La tunisie Medicale - 2021 ; Vol 99 ( n°05 ) : 494-503
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Summary

Context: Morocco, like other countries of the Great Maghreb, does not use their mother language (Arabic) nor the dominant one (English), in teaching medicine, which could create cognitive barriers in assimilating knowledge and developing innovations.
Objective: To explore attitudes of a representative sample of students from Moroccan medical faculties, towards their current learning difficulties and their expectations, vis-à-vis their linguistic reform projects at the Moroccan University.
Methods: This descriptive study included a proportional stratified sample of students (both sexes) from the Faculties of Medicine and Pharmacy of Moroccan universities, during the 2019-2020 academic year. It used an exploratory questionnaire of language skills, academic assimilation, and suggestions for language alternatives.
Results: A sample of 891 Moroccan medical students, responding to the questionnaire (sex ratio of 0.68), from the eight faculties of medicine, were from two secondary education streams: Arabic and French. The students declared their good level in "reading and comprehension" and “speaking” in Arabic, respectively by 63% and 39% of the respondents, and in using the French language respectively by 44% and 26%. Third of the respondents admitted that the French language negatively affected their academic success, by increasing the time required for learning (44%) and by weakening their ability to communicate with patients (21%). More than half of the students were aware of the dialectic relationship between the language used, and assimilation, identity, scientific creativity, and economics. The future options of the linguistic problems of medical training in Morocco were mainly distributed, according to the respondents, either on using the English language (69%) or on partial (42%), total (37%) arabization of medical courses.
Conclusion: Despite linguistic mastery of medical students, in Morocco, they recognized their learning difficulties in French and expressed their conviction to linguistic review, based currently on a triad of languages (including the mother language). While waiting for linguistic standardization in medical schools, bilingualism (mother language and English language) was the option suggested by the majority of Moroccan students.

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