SUGGESTOPEDIA (Georgi Lazanov)

ELT Methods TEACHER RESOURCES

SUGGESTOPEDIA (Georgi Lazanov)

  1. Learning Theory: People use 5-10% of their mental capacity. In order to make better use of our mental reserves, limitations need to be desuggested. Students should eliminate the feelings that they cannot be successful and thus, to help them overcome the barriers to learning. Psychological barriers should be removed.

There are six principle theoretical components through which desuggestion and suggestion
operate and that set up access to reserves.

    1. Authority: People remember best when the new information comes from a reliable    authoritative source.
    2. Infantilization: Authority is also used to suggest a teacher-student relation like that of “parent-child” relationship. In the child’s role the learner takes part in role playing, games, songs and gymnastic exercises that help the older student regain the self confidence, spontaneity and receptivity of the child.
    3. Double-planedness: The learner learns not only from the instructions but also from the environment. Physical features of the classroom are important.
    4. Intonation: Varying intonation of the presented material helps to avoid boredom. T should present the material with different intonation patterns. Correct intonation patterns should be emphasised.
    5. Rhythm: Materials presented with varying rhythm and tones are more interesting.
    6. Concert pseudo-passiveness: Materials presented with varying rhythm, intonation, and tone should be accompanied by music. Music should have sixty beats in a minute. Baroque concertos work very well for this purpose.

  2.Language Theory: Lazanov does not articulate a theory of language. However according to this method communication is a two-plane process. Language is the first of the two planes. In the second plane, there are factors, which influence the linguistic message (e.g. the way one dresses, non-verbal behaviours that affect the linguistic message)

    3.Culture: The culture, which students learn, concerns the everyday life of people who speak the target language. The use of fine arts is also common

4.Teachers’ Role: Teacher is the authority. Learners learn better if they get the information from a reliable authority. Students must trust and respect that authority

5.Students’ Role: Students play a child’s role (infantilization). They adopt a new identity (new name, job, family…etc.) As they feel more secure, they can be less inhibited

6.Interactions: “St-st” and “T-st” interactions occur. Students often do “pair work” and “group work”

7.Vocabulary Teaching: Vocabulary is emphasised. Claims about the success of the method often focus on the large number of words that can be acquired. Comments and explanations about the meanings can be provided in student’s L1

8.Grammar Teaching: Grammar is taught explicitly but minimally. Explicit grammar rules are provided in L1

9.Materials: Dialogues are used with their translations in L1 on the opposite side. Texts with literary value are used. The textbook posters are used for peripheral learning1

10.Syllabus: A course lasts 30 days and ten units of study. Each unit has a long dialogue consisting of 1200 words. There is grammar review and commentary section with a list of vocabulary. The dialogues are graded by lexis and grammar

11.Role of L1: L1 is used to make the meaning of dialogues clear. The teacher can use L1 when necessary but he uses L1 less and less as the course proceeds1

12.Evaluation: Evaluation is conducted on students’  “in-class-performances” and not through formal tests, which would threaten the relaxed atmosphere, which is considered essential for accelerated learning

13.Goals and Objectives: Teachers hope to accelerate the process by which students learn to use a foreign language for everyday communication. For this, more of the students’ mental power must be tapped. This can be achieved by removing psychological barriers

14.Error Correction: At the beginning levels, errors are not corrected immediately because the emphasis is on communication. When errors of form occur, teachers uses the correct form later on during class, because immediate interference by the teacher may destroy the relaxed atmosphere in classes

15.Student’s Feelings: A great deal of attention is given to students’ feelings. Students should feel relaxed and secure. Teacher’s existence and classmates’ existence should not threaten the individual. Individual’s self-confidence is important. Choice of new identity makes students feel more comfortable and secure. The classroom conditions (temperature, lighting, armchairs) should supply students with the feeling of relaxation and comfort

16.Techniques:

    • Classroom set up: dim lights, soft music, cushioned armchairs, and posters on the walls.
    • Positive Suggestion:

=>Direct Suggestion: The teacher tells students they are going to be successful to create self-confidence.

                            =>Indirect Suggestion: This is provided by music and comfortable physical conditions of the classroom.

  • Peripheral Learning: Posters, lists, charts, texts, paintings, and graphs are hung on the walls of the classroom. Students learn from these although their attentions are not directly on these materials.
  • Visualisation: Students are asked to close their eyes and concentrate on their breathing. Then the teacher describes a scene or an event in detail so that students think they are really there. When the scene is complete, the teacher asks students to slowly open their eyes and return to the present. This can be done just before students write a composition in order to activate their creativity.
  • Choose a New Identity: Students can be asked to write about their fictional new identity, new home town, family, etc.
  • First Concert: Music is played. The teacher begins a slow, dramatic reading, synchronised in intonation with the music. The music is classical. Teacher’s voice is usually hushed, but rises and falls with the music.
  • Second Concert: Students put their scripts aside. Students close their eyes and listen as the teacher reads with musical accompaniment. This time the content that is read by the teacher is emphasised by the way the teacher reads the text. Music is secondarily important. At the end of the concert, the class ends for the day.
  • Primary Activation: Primary activation and secondary activation are the components of the active phase of the lesson. Students read the dialogue in the target language aloud as individuals or groups. They read it sadly, angrily, and amorously.
  • Secondary Activation: Students engage in various activities such as singing, dancing, dramatising, and playing games. Linguistic forms are not important. Communication is important. In order to make students focus on communication, activities are varied.

 

  1. Skills: Oral communication is emphasised. Speaking and listening are important. Writing and reading are also important. Students write imaginative compositions to improve their writing, and read dialogues or texts to practise reading.

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