The 3 things Suggestopedia method taught me about language teaching

Suggestopedia method taught me hundreds of things, not only three. For this post I picked the top three teachings that more than any others had an impact on my teaching practice. I am a certified suggestopedic language teacher and I have been applying the suggestopedic teachings to anything I teach: be it teaching foreign languages, teaching public speaking or speed reading or even homeschooling my daughters. In fact, the seven laws at the basis of Suggestopedia method are so generative that, in my case, helped me to improve my entire teaching practice.

In this post I would like to share with you my “three favs” about Suggestopedia method, what Suggestopedia meant to me as a teacher and a training designer, and how the suggestopedic principles can really help any teachers to improve their efficacy, revamp their motivation and boost their students’ engagement.

 

The top three things Suggestopdia method taught me about language teaching

Here are my favourite threes:

  1. Framework is king
  2. Setting metrics and proving the results make you unstoppable
  3. Love, trust, engagement, motivation: there is a practical, concrete way for bringing those words to life in the language classroom

 

1. Framework is king

Suggestopedia method is based on a very structured framework. If you have ever happened to talk with a suggestopedic teacher, you may know how important it is to stick to a precise framework for delivering a proper suggestopedic lesson. The goal of a suggestopedic language course is to take the students to hypermnesia (deep memorisation of a large amount of new input) effortlessly and by having fun. For this to happen, suggestopedic teachers follow precise guidelines and plan the lessons within a solid framework. For this, Suggestopedia provides clear guidelines in what the learning/teaching cycle looks like.

When I teach languages in my suggestopedic courses I stick to that framework, of course. And when I teach other subjects (I mean, other than foreign languages), the importance of having a framework always accompanies me. For instance, when I run a teachers’ training course or when I hold a speed reading masterclass, I always plan the training according to a precise framework for facilitating the acquisition process.

 

Learn more about the framework I use for planning my language lessons >>>HERE.

 

2. Setting metrics and proving the results make you unstoppable

Dr. Georgi Lozanov got Suggestopdia method recommended by a UNESCO team of experts thanks to one thing: the achievements he was able to show and to prove. Regardless of the scepticism about the suggestopedic method, Lozanov was faultless and above criticism because he could prove the results he claimed. When the numbers speak for you, even the most sceptical of your critics has to accept the results as a matter of fact.

Here is another teaching that became precious to me: the attention for planning any training with the end in mind and with care for setting the metrics and measuring the achievements. It is essential for me to set a system to see how effective a method can be and how I can improve it. Be it through end-of-course surveys, feedback forms, assessment tests or observations: if you can show your students’ performance and prove their progress, you are building a solid “house of bricks” for yourself as a teacher. Just like the smartest one of the three little pigs. J

 

So, a king and a house of bricks. J Carrying on with the analogy, my next favourite is (guess what!) a Yellow Brick Road (cit. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum).

 

3. A concrete way for bringing engagement and motivation to life in the language classroom

Building trust in the relationship with my students, getting them engaged, boosting their motivation so that they don’t give up and achieve the expected results: in Suggestopedia method all this is actually the outcome of the teaching practice. According to the suggestopedic method, words such as engagement, motivation or trust are not abstract words. On the contrary, they live in the choices we make when we create the lessons, they are in the actions we implement in the lessons, they can be planned ahead. In Suggestopedia method those words live in the teaching practice.

Regardless of the type of lesson I do, be it a suggestopedic lesson or not a suggestopedic lesson, my teaching practice goes in the direction of creating a trustful relationship. The good news is that there is a practical way for doing that. The method I use for giving feedback, for instance, or the exact words I say for inviting my students to join in the activities in the classroom. Or even the guidelines I follow when it comes to dealing with challenging behaviour students. All this relates to a practical communication approach I learned… and you can learn, too!

I like to look at this approach as my personal Yellow Brick Road: a solid, practical, concrete road to getting my students engaged, motivated and keen on learning more!

 

Start to build your own Yellow Brick Road with my guide to the top 5, easy-to-implement strategies for getting your students to speak and engaged:

 

Wrapping up

Once upon a time there was a king who looked always nice and tidy. He lived in a solid house of bricks. Nobody could bother him because he was nice and safe in his house made of bricks. The people in his kingdom trusted him because he had great experience and when he talked about his wins the people knew he was telling the truth. Also, they loved him because he built sturdy yellow brick roads everywhere to make it quick and easy to reach him anytime. The roads of yellow bricks allowed the people to feel safe and confident in exploring the world. And that was the most precious thing for which the people loved the king.

 

Can you relate? Would you like to write a similar story for yourself as a teacher?

Take the next step: grab a plan and start implementing genuine change in your next teaching practice:

 

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23rd November 2021
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