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The outline

I/ Historical Background to the Method* Whatissuggestopedia? * Whyisitcalledso?* Somes of its objectivesII/ Principlesuponwhich the MethodisBasedIII/ Teacher’sRole vs. Learner’sRoleIV/ The Process of Suggestopedic Courses *Classroom set-up *SyllabusV/ Strengths vs. Weaknesses of SuggestopediaVI/ Comparison with Previous Methods


“Once upon a time a Bulgarian psychiatrist and educator named GeorgiLozanov was desperate to find an efficient way to teach his students, he used to sit in a café and think all the time, but in vain. One day, while he was in the bathroom shaving, he had this brilliant idea…Suggestopedia.

  • He didn’t finish shaving. He took his school bag and happily rushed to school. He entered the classroom and said “Hi” to his students, and then said: “Relaaaaaaaax”
  • And that was the Suggestopedia method"
components of a teaching learning experience
Components of a teaching / learning experience





New focus on the learner on the teaching experience: a humanistic approach

circular arragement decorated room music

decorated room,




What do you think of the following statement?

“Learning is a matter of attitude, not aptitude.”GeorgiLozanov


Suggestopedia is a portmanteau of the words “suggestion” and “pedagogy".

  • Thus, it is a pedagogical application of ‘Suggestology’, the influence of suggestions on human behaviour.
  • The idea is to eliminate the fear and negative associations that students may have toward learning or studying a foreign language,orthe feeling that they cannot be successful, thus, to help them overcome the barriers to learning.
  • “Learning is a matter of attitude, not aptitude.” GeorgiLozanov

Suggestopedia or as it was later called desuggestopaedia is a method of (FL) teaching developed in the 1970s by the Bulgarian medical doctor, hypnotist, and psychology professor Dr. GeorgiLozanov .

It is used in different fields, but mostly in the field of foreign language learning.


GeorgiLozanov, the originator of this method, has claimed that by using this method students can learn a language at a much faster rate, approximately three to five times as quickly as through conventional teaching methods.

  • (This is an opinion that is shared by Caleb Gattegno, the originator of the Silent Way).
  • How?

Advocates of this method believe that the human brain could process great quantities of material given the right conditions of learning like relaxation.

Not so much aptitude as attitude


Suggestopedia or Desuggestopedia

  • The theory applied positive suggestion in teaching when it was developed in the 1970s. However, as the method improved, it has focused more on “desuggestive learning” and now is often called “desuggestopedia” to reflect the importance placed on desuggesting limitations on learning.
  • How?

“The reason for our inefficiency, Lozanov asserts, is that we set up psychological barriers to learning: We fear that we will be unable to perform , that we will be limited in our ability to learn , that we will fail. One result is that we do not use the full mental powers that we have.”

  • Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching, p. 73

“According to Lozanov and others, we may be using only five to ten percent of our mental capacity. In order to make better use of our reserved capacity, the limitations we think we have need to be 'desuggested‘. Desuggesropedia; ' the application of the study of suggestion to pedagogy, has been developed to help students eliminate the feeling that they cannot be successful or the negative association they may have toward studying and, thus, to help them overcome the barriers to learning.”

  • Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching, p. 73
objectives of the method

Objectives of the method

Desuggest (overcome) the psychological barriers to learn a foreign language (in particular learning vocabulary and conversation) so asto accelerate the process by which students learn to use a foreign language for everyday communication.

This is known as Lowering the affective filter of learners.

In brief, the main objective is to accelerate the process by which student learn a F language.




The method

  • The belief that learning a language can be easy if the student is relaxed and confident: “You won't need to try to learn. It will just come naturally.”
  • Using pantomime (acting) to help the students understand
  • 'Integration of the fine arts into the classroom: “One of the ways the students' mental reserves are stimulated is through integration of the fine arts, an important contribution to the method made by Lozanov's colleague EvelynaGateva.”
  • Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching, p. 73


What are some characteristics of the teaching/learning process?



Material / equipment

A Relaxing andrichsensorylearning environment:

A Cheerful environment facilitates the learning process


This avant-garde method is sub conscious and uses melodic and artistic background. In particular, it makes use of music, visual images and relaxation exercises to make learning more comfortable and effective.

The classroom is bright and cheerful


Armchairs , decorations,

There are pillows and cushions on the floor.

Hats& masks

calm music


Peripheral learning (posters):

Colorful posters on the wall, displaying natural scenes as well as grammatical information about the target language in order to take advantage of students' peripheral learning.

Students learn easily and effectively from what is presented to them in their environment.

function of music
Function of music

Music is an important part of the classroom ambiance. During the learning process, soft baroque music is played. Baroque music has a specific rhythm& a pattern of sixty beats per minute.

It creates a level of relaxed concentration that facilitates the intake of huge quantities of material.

The teacher should give students the impression that learning is easy and enjoyable


Positive expectation of success:

  • The reason for our inefficiency: psychological barriers to learning: (fear in terms of performance, fear from failure)
  • In order to make better use of our reserved capacity, the limitations we think we have need to be 'desuggested.

Infantilisation: the teacher and students exist in a parent-children relationship where, to remove barriers to learning. Learners are encouraged to behave as “childlike” as possible.

  • Furthermore, students are given target names differentfrom their outside real ones and the possibility to choose new occupations.
  • The sympathy with which the teacher treats the students is vitally important.

New identity:

Students feel more secure when adopting new identity. It allows them to feel less inhibited.

  • Positive suggestions:

The teacher integrates direct and indirect suggestions into the learning situation.

the use of a varied range of techniques procedures
The use of a varied range of Techniques / Procedures :
  • Suggestopediamakes use of dialogs and dramatised texts (reading and acting); Dramatization is a particularly valuable way of playfully activating the material.
  • Playing competitive games,
  • doing role plays.
  • singing,
  • discussions,
  • story telling,
  • grammar and pronunciation games,
  • and writing,
  • all orchestrated in a creative and playful fashion to the sound of music..
  • The students choose new names and identities specifically for the classroom since assuming a new identity frees some of the inhibitions and barriers to learning
what is the role of the teacher what is the role of the students
What is the role of the teacher? What is the role of the students?
  • The teacher is the authority in the classroom. The idea is that students retain information better from someone in whom they have confidence, someone 'desuggesting' their limitations.
what is the nature of student teacher interaction what is the nature of student student interaction
What is the nature of student-teacher interaction? What is the nature of student- student interaction?



  • The teacher initiates interactions with the whole group of students both individually and collectively right from the beginning of a language course.
  • Initially, the students can only respond nonverbally or with a few words of the target language. As the course progresses, the students can respond more appropriately and even initiate interaction themselves.
teacher roles

According to Lozanov ideal teacher’s behavior should be one of:

  • Authority: When students trust and respect the teacher’s authority, they will accept and retain information better.
  • Self- Confidence: Show absolute confidence in the method
student roles
  • Committment:Students are to be committed to the class and its activities.
  • Infantilization: Students are expected to tolerate and encourage their own infantilization
  • Relaxation: students are asked to berelaxed to easilyfollow the teacher’s instruction.
  • True-Believer: learnersconsidertheirteachers as truth-tellers in order to successfullyacquire the presentedmaterials.
how are the feelings of the students dealt with
How are the feelings of the students dealt with?
  • A great deal of attention is given to students’ emotions in this method. Furthermore, students are given new names and new identities to overcome any psychological barriers.
how is language viewed how is culture viewed
How is language viewed? How is culture viewed?
  • Language a means of communication. Attention is given to the verbal as well as the nonverbal aspects.
  • Culture (the everyday life of people who speak the language) is not ignored.
what areas of language are emphasized what language skills are emphasized
What areas of language are emphasized? What Language skills are emphasized
  • Vocabulary is emphasized.
  • Grammar is dealt with largely implicitly. It is believed that students will learn best if their conscious attention is focused on using the language. The 'paraconscious' mind will then absorb the linguistic rules.
  • Speaking communicatively is emphasized. Student s read in the target language (for example , dialogs) and write imaginative compositions ).
what is the role of the students native language
What is the role of the students' native language?
  • Native-language translation is used whenever necessary to make the meaning clear especially at the first level of learning.
how is evaluation achieved
How is evaluation achieved?
  • Evaluation is not conducted through formal tests but through students' normal in-class performance so as not to threaten the relaxed atmosphere which is considered essential to the method.
how does the teacher respond to student errors
How does the teacher respond to student errors?
  • Students’ errors are corrected gently, not in a direct confrontational manner (e.g. with the teacher using a soft voice)


Pros & Cons



Advantages with using Suggestopedia


Boredom is your big problem while learning a new language?

Suggestopedia suggests unusual learning techniques which are quite different from those in a usual class


˙ Comfortable learning environment (bright & colorful classrooms, lively and playful interaction)

Increased oral proficiency

˙ Lower classroom anxiety

Anaffective-humanistic approach, an approach in which there is respect for students' feelings.


“if students are relaxed and confident, they will not need to try hard to learn the language as learning the language will just come easily and naturally” (Larsen and Freeman: 1985)

Desuggest limitations: teach lengthy dialogues through musical accompaniment, playful practice, and the arts.

Easy and natural




The use of student’s native language if he/she did not understand


The four learning skills are developed creatively.

Writing imaginatively

Reading dramatically.

Speaking & listening communicatively


Build up a good relationship between student and teacher.

- Teacher makes direct suggestion to appeal to student conscious learning, and indirect suggestion to appeal to students' feeling to be secured.

- Students become more willing to communicate as teachers will not try to correct errors.


Techniques used can be:




*Odd or illogical ( the exaggeration of intonation or rhythm)


* The longer the more boring it becomes.

The techniques may not work well for all the learners and in cultures.


Suggestopedia ignores mechanical activities in internalizing the grammar rules or the vocabulary items


˙The classroom needs to have a minimum of equipments such as posters, music facilities, etc. since suggestopedia is a method where the materials play a big role in order to achieve the objective of the lesson.

The conditions are not always possible˙


Physical limitation

Financial limitation




  • Diane Larsen-Freeman, 2000. Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching
  • Jack Richards & Theodore S. Rodgers. Approaches & Methods in LanguageTeaching

questions check your understanding of desuggestopedia
Questions: Check your understanding of Desuggestopedia
  • How are the principles of Desuggestopedia applied to the language teaching classroom?
  • Explain Peripheral learning
  • How can ‘Positive suggestion’ be achieved in a class using the suggestopedia method? (direct and indirect suggestions)
  • What purpose is achieved by Choosing a new name and a new identity in this method?
  • How can the arts be integrated into a lesson using the suggestopedia method?

Discuss the adaptability of suggestopedia to the Moroccan context ( public education)

  • Think of the best direct positive suggestion you can make / say to desuggest the “affective filters” of students

Baroque (Relating to or denoting a style of European architecture, music, and art of the 17th and 18th centuries that followed mannerism and is characterized by ornate detail. Major composers include Vivaldi, Bach, and Handel; Caravaggio and Rubens are important baroque artists)

objectives of the method1
Objectives of the method
  • Lozanov claims that “suggestopedia is a system for liberation”; liberation from the “preliminary negative concept regarding the difficulties in the process of learning” that is established throughout their life in the society.
attention and memory studies

Attention and memory studies

(Adapted from: Richards & Rodgers 2001 Approaches & Methods in Language Teaching Cambridge)

suggestopedia method
Derivative Programs

Donald Schuster (SALT)

Lynn Dhority (ACT)

Suzuki Method of Music learning

Suggestopedia Method
  • A Suggestopedia course lasts thirty days and consists of ten units of study, classes are held four hours a day, six days a week.
  • Eight to ten dialogues constitute the framework of the course.
  • During the entire course, each student will adopt a new identity. He will play the role of one of the characters in the dialogue.
  • Each course goes through five stages:

1 Presentation phase

  • 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.

2 Active concert

  • Teacher will introduce a story as related in the dialog and call the students’ attention to some particular grammatical points that arise in it, she reads the dialog in the target language. Music is played. The teacher begins a slow, dramatic reading, synchronized in intonation with the music. The music is classical and the teacher’s voice rises and falls with the music.
3 passive concert
3 Passive concert
  • In the phase, the students are asked to put their scripts aside. They simply listen as the teacher reads the dialog at a normal rate of speed. The teacher is seated and reads with musical accompaniment.
4 primary activation
4 Primary activation
  • The students playfully reread the target language dialog out loud, as individuals or in groups. Students are asked to read the dialog in particular manner: sadly, angrily, and cheerfully.
5 creative adaptation
5 Creative adaptation
  • The students engage in various activities designed to help them learn the new material and use it spontaneously. Activities particularly recommended for this phase include singing, dancing, dramatizations, and games.