Minimalist/methodist approach

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Minimalist/methodist approach

[Paul Rowe's minimalist/methodist approach.] This new approach is underpinned with Paul Nation's three actions of successful ESL teachers. Initially it was written specifically for unqualified, inexperienced people teaching in EFL situations. However, experienced language teachers are also responding positively to its simplicity. Language items are usually provided using flashcards. There is a focus on language-in-context and multi-functional practices.

Directed practice

Directed practice has students repeat phrases. This method is used by U.S. diplomatic courses. It can quickly provide a phrasebook-type knowledge of the language. Within these limits, the student's usage is accurate and precise. However the student's choice of what to say is not flexible.

Learning by teaching

Learning by teaching is a widespread method in Germany (Jean-Pol Martin). The students take the teacher's role and teach their peers.

Other methods

Pimsleur language learning system is based on the research of and model programs developed by American language teacher Paul Pimsleur. Over a dozen audio-tape programs now exist to teach various languages using the Pimsleur Method.

Several methodologies that emphasise understanding language in order to learn, rather than producing it, exist as varieties of the comprehension approach.

The comprehension approach is an umbrella term which refers to several methodologies of language learning that emphasise understanding of language rather than speaking. This is in contrast to the better-known communicative approach, under which learning is thought to emerge through language production, i.e. a focus on speech and writing.

The comprehension approach is most strongly associated with the linguists Harris Winitz, Stephen Krashen, Tracy D. Terrell and James J. Asher.

Find and present information 1.4.

Find and present information about these methods of teaching. Provide some further information about the methods mentioned above.

The grammar translation method

The direct method

The audio-lingual method

Communicative language teaching

Language immersion


Mim-mem method

Situational Language Teaching (SLT)

The oral method

Natural method

Natural approach

Unit 1. 5. Fringe Methods of teaching EFL:

Terminology to Study 1.5.

Choose 2-3 terms and work out Word Map in Visual Thesaurus Style. For reference you might resort to A Handbook of English-Russian Terminology for Language Teaching

Suggestopedia/Lozanov method

Community language learning/ Counseling

The silent way


Lead - In 1.5.

It was the humanistic approach that entailed a whole number of fringe methods of teaching.

What fringe methods are in use in this country?

What do you know about Suggestopedia?

Read and Discuss 1.5.

What is suggestopedia? What are its advantages and disadvantages? Have you or any of your acquaintances tried studying with the help of this method?

Read this text and get to know some more facts.


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 languages learning. Lozanov claimed that by using this method one can teach languages approximately three to five 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.” [1] 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.”

Recent development

Up to now, suggestopedia has been the only method working with relaxation. Mainly based on the discovery of the mirror neurons Ludger Schiffler (2003) has developed the interhemispheric foreign language learning, using gestures and the mental visualization of the gestures during the relaxation period.

Purpose and Theory

The intended purpose of Suggestopedia was to enhance learning by lowering the affective filter of learners. Lozanov claims in his website, Suggestology and Suggestopedy, that “suggestopedia is a system for liberation,” the liberation from the “preliminary negative concept regarding the difficulties in the process of learning” that is established throughout their life in the society. Desuggestopedia focuses more on liberation as Lozanov describes “desuggestive learning” as “free, without a mildest pressure, liberation of previously suggested programs to restrict intelligence and spontaneous acquisition of knowledge, skills and habits.” The method implements this by working not only on the conscious level of human mind but also on the subconscious level, the mind’s reserves. Since it works on the reserves in human mind and brain, which are said to have unlimited capacities, one can teach more than other method can teach in the same amount of time.

In Practice

Physical surroundings and atmosphere in classroom are the vital factors to make sure that "the students feel comfortable and confident", and various techniques, including art and music, are used by the trained teachers. The lesson of Suggestopedia consisted of three phases at first: deciphering, concert session (memorization séance), and elaboration. [1] [3] Deciphering: The teacher introduces the grammar and lexis of the content. Concert session (active and passive): In the active session, the teacher reads the text at a normal speed, sometimes intoning some words, and the students follow. In the passive session, the students relax and listen to the teacher reading the text calmly. Music (“Pre-Classical”) is played background. Elaboration: The students finish off what they have learned with dramas, songs, and games. Then it has developed into four phases as lots of experiments were done: introduction, concert session, elaboration, and production. Introduction: The teacher teaches the material in “a playful manner” instead of analyzing lexis and grammar of the text in a directive manner. Concert session (active and passive): In the active session, the teacher reads with intoning as selected music is played. Occasionally, the students read the text together with the teacher, and listen only to the music as the teacher pauses in particular moments. The passive session is done more calmly. Elaboration: The students sing classical songs and play games while “the teacher acts more like a consultant[1] Production: The students spontaneously speak and interact in the target language without interruption or correction.


Teachers should not act directive although this method is teacher-controlled but not students- controlled. For example, they should act as a real partner to the students, participating in the activities such as games and songs “naturally” and “genuinely.” In the concert session, they should fully include classical art into their behaviors. Although there are many techniques that the teachers use, the factors such as “communication in the spirit of love, respect for man as a human being, the specific humanitarian way of applying there ‘techniques’” etc. are crucial. The teachers need not only to know the techniques and theoretical information but also to understand the theory and to acquire the practical methodology completely because if they implement those techniques without complete understandings and acquisition, they could not provide learners successful results, or even could give a negative impact on their learning. Therefore the teacher has to be trained in the course that is taught by the certified trainers.

Here are the most important factors for teachers to acquire, described by Lozanov.

 1. Covering a huge bulk of learning material. 2. Structuring the material in the suggestopaedic way; global-partial – partial-global, and global in the part – part in the global, related to the golden proportion. 3. As a professional, on one hand, and a personality, on the other hand, the teacher should be highly prestigious, reliable and credible. 4. The teacher should have, not play, a hundred percent of expectancy in positive results (because the teacher is already experienced even from the time of teacher training course). 5. The teacher should love his/her students (of course, not sentimentally but as human beings) and teach them with personal participation through games, songs, a classical type of arts and pleasure.

Method for Children (Preventive Suggestopedia)

The method for Adults includes long sessions without movement, and materials that are appropriate for adults. Children, however, get impacts from “the social suggestive norms” differently and their brains are more delicate than those of adults. Therefore, another method with different materials should be applied to children, which better matches their characteristics. Lessons for children are more incidental and short, preventing the children from the negative pedagogical suggestions of Society. It is important to tell the parents about the method and their roles because they could influence children both negatively and positively, depending on how they support the kids.

Side Effects

Lozanov claims that the effect of the method is not only in language learning. There confirmed favorable side effects on health, the social and psychological relations, and the subsequent success in other subjects.


Because Suggestopedia works on subconsciousness, it is often said that the method includes hypnosis or other techniques which gave very negative and deep impacts on human beings. However, Lozanov strongly denies this and claims that the method does not use techniques such as; hypnosis, NLP, breathing exercises, use of the alpha waves of the brain, special diets, and so on.

Exercises 1.5.

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