Georgi Lozanov’s Suggestopedia

Suggestopedia as a Teaching Method
Suggestopedia is One Path of Learning

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:

  • Introduction
  • Concert session
  • Elaboration
  • Production

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.

Introduction

During the introduction phase, the teacher introduces the words and grammar in a playful manner. This first phase of suggestopedia is also called deciphering.

Concert

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.

Elaboration

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.

Production

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.