Suggestopedia, and how it works in a classroom
Based on Diane Freeman’s study of language teaching methods.
Suggestopedia is a study that desuggests the limitations that learners have to help them to believe that they could be successful in learning. This will help the learners to overcome the barriers to learning. This study is done so because generally, learners would not be able to believe that they will succeed in gaining the knowledge, which contribute development of high limitations towards learning.
It is believed that learning are done in two sets of planes, one is the linguistic message of the narrator, while the second one is the complimentary to the message, such as the background music played and the acting of the teacher. This method fulfilled few criteria in the principle of material selection. Here are the elaborations on how the materials used in this method fulfilled the principles.
The first principle that is fulfilled is that materials should achieve impact. The use of different kind of music for different session has succeeded in getting the students’ attention towards what is being presented. The use of real equipments such as the kettle, cup, dishes, etc gave an attractive presentation. The content of ‘Saturday Morning’ that is being discussed is appealing as the topic is something that interests the learners to listen.
The materials used have also made the learners feel at ease; this is done by giving them soft music that lowered their mind stress. The teacher had also tells them what to do in their lesson making them less threatened on the so-called hidden agendas. Not only that, the teacher insisted them to relax when listening and watching the concert that is being played by the teacher. An addition to this, the teacher had made learning seems playful by using beach ball to do the question-answer activity.
The next principle that the fulfilled the principle of materials selection is that it succeeded in developed self-confident to the learners. This is done by giving them challenges that can be completed by the students. Some examples are; the learners are to remember vocabulary and verbs by acting out the whole text and to recognize the pronunciation of the past tense [d] or [t]. During the activity, the students are also to recognize some of the irregular past-tense, but at the same time the teacher still provides them with guidance.
The materials used are also relevant and useful as the words and phrases used in the activity are the words that usually used in daily life. When the teacher acts out the passage, it helps them to provide the concrete model for the sentences used, thus helping them understand better on what is being played.
The materials used also had facilitated learners to self-investment. They are to act out the passage with a partner that helps them in remembering the words and the contextual meaning of it better. The teacher had also asked them to write down new phrases that uses the same words in their lesson. This helps them understand on the variation usage of the words.
The teacher had created a situation that uses variational features such as the repetition of learning the passage in different situation. This helps the students to develop mental features when they first watch the teacher, and then they act it out as whole class and later having to repeat with a partner. Last, a volunteer did the same act by the end of the lesson. By doing so, the teacher had widened the possibility of the learners’ readiness to acquire the points being taught.
The language that is being used had exposed the learners to authentic use language. This is being done by the usage of common vocabulary in daily chores such as boiling coffee and waking up from bed.
Another aspect that we can look from the use of materials in Suggestopedia is that the materials used can lead the student’s attention towards the linguistic features of the input. In this method, the students are paying the subconscious attention to second conditionals which is the application of the verbs. At the end of the teaching, teacher leads the students consciously to locate the conditionals by giving them the same verb that is blended into different sentences.
By looking at the principles of the materials development (Tomlinson 1998), we associated how the materials work with the procedure in this method. In the viewing, the learners are beginner learners from various countries. In our own experience, beginner learners will learn faster if the language is learnt through action like the in TPR (Total Physical Response). They are the kinaesthetic and the experiential learners. The idea in Suggestopedia is that students learn by viewing the teacher’s action and then follow what the teacher has done. The teacher has activated the materials playfully, therefore like in the TPR; the students are able to digest the input by experiencing the story of Sarah in many different ways.
Materials should provide opportunities for outcome feedback. This can be achieved when what the students have learnt can be used for the communicative purposes. In this method, the teacher brought the student into the beginning of Sarah’s day. It was like a drama but the main focus is on procedural and verb. For a communicative purpose, this might be useful for the beginner learners in order to tell someone what they were doing the whole day. The sentences in the story are mainly about what your morning routines.
By considering that the learners are differ in their affective attitudes, that some of them are motivated, and some of them are not, the teacher has varied the activities and also called out a student to become Sarah. Instead of picking someone, she asked for volunteers and motivated learners are not shy to come in front and act as Sarah.
Then, when students are aware with the gap between input and the output, it will encourage their negotiation of meaning. In this method, the teacher then, with the use of the materials again act the story in a different situation which allow the learners to earn the same input but in a different way. This suits the 10th principle the materials should take into account that the positive effects of the instruction are usually delayed. In the lesson, the teacher provides the recycle instruction at the end of the lesson for the students to think about. She then reminded them to memorize the story and then continue in the next becoming lesson.
In conclusion, Suggestopedia is a method where the materials played a big role in order to achieve the objective of the lesson. Without the materials, the method will not work because if we associated this to Richards and Rogers Model for Methodology, Suggestopedia works anti-clockwise. The procedure comes first, facilitated by the design where the materials are in and then comes the approach. Without the materials, the learning process will not fit the criteria of the Suggestopedia method.