Language Education and Target Language

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SUGGESTOPEDIA

1.0 INTRODUCTION

In the course of ELT history 1970s was in marked contrast to the previous periods in the ways learners were treated. Earlier teaching approaches such as audiolingualism had failed to take the learners’ psychological aspects into account in selection of content, materials and learning activities since learners were regarded as robot-like beings who would receive and process anything loaded on them. 1970s was the time when a learner-centred view of language learning namely humanistic approach entered the ELT agenda. Since then, the language teaching approaches have focused more and more on the human side of the learner.    The humanistic approach is underlie by the philosophy that learners are human beings with flesh and blood and more importantly with cognitive and affective dimensions so the teachers should be sensitive about their thoughts, feelings and experiences and use several methods to trigger them off so that they will be able to use their full potential and thus learn both affectively and effectively (Oller&Amato: 1991).   The above-mentioned triggering process could be achieved by attempts to eliminate the psychological barriers to learning and it was Georgi Lozanov, a Bulgarian psychologist, who tried to make such a humanistic attempt by deriving a new language teaching method named Suggestopedia in the late 1970s. Like Community Language Learning and the Silent Way Method, Suggestopedia is an innovative method that promises great effective language learning results. Lozanov claimed that by using this method one can teach languages approximately three to five times as quickly as conventional methods. The name of Suggestopedia is derived from the words “suggestion” and “pedagogy”. It is a set of learning recommendations derived from Suggestology, which Lozanov describes as “a science concerned with systematic study of the non rational and/or non conscience influences” that human beings are constantly responding to. The method also draws from insights from yoga and the Soviet psychology. From yoga it draws the importance of relaxation of mind for maximum retention of material. From Soviet psychology Lozanov took the idea that“all sudents can be taught a given subject matter at the same level of skill.” Jack C. Richards and Theodore S. Rodgers (1986).

2.0 APPROACH
This holistic approach of teaching is applied more and more and is also well known as Superlearning. People have to deal with a lot of suggestive information. They save them consciously or unconsciously as verbal or non-verbal messages in their brain. This suggestopedic teaching and learning method is based on the facts that both the conscious and unconscious are very important for the retention of memory. It is also based on the fact that participants who are in an attentive relaxed state are empowered to learn more effectively without getting tired.

Positive suggestions which accelerate learning and develop potentials are for example a relaxed, positive learning atmosphere which is created by the change of tension and relaxation, active and passive phases, journeys of fantasy, games, movement and simulation of possible real situations. As music creates emotional engagement and memory retention, it is a very valuable tool. For instance, it makes the learners feel comfortable, it helps to overcome any inhibitions and it increases motivation and reception. The different parts of our brain are specialized to receive and to manage information as for instance, verbal, non-verbal, rational or emotional messages or as a word or picture. In suggestopedic teaching individual learning styles are considered. All channels of learning are respected: the sense of looking and seeing, hearing, feeling, smell and taste. By the holistic activation and coordination of the left and the right part of the brain, thus increasing the retention of memory, the method of suggestopaedia shows new ways and open doors in...
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