies at NBU, 7(2), 187-208. https://doi.org/10.33919/esnbu.21.2.4
Section
Articles