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Scripps College

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Program Name

Morocco: Migration and Transnational Identity


The North African country of Morocco boasts a rich history of linguistic diversity, which was further compounded with the introduction of the French language under the protectorate in 1912. Through a complicated mix of Fus’ha (Modern Standard Arabic), Darija (Moroccan Dialectical Arabic), French (historically the language of the protectorate), and most recently, the introduction of English, the system of education with respect to linguistic instruction is left in a bind. The divide between the public schools, private schools, traditional Arabic schools, and well-­‐ established French schools only grows, as the Moroccan Education system hurts for change. If language shapes education, and education shapes a person, then to what degree does the question of cultural identity factor into Morocco’s debate on language of education? In this paper, I seek to take a closer look at this issue and examine the common perceptions that fuel the debate on the Transnational and Multilingual Moroccan Identity, public schools, private schools, and where Moroccan education hopes to be going next.

I approached the question of linguistic identity with a study of a select few private schools in Rabat, Morocco’s capital. My research included interviews, varying by age and academic background. Through a careful analysis of these interviews coupled with existing academic discourse, we find that through the evolution of Morocco’s deeply flawed education system, multilingualism is paving the way for a new, transnational Moroccan identity, and through an understanding of this cultural identity, the education system may find grounding for positive future change.


African History | African Languages and Societies | African Studies | Civic and Community Engagement | Community-Based Research | Demography, Population, and Ecology | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Reading and Language


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