In this excerpt of the 4th episode of 21st Century Morocco, Gari Sullivan, the podcast’s co-host makes the comment that in parallel with the growing love for English in Morocco, there is an increasing resentment for French. This sentiment that “French is almost like a barrier”, Gari explains, prevails across all social classes as all Moroccans are forced to learn in French throughout Moroccan schools.
Asked if he recognizes this resentment in Morocco, Tony Reilly, the Director of the British Council, states that “resentment is a bit of a strong word,” but acknowledges that there is an anti-French language sentiment in Morocco, adding that it is due to historical and cultural factors. Tony explains, that the English language in the Moroccan context is a neutral language whereas “French has certain (historical) baggage” and “it is more elitist.”
Ezzoubeir Jabrane is a writer, teacher and entrepreneur. He holds a Master’s Degree in Linguistic and Literary Studies. He has written a number of journalistic, analytical and academic articles in different fields. He’s worked as a teacher of Academic English at Hassan II University in Casablanca and a teacher of English for Engineering in the National Higher School of Arts and Craft (ENSAM), in addition to a number of other private institutions. Ezzoubeir is a founding member of International Morocco and the founder of Exchange Lab, a language center that offers online English courses for individuals, companies and associations.