State-of-the-Art Workshop on Reading Instruction in Arabic


In partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoE), AUI held a conference on reading instruction in Arabic in Rabat Nov. 19-21. The conference aimed to share best practices in teaching, assess early grade reading skills and develop an action plan to improve early grade reading outcomes.


AUI and its partners organized the conference to address Morocco’s lag in learning achievement and literacy in comparison to other lower middle income and Middle East- and North African countries. According to the 2011 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) of literacy rates among fourth graders in 48 countries, Moroccan students ranked last. A USAID study in the same year found that in the Doukkala Abda region, only 34 percent second- and third graders read well enough to understand a second grade-level text. Twenty-one percent of girls and 29 percent of boys were not able to read a single world of Classical Arabic, the formal system of education’s language of instruction.


The conference aimed to improve student performance by focusing workshops on the state of reading instruction in Morocco, language approaches, curriculum and textbooks, instruction and teacher preparation, assessment and evaluation, supplemental reading materials, the creation of an environment rich in literature and policy making to improve the performance of students in the early grades.


The conference took place at Rabat’s Centre National des Formations des Cadres (CNFC) and was attended by MoE decision makers and practitioners.