Suggestopedia in LuckyKids children’s summer camp

LuckyKids in summer 2018 photo 22

Description of the application of the method in the camp. Practical application

Methodology and learning process

The suggestopedia method is a pedagogy with an educational and healthy effect. It operates at the level of the person’s reserves, which means that it contributes not only to super memorization without overburdening, but also to training that is as close as possible to the natural way of learning of the individual, not insulating the brain and its functions from the rest of the body, from the emotional side and the spiritual side of each person. Thus, the method exploits the abilities of the consciousness, emotion and logic, intuition and healthy thinking. 

Since in the LuckyKids summer language camp the health of the participants in the training, our children, is of paramount importance – learning happens not only without fatigue, tension or anxiety, but leads to a psycho-hygienic effect. Working with the method is an inexhaustible source of creative energy and ideas, sharing and development, and there are no limitations of any kind for the memory and personality reserves of the learners to be revealed.  

The learning process in LuckyKids combines the 4 stages of suggestopedia: 

  • introduction
  • Active and passive concert session 
  • Development 
  • presentation

At each stage of the training, basic principles of suggestopedia are used which help the rapid and efficient learning and long-lasting memorization of new knowledge. 

The first stage of the training is the introduction. The material is presented in an artistic and interesting way that is designed for the respective learning cycle. Our teachers create a casual situation that resembles an everyday story in which the grammatical and lexical structures, as well as the atmosphere and the themes of the new lesson are intentionally included. Some of our lessons take place in nature.

The second stage includes the so-called concert sessions that help kids memorize the material. They represent an expressive presentation of the learning material by the teacher using a background of specially selected classical music, as in the first session there is a special intonation in order to emphasize the individual units of the language, then it is at a normal speed, and rather aiming to explain the main meaning of the text. In the first part, children can follow the text while in the second they just listen and enjoy the music that sounds.

The third stage is the development of the already presented material in the form of a merry reading – games, theater or dance, a project. Through the pleasant informal atmosphere and the spontaneous expression of the participants in the communication, the language barriers are eliminated, the creativity is stimulated and the emotional tone of the children is increased. At the same time, much of the material already presented on the passive level is activated. 

The fourth stage, or the presentation of the developed project of the kids, is both solidifying the knowledge and giving rise to individual expression. At this stage, the ability to talk is further enhanced and developed, as well as there is a provision of good feedback to the lecturer for the job well done. This is also the moment when each participant can assess himself and his achievements, which has positive effect on motivation.   

LuckyKids in summer 2018 photo 14

Laws of suggestopedia that we apply at LuckyKids

Suggestopedia is based on the seven basic principles or laws that are described by Prof. Dr. Georgi Lozanov in his last monograph of 2009 that are applied simultaneously in each of the stages of language learning: 

LOVE

Without love for the human being, for the process of teaching and the subject, for communication with people, it is not possible to achieve high and long-lasting results, taking into account the preservation of the mental health of the students

According to Prof. Lozanov, when love is present, learning becomes a source of joy and inspiration for the learner, and then the creative intellectual activity and the globalized learning process are characterized by high efficiency and lack of fatigue. Through a system of artistic and didactic games, laughter, and through the overall organization of the learning process, our pedagogues achieve a joyful environment that is accompanied by concentrated peace and confidence. Communication is easier and more enjoyable and leads to high results.   

FREEDOM

The learner has the opportunity to choose his or her own way to form the knowledge and skills, to reveal his/her reserves – more logically or emotionally, primarily through active or passive attention, verbal and non-verbal stimuli. It is the many stimuli that the teachers who apply suggestopedia suggest, and the conformity with the student’s free will, freedom is not imposed, but it manifests spontaneously

THE CONFIDENCE OF THE TEACHER THAT SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY HAPPENS 

The confidence that something extraordinary happens during the learning process leads to a state of inspiration of the teacher which is transmitted naturally to the students. When his beliefs and expectations are focused on the use of students’ memory and creative reserves, this also reflects their own expectations of being able to perceive at the level of reserves with much greater efficiency. 

This confidence of our teachers, each one of them is a professional, can not be played and its authenticity is easily perceived peripherally through voice, gestures and all non -verbal behavior. Here is how the weak signals emanating from the lecturer, in harmony with the didactic and artistic means of suggestopedia, can lead to the revealing of the deeper potential for learning of the personality. 

MULTIPLE INCREASED EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL 

When it comes to Suggestopedia, the material that is in process of learning is always increased in volume according to the common understanding of what volume of knowledge can be perceived at a given time. And this is understandable, as diversity and the multitude of stimuli are a must for freedom of perception – on an active and passive level, as well as for the achievement of higher levels of perception in general. A process of natural learning at the level of reserves starts at the moment. 

The global themes in which the selected material is structured give the opportunity to see the general picture, to trace and absorb very quickly the essential characteristics of a given language phenomenon, which leads to increased motivation and, consequently, lack of fatigue. In Lucky Kids, the topic that is to be reviewed can be titled “Extraterrestrial civilizations and cultures,” but it includes material from almost all spheres – language, science, mathematics, art, information technology, and so on

THE PRINCIPLE: WHOLE – PART, PART – WHOLE; THE PART THROUGH THE WHOLE

Learning a discipline or subject is always part of a wider context in which we see the place of this discipline or subject, because our brain perceives the surrounding world in its entirety. In our case, the elements of a foreign language are always studied in the context of the whole, in a meaningful interconnection between them, and not as isolated grammatical or lexical units. Everything is part of a larger whole – the letter is part of the word, the word – part of the sentence, the sentence – part of the text and all together make up the meaning that the human being perceives in a complex way.  

THE GOLDEN PROPORTION

Golden Proportion, Golden Section, This is not only a mathematical concept but is a symbol of beauty, harmony and perfection in art, science and nature. In Suggestopedia, the Golden Proportion is used to determine the duration and the ratio of the individual components in the learning environment and the learning process, which further facilitates the discovery of learners’ reserves and helps them learn without fatigue.

Our students study in the morning, the most active time for the brain, in blocks of 80 minutes that are twice as much as an ordinary school hour. School blocks are two, with a break of 20 minutes between them. The program and the training are presented in a suggestopedic way, so the children do not feel “how time passes”. None of them said he was bored or that he do not want to attend the training activities. 

APPLICATION OF CLASSICAL ART AND AESTHETICS 

Classical art and aesthetics are an indispensable part of the suggestopedic training. They are particularly effective mediators of positive suggestion, creating a pleasant atmosphere and conditions for increased receptivity and communicative activity in a relaxed state. 

Suggestopedia is becoming a particular kind of pedagogical art that helps to remove barriers related to fear of learning or fear of speaking and communicating in a foreign language. Classical art is introduced through specially selected works of classical music, songs, theater, literary works, reproductions of masterpieces of fine arts, etc.   

In LuckyKids we use a musical background – classical music in many situations. We use famous works of art, reproductions and masterpieces of art. 

LuckyKids in summer 2018 photo 29

PSYCHOLOGICAL RESERVE COMPLEX

One of the most distinctive advantages of Suggestopedic training is that it leads to the reveal of a comprehensive, rich and varied set of student reserves. Among these reserves are distinguished:

  • Memory reservesThe learning of the material during the training at the LuckyKids happens by stimulating constant exchange of information between the right and left hemispheres of the brain by creating connections between consciousness and subconsciousness and by activating as many types of memory as possible (visual , auditory, motoric, tactile, etc.), which leads to the storage of the provided information as long-term memory as well as its rapid spontaneous activation in communication; 
  • Cognitive and intellectual reservesOur students are trained in the conditions of full support by the teacher who accepts mistakes without judgment, as the teacher has skills to discover and stimulate the individual learning character of each learner, as well as the lack of fatigue during the learning process, which leads to accelerated improvement of skills such as observation, analysis, association, logical thinking and in general, improving the efficiency of brain work; 
  • Creative reservesthe use of the means of expression of various arts (music, theater, fine arts, etc.) during our training in the form of games leads to a spontaneous desire for creativity in the learners and the development of their creative talents, individually or in group work, which allows them, in the long run, to manifest these talents without distress in all spheres of their lives. This process is largely influenced by the vitalizing aesthetics of classical art, which introduces the material in the form of paintings, poetry, prose and music; 
  • Social and communication reservesthe psychological atmosphere and the tone of non-violent communication that the teacher sets imperceptibly as an ethical norm based on politeness, listening, patience, mutual help, mutual respect, and acceptance of the specifics of each person lead to a gradual reduction of psychological barriers , to a deeper understanding between the participants in the training, to improving their self-assessment skills, teamwork and, above all, effective foreign language communication.
  • Learning without fatiguethe features of Suggestopedic training in LuckyKids lead to an overall improvement of the mental health and the general condition of the children, to an increase in their vital tone and working capacity..