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TEFL in Morocco

 
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medina



Joined: 04 Jun 2005
Posts: 64
Location: Morocco

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 12:32 pm    Post subject: TEFL in Morocco Reply with quote

I stayed off this forum for quite a while because of the flaming that seems to take over any and every discussion of working in Morocco. Still people seem to have questions (about working) and that's supposedly what this forum is about, so here are a few things that might be of use.

1.Cities:
Casa is a big, noisy, crowded city with a terrible traffic problem. Certainly it's not everybody's cup of tea but it does have some good, reputable language schools. In order of size: the ALC, then probably BPEC, Amideast, and the British Centre. Lots of smaller places, too, but you'd do well to avoid them.
Rabat is much more manageable in terms of size and a generally nicer place to live. It also has the ALC, British Council, and Amideast. These are pretty much the only three schools to even consider, but there are lots of other smaller operations. Proformation (advertising for teachers on this site) teaches businessmen in France on-line. It's sure not the same as teaching Moroccans in a classroom, but it's still a job.
Marrakesh, Fes, Agadir, Tangier, and Meknes all have pretty good-sized ALCs that hire native speaking teachers. For people interested in being in places that at least look more traditional, Marrakesh and Fes would lead the list. ALC Fes also has an Arabic language program.
In Ifrane, of course, there's the Akhawayne University with its language center. You'll need at least an MA to teach there and because Ifrane is isolated, way up in the Middle Atlas mountains, some people have gotten a little cabin fever working there. But it's a well-equipped place with trees and forests nearby and very clean air (kind of the opposite of Casa!)

2. Requirements: these are getting tighter and tighter because of the ever-growing pool of teachers out there and also Moroccan employment laws. To get a work permit to teach English from the Moroccan Ministry of Labor, you need at least a real BA or BS degree. Foreign applicants now have their dossiers submitted to a new office called ANAPEC which makes sure you're not taking a job that a Moroccan could do and that you have the right diplomas. Then the dossier goes to the MOL who issue you your work permit (which makes you legal and allows you to get residence card). Any reputable school in the country takes care of this process for its visiting teachers.
A new requirement for residence that I've heard about in some places is a police record showing that you are not a criminal. This is supposed to come from the last city where you lived in your home country. Americans can also get one from the FBI (if you really want to get involved with them).
Another thing is age: the official retirement age in Morocco is 60 and Morocco won't issue a work permit to foreigners who are that age or even 59.

3. There's been a lot of talk in this forum about why in the world someone would want to teach in Morocco. Putting personal reasons aside, I would say that Moroccan students can be some of the best language learners in the world. So if you were new to teaching, for example, wanted international experience, and wanted to teach in a classroom where ---for the most part---the students were willing to make an effort, to participate, to take risks, and had a lot of motivation to acquire English, then Morocco would be, IMHO, a good place to teach for while. If, however, it's just about making as much money as you can in the shortest time possible, there are many other places to go in the world. And if it's about a particular kind of cultural experience, then that goes back to personal reasons which have made up the majority of postings on this Forum.

I hope this is of use to someone, and good luck.
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Hod



Joined: 28 Apr 2003
Posts: 917
Location: Home

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll comment on 3, because it’s the only point I agree with.

With all my negatives on Morocco, I was surprisingly well received by the students and was, even more bizarrely, probably the most popular teacher at the BC Casa. Not that I was any better at teaching than my colleagues, although one or two should’ve never been let anywhere near a classroom, but as someone who’d paid out for language courses I was always conscious that studying at the BC was a pricey affair, and I made an effort. To do this wasn’t rocket science. As well as the normal teaching, I tailor made stuff to have a Moroccan theme wherever possible, e.g., famous people, national customs and holidays, etc. I mean, most of those appalling text books bored me rigid, so can you even begin to imagine how the average Moroccan feels doing a lesson on the period furniture at Buckingham Palace?

In my experience, Moroccans like firm confident teachers and not wishy washy types. I’m not going to make out I stood there slating Morocco and Islam. In fact, like any half-decent teacher, I very rarely offered views or personal stuff. But my students knew full well I was less than happy with Morocco. And why not? These people weren’t stupid and were happy to challenge me about my views, and I was more than happy to answer.

I always found the all-is-great-in-Maroc gang were by a mile the worst teachers, and so did the students. Those types got all the complaints.
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Muslim expat



Joined: 07 Jul 2007
Posts: 24
Location: Somewhere in KSA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can somebody please give me a glossary of terms for these forums?
I have heard the term flaming yet I have no idea what it could mean. It would help and I would be able to get the most out of what I consider an excellant resource so if anyone (africaexpert??) could give a list of terms for forums I would certainly appreciate it. I have all the TESOL, ESL terms down (I think) so this is the next bastion of english teaching I could use help with.
Thanks
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Mr. Kalgukshi
Mod Team
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Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Posts: 6006
Location: FSU 13-0 -- Go 'Noles! 2014 BCS Bowl Champions

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If there is any inappropriate posting (including flaming) on this or any thread, please bring it to the attention of the Mod Team via the Report Post mode as soon as it begins. We will take action to insure the member(s) responsible do not repeat such behavior.
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Oasisdweller



Joined: 17 Jul 2007
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://searchwebservices.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid26_gci212129,00.html
is a good dictionary of Internet/techie terms.

"Flaming" is when someone insults another poster online. "Flamebait" is another rather childish way some posters incite other posters. Both are (quite rude) examples of poor netiquette. Many times the insult doesn't even make sense, take for example this flamebait:

MOD EDIT


Note that someone's attitude about the place they are living in, the host country, logically has little to do with their grasp of the subject they are teaching, in this case, ESL; however, their overall demeanor will surely reflect that attitude. Indeed, a negative attitude will make for a grumpy teacher to whom students will not respond well. A happy teacher, on the other hand, will make for a more positive learning environment.
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Hod



Joined: 28 Apr 2003
Posts: 917
Location: Home

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All of the following points are true, based on my experience, and directly related to TEFL in Morocco.

Not being facetious, but the BC was my enclave from the streets of Casa, and I actually enjoyed being in the classroom. Wasn´t that more than enough for my students? After all, they only came to that school for one reason – to learn English and maybe have some laughs, not to hear in English how magic Maroc was.

Many students knew full well I wasn’t enamoured with their country, and they were perfectly entitled to ask for a replacement teacher with a bit more affinity. But it never happened. What did happen, many times, was students asking for me be a replacement for their current teacher. But this isn´t about me...

Again, not being naughty here, because the next point is very relevant to TEFL in a number of countries, including Moroccan. A number of my colleagues had come to Morocco to be with boyfriends or husbands. This is fine and shouldn’t have made them bad teachers as such, but then again, almost without exception they were far less happy than me once inside the classroom.

Moroccan students want decent teachers or they will simply complain and ask for them to be replaced. People who end up there just because they’ve fallen in love with Morocco or one of its countrymen, won’t necessarily be welcomed into the classroom with open arms.
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Oasisdweller



Joined: 17 Jul 2007
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most teachers I worked with or knew at other ESL institutions had a curriculum to follow and did not really have much time in the classroom to discuss the positives or negatives of the country.
Furthermore, most of the teachers I knew who were in Morocco because of a boyfriend or husband took the time to get some kind of education or training before becoming an ESL teacher. Perhaps it is possible some schools hired people that did not have any training or ability to teach.
Overall in my eight years teaching ESL in Morocco, I only heard of one time when students asked that a teacher be replaced. This was a guy who had an affinity for the local herb and who fell asleep in class!
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Hod



Joined: 28 Apr 2003
Posts: 917
Location: Home

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

However jam packed the curriculum, I just can’t believe any teacher in Morocco can’t squeeze in an average of five minutes out of every ninety-minute lesson encouraging small talk, even with kids or beginner levels. Just look at how Moroccans love having heated debates over the most mundane of topics.

As someone who’s also learned languages at the end of a long day with some very good but also some bloody awful teachers, a teacher who sticks like glue to a curriculum is just boring.
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Oasisdweller



Joined: 17 Jul 2007
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Certainly there's some small talk, but I try to encourage the students to speak of topics of interest to them. It usually gets them to practice their English more when they have something to say.
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Mr. Kalgukshi
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Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Posts: 6006
Location: FSU 13-0 -- Go 'Noles! 2014 BCS Bowl Champions

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Three recent postings have been deleted. If there are any more ad hominem or other inappropriate postings, this thread will be locked and sanctions handed out to those responsible for its being locked.
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Urban_Kitten



Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MOD EDIT

So sad. But then again, perhaps Morocco is a fabby place and I was the anomaly.

Perhaps, like Rick Blaine who went to Casablanca for 'the waters', I was misinformed.
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