Suggestopedia is a teaching method developed by the Bulgarian psychotherapist Georgi Lozanov. The method has been used in different fields of studies but mostly in the field of foreign language learning.
Lozanov says that by using this method one can teach languages approximately three to five times as quickly as conventional methods. However, it is not limited to the learning of languages, but language learning was found to be a process in which one can easily measure how much and how fast something is learned.
The theory applied positive suggestion in teaching when it was developed in the 1970s. However, as improved, it has focused more on “desuggestive learning” and now is often called “desuggestopedia.” Suggestopedia is used in six major foreign-language teaching methods known to language teaching experts (the oldest being the grammar translation method.) The name of Suggestopedia is from the words “suggestion” and “pedagogy. Many discussions and misunderstanding have caused this name because people connects the word "suggestion" to "hypnosis". There are many different definitions for the word "suggestion". When Dr. Lozanov chose this word, he was thinking about the English meaning: TO SUGGEST = TO OFFER, TO PROPOSE (BUT THE STUDENTS ARE FREE TO CHOOSE).
How to Teach using Suggestopedia
Traditional books cannot be used in a Suggestopedic class since they fail to present the content and grammar following the function of the human brain. The way they present information is not according to the real way the human brain processes information. The whole book has to be adapted to be used in a Suggestopedic class. It is hard work but the final results are worth it.
In Brazil, there is a teacher who developed a whole teacher training course to apply and use Suggestopedia using tradicional books. He teaches how to adapt and create a new Suggestopedic book to be used in Suggestopedic classes. The training also teaches the teachers how to conduct an intensive course in English or in any other foreign language using the newest development of Suggestopedia - Desuggestopedia.
Method for Children (Preventive Suggestopedia)
The method for Adults includes long sessions without movement, and materials that are appropriate for adults. Children, however, get impacts from “the social suggestive norms” differently and their brains are more delicate than those of adults. Therefore, another method with different materials should be applied to children, which better matches their characteristics. Lessons for children are more incidental and short, preventing the children from the negative pedagogical suggestions of Society. It is important to tell the parents about the method and their roles because they could influence children both negatively and positively, depending on how they support the kids.
Teachers should not act directive although this method is teacher-controlled but not students- controlled. For example, they should act as a real partner to the students, participating in the activities such as games and songs “naturally” and “genuinely.” In the concert session, they should fully include classical art into their behaviors. Although there are many techniques that the teachers use, the factors such as “communication in the spirit of love, respect for man as a human being, the specific humanitarian way of applying there ‘techniques’” etc. are crucial. The teachers need not only to know the techniques and theoretical information but also to understand the theory and to acquire the practical methodology completely because if they implement those techniques without complete understandings and acquisition, they could not provide learners successful results, or even could give a negative impact on their learning. Therefore the teacher has to be trained in the course that is taught by the certified trainers.
Here are the most important factors for teachers to acquire, described by Lozanov.
1. Covering a huge bulk of learning material.
2. Structuring the material in the suggestopaedic way; global-partial – partial-global, and global in the part – part in the global, related to the golden proportion.
3. As a professional, on one hand, and a personality, on the other hand, the teacher should be highly prestigious, reliable and credible.
4. The teacher should have, not play, a hundred percent of expectancy in positive results (because the teacher is already experienced even from the time of teacher training course).
5. The teacher should love his/her students (of course, not sentimentally but as human beings) and teach them with personal participation through games, songs, a classical type of arts and pleasure.
6. There are a few teachers and trainers all over the world who are certified in the newest development of Suggestopedia - Desuggestopedia. In Brazil there is one teacher certified by Dr. Lozanov - Paulo Negrete (http://www.lozanov.com.br), in the US - Lupe Escamila (http://www.parsomni.com) and a few others in Europe and one in Japan and Australia.
^ a b c d e f g h i Lozanov, Georgi. Suggestology and Suggestopedy. http://lozanov.hit.bg/ 4/30/2006
^ a b Harmer, Jeremy. The Practice of English Language Teaching. 3rd Edition. Person Education Limited, 2001
^ a b c d Lozanov, Georgi. Suggestopaedia - Desggestive Teaching Communicative Method on the Level of the Hidden Reserves of the Human Mind. http://dr-lozanov.dir.bg/book/start_book.htm 4/30/2006
Negrete, Paulo, LOGOS LANGUAGE GROUP, São Paulo, Brazil - (http://www.lozanov.com.br)
Edelmann, Walter, Suggestgopädie/Superlearning, Heidelberg: Ansanger, 1998.
Harmer, Jeremy. The Practice of English Language Teaching. 4th Edition. Person Education Limited, 2007.
Lozanov, Georgi, Suggestology and Outlines of Suggestopedy, New York: Gordon & Breach 1978 (Translation of: Nauka i Iskustvi, Sofia 1971).
Meier, Josef, Mehr Freude und Erfolg beim Englischlernen mit innovativen Lern- und Mentaltechniken, München:IBS, 1999.
Noferini, Fabio:"Riflessioni sul diffuso scetticismo nei confronti del metodo suggestopedico e sui suoi antidoti", Educazione & Scuola, 2003 (http://www.edscuola.it/archivio/stranieri/scetticismo.htm)
Riedel, Katja, Persönlichkeitsentfaltung durch Suggestopädie, Hohengehren: Schneider, 1995.
Schiffler, Ludger, Suggestopädie und Superlearning - empirisch geprüft. Einführung und Weiterentwicklung für Schule und Erwachsenenbildung, Frankfurt am Main: Diesterweg, 1989.
Schiffler, Ludger, La Suggestopédie et le Superlearning - Mise à l'épreuve statistique, Paris: Didier Erudition, 1991.
Schiffler, Ludger: "Suggestopedic Methods and Applications", Philadelphia, Tokyo, Paris etc.: Gordon & Breach Science Publisher, 1992.
Schiffler, Ludger, Effektiver Fremdsprachen lehren und lernen - Beide Gehirnhälften aktivieren, Donauwörth: Auer, 2002.
Schiffler, Ludger, Interhemispheric Foreign Language Learning - Activating Both Sides of the Brain, online 2003 (732KB )(download available: http://www.ludger-schiffler.de).