Mohammed Sassi
Ahmed Chaibi
The National Center for Assessment, Examinations, and Guidance

Language and Literacy

According to the 2011 Constitution, Arabic and Amazigh are the two official languages of the Kingdom of Morocco.1 The 1999 Charter for Education and Training stipulated that an open approach toward the Amazigh language would be endorsed. To this end, the Royal Institute for the Amazigh Culture, which was created in 2001 under provisions of the Royal Dahir, has been designing teaching materials and teacher training programs in Amazigh jointly with the Ministry of Education. The inclusion of Amazigh in the school curriculum was a remarkable event within Morocco’s educational spheres. Still, huge efforts need to be invested to generalize its teaching throughout compulsory education. The language curriculum generally aims to equip the learner with abilities, skills, knowledge, values, and attitudes that allow him or her to use verbal as well as nonverbal language through the mastery of the basic communication skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Within the Moroccan educational context, reading literacy is viewed as an asset that allows students to further their knowledge, nurture their potential, and fully participate in society. Reading classes focus on the acquisition of literacy skills and subskills and their uses in a broad sense. Educationalists are keenly aware that reading is an essential instrument for the teaching and learning of other components of language, as well as a prerequisite for developing student readiness to cope with knowledge and culture. More importantly, early reading literacy helps students become aware of values inherent in other content areas and contributes to autonomous learning.

This integrated and unified concept of language teaching and learning takes into consideration the linguistic specificities related to lexis, phonology, calligraphy, semantics, culture, history, and teaching approaches and aids that are dependent on the status and roles of each language.

A revised curriculum of primary education is under experimentation in a limited number of regions and schools. This curriculum views languages as complementary to and inherently integrated within a unified, harmonious, and communicative language framework.2