Suggestopedia: Learn to Speak Spanish Through Mindgames

Suggestopedia is a relatively new, yet highly effective method for language learning. The learning concept is based on following the function of the human brain.

Suggestopedia was invented by Bulgarian psychiatrist and educator Georgi Lozanov. This method is still debatable and some consider it a pseudoscience. It should be noted that some aspects of suggestopedia are not exclusively related to language learning.

What is more, some people by mistake interpret the meaning of the word and consider it related to manipulation or hypnosis.

The term “suggestopedia” comes from the verb “to suggest” which means “to offer”, “to propose”, and thus is an option for language learning which can successfully cohabitate with other language methods. In suggestopedia any language is learnt by following the function of the human brain. This method used both the conscious and the subconscious, and also the brain reserves.

In suggestopedia Spanish learning is done in a stress-free environment combined with soft music played in the background to stimulate relaxation.

 This is kind of a musical therapy where music is recommended to be Baroque string instrumental.

  • Every suggestopedia lesson in Spanish consists of 3 stages – deciphering, concert and elaboration.
  • During the deciphering stage the teacher presents some Spanish grammar and a relevant vocabulary extract of words.
  • The concert stage is active and passive, and passes accompanied by Baroque music played in the background.
  • In the active period, the teacher reads the Spanish text at a normal speed, with putting deliberately a special intonation on some words.
  • The active period is followed by the passive period where the students relax and listen to the teacher who is supposed to read the same text calmly this time.
  • The elaboration stage presents the results of what the students have learnt by using however not the traditional examination methods but rather in form of games, sketches and songs. The teacher acts like an advisor or a consultant, and all the performance is transferred to the students.
  • Sometimes the elaboration stage is followed by a production stage where the students communicate in Spanish spontaneously. Thus they make demonstration of their skills and confidence while the teacher’s part is even more diminished.

The suggestopedia method of learning obviously resembles a well-prepared training course for acquiring professional presentation skills.

During such a course the roles of the teacher and the students are changing all the time, as immediately after presenting a certain aspect the teacher gives some time to the students to practice it.

I myself participated in such a course some time ago and I was really impressed by the power of interactive teaching and the opportunity to practice something right away you learnt it.

Benefits of learning Spanish with Suggestopedia:

  • Though Spanish is presented in its normal parts, it is learnt as a whole, grammar and vocabulary are learnt in a integrated manner, without the students being aware of it.
  • The necessity of repetition and heavy drills is avoided through the specifics of the method.
  • There is a perfect opportunity to learn and to implement almost simultaneously. This makes the suggestopedia method practically the most effective one, as other methods normally take much longer time from memorizing till implementing in practice. This feature makes the suggestopedia method similar to Pimsleur method of learning Spanish.

Disadvantages of learning Spanish with Suggestopedia:

  • The teacher plays a key role in the learning process, what is more he is expected to be very well prepared, simply because the method is in its basis “teacher-controlled”, not “students-controlled”. The students are certainly given their freedom but it’s clear from the above that the whole process is impossible to initiate without a teacher who masters perfectly the skill of communication in Spanish with unknown people of various background.
  • The teacher should not only be proficient in Spanish but is also expected to master the techniques of suggestopedia, and to have a strong knowledge of its theory and basic concepts. To cut a long story short, any suggestopedia teacher needs additional preparation for being able to teach the Spanish language course, and such a preparation can only be obtained by training by certified trainers.
  • It is not convenient for self-learning and implementing in self-learning tools. It’s hard to write a book for learning Spanish, let alone composing a software tool modeling the way the human brain processes information, and to sell successfully such a product at a reasonable price.

Recommended level:

  • Beginners
  • Intermediate.