Suggestopedia is a method developed by the Bulgarian educator and psychiatrist Georgi Lozanov in 1966. This method is based on a series of learning recommendations based on the Suggestology. It is said that the method of the Suggestopedia accelerates the learning and some characteristics of this method have to do with the decoration, the furniture, the organization of the classroom and the use of the music. Through music, the goal is to relax students, give rhythm to the presentation of linguistic content and increase their concentration.
The teacher or the teacher presents an authoritative but natural behavior, teaches grammar directly, also the teacher must be a bearer of suggestion, must have competence in their field, must have enthusiasm for the subject, interest for students, mutual respect, humor, pass tests and respond tactfully in case there were bad results.
The student must present a pseudo-passive state and let the new language involve them, students must tolerate and stimulate their own process of infantilization, the method of Suggestopedia motivates students to sit in a circle to perform different activities and thus be able to See your classmates face to face. Finally, it is preferable that the group consists of twelve students and that it has the same number of women as men.
The activities of this method are the following:
Organization of the class: the teacher’s challenge is to create a class environment that is cheerful and clear. Walls decorated with posters in the target language is an example. Very rarely these conditions are achieved; However, the teacher should try to make the environment as positive as possible.
Peripheral learning: this technique is based on the idea that we perceive much more than we consciously acquire from the environment. It is claimed that students will absorb the essentials without difficulty by putting up posters that contain grammar aspects in class. The teacher can explain something using the poster. These are changed from time to time to update the grammar you see.
Positive suggestion: it is the teacher’s responsibility to create factors that help learning and this is achieved by removing barriers. Teachers can do it with the use of “indirect means” and “direct” (for example, tell them that they will get it). The most powerful is the indirect medium.
Choose a new identity: students choose their own name and a new occupation / profession. As the academic year continues, they develop a biography about their “fictional self.” For example, they have to talk about whether home, childhood, family …
“Theatrical” representation: students are usually asked to temporarily be someone else and act in the target language according to that character. They can also create the context themselves.
First concert (active concert): the two concerts are elements of the receptive phase of the lesson. When the teacher has presented the history of the dialogue and when he has highlighted the grammatical aspects he presents, read the dialogue in the target language. The student copies the dialogue in the mother tongue by way of dictation. Music is used; After a few minutes, the teacher reads slowly, synchronizing his intonation with the music. This is classic, preferably from Romanticism. The teacher’s voice goes up and down with the music.
Second concert (passive concert): in the second phase the student has to cover the dialogue (not seeing it). Just listen while the teacher reads the dialogue at a normal speed. The teacher is sitting and reads with musical accompaniment. The content indicates the way in which the dialogue is read, and not the music, which can be, for example, baroque.
Primary activation: this technique, and the one that follows, belongs to the active phase of the lesson. Students reread, dramatize, dialogue, individually or in groups. An example can be reading the same dialogue by changing the mood (first read as if one were angry and then, a second time, excited).
Creative adaptation: students participate in various activities designed to approach the new material and use it spontaneously. Singing, dancing, doing a play, varied games … are some examples. The most important thing is that the activities are varied and do not allow the student to focus on a single form of the linguistic message; that is, do not focus on a single aspect of the language.
The use of the poster: it is a good way for the student to be surrounded by cultural, grammatical (and vocabulary) aspects of the target language, being able to resort to the poster at any time.
Theater play: not work a play as indicated here, but act, use a work already created (it does not necessarily have to be a classic author) We can also create our own play with students (so we work many aspects of the language and skills, as we encourage teamwork). In addition, with the play we not only work the text, but the author his period.
Creation of a “fictional self”: simply, tell students to write stories, stories.
Role of the teacher: The primary role of the teacher is to create situations in which the student is more receptive and then present linguistic material in a way that allows for greater positive retention of the student.
It also states that educators must not only show absolute confidence in the method, but also have to develop acting and singing skills and handle psychotherapeutic techniques. An authoritative behavior of the teacher also stands out.
It is indicated that the teacher must pass tests and respond tactfully to the bad results, in case they were given.
Role of the student: The student plays a passive role (should not attempt to find out, manipulate or study the material presented, but must retain a pseudo-passive state, which allows the material to wrap it) and active at the same time, since, in activities concrete, their active participation is encouraged. According to the text by Richards and Rodgers (1998), students who follow this learning method are basically volunteers, “but a commitment to the class and to the activities carried out in it is expected from them.” (P. 144).
Presence of grammar: Learning is inductive; This leads to minimal grammatical explanations, while the use of music (especially classical) or intonations is frequent. In this method, what is proposed is a vision of the language element, in which the presentation of the vocabulary and its translation acquire more importance than the linguistic context itself (the emphasis falls on memorization, through listening and repetition in the language goal and in the learner’s mother tongue, pairs of words and dialogues created especially to practice certain structures and the lexicon).
ACTIVITIES – SUGGESTOPEDIA METHOD
Topic: The chef interview
- Describe your preferences for meals and types of cuisine in your life.
- Interpret the tastes and preferences of a fictional character.
- Relate the new words to the context and background theme of a text about a chef.
- Imagine possible responses of a fictional character through an interview.
1- In a relaxed atmosphere, with music at low volume and dim light, you are asked to imagine a chef. Then, the students listen with the eyes closed the interview with chef Rafael.
2- On the board there is a picture of a chef. Students will write a brainstorm with the words of the heard text that caught their attention and consider related to this imaginary chef. They can be text words or words that do not appear but that they know and relate to the context. In this way the vocabulary list will be built by the students themselves.
3- In pairs, a student will be a journalist and another student will be a chef. They will simulate an interview with this chef about his life and his tastes. They will assume the roles of journalist and chef and practice several questions as if they were on a live television show.
ADVANTAGES OF THE METHOD:
• Dialogues based on cultural aspects but prepared by the teacher according to the level of the student. • Relaxed atmosphere. • Attention is paid to the development of adequacy.
• The method works in small class groups, so it is difficult to do it if we have 25 or more students.