ICT Use in the EFL Classroom in Morocco: EFL Teachers' Personal and Technology-Related Variables

ICT Use in the EFL Classroom in Morocco: EFL Teachers' Personal and Technology-Related Variables

Abderrahmane Alaoui Ismaili (Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Morocco)
DOI: 10.4018/IJICTE.286759
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Abstract

This study investigates the level of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) use in teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in Morocco. It explores the effects of EFL teachers' personal and technology-related variables in ICT use in English high school classes. The study opts for a descriptive and an analytical method to account for this claim. Therefore, a mixed-methods approach is used. A survey questionnaire and interviews are conducted to obtain a corpus of data that is both representative and reliable. The sample of our study consists of thirty teachers of English in six high schools in the city of Meknes. The findings indicate that ICT integration in the EFL classes in Morocco is hampered due to different variables. Interior variables refer to the teacher's attitude and dilemma towards using ICT; while exterior ones are strongly associated with the lack of ICT facilities and ICT related equipment in the Moroccan high schools.
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1. Introduction

Being aware of the multiple benefits of introducing ICT in the educational system, the Moroccan educational authorities have initiated the adoption of ICT use in schools through huge national education initiatives. Firstly, the National Charter for Education and Training has incited the use of modern technologies in order to improve the students' learning. Later, the Emergency Plan has come into effect since the year 2009 to accelerate and further reinforce the achievement of the national educational reform that is envisioned by the National Charter.

The adoption of ICT in the educational system has been emphasized in the first area of the Urgency Plan. In Project E1.P10, “Integrating ICT in the Learning Process” has emphasized improving the mechanics of implementing the GENIE Program through having a strategy of equipping schools with the necessary ICT equipment, which will ultimately enhance the pedagogic and learning conditions of the learners (GENIE Division and the General Inspectorate for Educational Affairs, 2013).

Within the same program, a need for having a national strategy for training on ICT is voiced. A large number of administrators and teachers have been trained throughout the 2009- 2013 years. The desired ultimate goal of all these efforts, as it is stated by the ministry, is to improve the students’ learning through the teachers’ use of ICTs with a view of integrating the learners in the digital society. However, language education in Morocco still relies heavily on passive forms of learning focused on direct instruction and memorisation, rather than interactive methods that promote the critical and individual thinking needed in today's interconnected world.

Ennaji (1998) advocated the use of ICT in English language teaching, and detailed its benefits for both educators and learners. In a study conducted on Moroccan teachers, Biaz et al., (2009) concluded that most teachers use the computer to word-process their lessons or to download materials from the Internet. Another dominant characteristic which is highlighted in this study is that ICT use is teacher-centered in the Moroccan context (Ibid). That is to say, students are very rarely involved as active participants in the construction of knowledge using ICT. Similarly, Mastafi (2013) stated that the use of ICT in the Moroccan educational system is still limited. This study found that among those teachers who use ICT in their classes, 60% use PowerPoint to deliver lessons in a presentation format.

1.1 Statement of the Problem

The status quo indicates that the integration of ICT in Moroccan high schools faces different problems at different levels. This situation has triggered the main research question of this study in order to investigate teachers' personal and technology-related variables that may inhibit teachers from using ICT in their own classes in spite of the availability of ICT facilities in the majority of schools.

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