BASIC ASSUMTIONS ABOUT LANGUAGE LEARNING

Like other methods, the Suggestopedia also has assumtions about learning. Some of the assumtions seem to be different from other methods; they are not only psychological but also metaphysical. The following are basic assumtions about learning.

  1. Learning involves the unconscious functions, as well as the conscious functions. We sometimes remember the meaning of a word when we remember the situation in which we learned the word. Sometimes we cannot avoid having unconscious processes involved in the process of thingking. We may be aware of manya other things that are connected with the word, such as objects, actions, feeling, thoughts, and other thing though we do not mean to think about them. In learning a foreign language learners are exposed to learning environment which accelerate the process of learning (Stevick, 1980: 230).
  2. The norms of the society often block the process of learning. Language learners are often blocked by the limitations which the society has suggested. They sometimes think that certain processes of learning are culturally or ethically unaccepted. There is an ethical barrier (Dorothy, 1981: 28). The learners tend to reject everything not in harmony with the ethical sense of the personality. This kind of sense may have been internalized by the norms of the society.
  3. In learning learners need some psychological and artistic tools (Stevick, 1980: 239). The psychological tools include liveliness, joy and cheerfulness in the learning environment. This can be seen in a language class of Suggestopedia, where the lighting is dim; there is soft music playing; there are some posters on the walls (Larsen-Freeman, 1986: 73 and 2000). This kind of artistic learning environment is expected to reduce psychological tensions.
  4. Related to the second assumption, removing the psychic tensions will accelerate the process of learning (Stevick, 1980: 235). Tension removing can also be done through two channels: the design of the materials and the behaviour of the teacher. The text is designed in such a way that allows language learners to follow the printed texts in parallel native language and target language versions. Even though the teacher reads and recites the texts, he/she may give translations and explanations when needed.
  5. Related to the consciousness and unconsciouness, learning will take place effectively when there is a unity of the conscious-paraconscious and integral brain activation. The principle of unity of the conscious-paraconscious and intergral brain activation is in fact a principle of globality. Not only are the learners’ conscious reactions and functions utilized but also his paraconscious activity. This principle recognizes the simultaneous global participation of the two brain hemispheres and the cortical and subcortical structures, and also the simultaneously occurring analysis and synthesis. When this principle is observed, the process of instruction comes to nearer to the natural psychological and physiological regularities in personality. The consciousness, in the sense of attitude and motivation, is lifted to a still higher level. Under the conditions of the suggestopedic educational system the process of instruction is not against the natural inseparability of the conscious and paraconscious functions (Lozanov, 1982: 155)
  6. Activating learners imagination will aid learning (Larsen-Freeman, 1986: 77 and 2000). This can be done by inviting the learners to take mental trip with the teacher. All of the learners are given names in the target language and new identities. During the class, each of the students will create an imaginary biography about the life. The students will act differently as usual, depending on their new identities. Their new identities will make the students learn the target language with their imagination. Then, they will imagine that they are going to a country where the target language is spoken.

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