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Sunday, October 17, 2004

Key Elements of Suggestopedia Techniques

from http://www.jwelford.demon.co.uk/brainwaremap/suggest.html

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.

One of Suggestopedia's unique goals is to release learners' minds from the existing framework of the "social-suggestive norms" (Lozanov, 1978. p. 252). Learners have commonly set a limit on their abilities by following the guidelines of the suggestive norms which are often considered common sense in a given society.

One important task for a suggestopedic teacher is to put students in the state of mind called "concentrative psychorelaxation" (Lozanov, 1978, p. 2S8). Lozanov describes concentrative psychorelaxation as the optimal state of brain activity for learning in which the level of relaxation is neither too deep nor too shallow. The teacher needs to create and arrange different styles of activities to stimulate the students' minds in various ways so that each student has a chance to achieve this state of concentrative psychorelaxation.

Suggestopedia introduces rich artistic elements into its teaching methodology and materials to stimulate learners' creativity (Gateva 1990a, pp. 54-55). Almost all the categories of art are included such as music, visual arts, and stage art. You use music as songs in the elaborations and as classical background music in the concert sessions. You hang colorful art posters in your classroom, and sometimes you give the group drawing tasks. You move like an actor in the theater, use puppets like a show person, and read the textbook like a poet at his recital.

Suggestopedia adopts a carefully structured approach, using four main stages as follows:

Presentation- 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. (The cheerful sounds of the Mozart's Fifth Violin Concerto)

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. (An organ piece from J. S. Bach's Fantasia for Organ in G Minor BMV 572)

Practice- The use of a range of games, puzzles, etc. to review and consolidate the learning.

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