Bavures and Shibboleths

The Moroccan writer Tahar Ben Jelloun recently addressed an open letter to the President of France about the state of French-Moroccan relations.[1]  “No French politician,” he begins, “would have dared to compare Algeria to an old mistress whom one no longer loves, but with whom one is obliged to sleep. Nor would a magistrate ever have sent to the residence of the Algerian ambassador a court summons for a senior representative of that state.” Nor, he might have added, would the Algerian Foreign Minister have been subjected to a body-search (whatever that really meant) at Charles de Gaulle airport. Yet these are only three of the catalogue of perceived insults to which Morocco has been subjected in recent months. Even as I write this, another shock-wave ripples the newspapers: General Bennani, gravely ill in a Paris military hospital, has been insulted in his bed by a Moroccan intruder – and this too has been added to the catalogue of insults that France is supposed to have permitted, or facilitated, or failed to prevent.[2]

In Benjelloun’s view, Algeria snarls and is respected, but Morocco is altogether too indulgent, and gets only disrespect in return. He writes of “a lack of sensitivity, a sort of casual taking-for-granted, and above all a misunderstanding of the Moroccan soul.” Morocco is not, he says, “the sort of country that one can treat with offhand scorn (qu’on traite dessus la jambe.)” He is clear that Morocco needs respect, and isn’t getting it – but he is looking for solutions, for a personal visit to Morocco by the President to mend fences with the King. He wants Franco-Moroccan relations restored to their old equilibrium, and stresses that, however distracting events in Europe may be, France needs to understand that “Morocco is worried too by the future of a Europe now taken over by populist-extremists and xenophobes. Morocco needs its exports defended and its identity respected. I’m talking of tomatoes and oranges, of fishing and development, of investment and progress.”

This is mild enough, but there’s a curious undercurrent. The cavalcade of perceived insults by France to Morocco, no doubt exaggerated and groomed by the press into a single narrative for political purposes, is nonetheless deeply hurtful, as demonstrations outside the French Embassy, and reactions in the Moroccan press and parliament have made clear. It is widely seen as a shift in French attention away from Morocco and towards those ‘snarling’ Algerians, driven by the needs of Sahelian geopolitics.

Quite how hurtful this estrangement is, is indicated by Ben Jelloun’s choice of the word bavure to describe the incidents that punctuate it: La tension dure, les bavures continuent et M. Hollande ne bronche pas. The word is of course an old one, meaning ‘a blot,’ but it is a reference too, measured or subliminal, to the police unit to which bavure also alludes, the Brigade d’Agression et Violence (les BAVs) which was formed in 1958 to confront and control Algerian demonstrations in Paris. Le BAV became famous for its ultra-violent tactics, culminating in the wholesale killing of at least 40, and perhaps over 100, unarmed Algerian demonstrators on 17th October 1961. Bavure is a word used to describe gratuitous police violence – in this most famous case, a massacre in the centre of Paris. Chosen with precision in this context by a great Moroccan wordsmith living in that same city, the word suggests that there are dark and deep undercurrents in the relationship.

What strikes me after four years in Morocco is the way in which the Franco-Moroccan relationship is changing. In some ways this is simply a natural evolution as Morocco begins at last to escape, definitively, the cultural hegemony of its former colonial power. But in this natural distancing there is a vein of bitterness, not only amongst the old who remember earlier times; but amongst the young, who don’t. Emerging from the same deep, dark undercurrents are the resentment that the PJD showed in describing (in French) the new French bac as une grave violation de la souveraineté nationale, and the more chaotic youthful resentment of France that one finds widely amongst the publicly educated young. “I hate French,” a young student said to me in the margins of a conference recently, and his twenty or so young companions all nodded like little golden retrievers on the back shelf of a Ford Cortina.

It is the very closeness, the deep cultural affinity for France amongst the older French-educated Moroccan élite, which makes being treated dessus la jambe so very painful. As for the young, something else is going on – a straining to be free of a form of society in which opportunity, power and respect are all words written in French. Now is a moment of great change for Morocco, an opening-up to a wider world of opportunity in which Morocco can, if it has the will and determination, prosper.

I don’t mean that the two aging lovers are heading for separation – far from it. But I do think that much of what has been taken for granted by France in Morocco in the six decades since Independence will have increasingly to be earned and paid for; and I believe that the old notion of North Africa in general, and Morocco in particular, as a chasse gardée is fading very fast. I also believe that Morocco is moving, erratically but definitively, into a much richer, more variegated linguistic and cultural environment, an environment in which it can flourish at last. What I shall do in this short essay is to offer some reflections on this fast-moving shift in Morocco’s cultural ecology, and what it means for the future, after four years working in this field in Morocco.


The most obvious bellwether of this change is language. The Moroccan élite is francophone, and has been so to a growing extent since well before Independence. Language is a carefully curated barrier to social mobility, and one which has long helped to sustain the cosy interpenetration of the French and Moroccan élites. Language has also held back the large section of the population which doesn’t speak French, and which since the 1980s has been forcibly educated in classical Arabic. Well-educated Moroccans, particularly of an older generation, speak an exquisite French, mannered, elegant and intricate, which is a pleasure to the ear, but which is also an ineradicable class-marker. Of this language frontier the Moroccan critic Abdelfattah Kilito writes (in an essay called Le Rempart, in which the Andalusian Wall of Rabat’s medina is the symbol of a cultural and linguistic, as well as a physical, division) that as a schoolboy in Rabat in the 1960s he learned French at school, but only at school: “Outside my school, it simply didn’t wash. Between themselves, the schoolboys didn’t use it, and at home it was forbidden. It was the language of separation: for the first time in the history of Morocco, children were learning a language unknown to their parents.”[3]  But even this uncomfortable, if effective, access for children outside the élite has narrowed dramatically since Kilito’s childhood, with the arabisation of the public system and the deterioration in the quality of French teaching within it.

French is, and has remained until today, the language of power, the language of success. Some see this as accidental. Others, like Mohamed Chafik, as something much more fundamental to the architecture of independent Morocco, and as the guiding principle of a deliberately divisive education system: “One is tempted to believe,” he writes, “that [the political architects of Moroccan education] wanted, as in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, to create an impoverished Beta class for the masses, and a privileged Alpha class for them and their children.”[4]  One doesn’t need to attribute quite such deliberate malice to the framers of Moroccan education policy, but it is all too visible that the Moroccan élite, by and large, continues to send its children to the archipelago of more than 30 French lycées de mission, education at which provides a vertiginous ladder on the snakes-and-ladders board of life. That the minister of education responsible for the accelerated (and, many feel, botched) arabisation of the public system in the 1980s sent his own children to a French lycée de mission is perhaps not insignificant. One researcher, crunching the graduation statistics for these foreign lycées since Independence, shows that 45% of Moroccan graduates from the lycées de mission since 1956 come from 500 families; 34% from 200 families, 27% from 100 families, 21% from 50 families and 15% from 20 families.[5]  They are, in other words, to a large extent a support system, and a filter, for the élite. Their graduates move easily into higher education abroad, and attend recruitment fairs in Paris for management jobs in Casablanca. And they prosper.

Of course this isn’t the whole story, and like the chain of bavures in the Moroccan press, Morocco’s education and language policies can be seen as accidental outcomes of the colonial past, or can be crafted into a hostile narrative, according to one’s polemical stance. But the fact remains that post-colonial Morocco has been joined at the hip with France in a way that seems increasingly strange – and increasingly anachronistic. The weekly news magazine TelQuel recently ran a long feature examining some of these questions, called France: un ami qui nous veut du bien?[6]  Under the subhead Un bulldozer culturel, its authors examine this interplay of culture, education and the francophone élite. They note some of the basic statistics that need to inform any discussion. French cultural spending in Morocco is amongst its highest anywhere in the world (just as its embassy in Rabat is – amazingly – amongst its largest). Each year, some 1,500 Moroccans of the 20,500 inscribed (2014) in the 39 institutions accredited to the French Ministry of Education pass the French baccalaureate, by-passing their own national qualifications system. Encapsulating the negative view, the article quotes leftist academic Youssef Belal as saying, “The French cultural and academic presence in Morocco is encouraged by the Moroccan state’s power centres, and more generally by the economic élite. This presence perpetuates a neo-colonial situation which profits the French state to such an extent that it makes the most strenuous efforts on political and economic levels [to sustain it].”

There seem to me to be two levels here of interaction. The first is about the way in which this snug relationship benefits élites in both countries; the other about the way in which it distorts Moroccan society. At the binational élite level, it is all too clear (though not my purpose here to explore): French industry has an inside track, French diplomats and politicians – until recently at least – a fairly clear run. Moroccans of a certain class move easily between the educational systems, and the social structures, of the two countries at the highest level. As Maroc Hebdo once put it, “The Moroccan élite only recruits amongst the graduates of the French grandes écoles,” and while this may be an exaggeration, it is not untrue. There are some 30,000 Moroccan students in France, the largest single national group; the thousand or so who make it into the grandes écoles are the cream of the cream. The Moroccan élite of the post-Independence period is francophone, French-educated, and French-orientated; and it is very much in the interests of France to keep it so. A largely shared culture of business, recreation, education and language maintains the intimacy of the colonial period into the post-colonial. Morocco is a jewel in the crown of la francophonie.

The second level is more interesting, and echoes my point above about the role of language and culture in making and reinforcing distinctions between Moroccans. The modern élite in Morocco is defined by its French-ness, and by its self-conscious distance from other forms of Moroccan-ness. Sylvain Beck reckons that “Franco-Moroccan relations should really be seen as purely Moroccan-Moroccan … the French are just intermediaries in these relations.” By this he means that each Francophile cultural choice made by an actual or aspiring member of the Moroccan élite is a deliberate marker of distinction from those Moroccans who don’t, or can’t, make the same choice themselves. The ‘problem’ of France in Morocco is actually the problem of Moroccan society itself, and its costive class structure. Beck calls this “a social elevator running at two speeds, where francophony and francophily become not just cultural capital, but also weapons of domination between Moroccan citizens.”[7]

It is very noticeable how easily Moroccans can place each other by listening to spoken French: it is replete with social and educational signals and shibboleths, some obvious to a non-francophone foreigner, others quite obscure. This isn’t intrinsically strange – the same is true of Englishmen listening to each other speaking English, after all: but what is really bizarre about it is that this process of class-judgement is done entirely through the medium of a foreign language. Coded in this way it is a way of doing down the Other – a language whose sophisticated deployment is as much designed to exclude as to communicate. And in doing so it delineates a damaging schizophrenia in Moroccan society.

At the most trivial level, my son, out running in a Rabat park a couple of years ago, was accosted by a slightly truculent group of young Moroccans who jeered at him as he ran past them “Sale français! A bas Sarkozy!” or something of the kind. He ran on round the park and it happened again on the next circuit. Irritated, he stopped and said in his fluent Brussels-accented French that he was English, and pissed off at their rudeness, at which the Moroccan kids code-switched and apologized, warmly, in English, and shook his hand politely. This is interesting not just because it offers a glimpse (oft repeated in other circumstances) of some young Moroccans’ attitudes to France, but because it also shows Moroccans deftly using different linguistic tools to deliver labile, shape-shifting messages of which the language in which they are expressed is an intrinsic part.

A language gambit that is designed to keep people down by marking them as outsiders is bound to create and sustain resentment. By taking on this role French becomes associated dangerously closely with an élite that may itself be coming under social and cultural, if not yet perhaps serious political, pressure. Language-choice becomes a political act (which of course it always is, in one sense – and I write after long periods working in both Belgium and Canada). What I have seen in my four years in Morocco is a fast-changing attitude to the two foreign languages with which I am familiar – English (of which I am a native speaker) and French (of which I am a more or less competent non-native speaker). It is certainly true that French is currently the more useful, and much of my business in Morocco is done in French. But I have watched the demand for English growing very fast indeed and – even more interesting – arrived at a clearer and clearer view of the multiple reasons why this is so.

The most interesting reason is that English escapes the caste-signs of French. If, as I observed above, one Moroccan can always judge another by his French, the same is not true of English. English provides a neural bypass around the socio-cultural blockage that French erects. When speaking English, you betray little about yourself to another Moroccan. Judgements made on this basis about your social class and education are generally crude and contextually irrelevant, and so are not made. Language mistakes are not serious. Where failures of grammar, conjugation or gender are social disaster in French, the equivalent errors in English are venal sins, if they are noticed at all. International English – Globish, as it is sometimes called – is a forgiving language with a large bandwidth of register which cares little for accuracy. Right now, and increasingly since the youthquake of the 2011 spring, young Moroccans seem to care less for perfection of form and much more for unmarked communication. On Facebook I see young Moroccans ‘speaking’ a lithe, promiscuous mixture of French, Darija and English (as well as ‘MSA’), an e-macaronic that is concerned with meaning, humour and reference – not with the intricacies of form. It is perhaps a little like the way in which some Indians convert from Hinduism to Islam and Christianity, in part at least because these two religions offer them ways out of the Indian caste system. English in Morocco is, it seems to me, increasingly popular because it makes the same offer: speak me and you step aside from Beck’s “weapons of cultural domination.”

The last three years in particular, with their explosion of social media (by late 2011, 10% of Moroccans were on Facebook, 80% of these under 30 years old, and 40% of them women[8]) have given impetus to the growth in Morocco of a language that is simple, universal and flexible. Classical Arabic couldn’t offer this because it is complex, regionally and religiously specific, and not very flexible. The low quality of its teaching in Moroccan schools is illustrated by literacy figures that even by UNESCO’s almost-meaninglessly easy standards, show that scarcely 60 per cent of Moroccans can “read and write a simple sentence about their daily lives”. Arabic and French between them have made of Morocco a society that is substantially analphabète and overwhelmingly illettré. English, the lingua franca of today’s world, may perhaps be able to help fill the gap.

The relative appetites are remarkable. Visiting English classrooms around Morocco I am constantly struck by the fact that the quality of spoken English is so high. “How long have you been learning English?” I often ask, and am surprised to be told “Only a year, sir” or “Only two.” Teachers confirm that progress in English is spectacularly faster for most children than in French, reflecting a real appetite to learn, and a real sense of positive value. In part of course this is the impact of music and films in English. But it also reflects two other understandings: that English is a very useful commodity on the job-market; and that it is symbolic of dissent, of modernity, of change and of youthful aspiration. “English,” a small-town language school proprietor told the BBC last year, in accounting for rocketing demand, “is a language for everyone, of every social background.” French is not seen the same way: the same teacher says to camera, “French is considered the language of the élite.”[9]


Of course there is a top-down aspect to all this, too. Young Moroccans may be pulling, but Moroccan policy-makers see very clearly the need for language change, and are pushing, albeit a little spasmodically. Debate about language is hobbled by religio-political hobby-horses. Arabic and Darija slug it out in depressingly barren debates (which remind one painfully of Borges’s wry comment on the Falklands War, “Two bald men fighting over a comb”). There is intemperate to-and-fro in parliament, as though the debilitating, illiteracy-generating diglossia forced on all Moroccans, both arabophone and berbérophone, were a subject for leisurely polemic, rather than the pressing national disaster that it actually is.

Solutions really are hard to arrive at, because the cultural identity arguments on each side routinely outweigh the fact that huge numbers of Moroccans await access to the written word altogether. In a country of at least 32,000,000, where the total circulation of all newspapers does not exceed 350,000 a day, and where the average print-run of a new book is 1,500, to talk of foreign languages seems almost self-indulgent, but talk we must. The abject state of the education system owes much to linguistic confusion, with Arabic (itself in some ways a foreign language) introduced from year 1, French from year 2 and a second foreign language, generally English, from year 9.[10]  As most university professors will assure you privately, the 7 per cent of primary school starters who survive to pass their baccalaureate arrive at university without, for the most part, usable Arabic or usable French. Having studied all the way through school in Arabic (though teaching has not infrequently to be paraphrased in Darija for the children to follow), students who want to study maths or science must suddenly begin to study in French at university. It is hard to imagine a more destructive formula for education. But at the same time it is all too clear what has happened: the senior, most prestigious branch of study – maths and science – has managed to defend its francophony, its prestige and its access to higher education in France. Another class divider, another linguistic minefield artfully maintained. Charis Bouthieri quotes a Moroccan teacher as saying that “French is [the pupils’] passport to the grandes écoles … we don’t hide it from them – the key to success is math and French.”[11] And so indeed it has been.

Last August (2013) HM the King made a resounding speech about education.[12] He said that despite some progress, “I am indeed sad to note that the state of education is worse now than it was twenty years ago” – “We still have a long, arduous journey ahead of us if we are to enable this sector to actually play its role as an engine for the achievement of economic and social advancement. In this connection, we cannot but ask this pressing question: why is it that so many of our young people cannot fulfil their legitimate professional, material and social aspirations? The education sector is facing many difficulties and problems. They are mostly due to the adoption of some syllabi and curricula that do not tally with the requirements of the job market. Another reason has to do with the disruptions caused by changing the language of instruction from Arabic, at the primary and secondary levels, to some foreign languages, for the teaching of scientific and technical subjects in higher education. Accordingly, students must be provided with the necessary linguistic skills so that they may fully benefit from training courses.” – “Moroccans,” he said, “should, therefore, be encouraged to learn and master foreign languages, in addition to the official languages specified in the Constitution.”

This is an appeal – indeed an instruction – for much greater linguistic diversity. It has been answered, interestingly, in a number of very different ways (even leaving aside the affirmation of Tamazight under the 2011 Constitution as an official language – and the curious position of ‘official’ Tamazight itself as a standardised, constructed, and as such not, yet at least, very widely spoken, language).

First of all, an experimental French-language version of the Moroccan baccalaureate has been trialled in 14 Moroccan schools since September 2013. It has proved very unpopular in some quarters, attracting fierce opposition both from some quarters of the PJD, the leading party in the coalition government (une humiliation de la langue arabe), and from the Istiqlal, whose leader, Hamid Chabat even went so far, between bavures a few months ago, to say that it was high time to replace French with English. Early this year, the Ministry of National Education announced the introduction of an English language version of the Moroccan baccalaureate, to run alongside the French. A Spanish bac is also in the pipeline, and there is much broader language study beginning to take off amongst those who can afford it – in Chinese particularly (heavily subsided by the Chinese government), as well as other European languages like Italian and German.

At a more professional level (though still more aspiration than policy) we have heard Dr Lahcen Daoudi, the Minister for Higher Education, tell a group of students that a Moroccan student who does not speak English should consider himself analphabète (comme moi, he added, disarmingly but importantly – this is a clear sign that many francophones understand élite culture to be running out of rope). More recently he has announced that registration for a PhD should be conditional on English proficiency, and he has repeated his message about English as the key to education and development, again and again. This is indeed the beginning of the language-diversification that HM the King called for in his 2013 speech, and it could be seen as a simple expansion of the horizon of possibilities.

But there’s more to it than that. One interesting pointer is the astonishing growth in demand for English across Morocco. In the last year, the British Council has offered on-line and blended English courses at low prices to Moroccan university students. The immediate take-up has been extraordinary, in the tens of thousands. English is seen as a window on the world, a tool in the toolbox of employability, a statement about oneself, and the mark of a new Moroccan international and intercultural confidence. There is some evidence that speaking English commands a wage premium in the domestic job market, which is particularly intriguing because any such premium would be running rather ahead of actual demand – a sort of anticipatory price rise, like shares appreciating on expectation of future earnings.[13]

Then there is steadily growing number of Moroccan students at American, Canadian and British universities. “I’m too old a dog to learn new tricks,” said an elderly and very grand Moroccan to me recently, in exquisite French, “but my children are at university in the States because without English they aren’t going anywhere.” In Britain this trend is suddenly, and for the first time, noticeable. Beside the 30,000 or so in France, the numbers are still tiny; but compared to what they were five years ago, they are astonishing. One Russell Group university alone told me recently that it has received almost 150 UCAS applications this year – about the same number of Moroccans studying at all British universities combined in 2002. British universities are now beginning to recruit aggressively in Morocco. Later this year there is a delegation of 20 British universities heading for North Africa, and it will be the first of many. “Why?” I asked a university president here, “what is attractive about the UK?” – “Simple,” he replied. “Three reasons. First Moroccan students don’t much like the way they are treated in France these days. Second, they particularly hate the French system whereby entry to the first year of university doesn’t guarantee entry to the second – they love UK completion rates. And third, they aren’t stupid: they can see that the top French university is ranked 65th in the world, while Britain – England – has three universities in the world’s top ten.”[14]  And these students are almost all coming from the élite lycées, so that this really is a small but growing trahison des clercs.

Right at the heart of these stirrings of change is a growing perception of the francosphère as constraining, and of the wider world demanding English as its entry-ticket. This is very clear in academia, where the Minister is undoubtedly correct in his analysis. I have all too often talked with francophone Moroccan academics who lament the closed doors of language as stunting their professional lives; and we have begun to see the senior management of whole universities shipping off to England for intensive language courses. If corroboration is needed, one need look no further than the agonized debates in France over the last couple of years around the use of English in higher education. One comment stays with me: the then Minister, Geneviève Fioraso, pursuing a policy of wider English  use in French Higher Education, asked rhetorically which country was the largest exporter of students in the world, answering herself – India – and noting that France has only 3,000 Indian students. As she put it, Nous sommes ridicules.[15]  The debates in France about the use of English in education are if anything more heated than in Morocco – and I suspect almost as futile. Dr Daoudi put this succinctly, when he said, “We master neither Arabic nor French … most scientific references are in English … English is the world language for scientific research …French is no longer useful.”[16]

In research the argument is particularly crucial and particularly difficult. Morocco is deeply involved in a network of creative and successful partnerships and structures that link it tightly to research establishments in France (and to a lesser extent Spain). But Dr Daoudi is right to say that “English is the world language of research,” and the rapid broadening of Morocco’s research partnerships is very important. The last year has seen a series of postdoctoral research workshops with British institutions, including Cambridge and Imperial (two of those top three ranked universities) and SOAS. Aside from their very obvious success (in areas from Moroccan history to Big Data, and from nutrition to palaeontology), the most striking thing about them is that they are all conducted in English. When the question of translation into French was raised, the Moroccan partner, CNRST, simply said: No.

The same is true in other areas, perhaps in a more nuanced way. Commerce and finance are increasingly anglophone, and while the currently francophone élite will remain hugely influential, they will increasingly exercise that influence in English. I recently signed a training agreement between the CGEM and a major British logistics organization, whose CEO turned out to my delight to be French. London is a major French city – said to be the sixth biggest in the world, with 3-400,000 Frenchmen and women living there. As Casablanca develops its Finance City project; and as Moroccan business expands into West and Central Africa, given a powerful motor by HM the King’s recent royal progress, it is important to remember that although the traditional markets of French West Africa are crucial to Morocco, expansion requires movement out into the anglophone markets of Nigeria, Ghana and elsewhere. Again, language is a prerequisite.


This is not in any sense a triumphalist argument, and it starts from the position that English is a world language, the language of the international research community and – in another of Dr Daoudi’s useful insights – “the language of employability.” When Morocco is even (as it did three years or so ago) importing Indian labourers because anglophone manual labour is needed in the Tangier Free Zone and can’t be hired locally, there is something more global than national at work. The advance of English is a tidal phenomenon – irresistible, as King Cnut discovered, but of course, like all tides, turning at high water. Still, for now the tide is coming in fast.

This incoming tide, though, is doing something more than just washing a new language onto the beach. Because language has been such a determinedly, resolutely maintained barrier to non-francophone penetration of markets and minds in French North Arica and its successor states; and because it has filled the same function in maintaining a class-structure and a post-colonial élite against excessive social mobility, the tide will wash away many sandcastles and beach-mermaids too. Much that is loveliest and most evocative of Moroccan society and achievement lives in a francophone rock-pool on this beach, and risks being devastated by the tide. The trick of the next decade will be to manage inevitable cultural change in such a way as to preserve what is good and vital, and to make it the centre of a new and more diverse Moroccan cultural richness.

Whatever this is about – and any national cultural institution, French, British, Spanish, American or German, has a vein of national interest running somewhere through it – it is not about simple competition. The great risk to Morocco today is that cultural change, which will happen willy-nilly, is not being managed assertively and confidently. If Morocco is to avoid the haphazard impact of language change, it must grasp the bull by the horns. This means faster and deeper educational reform at all levels; an aggressive and open-minded approach to literacy, and the cutting of the Gordian knot of the interminable ‘language debate;’ and a faster take-up of English as the vector of internationalism in the academy, commerce, labour mobility and – inevitably – leisure.

It also signals change in other dimensions: English offers a neural bypass around the brittle stratification of languages in Morocco, a way to internationalise the mind, and the career, without becoming wholly hostage to the different limitations of la francophonie and of the Arabic-speaking world. English is the workaround to cope with a relatively static, language-defined élite. It offers room for aspiration outside the clerisy of French, opening up knowledge, communication and aspiration to a much broader swathe of Moroccan society. It is a vector of democracy and development, as well as a hot-link to the globalised world of the twenty-first century.

Martin Rose
4th August 2014


[1] (checked 3.7.2014) (my translation)

[2] (checked 3.7.2014)

[3] Abdelfattah Kilito, Je parle toutes les langues, mais en arabe, Arles, 2013 p 14 (my translation)

[4] Mohamed Chafik, Dialogue avec Mohamed Chafik, Un chantre de la diversité, in Le métier de l’intellectuel, ed Fadma Aït Mous and Driss Ksikes, Casablanca 2014, p45 (my translation)

[5] Moha U’Hrou Hajar, La mission Française au Maroc vs La mission de l’école marocaine, 2008 (no pub. data)

[6] TelQuel no 623, 6-12 June 2014, Btissame Zejly and Samir Achehbar (translations from this article my own)

[7] TelQuel no 623, p32

[8] Yves Gonzalez-Quijano, Arabités Numeriques, Arles, 2012, p50

[9] (checked 3.7.2014)

[10] English is the normal ‘second foreign language,’ with Spanish commoner in the former Spanish protectorate. Where Spanish is taught, it is introduced in year 10 rather than year 9.

[11] Charis Boutieri, In Two Speeds (à deux vitesses): linguistic pluralism and educational anxiety in contemporary Morocco, IJMES 44, pp443-464, August 2012

[12] (checked 3.7.2014)

[13] The Benefits of the English Language for Individuals and Societies: Quantitative Indicators from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen, Euromonitor International, May 2010

[14] (checked 3.7.2014)

[15] Le développement des cours en Anglais déchire le monde académique, Benoït Floc’h, Le Monde, 10th May 2014

[16] Morocco’s Minister of Education: French is no longer valid, English is the solution, Morocco World News, 12th March 2014