Suggestopedia creator, Georgi Lozanov, was born in Sofia, the largest town in Bulgaria in 1926. A teacher, psychiatrist, and doctor of medical sciences, he is best known for the teaching theory he began working on in the early 1960s.
Dr. Georgi Lozanov, creator of suggestopedia, was born in Sofia, the largest town in Bulgaria, in 1926. A teacher, psychiatrist, and doctor of medical sciences, he is best known for the teaching theory he began working on in the early 1960s.
Suggestopedia Equals Suggestion Plus Teaching Methodology
Suggestopedia is not a Form of Hypnosis
A number of misconceptions surround suggestopedia. Some believe that the teaching method involves hypnosis; that the “suggestion” part of the word refers to the power of suggestion used by hypnotists.
Georgi Lozanov was using a different meaning of the word – think of it as suggesting that the student has the option of learning. Teachers suggest, offer, or propose different methods that can be used by the student to learn and integrate information in a more efficient and relaxed manner. But ultimately, it is the student’s choice whether they learn the information.
Another misconception surrounds how the suggestopedia teaching method makes use of relaxation techniques. Baroque music for example is thought to be a part of suggestopedia. While pre-classical music playing in the background is one element of the teaching method, it is not the complete methodology as originally described by Georgi Lozanov.
Some think of suggestopedia as a psychologically manipulative technique. This goes back to the idea that the teachers are somehow hypnotizing their students or using guided imagery, another technique sometimes used in psychiatry.
Lozanov’s methods did not originally make use of any of those things, nor were his methods considered “super-learning” techniques. Suggestopedia is not neuro-linguistic programming, although some aspects of NLP may benefit some students.
Why Suggestopedia is Misunderstood?
Much of the confusion surrounding suggestopedia arises from the fact that Georgi Lozanov was absent for 10 years. He was placed under house arrest by the communist authorities that controlled Bulgaria until 1989.
He originally presented his educational theory of suggestopedia and his proposal for how the teaching method would be practiced to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 1978. Shortly afterwards, the authorities decided he should no longer be a public figure. He was not freed until after the communist regime fell. At the time of this writing, he is residing in Austria.
It is not clear whether or not his arrest was related to his presentation at the UN. It may have been a coincidence that he was confined to his home soon after returning to Bulgaria. Not much is known about the politics of Georgi Lozanov. We do know his intended purpose of suggestopedia.
Purpose of Suggestopedia
His intended purpose was to enhance learning by lowering the “affective filter” of learners. The affective filter is one of the five hypotheses proposed by Stephen Krashen, a linguist and educational researcher. Krashen’s hypotheses focused on the student’s ability to learn a second language, but it has become accepted that the affective filter applies to all types of learning.
The affective filter refers to emotional responses to the learning environment that make it difficult for students to learn. The emotions involved may be anxiety, self-doubt, frustration, boredom, apathy or any other negative emotion.
A person’s relationship with the teacher can have a positive or negative effect on the learning experience. If a child tells a parent that he does not like a teacher, it could be important for the parent to listen. The dislike could have a negative effect on the child’s ability to learn.
Suggestopedia is Designed to Free One to Learning With Ease
According to Georgi Lozanov, suggestopedia is a learning system that will liberate the student from the “preliminary negative concept regarding the difficulties in the process of learning”. In a child’s words, “This is too hard.” The simple idea is to make learning easier for a student of any age.
Of course, that’s not an easy thing to do. Society in general has preconceived notions about certain subjects. Those preconceptions could cause a student to avoid certain subjects of study, even though they might find them interesting, because they believe the subject is “too hard”.
Georgi Lozanov has described it this way; the student is “free without a mildest pressure.” There is the “liberation of previously suggested programs to restrict intelligence in spontaneous acquisition of knowledge, skills and habits.”
Four Phases of Suggestopedia
Four phases of the practice of the suggestopedia methodology have been described by Georgi Lozanov in his papers, books and on his website. Those four phases are:
- Concert session
Like Krashen’s, Lozanov’s focus was on teaching a second language. The methodology could be used in any subject, as long as the teacher was creative enough to apply the musical aspects of the process. The methodology easily lends itself to teaching languages.
During the introduction phase, the teacher introduces the words and grammar in a playful manner. This first phase of suggestopedia is also called deciphering.
During the concert session, the teacher reads the day’s material while pre-classical music plays in the background. The reading is done in a relaxed manner. The students can read along with the teacher during this phase if desired. The reading should be done in a manner that follows the basic rhythm of the music in the background.
During the elaboration phase, Georgi Lozanov suggests that the students sing songs, act out a story or play games. The teacher can guide the elaboration phase, but the students direct the production. The teacher becomes more of a consultant. The students become physically involved in the learning process.
During the production phase, the students would speak in the language they are learning without interruption or correction by the teacher. They can talk to the teacher or to each other. The teacher serves only as a guide in the fourth phase of suggestopedia.
All teachers could benefit from learning the methods suggested by Dr. Georgi Lozanov. Suggestopedia in a nutshell: learning any subject can be an enjoyable process.
For Additional Information on suggestopedi
1. Suggestopedia or Superlearning Method in USA –
Superlearning Inc. is a trademark registered in the USA, based on Dr.Lozanov’s system of teaching. Internationally acclaimed authors, and organization’s founders are Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder have written ten books, including the best-sellers Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain, SuperLearning, Supermemory, and SuperLearning 2000. Their books have been published in more than 25 languages. Among other things, their work introduced Kirlian photography, pyramid power and SuperLearning to the Western world.
They have pursued breakthrough discoveries in human potential around the globe for more than three decades and discussed their findings in over 2000 TV and radio shows including Today and Good Morning America. They have also lectured widely in North America and abroad.
SuperLearning Inc. was founded in New York in 1979 by Lynn Schroeder who was President and CEO and Sheila Ostrander as Chairman. They created, recorded and published more than sixty SuperLearning and personal development programs on Item and CD. Lynn Schroeder was a native of New Jersey and lived in New York City. Sheila Ostrander is Canadian and lives in Toronto. Sheila holds degrees from the University of Manitoba in French literature and in pedagogy and has taught in England and Canada. She studied music for sixteen years with the Royal School of Music, England; and the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto.
Lynn has a B.A. in English literature and psychology from Skidmore College and did graduate work at The New School for Social Research.
Nancy Ostrander co-author of “SuperLearning” and “SuperLearning 2000″ has actively researched, coordinated, and created mind development programs for adults and children. She has worked as a public relations consultant, event coordinator, lecturer and facilitator in the area of holistic health, education and parapsychology. Nancy is Canadian and resides in Vancouver, British Columbia.
2. Schools and Learning Centers Practicing the method around the world:
– SEAL – Society for Effective Affective Learning UK based global organization they use various teaching methods like… and among them Suggestopedia. Seal, a UK-based global association of people interested in the dynamics of learning, with an active membership in over 40 countries. We were also a community of individuals committed to the spread of ideas through their practical implementation. Founded in 1983, to promote the ideas of Suggestopedia, now active in 40 countries around the world.
– ERIC – the Education Resources Information Center – is an online digital library of education research and information. ERIC is sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education. ERIC provides ready access to education literature to support the use of educational research and information to improve practice in learning, teaching, educational decision-making, and research. The ERIC mission is to provide a comprehensive, easy-to-use, searchable, Internet-based bibliographic and full-text database of education research and information that also meets the requirements of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002.
CSC operates the ERIC Program under contract with the U.S. Department of Education. The ERIC contract supports development and management of the digital collection, ERIC Thesaurus, Web site, and associated technologies, as well as outreach to ERIC users. IES has authorized the work of three expert advisory panels to foster ERIC’s ongoing development: the ERIC Steering Committee, Content Experts, and Library Committee.
ERIC continues to explore new approaches to enhancing and expanding services to the user community. Through collaborative efforts and with feedback provided by the ERIC user community, the ERIC program continues to enhance online services, expand access to full-text materials, and increase the number of journal and non-journal sources indexed in the Collection.
– The Italian School of Casale – The Italian School of Casale, specializes in suggestopedia, the effective way to learn a language. Endorsed by UNESCO “There is consensus that suggestopedia is a generally superior teaching method for many subjects and for many types of students, compared with traditional methods.”You will learn in half the time and retain more and for longer what you have learnt. Our range of courses include General Italian Courses, Courses for teenagers, Italian for Special needs, Teacher’s refresher courses, Tandem course, Tailor-made course and many more, all designed to make your stay in Italy a valuable and fulfilling learning experience. General Language courses, such as Standard course, Combination course, Evening Program, Work experience Program, etc. Special courses such as Italian for Wine Lovers, Italian for Musicians, etc.
– Australian Centre of Chinese Studies in Melbourne and Sydney – Australia. The center offers accelerated classes in Mandarin and Cantonese. Also classes for kids.
– Howard Rokofsky – author, speaker, and a personal development coach, born in USA, from Czech origin, now based in Czech republic. He has developed his own products and offers them for sale. He is teaching communication skills and personal development.
– Humana – Language school based in Switzerland – offers various courses in different languages. It has more than 20 years experience teaching English, German and French.
– Italian Immersion Courses in Italy – Italian Courses from a large range of possibilities, all using the Suggestopedic Method for fast track learning. Whatever your choice, you will be part of a group of max 10-12 students of mixed nationalities, formed on the bases of a test; our language laboratory, library, video-library. Among the courses the school offers are Business Italian, Italian for wine lovers, Italian for musicians, etc.
– Omni School in Brazil – English school that uses the only methodology approved and recommended by UNESCO. Students can learn English in just 24 days with n o homework, stress or fatigue. (facebook fanpage)
– Gary & Merri Scott’s Work – Gary and his wife Merri, are educators and publishers of a numerous resources on Superthinking, International investing, Spanish language, and Entpreneurship. Gary says we can learn Spanish in 4 days. Merri Scott was trained educational techniques by the Bulgarian educational master, Dr. Georgi Lozanov. Lozanov’s system has been written about in the books “The Mozart Effect”, “Superlearning” and “Secrets Behind the Iron Curtain”.The Scotts teach ways to use this system to improve intelligence and learn Spanish. Gary and Merri and have lived, worked, studied, invested and done business wife in Hong Kong, Switzerland, Germany, London England and Ecuador as well as the USA. In the 1990s they began creating seminar centers in Cotacachi Ecuador and the Blue Ridge of the North Carolina to teach information about the fundamentals of Quantum health and wealth. Today they live and operate a hotel in Ecuador, and a seminar center.