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A Teaching Method: Suggestopedia

Teacher should be creative in using different kinds of teaching method. They
have to choose an appropriate method to transfer the knowledge because they will find
different situation and different students in the class.

Generally, students would not be able to believe that they could be successful in
learning language. This lack of motivation has made students do not have confidence to
speak in the target language because they do not want to make mistakes. Moreover,
they find difficulties to recall the previous lesson, such us memorizing the new
vocabularies. This situation encourages teacher to be creative and to use an effective
method on teaching.

In addition, students have different type of learning style. They learn through
their own learning style which are visual, auditory, or kinesthetic style. Those who are
visual learn trough seeing and they need to see the teachers body language and learn
best from visual displays. Then, those who are auditory learn through listening and they
learn best through verbal lectures, discussions, talking things through, and listening to
what others have to say. Besides, those who are kinesthetic learn through moving,
doing, and touching, and learn best through a hands-on approach and actively exploring
the physical world around them. In the class room, teacher will meet these three types
of students. In order to make students could learn well through their own learning style,
teacher is supposed to use an effective method of teaching different types of students.
Teacher should choose appropriate method of teaching different types of students,
to cultivate students motivation, and to increase students memorizing ability.
Suggestopedia is one of methods that can be used by teacher. It is a method that
desuggests the limitations that students have to help them to believe that they could be
successful in learning, so it can cultivate students motivation in learning.
Then, it is one of methods which concerns to students learning style because
there are visual display, audio, and physical involvements during learning process.
Moreover, it involves emotional meaning in given the lesson which help students
better in memorizing.
According to Lozanov (1976) Approches and methods in language teaching
seeks to provide a comprehensive and comprehensible account of major and minor
trends in language teaching methods from the beginning of the twentieth century to
the present. The application of suggestion to pedagogy. Suggestology investigates the
subsensory signals or subliminal stimuli which come from the physical or social
environment and which are absorbed into the unconscious mind before receiving a
conscious expression. Suggestion, especially spoken suggestion, activates the reserve
capacities of the mind or the memory.
Suggestopedia increases memorization capacities. Hypermnesia is facilitated by
relaxation techniques (derived from yoga and autogenic therapy) which increase the
subject's suggestibility to spoken suggestions or unconscious stimuli. The principal
theoretical elements of Suggestopedia are: authority, infantilization, double-planeness,
intonation, rhythm, and concert pseudo-passivity.
According to Richards and Rodgers (2001, p.71) The quest for alternative to
grammar-based approaches and methods led in several different directions.
Mainstream language teaching embraced the growing interest in communicative
approaches to language teaching. The communicative movement sought to move the
focus away from grammar as the core component of language, to a different view of
language, of language learning, of teachers, and learners, one that focused on language
as communication.
Suggestopedia is one of the teaching methods developed by Bulgarian
psychotherapist Georgi Lozanov based on the study of Suggestology. The method has
been used in different fields of studies but mostly in the field of foreign language
learning. Lozanov claimed that by using this method one can teach languages
approximately three tofive times as quickly as conventional methods.
The theory applied positive suggestion in teaching when it was developed in the
1970s. However, as improved, it has focused more on desuggestive learning and now
is often called desuggestopedia. Suggestopedia is the latest of the six major foreign-
language teaching methods known to language teaching experts (the oldest being the
grammar translation method.) The name of Suggestopedia is from the words
suggestion and pedagogy. (Thomas, 2010: 1)


A Brief History
Suggestopedia is a teaching method, which focuses on how to deal with the
relationship between mental potential and learning ability and it is very appropriate to
use in teaching speaking for young language learners (Xue, 2005). This method was
introduced by a Bulgarian psychologist and educator, George Lazanov in 1975. Maleki
(2005) believed that we are able of learning much more than we think, provided we use
our brain power and inner capacities. In addition, DePorter (2008) assumed that human
brain could process great quantities of material if given the right condition for learning
in a state of relaxation and claimed that most students use only 5 to 10 percent of their
mental capacity. Lazanov created suggestopedia for learning that capitalized on relaxed
states of mind for maximum retention material.

Suggestopedia is an effective comprehensible input based method with a

combination of desuggestion and suggestion to achieve super learning. The most
important objective of suggestopedia is to motivate more of students mental potential
to learn and which obtained by suggestion. Desuggestion means unloading the memory
banks, or reserves, of unwanted or blocking memories. Suggestion then means loading
the memory banks with desired and facilitating memories.

Lazanov (1978) cited in Lica (2008) argued that learners have difficulties in
acquiring English as the second language because of the fear of the students to make
mistakes. When the learners are in this situation, their heart and blood pressure raise.
He believes that there is a mental block in the learners brain (affective filter). This filter
blocks the input, so the learners have difficulties to acquire language caused by their
fear. The combination of desuggestion and suggestion is to lower the affective filter and
motivate students mental potential to learn, aim to accelerate the process by which
they learn to understand and use the target language for communication to achieve
super learning. It is the final goal of suggestopedia.

Theory of Language
Lozanov does not articulate a theory of language, nor does it seem he is much
concerned with any particular assumptions regarding language elements and their
organization. Lozanov emphasizes the importance of experiencing language material in
whole meaningful texts (Lozanov 1978:268) and notes that the suggestopedia course
directs the student not to vocabulary memorization and acquiring habits of speech, but
to acts of communication (Lozanov 1978:109). Lozanov refers most often to the
language to be learned as the material.

Theory of Learning
Suggestion is at the heart of Suggestopedia. Lozanov claims that his method is
different from hypnosis and other forms of mind control because they lack a
desuggestive-suggestive sense and fail to create a constant set up to reserves through
concentrative psycho-relaxation (1978:267). (Reserves are like human memory banks)
There are some principal theoretical components through which desuggestion and
suggestion operate and that set up access to reserves.

Key Features of Suggestopedia

1. Infantilization
Authority is also used to suggest a teacher-student relation like that of parent to
child. In the childs role the learner takes part in role playing, games, songs, and
gymnastic exercises that help the older student regain the self-confidence, spontaneity
and receptivity of the child (Bancroft, 1972: 19)
2. Double-planedness
The learner learns not only from the effect of direct instruction but from the
environment in which the instruction take place. The bright dcor of the classroom, the
musical background, the shape of the chairs, and the personality of the teacher are
considered as important in instruction as the form of the instructional material itself.
3. Intonation, rhythm, and concert pseudo-passiveness

Varying the tone and rhythm of presented material helps to avoid boredom through
monotony of repetition and to dramatize, emotionalize, and give meaning to linguistic
material. In the first presentation of linguistic material, three phrases are read together,
each with a different voice level and rhythm. In the second presentation, the linguistic
material is given a proper dramatic reading, which helps learners visualize a context
for the material and aids in memorization. (Bancroft, 1972: 19)

Both intonation and rhythm are coordinated with a musical background. The
musical background helps to induce a relaxed attitude, which Lozanov refers to as
concert pseudo-passiveness. This state is felt to be optimal for learning, on those
anxieties and tension is relieved and power of concentration for new material is raised.

Suggestopedia aims to deliver advance conversational proficiency quickly. It
apparently bases its learning claims on student mastery of prodigious lists of
vocabulary pairs and indeed, suggests to the students that it is appropriate that they set
such goals for themselves. Lozanov states categorically, the main aims of teaching is
not memorization, but the understanding and creative solution of problem. As learners
goals he cited increased access an understanding and creative solution of problem.
However, because students and teachers place a high value on vocabulary recall,
memorization of vocabulary pairs continues to be seen as an important goal to the
suggestopedia method.

The syllabus
A suggestopedia course last thirty days and consist of ten units of study. Classes
are held four hours a day, six days a week. The central focus of each unit is a dialogue
consisting of 1,200 words or so, with an accompanying vocabulary list and grammatical
commentary. The dialogues are graded by lexicon and grammar.
There is a pattern of work within each unit and a pattern of work for the whole
course. Unit study is organized around three days: day 1 half a day, day 2 full day,
day 3 half a day. One of the first day of work on a new unit the teacher discusses the
general content (not structure) of the unit dialogue. The learners then receive the
printed dialogue with the native language translation in parallel column. The teacher
answers any questions of interest or concern about the dialogue. The dialogue then is
read the second and third time in ways to be discussed sub sequently.

The whole course also has a pattern of presentation and performance. On the
first day a test is given to check the level the students knowledge and to provide a basis
for dividing students into two groups, one of new beginners and one of modified (false)
beginners. The teacher then briefs the students on the course and explains the attitude
they should toward it.

During the course there are two opportunities for generalization of material. In
the middle of the course students are encouraged to practice the target language in a
setting where it might be used, such as hotels and restaurants. The last day of the
course is devoted to a performance in which every student participates. The students
construct a play built on the material of the course.

Types of Learning and Teaching Activities

The types of activities that are more original to suggestopedia are the listening
activities, which concern the text and text vocabulary of each unit. These activities are
typically part of the pre-session phase, which takes place on the first day of a new unit.

The students first look at and discuss a new text with the teacher. In the second
reading, students relax comfortably in reclining chairs and listen to the teacher read the
text in a certain way. During the third reading the material is acted out by the instructor
in a dramatic manner over a background of the special musical form described
Teachers Roles
Teacher should create situations in which learners are most suggestible and then to
present linguistic material in a way most likely to encourage positive reception and
retention by learners. Lozanov lists several expected teacher behaviors as follows:

1. Show absolute confidence in the method.

2. Display fastidious conduct in manners and dress.
3. Organize properly, and strictly observe the initial stages of the teaching process
this includes choice and play of music, as well as punctuality.
4. Maintain a solemn attitude towards the session.
5. Give tests and respond tactfully to poor papers (if any).
6. Stress global rather than analytical attitudes towards material.
7. Maintain a modest enthusiasm.

Learners Roles
The learners as well are should have faith in the system and accept that they are
in a childlike situation where they follow the teacher / parent (Knight, 2001, p. 154).
The students should not be critical, but simply absorb what is presented to them. In part
this is accomplished by acknowledging the absolute authority of the teacher and in part
by giving themselves over to activities and techniques designed to help them regain the
self-confidence, spontaneity, and receptivity of the child. Such activities include role
playing, games, songs, and gymnastic exercises. (Bancroft, 1972: 19)


Materials consist of direct support materials, primarily text and tape, and
indirect support materials, including classroom fixtures and music. The text is organized
around the ten units described earlier. The textbook should have emotional force,
literary quality, and interesting characters. Language problems should be introduced in
a way that does not worry or distract students from the content.
Stages of Suggestopedia
There are two stages in using suggestopedia method. They are:

1. 1. Presentation
Presentation is the basis of conducting Suggestopedia in class successfully. The main
aim in this stage is to help students relaxed and move into a positive frame of mind,
with the feeling that the learning is going to be easy and funny. Desuggestion and
suggestion happen at this stage at the same time.
2. 2. Concert
Bancroft (1972) notes that the 4-hour language class has three distinct parts.
The first part we might call an oral review section. Previously learned material is used
as the basis for discussion by the teacher and twelve students in the class. All
participants sit in a circle in their specially designed chairs, and the discussion
proceeds like a seminar. This session may involve what are called micro-studies and
macro-studies. In micro studies specific attention is given to grammar, vocabulary and
precies question and answer. In the macro-studies, emphasis is on role playing and
wider-ranging, innovative language construction.
In the second part of the class new material is presented and discussed. This
consists of looking over a new dialogue and its native language translation and
discussing any issues of grammar, vocabulary or content that the teacher feels
important or that students are curious about. Bancroft notes that this section is
typically conducted in the target language, although student questions or comments
will be in whatever language the student feels he or she can handle. Students are led to
view the experience of dealing with the new material as interesting and undemanding
of any special effort or anxiety. The teachers attitude and authority are considered
critical to preparing student for success in the learning to come. The pattern of learning
and use is noted (i.e. fixation, reproduction and new creative production), so that
students will know what is expected.
The third part-concert session- is the one by which suggestopedia is best known.
Since this constitutes the heart of the method, we will quote Lazanov as to how this
session proceeds.
At the beginning of the session, all conversation stops for a minute or two, and
the teacher listens to the music coming from a tape-recorder. He waits and
listens to several passages in order to enter into the mood of the music and
then begins to read or recite the new text, his voice modulated in harmony
with the musical phrases. The students follow the text in their textbook where
each lesson is translated into the mother tongue. Between the first and second
part of the concert, there are several minutes of solemn silence. Before the
beginning of the second part of the concert, there are again several minutes of
silence and some phrases of the music are heard again before the teacher
begins to read the text. Now the students close their text books and listen to
the teachers reading. At the end, the students silently leave the room. They
are not told to do any homework on the Jesson they have just had expected for
reading it cursorily once before going to bed and again before getting up in the
morning (Lozanov 1978-272)

Advantages of Suggestopedia
There are some benefits in utilizing suggestopedia:

1. A comprehesible input based on dessugestion and suggestion principle

By using this suggestopedia method, students can lower their affective filter.
Suggestopedia classes, in addition, are held in ordinary rooms with comfortable chairs,
a practice that may also help them relaxed. Teacher can do numerous other things to
lower the affective filter.

2. Authority concept
Students remember best and are most influenced by information coming from an
authoritative source, teachers.

3. Double-planedness theory
It refers to the learning from two aspects. They are the conscious aspect and the
subconscious one. Students can acquire the aim of teaching instruction from both direct
instruction and environment in which the teaching takes place.
4. Peripheral learning
Suggestopedia encourages the students to apply language more independently,
takes more personal responsibility for their own learning and get more confidence.
Peripheral information can also help encourage students to be more experimental, and
look to sources other than the teacher for language input. For example, the students can
make some sentences using the grammatical structure placed on the classrooms wall,
describe a particular place in an English speaking country by looking at the poster on
the wall, etc. When the students are successful in doing such self-activities, they will be
more confident.

Disadvantages of Suggestopedia
Suggestopedia also has limitation since there is no single teaching method that is
chategorized as the best based on some consideration such as: the curriculum, students
motivation, financial limitation, number of students, etc.

The main disadvantages of suggestopedia are as follow:

1. Environment limitation
Most schools in developing countries have large classes. Each class consists of 30 to 40
students. One of the problems faced in utilizing this method is the number of students in
the class. There should be 12 students in the class (Adamson, 1997).

2. The use of hypnosis

Some people say that suggestopedia uses a hypnosis, so it has bad deep effects for
human beings. Lazanov strongly denied about it.

3. Infantilization learning
Suggestopedia class is conditioned be child-like situation. There are some students who
do not like to be treated like this as they think that thay are mature.

Teacher will find different situation and different types of students in learning.
Therefore, teacher should be creative and smart in choosing and using different types of
methods in teaching different skill of language. Teacher can use suggestopedia as
teaching method in their teaching. Using suggestopedia is very interesting but
challenging to do. It can be seen from some considerations. In one side it has some
benefits, but on the other side it also has some weaknesses. In addition, the key factors
of effective teaching are not the approaches and methods in language teaching
themselves but the teachers deliberate selection of different approaches and methods
and the devoted practice of putting theories into real teaching activities in a
corresponding social-cultural context. It is a fact that no approach or method is perfect.
However, there is no end for teacher to seek the perfection of the approaches and
methods in language teaching. The language teaching method known as Suggestopedia
provides some valuable insights into the power of cognition and creates techniques that
make students feel comfortable, relaxed and suggestible to the material being learned.
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DePorter, Boby. 2008. Suggestopedia. Mediawiki. October 24, 2017

Maleki, Ataillah. 2005. A New Approach to Teaching English as a Foreign Language:
the Bottom-Up Approach. Assian EFL Journal: English Language Teaching and
Research Article. October 24, 2017 <http:// http://www.jalt->.
Lica, Gabriela Mihaila. 2008. Suggestopedia: A Wonder Approach to Learning Foreign
Languages. Assian EFL Journal: English Language Teaching and Research Article.
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Radle, Paul. 2008. Suggestopedia. October 24, 2017 <
Richards, Jack C. and Rodgers, Theodore S. 2001. Approaches and Methods in
Language Teaching; Second Edition. Cambridge University Press: UK. (Page 90-

Unknown., (2011). Suggestopedia. Retrived

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Xue, Jinxiang. 2005. Critical Review on Suggestopedia. Division of Language and
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