AMIDEAST Announces Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Transform English Language Teaching in Morocco
AMIDEAST President Theodore Kattouf and Chelsea Clinton shake hands following the presentation of the AMIDEAST commitment. Dr. Rachid Belmokhtar, Minister of National Education and Professional Training, is at right.

Washington, DC, May 14, 2015—AMIDEAST was pleased to announce at last week's Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Middle East & Africa Meeting its Commitment to Action to implement a training program that will transform the teaching of English in Morocco's schools. The commitment will help Morocco meet the need for English speakers who are critical to sustaining growth in key economic sectors such as tourism, international trade, and logistics, and in its technology industry.

Under the commitment, AMIDEAST will work closely with the Moroccan National Ministry of Education to provide 240 Moroccan public school English teachers, supervisors, and inspectors with training through an internationally recognized certification program for teaching English as a second language. AMIDEAST will also certify 12 licensed trainers so that the Ministry of Education can continue to provide this high-quality certification to the remainder of the country’s 7,500 public school English teachers. Collectively those teachers could reach upwards of 1.3 million young people in Morocco.

AMIDEAST’s commitment makes use of the Professional Certificate in English Language Teaching (PCELT), an internationally recognized certification program developed by AMIDEAST in collaboration with the SIT Graduate Institute to meet the needs of English language teachers in the Middle East and North Africa. The program’s strength is the hands-on exposure it provides English teachers to the communicative, learner-centered approach to teaching English as a foreign language that has long been acknowledged internationally as a best practice. By emphasizing language use over the memorization of language rules and forms, this approach to learning results not only in greater motivation in the classroom, but also in improved student achievement.

AMIDEAST’s commitment is important for Morocco’s ability to take advantage of global trade opportunities that will enable it to grow its economy and provide jobs for its youth. “In recent years, Morocco has emerged as a leader in economic development among North African countries, attracting highly technical industries such as aeronautics and automotive manufacturing. As Morocco’s economy grows, and as international companies—including many from the U.S.—establish offices there, the need for fluent English speakers also grows. And as research shows, English-speaking Moroccans earn 13% more than non-English speakers and are more successful overall in the job market,” wrote AMIDEAST President and CEO Theodore H. Kattouf in an op-ed published last week.

The full op-ed, “Why English is of Paramount Importance to Morocco”, can be found here: