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TESOL Videos - Theories, Methods & Techniques of Teaching - Suggestopedia
Also in the 1970s la señal came up with a new methodology called "Suggestopedia". As psychological theory was developing, one of the ideas that came up was something called ?the effective filter?. Basically, the effective filter is a barrier to learning. It's the reasons why we inhibit our learning of a particular language. There are two main elements to the effective filter, two sets of factors, if you like, those are known as internal and external factors. The external factors to learning, the reasons why we have barriers to learning, may be just simple things such as external noise. So, people talking to us while we're trying to learn and so on and so forth. Perhaps more important are these internal factors and the internal factors one of the main things here is our previous experience. If we have tried to learn a language in the past and we have not been successful, that forms an internal barrier to further learning in the future. The idea of Suggestopedia is that we reduce this effective filter to its lowest possible value. Now, theory tells us that the effective filter has its lowest value when we're in the womb and so one of the ideas of Suggestopedia was to try to recreate the conditions of feeling safe in the womb and our effective filter will now be at its lowest possible value. We will be the most receptive to learning at that point. So, how do we actually go about teaching in this situation? Well, what we try to do is first of all reduce the effective filter through the internal and external factors down to its lowest value. So our students are made to feel comfortable, first of all, and then we have the use of music. The use of music in Suggestopedia is in different forms depending on which part of the lesson that we're in. The idea is, in the first section, which is sometimes called the first concert, we use lively music and this is known as the active part of the lesson. The idea here is that the lively music will start to get our brain waves moving around and put us into a receptive mood. Then, in the second concert, the teacher will introduce the target language, usually in the form of dictation. While that's taking place, we use Baroque music, which puts us into a passive state and allows us almost to become like a sponge and absorb this particular information. Once that's been completed, we can then use that knowledge in some form of production. Now, in terms of positive things for the students in reducing this effective filter down to its lowest value, it makes the actual lessons a very comfortable experience for our students. The second positive thing about it is, whilst it may sound strange itself in terms of a technique, it does come from a very clear psychological theory, in the terms of the effective filter and the fact that we are more receptive to learning when that affective filter is at its lowest value. In terms of the negatives, it's obviously very very different to anything that we're used to and some people say it's just too different. The fact that it is so different can increase our effective filter in effect because we think it's not going to work. Secondly, it's not easy to create these ideal conditions that are necessary to reduce your effective filter. There aren't too many schools that would have the facilities first of all to actually produce all of these conditions.
This is what one of our TEFL graduates feels he has gained from the course, or a part of it, and how he plans to put into action what he has learned.
This unit is all about how to effectively manage a class, wether it is a small or big group. We are given the different tools that we can use in order to maintain an orderly, but relaxed and friendly group. These tools include the use of eye contact (maintain some eye contact but staring at students is not useful either) and the use of gesture. Different gestures can be used for emphasising a point, designating who is to answer a question, or maintaining discipline. We also consider the pros and cons of different group organisations within the class, for example pairs, whole class grouping or individual work. Pair work can for example be positive for a student who is a bit shy about communicating in front of the whole class, but the noise level can reach high levels, and some students may be tempted to revert to their own language. We go on to consider different class room arrangements, and which are best for certain situations. For example if we have a large class it is better for the desks to be placed in rows so all the students can see the teacher and the teacher has better control over the class as a whole. The unit then goes on to focus on how to give instructions effectively, and in a way that limits teacher talking time. Basically we are advised to simplify, use gestures and mime, and repetition of instructions. We then read about how to establish a good rapport between the teacher and the students. Methods include varying group work activity so students come into contact with a variety of people, and not letting any individual student dominate the group. Further instruction is given on maintaining discipline in the class. In this unit I feel like I have gained insight into some of the things to avoid when managing a class, and areas where I can improve my skills.