Learning is a matter of attitude, not aptitude.
Suggestopedia is a teaching method which is based on a modern understanding of how the human brain works and how we learn most effectively. It was developed by the Bulgarian doctor and psychotherapist Georgi Lozanov (see right). The term 'Suggestopedia', derived from suggestion and pedagogy, is often used loosely to refer to similar accelerated learning approaches. However, Lozanov reserves the title strictly for his own method, and he has his own training and certification facilities. Suggestopedia was originally applied mainly in foreign language teaching, and it is often claimed that it can teach languages approximately three times as quickly as conventional methods. It is now applied in several other fields, and its central ideas inspired the development of my own Brainware workshops. Another revolutionary language teacher who developed his own distinctive methods was the late Michel Thomas, his numerous famous clients including: Woody Allen, Bob Dylan and Eddie Izzard.
Key Elements of Suggestopedia
Some of the key elements of Suggestopedia include a rich sensory learning environment (pictures, colour, music, etc.), a positive expectation of success and the use of a varied range of methods: dramatised texts, music, active participation in songs and games, etc.
Suggestopedia adopts a carefully structured approach, using four main stages as follows:
A preparatory stage in which students are helped to relax and move into a positive frame of mind, with the feeling that the learning is going to be easy and fun.
- First Concert - "Active Concert"
This involves the active presentation of the material to be learnt. For example, in a foreign language course there might be the dramatic reading of a piece of text, accompanied by classical music.
- Second Concert - "Passive Review"
The students are now invited to relax and listen to some Baroque music, with the text being read very quietly in the background. The music is specially selected to bring the students into the optimum mental state for the effortless acquisition of the material.
The use of a range of games, puzzles, etc. to review and consolidate the learning.
For further information about Suggestopedia see:
- Adapting Suggestopedia to Secondary School German Instruction by Allyn Prichard
An Invitation to Suggestopedia by Kazuhiko Hagiwara
Lonny Gold on Suggestopedia