Applied Linguistics

Suggestopedia techniques definition activities and role of teacher

Suggestopedia Method

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 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. In this article we will elaborate you here the techniques of Suggestopedia .

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 their 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.

Class structure

Richards and Rodgers (2003) present the structure of a language course taught according to suggestopedia. According to the authors, the course is organized in 30 days in which 10 units are covered. In other words, each unit lasts three days and focuses on a dialogue of about 1200 words, which is delivered to the students in print with the translation in their mother tongue. From this dialogue, work is carried out for 3 days, of which the first day is known as the “pre-session phase”. It is there when the teacher presents the general content of the dialogue (the structure is not presented) and answers questions raised by the student according to their interests and concerns about the material. Several other readings of the dialogue are carried out in a consensual manner. It is in this phase that the most specific activities of the Suggestopedia take place, which are the listening activities related to the text and vocabulary of each unit. Students first read and discuss the text with the teacher. In subsequent readings, students relax, recline, and comfortably listen to what the teacher reads.

During the second and third days, the primary and secondary elaboration of the text takes place. Primary elaboration encompasses imitation, questions, and answers, reading the dialogue, and working with the new vocabulary elements that can be around 150. Secondary elaboration involves production through new combinations with the dialogue elements: “The students practice conversations, and play small roles in response to the text read ”(Richards and Rodgers, 2003).

The above makes me think then that the primary elaboration focuses on reception and understanding, while the secondary elaboration does so on the production with the bases acquired from the previous stages.

suggestopedia techniquesSUGGESTOPEDIA TECHNIQUES

The activities of this method are the following:

1-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.

2-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.

3-Positive suggestion

it is the teacher‘s responsibility to create factors that help to learn 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.

4-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.

5-“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.

6-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.

7-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.

8-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).

9-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.

10-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.”

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).


• 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.

Examples activities

Activity example

Level: A2

Objective: Recognize the structure of the special verb Like and use it to express likes and preferences

The teacher reads the following text, which is a fragment of “My last sigh”, an autobiographical book by the Spanish film director Luis Buñuel, where he talks about the things that he personally likes. In a first reading, the teacher intones the reading according to the tone and rhythm of the selected music. Students follow the dialogue while the teacher reads it aloud.

During a second reading, students listen quietly while the teacher reads the dialogue at normal speed. Once at home, the student reads the text before going to sleep, and again when he gets up, in the morning.

“I like the North, the cold, and the rain. In that I am Spanish. I am from a dry country, that’s why I love humid forests, with fog. I like the noise of the rain. For me there is no more beautiful noise in the world … Now I hear it with a device, but it is not the same noise. I like to eat early, go to bed, and get up early. In that, I am not very Spanish. I’m not interested in politics. I don’t believe in her anymore. I like punctuality. Actually, it is a mania. I am never late. When I go to a place and arrive too early, I stay outside or take a walk until the exact time. Crowds bother me. If a meeting has six people, I already consider it a crowd. I love costumes. They are an exciting experience, with them you live a different life. If you are dressed as a worker, for example, they automatically give you the cheapest matches. Girls don’t look at you. You are nobody in the world… I like Carlos Saura’s films. I admire him a lot as a film director. We are both from Aragon “

Level: B2

General objective:

  • Describe your preferences for the foods and types of cuisine in your life.

 Specific objectives:

  • Interpret the tastes and preferences of a fictional character.
  • Match the new words with the context and background theme of a text about a chef.
  • Imagine possible responses from a fictional character through an interview.


1- In a relaxed atmosphere, with low volume music and soft lighting, they are asked to imagine a chef. Then, the students listen with their eyes closed to the interview with chef Rafael.

 2- On the blackboard, there is a photo of a chef. The students will go on to write a brainstorming with the words of the heard text that caught their attention and they consider related to this imaginary chef. They can be words from the text 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, one 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 various questions as if they were on a live TV show.


Journalist: Good morning, in our program today we will talk with international chef Rafael Brenes, who is visiting us from Mexico. Welcome, Rafael!

Rafael: Thank you! Thank you for the invitation to the program.

Q- Tell me, Rafael, is this your first time in Costa Rica?

A- No. Actually, I have already come to Costa Rica about two times. This is my third time.

Q- And what is the reason for your visit?

A- I came to give a workshop on Ibero-American Cuisine to Costa Ricans.

Q- When and where is this workshop?

A- The workshop is this weekend, here in San José; at the Tryp Hotel.

Q- Do you cook typical Costa Rican food?

A- Yes. As I already know Costa Rica, every time I come I buy books on Costa Rican cooking and I love learning their recipes.

Q- What is the recipe that you like to prepare the most for Costa Rican food?

A- I really like soups, the variety it has. And also the picadillos.

Q- And in the kitchen of Mexico?

A- It is difficult. I love to prepare the mole.

Q- Why? 

A- Because it has a particular flavor that I have not found in the cuisine of other countries.

Q- You have a Mexican food restaurant there in Spain, right?

A- Correct. It’s called Flavors of my land. But we also specialize in Spanish and International food. I like to incorporate new dishes into the menu

Q- Well, we hope to enjoy your cooking this weekend in the cooking workshop with Rafael Brenes, at the Tryp Hotel in San José.

A- That’s right. I wait for you all and again: thank you for this welcome

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