Language attitudes and their implications for education : Morocco as a case study
The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate Language Attitudes in three representative areas of Morocco. The impact of these attitudes on the individual's socio-psychological make up, especially within the system of education, is examined and emphasis is put upon the relationship between students' and parents' attitudes on the one hand and achievement in second-language learning on the other hand. The working hypothesis is that it helps learners of a second language, who wish to hve a good command of the language, to hold a positive attitude towards the other speech community. By adopting a socio-psychological approach, I seek to examine my subjects' affective as well as behavioural dispositions and the impact of the latter on any language planning programme. By so doing I intend to contribute to the search for a most suitable approach to language-rleated problems in Morocco. To achieve this purpose, a group of workers, students and teachers volunteered to fill out questionnaires on their evaluations of languages and language planning efforts in Morocco. Others volunteered to take part in the matched-guise experiments and interviews concerning their use of language and their desire to learn a second language. The attitude-behaviour relationship was also examined through observation, including participant observation. The subjects were stratified according to age, sex, mother tongue, social status and provenance. The first three substantive sections of the dissertation aim at familiarising the reader with the sociolinguistic situation in Morocco, social psychology as applied to language studies, and the data-eliciting techniques used in the thesis. The subsequent three chapters are concerned with the analysis and discussion of the corpus of data. The results showed significant differences between the attitudes of the groups towards French, SA and the vernacular languages (i.e. MA and MB). The correlation analysis showed a negative relationship between grades and the attitude variables. Only a weak relationship was found between socio-psychological variables and second-language proficiency. Attitudinal and motivational characteristics obtained from the students' parents were included in the study, and a positive correlation between student language proficiency and parental language attitudes and motivation was obtained.