Morocco World News
Fez, January 10, 2012
The Moroccan Association of Friends of English (MAFE) in collaboration with Morocco World News and the British Council, organized a forum entitled “The Role of ICT in English Language Teaching and English Language Learning: Morocco World News and English Language Practice” on 8th January at the Literary Café of Complex Hurriya, Fez, Morocco.
The forum was an occasion to discuss the role of ICT in English Language teaching and learning with specialized researchers in the field. It also introduced Morocco World News as a Moroccan space for the practice of the English language. Morocco World News is a Moroccan online-based news outlet in English, which was represented by one of its co-founders and Editor-in-Chief Dr. Samir Bennis.
The forum involved presentations from three speakers according to three main themes:
1. The role of ICT in English language learning
Mr. Jalal Bounouar who was the first speaker at the forum is the president of the Moroccan Association of Friends of English, and a high school teacher of English who received his Master of Arts after the completion of a dissertation of the same topic of the forum. His presentation was about the use of technology in learning English language. He focused mainly on how we can use technology as a tool to develop our knowledge and help spread that knowledge via social networks. Mr Bounouar believes that “Technology in its various aspects can play a huge role in keeping the learner of English language up-to-date and more open about information and learning tools in English as well as about events and discussion groups that could enhance their learning process.”
2. The role of ICT in English language teaching
The second speaker at the forum was Mr. Nick Cherkas, English projects manager at the British Council in Rabat. His presentation was about the use of technology whether online or offline in improving the quality of English language teaching. He drew on experiences of different teachers in Morocco from different regions and how they used technology to keep their students more motivated and engaged in the learning-teaching process. According to Mr,Cherkas, “The real knowledge gap lies in the application of new technology” which means that all people, such as teachers, have access to technology, with the only difference being how they use this technology. He gave examples of how to use these new technologies to deliver lessons and give exercises and quizzes. He also gave practical solutions to teachers who work in remote areas where access to technology can be difficult.
3. Morocco World News: a Moroccan Space to practice English Language
The last speaker was Dr. Samir Bennis, co-founder of Morocco World News and Editor-in-Chief. He introduced Morocco World News to the audience as a concrete example that allows English practice. He stressed how Morocco World News is a Moroccan window that provides young Moroccans with the tools to express themselves, speak their minds in a free way, and also to help students and researchers speaking English to polish their writing skills, talent and brand their names. “Moroccan students of English usually resorted to international online news outlets for news and information in English. Now, Morocco World News is a Moroccan space that provides Moroccan students and teachers of English with news that is interesting to them and related to their every day issues in English. Dr. Bennis confirmed that one of MWN’s policies is to guarantee the quality of the articles they publish as well as the quality of the English language used. He also welcomed and encouraged the audience who are interested in writing articles to send their contributions to Morocco World News as part of their learning process of the English language, an oopportunity that would make them confident using the language at a broader level.
After the three presentations, the floor turned over to the audience who showed great interest in the topic. Some of them asked questions while others gave comments and expressed their own views regarding the theme of the forum. The interventions were relevant and deepened the discussion of the themes presented by the speakers.
In an interview with Jalal Bounouar, president of MAFE, he showed appreciation to all MAFE members who always show a great commitment to their voluntary communitywork and thanked them all for their attendance and their great effort that made the event a great success. He also expressed gratitude to Morocco World News represented by Samir Bennis and to the British Council in the person of Nick Cherkas.
The forum was a chance to meet some of Morocco World News readers and contributors and Samir Bennis expressed his satisfaction and pleasure to take part in such an event. “We feel so glad to see that there are so many skilled people, who just need orientation and encouragement and we will always welcome contributions and be ready to publish them if they are good enough and they fit the editorial line of our news outlet.”
“The main focus is on the role of Morocco World News in defending the cause of Morocco overseas, particularly the Sahara issue and promoting a positive image of Morocco among English speaking countries and to the world at large”, he added.
Edited by Benjamin Villanti
© Morocco World News