Date of Thesis

Spring 2020


This study examines the connections between language use and attitudes in Moroccan universities. Morocco is a North African country that is historically multilingual, with communities speaking Moroccan Arabic (Darija), indigenous Amazigh, French, and English, in addition to the Standard Arabic used in government and by the Muslim community. The French Protectorate from 1912 to 1956 ushered in colonial language policies and imposed the French education system that enforced linguistic hierarchies. While the subsequent Arabization period attempted to reestablish the importance of Standard Arabic in Morocco, the policies failed to promote true multilingualism by ignoring the Amazigh and Darija languages. Today, each language has unique sociolinguistic, political, and economic implications that shape the attitudes and identities associated with them. This thesis draws upon this historical background and the theoretical work by Pierre Bourdieu, Robert Phillipson, Homi Bhabha, and others, to hypothesize that English use is on the rise in Morocco because of its economic benefits. Still, French will remain the dominant global language in the country because of its historical importance. Original data were collected using an electronic survey targeting Moroccan university students. Data analysis revealed that while French and English are both highly regarded for their global scales, English is used more often by students, who believe it will lead to more economic and academic opportunities than French.


Morocco, Moroccan language varieties, Amazigh, University students, Language attitude, Language use

Access Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts


Languages, Cultures & Linguistics

Second Major

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Minor, Emphasis, or Concentration

Arabic Studies

First Advisor

Martin Isleem