The Status of Mother Tongues and Language Policy in Morocco
The linguistic market in Morocco has been characterized by its richness and complexity, in that a number of local as well as foreign languages co-exist. Given this multiplicity and diversity in its linguistic landscape, Morocco has opted for Arabization as a language policy in education, its ultimate goal being, as it were, to safeguard and maintain its national identity (Ennaji, 2003). Achieving this goal, however, is far from being without glaring shortcomings. Arabization has, inter alia, marginalized mother tongues, the latter being relegated to daily communication only with a devalued and denigrated status. On this view, the present paper brings to the fore the status of languages in use in Morocco and, more precisely, brings into focus the impact of Arabization on the status of mother tongues. What is more, the study attempts to shed light on Moroccans’ attitudes towards their mother tongues. In pursuance of this aim, the study addresses the following research questions, principally (i) What is the status of Arabic in Morocco? (ii) What is the nature of Moroccans’ attitudes towards their mother tongues, namely Moroccan Arabic and Moroccan Amazigh? (iii) What is the impact of Arabization on the status of mother tongues in Morocco?
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