The purpose of this site aims to serve as an accessible resource for teachers in Morocco and in the U.S., by providing a context for classrooms settings, exchange of practices, sharing of resources and furthermore promoting use of Darija as a medium of instruction and mother tongue languages.
As a 2011-2012 recipient of the Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching (DAT), Farah Assiraj traveled to Morocco to conduct research on “Darija, Spoken Language Usage with Teaching Modern Standard Arabic in Morocco’s Classrooms: Resources for Teachers and Students Using Darija (Mother Tongue Language) as a Medium of Instruction”.
The overall objective for this research project is to examine usage of Darija, the spoken language with teaching Modern Standard Arabic, the academic language in Moroccan classrooms. The research focuses on the students’ acquisition in reading and writing skills in primary grades with teacher input in the spoken language. The project highlights the relevance of the spoken language in the classroom environment. It also underscores the need for more translation resources for spoken languages and the preservation of mother tongue languages. The capstone project was structured to meet the following outcomes: 1) Identify teacher tasks, subjects, strategies and classroom interaction where Darija is most frequently used in K-2 grade classrooms; 2) Provide word-to-word translation of English-Arabic-Darija commonly used words in classrooms; 3) Develop a curriculum unit on the teaching of Darija and communities as a medium of instruction and a form of a written language; 4) Create an online website to share all resources and connect U.S. and Moroccan teachers and students.