When teachers teach things they do not even master

By Omar Bihmidine

Morocco World News

Sidi Ifni, Morocco, August 20, 2012

Many teachers teach things they do not even master. Whether we accept it or not, this is the case with a number of Morocco’s  teachers of English. Of course, some misconceptions about teachers’ mastery of their subject matter may instantly arise, such as the excuse that no one is perfect, that no one is infallible, and that teaching is learning twice by the end of the day.

In reality, these facts always hold true. Yet, it is worth bearing in mind that they are merely flimsy excuses which incompetent teachers resort to in an attempt to conceal their weaknesses. Everyone has weaknesses. But would this suffice to exonerate  teachers of English who still can‘t differentiate between the compound-complex sentence from the complex, or the stressed syllable from the unstressed syllable?

Sometimes, when I read what some Moroccan teachers of Englishi write in English, I cannot help but wonder how they will successfully impart certain language points on their students. When they put pen to paper, a number of teachers cannot, for instance, differentiate between defining clauses and non-defining ones; they cannot punctuate them correctly, either.

At first sight, making a fuss about punctuation and the like may appear trivial. But, upon contemplation, punctuation alone can tell a lot about teachers. It can, for instance, tell whether Moroccan teachers of English think in Arabic or French when they use or teach English. It can also tell whether teachers are heavily affected by interference, and therefore, this contagious defect may move to students.

How can one expect high school teachers to teach these language items in the writing skill, if they don’t master them well enough? Perhaps, one of us will intervene and say that a teacher is still learning and should not be blamed for poor mastery. But, is this convincing enough? I do not think so.

Every year, to have their salaries upgraded, teachers sit for professional competence tests. Here, many teachers have recourse to cheating for the sake of immediate success. Many of them are tested on areas of knowledge they must already master and on lessons they already teach their students.

Cheating, too, can tell us something about teachers’ school days. We must have no doubt about the fact that teachers who cheat at professional competence tests must already have had past cheating experiences as students, particularly because cheating is a habit that develops over time. If they didn’t think about upgrading their salaries at any cost, they would not cheat. It is crystal clear that the noble values of self-reliance and diligence that some teachers lack are needed to impress on their students the verge of extinction.

Are we going to say that no one is perfect just because they cheat? Is it common sense to say that we must not be critical of teachers who make the grave mistake of cheating, especially that no one is infallible? Definitely not! If these teachers really master what they teach, I am sure they will also master what they are tested on. Cheating is a sign of poor mastery of the subject matter, which is a clear sign of their poor background and incompetence.

Frankly speaking, another calamity we are facing nowadays is that the majority of teachers are passive. At a time when they need to impress on their students the fact that production is the principal criterion of excellence, we find that teachers themselves produce nothing. Logically speaking, we can never expect  to hold a revolver, fire and hit the target if the gun is not loaded.

Worse is that the minute many teachers secure their stable jobs with the government, they begin to revel in passivity. So, consistency and constant learning are absent even among teachers. It is no surprise then that students don’t learn these invaluable learning tips at a time when the teachers in question themselves don’t master them. Let us remind ourselves that inertia is contagious.

Even though pronunciation doesn’t matter as much as other areas of a language do, teachers who don’t master it well enough will negatively impact their students. While some Moroccan teachers of English say that pronunciation isn’t the key to comprehension, they forget that their role is to show students the primary rules of learning a foreign language, and pronunciation is crucial to successfully comprehending the structure of sentences.

If we happen to delve into the research Moroccan teachers do to further boost their specialty knowledge and the number of books they read, we will come across shocking cases. Just as the majority of Moroccan teachers don’t practically believe in life-long learning, students too find it challenging to master the skills. As we all know, habits and rapports are contagious.

At this point, the heart of the matter lies in the fact that a large number of Morocco’s  teachers of English still make pronunciation errors. Still worse is that students in their turn make the same mistakes. But, if you ask one of these teachers about their poor mastery of pronunciation, they will tell you that no one is perfect. Yes, no one is! But, isn’t it part of their job to teach correct and intelligible pronunciation?

Anyone can be excused for making errors for the simple reason making them is a sign of learning.  It is normal that teachers can also make errors, but we must bear in mind that their errors beget other errors, those of their students. We must not forget that our deplorable education system is partly due to the teachers who teach things they themselves do not master.

‘Immaculate’ mastery of the subject matter is an attribute of great teachers. “No one is perfect” must never be used as an excuse for teachers who are entrusted to teach true things, not errors. As the number of teachers who teach things they don’t master is on the rise, expect the increasing number of students who do not master what they are supposed to learn at their early stages.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy

© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed

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Comments

comments

  • Jeats John

    Your argumentative article seems to reflect your “immaculate” mastery of the English language or, I’d rather say, of “the subject matter.” However, every single thing, no matter how perfect it might seem to be, is subject to criticism and mere reconsideration. In actuality, it is unquestionably true that “nobody is perfect,” but do not expect every Moroccan EFL teacher to be a great teacher. You are a great one simply because you have chosen to be so through hard work and regular practise; and practise, as every schoolboy knows, makes perfect. The issue you have touched upon is so hard, if not impossible, to surmount, bearing in mind that you are dealing with a typically Moroccan mode of thinking, and would that you knew what a typically Moroccan mode of thinking is? If those non-great teachers, though they, I do believe, possess enormous potential for personal and professional development,have preferred to wallow in valley of stagnation and passivity, I would be bitterly sorry to tell you, dearest Moroccan teachers,that “faint heart never won fair lady.” And, most unfortunately, our tender Moroccan learners shall pay the price of those “shocking cases’” irresponsible attitudes.
    To the writer of the article, I say: THANK YOU!

    • joe

      both the writer of the article and the owner of the comment above, a certain Mr Jeats John, are wrong and should excuse me for frankly telling them: “you don’t know what you are talking about, and your argumentys are not convincing.” i’ll tell you why. the writer of the article talks about punctuation as something moroccan efl teachers do not master. he provides it as an example through which he demonstrates that the EFL teacher in Morocco is a failure. i should tell him NO SIR you are mistaken twice. first, you have to keep in mind the fact that the teacher is not allowed to teach punctuation, and if he does, which is a thing superficially hinted to in the Second year baccalaureate textbook, he has to do it in less than an hour during the whole year. so you are arguing about something which is out of the teacher’s concern. second, suppose the teacher masters punctuation and other linguistic items and rules, what would it be the benefit of such material while he is required to teach certain very basic elements to students. writing a text, a full one indeed, is a step which is to be done in the department of english at the university not in the lycee Man. lycee students study english only for three years (three hours a week), and lately been added two hours a week in 9th grade. hence, do you think a lycee student is requiredto master english to that level suggested by you, which is something anglophone students in England, the US, and elsewhere in the world still do not master in spite of the fact that English is their mother tongues. writing, is not an easy task, and there are intellectuals who still can not write a correct paragraph. Mr JeatsJohn fell in the same trap as you, he tought he is talking about a system wherby english is being taught since primary school. no John, don’t be mistaken. our second language is french, and english is a mere linguistic dessert in Morocco. it’s only after 9 years at school that a moroccan student, who is today’s teacher, studies english, and has to study it for 5 to 6 years to become a teacher. how come that someone who studies 5 to 6 years of english to become a perfect teacher. hey, you should praise the moroccans for being courageous men who do their best to master, to acertain level, english language and participate actively in sharing such knowledge with raising generations that are to become future world citizens. hey, criticism is an easy thing to do once one is guided by pride or by the little knowledge one has, but remember that however my level of english is modest i can still communicate with you in such langauage which moroccan teachers taught me at school and at the university, and that’s a thing i am, and many others like me, are proud of and challenge either you John to speak arabic as we do with french or Omar to prove that he is a perfect teacherinside the classroom. “xio”

      • Safaa.K

        It seems to be a controversial topic that teachers are gossiping about, nowadays– I am not excluded, I admit !what I have concluded from u all – the writer and the commenters- is that you have all hit part of the subject matter. The writer was calling on teachers to self-develop professionally and not to take ‘’ no one is perfect” as an excuse, and Joe, however, was defending Moroccan teachers as it is not their fault! Well, Joe said that it is not their fault and we already know that, but shouldn’t these teachers develop their skills and competences? Shouldn’t they try to fix what has been engraved on them by this poor system?!
        Yes, we are proud of being teachers of a language that Mr. Joe described as a mere linguistic dessert in Morocco! But there is a difference between a student of English and a teacher of English. If a student learns English just to pass the national exam, and then they will change the major later on, they are not to blame and they don’t need to master English as a student who wants to be a teacher in the future, let alone teachers themselves! I agree we shouldn’t give ourselves excuses for not being able to develop!
        Also, what really makes me angry is that the writer mentioned some teachers who cannot differentiate between a stressed syllable and unstressed one! Well, we don’t care! We won’t teach that and even natives cannot tell ! Above all, our students do not need labels; Maybe for further studies in linguistics at universities! We- teachers- do know things in linguistics, a lot actually, that we unconsciously do/ use but we don’t know the linguistic label for them!! It comes a time when you write something or do it, but you just cannot define it linguistically!! U cannot label that structure as complex or whatever!! We learnt grammar and syntax at a certain times and now, we unconsciously add ‘s’ to the third person singular…( just an example out of many) !!
        To conclude, the writer’s attitude toward his colleagues should be reconsidered. We are victims of the system just like our students. We need to develop professionally and cultivate this culture in ourselves and transmit it to our students! We need to act! Yes, it’s the teacher’s fault, the system’s fault , and the students’ fault ! Everybody is guilty because nobody is doing their job as it should be done. We simply cheat in everything!! Thank you .

    • Rachid Elkhayma

      When I was the writer’s age, I used to say the same abt our EFL Moroccan teachers. Having relatively recently graduated, I would tease our distinguished teachers for some trivial mistakes, or some undeclared fossilized errors. Most of our teachers are said to be old, and a lot of them – not statistically speaking – are not as ‘fresh’ as the writer. Yet, they have developed, through years of experience and practice, significantly outstanding skills on a myriad of levels that the writer may or may not be aware of. I am quite certain that Mr. Bihmidine, with all my respect, will re-consider his current views over time. I would love to quote a British educational consultante who once confirmed, in a private meeting, that EFL teaching in Morocco has made – and is making – tremendous progress compared with FFL teaching in the UK. By the way, I am not as old as our distinguished EFL teachers, and not as young as our dear writer either.

  • joe

    last line “to do with english” not french

  • Jeats John

    OFF TOPIC!

  • ld55

    Well, the written comments of “Joe” demonstrate exactly the problem which this article is trying to address!

    While I agree with the article’s author and with John Jeats, Joe does point out a real problem. It appears that the Moroccan English program is not designed to teach clear communication from the perspective of communicating with foreign speakers, but just in order to pass baccalaureate exams. It is also clearly NOT up to the teacher how he is spending his time in the classroom. Native speakers of English want to understand those who learn English abroad; however, many non-native English speakers don’t understand correct pronunciation themselves, and perpetuate their own errors.

    So what’s the solution? I don’t know. But realistically, considering the very little time devoted to English in the classroom, I am amazed at the level of competence arrived at by so many students.

  • fairplay

    It seems to me that the writer of the article above is merely trying to criticize teachers of english in Morocco for the sake of criticising. i am a teacher of english and i have met and talked to native speakers for many a time and they really appreciate our efforts and competency in this second foreign language after french. we are far better than some arabs speaking english as their the fl 1.
    still, to say that a given teacher is incompetent in their teaching needs proof. the socio-economic conditions in which teachers in general live are to be taken into account. the types of students and their different belongings to different socio-economic strata along with their readiness and hard work are of great assistance if you want to judge them. be sure man, almost all our english teachers are great and the problem lies elsewhere if you are intrested you got to make some research and try to defend them and help them instead of deflating their efforts this or that way.
    maybe you are still free and single and this is why you are so busy writing articles about whatever issues in <whatever ways for the sake of creating such debates.
    by the way not all teachers of english cheat because they belong to a different sect and surely almost all of them used to be excellent students in the primary middle and secondary school and also in the university.
    so plz don't under estimate them and instead give them a hand or at least give them a break.
    long live foreign language teachers because they have been doing a great job regardless of the infinite problems and obstacles they are facing and regardless of the special downs they are suffering from with the type of moods students have when they have a foreign language class.
    yr bro
    usuf

  • angelos_9

    Don’t play the role of all knowing.I wish we could attend some of your classes to see how skilfully and outstandingly you teach and how easily your students grasp things you teach them.It is easy just to criticize bla bla bla bla.

  • Koulila Brahim

    I’d like to tell you, Mr. Omar, that incompetence isn’t only the problem of Moroccan English teachers, but also the problem of teachers of other subjects. As for doing research and broadening one’s knowledge , I believe that one of the main problems of education in our country is that a large portion of Moroccan teachers, in general, are idle — even at the university level. As for the pronunciation problem, I believe that an English teacher must be able to speak English fluently and pronounce common words correctly, and if he or she doesn’t pronounce uncommon words well, that isn’t an issue, for mastery comes with time — providing one strains to better his or her level. I can’t but agree with you that a lot of teachers stagnate and become rather idle when they make it to the ministry of education: they’re not far-sighted people. All what they aspire to is to have a salary, car, house…People having such a mentality could never contribute to boosting our country. Also, I often get mad when I read some people’s writings, for I find them really bad. Writing, I believe, is the complex of hundreds of thousands in Morocco, as well as elswhere. To be a good writer, one has to toil and moil: read massively, master grammar and punctuation and practice writing for a long time to develop a good style. The majority, unfortunately, don’t do these things, for they require a lot of effort and time. Incidentally, the problem of pronunciation and writing skills, maybe to your surprise, exists even at the university level. How many Moroccan English teachers write BOOKS in English? Not many! The bottom line is that English teachers should be aware of the importance of self-teaching, without which one can never go forward and develop his or her capacities.

  • khalilzakari

    Joe is undoubtedly right…
    Omar’s viewpoints are mere hypothetical and impressionistic judgements that need to be tested and verified. He has no right to assert that the majority of Moroccan teachers of English lack mastery of the subject matter. He has no right either to say that these road companions are unaware of the new developments that are taking place in the ELT realm.What research-based statistical accounts does Omar possess which would allow him to come up with such erroneous value judgements?

    I am still thinking of how Arabic and / or French might be a source of negative interference when it comes to the writing mechanics, namely punctuation. I am still thinking how one can venture to claim that those teachers make errors when he himself does probably not distinguish an error from a mistake (Pit Corder:1974)

    I have spent no less than eighteen long years observing hundreds of Moroccan teachers of English and hardly have I had the impression that they were not up to standards.Most of them, on the contrary, do much better than native speakers and most of them are familiar with the latest trends (State of the art) in English Language teaching.
    MODERATE your judgements Omar, please, and see how you can be less NEGATIVE when you are addressing issues that are related to daily practices and professional identity.

  • fatma1991

    i totally Agree with sir Joe! i believe that the whole problem is in the english moroccan system wich is very weak one and it needs alot of Reforms as well as reconsideration to develop it ,however; we should not forget the periodic formation concerning teacher especially the new ones.

  • hich scham

    I agree with you Mr. Joe.
    well, it seems to me that Moroccan English techers have become a “ready-made” scape-goat for some self-proclaimend megalomaniac intellectuals and writers ( the true word is scribblers) i think there is a considerable difference between writing and inking paper!! well, the article in question is written by the same person who has laready published another article tackling the issue of cheating. the leatter’s title is Some teachers are also cheaters”. in his last one, however, he has wintnessed some “progress” and dropped the word “some” to inform us that all Moroccan English teachers dont master english except one!!! By saying when teachers dont master their subject matter, he has come up with a conjectural conclusion that reflects nothing but selfaffirmation!!! yes we all know, that not all teaches are good teachers just as not all cookers are not good cookers.but still, one should work on his / her skills analysis to tackle such thorny issues with candour and impartiality. ridiculing all english teachers and presenting oneself as the sole and only perfect english teacher calls for close attention from the headmaster and the admnistrative staff if not psychological treatment. I think some people’s writins are a real source of substantial data on the Moroccan teacher psyche in general and on somepsychopath, who are rampant in Moroccan high schools, in particular. By and large, the palestinian thinker Hisham Sharabi has woined a worth considering maxim that unveil the the psyche of many. the maxim goes by “the failure of my brother is my success.” this what some psyschologically tormented and selfabsorbed english scrbibblers do with words when they write, be they at the university or at high schools.THUMP TO ALL MOROCCAN TEACHERS IRRESPECTIVE OF THEIR SUBJECTS. YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME MY BROTHERS; YOU ARE A SMALL COG IN A GIANT WHEEL. ONE SHOULD HAVE THE GUTS TO CALL THINGS BY THEIR NAMES OR SHUT UP! ( this a comment that was written on the hoofs. the issues the guy unconsciously raised in his essay call for an academic discussion such as performance errors; L1 and L2 acquisition; teachning theories and the use of L1;L1 inteference and the structure of sentences; grammaticality VS acceptability…..)

  • Jeats John

    To those who seem to strongly agree with the little Joe: Mr. Joe, with the greatest respect ever, needs to, if not must, apologise for what he has arrogantly and carelessly said in his “little” comment_which, as far as my critical eye can see, is already off topic. when one like your little Joe opens their comment with the following narrow-minded statement:”both the writer of the article and the owner of the comment above, a certain Mr Jeats John, are wrong and should excuse me for frankly telling them: “you don’t know what you are talking about, and your argumentys are not convincing,”" one’s way of thinking requires some “recycling.” To cut this long debate short, you all, barring the little Joe, have point of views, and I deeply respect them.

  • Jeats John

    Points of view*

  • winners

    Amazing topic,,,I agree,,,thanks a lot,,,Mr I wish to solve our education’ problems in our country. The data are horrible…

  • http://ed-links-morocco.ning.com/ khalilzakari

    There is much truth in hich scham’s comment I must confess.

    There are some great endeavors that are being offended by Omar’s piece of writing, namely teacher training and teacher supervision…

  • joe

    Hi everybody,

    hey moroccan english teachers, you know, i am twice proud of you now. i am so happy not because of the arguments you provided in defense of your linguistic skills, but because your comments themselves undermine Jeats and Bihmidine’s claims and prove to them the fact that moroccans are to be proud of their anglophone linguitic skills. your comments, tell Bihmidine “don’t be much taken by your mastery of few techniques, Pal” and tell John, HERE WE ARE WRITING ENGLISH AND WRITING BACK AGAINST YOUR SUBJECTIVE CLAIMS: WOULD YOU NOW CONTINUE BEING “MAD AT OUR LINGUISTIC ABILITIES? OR YOU’LL GIVE UP THE JOB OF CRITICISING OTHERS FOR NO REASONS?”

    • Safaa.K

      Mr. Joe, I can assure u that I sensed no subjectivity in Mr. John’s claim! And by the way, he is Moroccan and he is not undermining anybody!! Plus, this is neither the right place nor the right occasion to fight over ‘a point of view’! He gave us his opinion – & he is free to be subjective in it- and he should be respected for it, be it true or false! Nobody owns the absolute truth about anything. I respect your comment and I tried to see what I agree with and what I don’t. In addition, we are teachers commenting on an article that we have all read; if we keep insulting each other or let’s say behaving unprofessionally, GOD only knows what would our students do ( ach khelina ltalamid maygolo) we represent the elites! So, I am sorry to say, let’s Grow UP !! My deepest respect to u all

  • Koulila Brahim

    I excuse Mr. Bihmidine, for he’s not seen much in this life and hasn’t done serious, well-grounded research regarding the performance of Moroccan English teachers in classrooms. As I’ve said before, incompetence isn’t only the problem of English teachers, and these latter aren’t all failures. It’d be a huge mistake to generalise one’s judgment. When a person reaches a certain level of English mastery and makes it to the ministry of education and teaches people, it’s already a big achievement: given the quality of education we have in Moroccan universities, most English teachers toil and rely on themselves to improve their levels. On the other hand, I’d like to tell my fellow English teachers that self-reliance and hard work are keys to success; we all have to struggle to better our linguistic skills, not to impress the other (native speakers), but to contribute to developing our country, through education. Incidentally, you should know, brother, that some English teachers are really worth respecting and always get praised by native speakers, who sometimes, fail to master grammar and all that as we do. Anyway, thanks a lot for raising such a topic!

    • http://twitter.com/kickassia Assya Moussaid

      Best reply on the thread, and mine of course :)
      I loved my English teachers back in Morocco, and most of them as I mentioned above are pretty darn impressive!

      cheers,

  • akrambia

    Writing is a responsible act for which ONLY the writer is accountable! Quite paradoxically, you’re blaming teachers for not being masteful in their subject matter ( EFL) while you’re demostrating an even worse type of” immastery”! There are more untruths than truths in your article. As usual, you let your keyboard be drifted by impressions while addressing an issue for which even rigorous research will likely fail to provide exhaustive answers! The few teachers you have come across and interacted with either virtually or in real life can never be a true reflection of the Moroccan ELT community. The latter is constantly moving and upgrading itself through the many events MATE “punctuate” every school year with either locally or nationally. Many teachers do take professional development seriously and never miss opportunities, real or virtual, to help them do so . Now, there’s a tendency to call classroom practitioners PROFSSIONAL LEARNERS rather than teachers. Of course, there are other teachers who don’t bother themeslves with events contributing to professional development, but that doesn’t entilte us to label them as less great or incomptent. Teaching, I believe, is more about actions you do actually in the classroom that facilitate and inspire for more learning. I had teachers whose pronunciation would certainly give the jitters to perfectionist folks like you;-) Yet, those same teachers instilled in many of their students the love of Shakespeare’s language. And those students are now teaching English in different schools and universities both in Morocco and abroad. Needless to say, the way they speak and write English is different from and probably much more immacculate than that of their high school teachers! Well, unlike what you imply in your article, a learner is not supposed to be a genuine clone of his or her teacher. Gone are the days when the teacher was the only model for students. Now, the teacher or the guide by side, is there to provide his students with maximum learning possibilities through a variety of means: Interactive CDroms, tapes, weblinks …etc. A competent teacher is supposed to motivate and provide the most favorable conditions for learning to take place. In the end, one may be a master of English with all its intricacies and subtleties, but still unable to teach it. Because teaching is not a profession. It is a devotion and only that which makes students want to learn. PS. Please, do forgive my punctuation and all other mistakes in my comment. Though being a teacher for two decades, I still struggling to learn this beautiful language;-)

  • mido

    Teaching English is not only mastering pronunciation, punctuation or writing skills. It is an art and a science Mr Bihmidine. I have visited so many teachers who have a perfect command of English, but their teaching is down to earth. See what I mean?

  • Rachid ELHADAD

    I can barely confess that Joe has no subjective intention. He said what’s right, and for that, he is too far away to be the one to blame. Anyway, for anyone pretends invincibility, there will be always respectful and humble people ready to fight back. So you’d better stay cool dear Writer and please no more being a man of all knowing as angelos_9Reply said…
    Thank you!

  • Bri

    It’s really, truly sad that you’re writing an article about the mistakes of English teachers when you yourself have broken so many grammatical rules. As an American English teacher who frequently reads Morocco World News, I am often shocked by the lack of correct grammar and the incredibly verbose writing.

  • anouar mzoudi

    What’s wrong with teaching what you don’t master? We are all learners at the end of the day. Accuracy shouldn’t be a concern in language learning–Fluency should. I think if you are a product of an educational system that is obsessed with getting things right, you become obsessed with looking for people’s mistakes. Looking for defects is a waste of time!

  • Abu Hamza

    How on earth dare you talk about teachers the way you did when you yourself has fallen into several linguistic inaccuracies!!! Do not practice what you don’t preach!! Your article is most probably based on an almost clear aversion to teachers!
    I feel that you have a short-sighted view of what it takes to be a teacher and the numerous components that teaching involves. Focusing on pronunciation and grammar is not what experts in applied linguists would qualify as adequate teaching.
    I don’t mean to be rude, but I think you still have a long way to go before you can evaluate teachers and teaching in general.

  • Elotmani Hassan

    Indeed, there are few teachers who still have many problems with thier language mastering. but this is not the problem my friend.However, nobody is perfect, because you will probably find that even the native speakers have te same problems.Moreover, we don’t have the right to generalize. the best thing to do my friend is to right an article in which you urge and encourage our teachers to go forward, and praise them not criticize them… peace and much respect

  • http://twitter.com/kickassia Assya Moussaid?

    My contribution as a Moroccan student.
    This is what I have to say my overall experience with Moroccan teachers of English was great. I am a little biased though because throughout my 3 high school years in Morocco, I did Love the English language with passion. My teachers loved me, I was the first in English class, I also got the highest regional mark on the English HS final exam (19.75/20). My teachers were great. Moroccan English teachers are excellent and much better than most Middle Eastern or Arabian Gulf English professors.
    I was making a personal effort in high school, such as going to Marjan supermarket to snatch the only 1-2 English novels available on the shelves, and sit down and read it cover to cover with a dictionary by my side (back in late nineties when virtual dictionaries didn’t exist) and I would look up words and go back to school, use them in my essays, and impress my teacher who was already doing a great job teaching us proper English.
    In my third high school year, I offered to create class activity quizzes, I created multiple choice quizzes which my teacher approved before sharing with the class. I was preparing for my TOEFL exam at home, and was stoked when my teacher thought I was good enough to participate with material. Her allowing me to do so was something I’d always be grateful for.

    I don’t want to make this tedious or verbose, but I want to present my respect and appreciation to Moroccan teachers who, without necessarily going on exchange semesters, or Masters programs in North America, their skills are still pretty impressive compared to a lot of our fellow brothers and sisters in the Arab world.

    My advice to students: make a personal effort, read some books, enrich your vocabulary, show genuine interest to your teacher, he or she will undoubtedly reciprocate.

  • a real africa

    reading some of comments, i got astonished about some facts. how can one teach without mastering pronunciation or grammar; it’s bullshit. the student really takes english as it is taught by a teacher at the first stage, including pronunciation errors. it’s a little hard to correct it later on even if u are aware about the errors u make. that’s what we call systematic errors. those teachers are selected by a foolish criteria, according to their university marks which they got because they were smiling with profs. not falling in generalisation, i’d say just a few who are great in teaching english.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004309718815 ???? ????

    As sad as it may be, the situation of English Teaching in Morocco is exactly, if not worse, as you describe it, Omar.

  • http://twitter.com/cbouakka Cassandra Bouakka

    This article does not even address the issues surrounding the time it takes to “master” a language Proficiency in a second, third or fourth language takes 5 to 7 years. Therefore, he is right in that many teachers may not grasp the command needed to be experts but he fails to rely the message of the importance of pedagogy that teachers learn. It is this type of knowledge, knowing how to teach, that makes teachers great.

  • Fofana Svank

    brother i like what you publish

  • Happily

    I would like to thank everyone here for his/her feedback toward the writer ‘s attitude with the regard the mastery of some areas in English language ,as far as I am concerned , teachers are doing their best to self-develop and to be promoted to gain more knowledge and skills as long as teaching is a long-life process ,I think this is an occasion of which every Moroccan English teacher has to backup and exchange experiences and books so as to achieve a common purpose which is the impact student’s lives !
    Sincerely
    pupil of somewhere in Morocco.

  • lazizz

    Heyy MAAAANN /// u have not mastered English yet… You have made billions of grammatical MISTAKES… WHO THE HEEEEELLLLL DO U THINK U ARE ????

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