The suggestopedic Cycle
- (greetings)The teacher enters as a tourist with a suitcase, a name tag with a fantastic name and profession and is slightly disguised in order to be unrecognisable at first. The assistant welcomes him/her and they greet each other without mentioning their names. The teacher starts greeting the students and asking them “How are you?” while the assistant pins the poster with greetings on the curtain. They both make sure that all the students have responded and facilitate them, if necessary, by pointing to the poster and repeating the dialogue between them: - Hello, how are you? - I’m fine, and you?
- (travelling by….) The two teachers start talking about the journey “How about your journey?” The teacher says “I love travelling!”, opens the suitcase and takes out one toy means of transport saying “I like travelling by ……” and “my favourite means of transport is the ….” Meanwhile, the assistant pins up the poster with the verb “I like ” and hands out the list of transport means to the class. Then the teacher asks the assistant “how do you like travelling? - I love travelling by …., and you?” and takes out the other toy vehicles. They ask the students and facilitate them to say how they like travelling by pointing to the poster and repeating the dialogue between them. The students are given their favourite means of transport to hold and keep for this hour.
- (speak / languages) The teacher picks one of the students and says “You speak ….. very well!” and then asks the class “Do you speak …..?, Do you understand ….?” Most students will say they don’t speak it but the teacher will find it strange and insist that they do understand it. He/she shows them international words in the target language and encourages them to read them. Meanwhile, the assistant pins up the poster with the verb “I speak” and hands out the list of languages to the class. Like before, the two teachers encourage all students to say “I speak X language(s)” by pointing to the poster and repeating the dialogue between them for each language: “Which languages do you speak? - I speak …., and you? Do you speak ….?- I speak … and …”
- (I am …./ Name - Profession) Suddenly, the teacher says to the class: “But you do not know me. I know you! Do you know me? Let me introduce myself to you!” pointing to the name tag “My name is …. / I am … (first and family name) and I am a ….. (profession). Meanwhile, the assistant pins up the posters with the verb “to be”, the names and hands out the list of professions to the class. The teacher encourages the class to choose a new name in the new language and a fantastic profession repeating his/her profession:”I am a ….” and asking them : “Are you a …..?” until everyone has chosen a new name and profession.
- (colours) Meanwhile, the assistant pins up the poster with the colours and hands out blank name cards of different colours and markers to the class. The teacher asks everyone: “What is your favourite colour?” and points to the poster. Then he/she asks the class to write their full name and profession on their cards.
- (interests/hobbies and talents) The teacher tells the class “You are a very interesting group!” and “You have many interests” while the assistant pins up the poster with the verb “to be interested in..” and hands out the list of interests/hobbies to the class. Everyone is encouraged to say what they are interested in and what they like doing in their free time. The teacher asks “Can you also ….?”. Meanwhile the assistant pins up the poster with the verb CAN and hands out the lists of infinitives/talents. From this point on, the teacher addresses each student with their new name and asks them about their interests/hobbies and talents by pointing to the posters to help them answer. Then, he/she asks a random student about the interests and talents of his/her neighbour and helps them to use the pronoun “he / she” while the assistant teacher is pointing at the pronouns in the posters with the verbs.
- (to HAVE / I want to…. / I would like to …) Next, the teacher says “I have an idea!” while the assistant pins up and points to the poster with the verb “I have”. The teacher says that his/her idea is to travel with all of his/her new friends back home “I want to travel with you to ….!”. Meanwhile, the assistant teacher pins up and points to the poster with the verbs “I want to…. / I would like to ….” The two teachers repeat this dialogue “Do you want to travel to …. with me? - Yes, I want to / I would like to travel to … with you!” and encourage everyone to answer about themselves.
- (family) At that point, the main teacher asks them about what their family would say to that and tells them about his/her family “ I have a big family! Look here!” He/she takes out several photos from the suitcase and shows them to the class. In each photo there is a family member. He presents each member of the family with role, name, age, profession, talents and interests. Meanwhile, the assistant teacher pins up the Family Tree poster (where the main teacher sticks the photos) and hands out the list of family words and the family trees as well as a set of photos to each student so they can all create their fantastic families and talk about them. Everyone presents their families to each other using the verbs “to be” , “to have”, “to be interested in” “can” and “to like” saying “I have … sisters, this is my …. , his/her name is ….. , he/she is …. years old, he/she is a …….(profession), he/she likes …. ” “he/she can ...In this way, the main verbs and vocabulary are revised.
- (question words, days and numbers) Last, the main teacher announces a music festival that takes place in his/her town next week and invites the class to join. “There is a ….music festival in …. on ………....-day. Would you like to go and sing with me? Meanwhile the assistant teacher pins up the posters with the days of the week , the question words and the numbers. The main teacher asks the class to choose when and how they are travelling and helps them by pointing to the posters. “When are we travelling? How are we travelling?
- The main teacher now tells the group that he/she is going to sing a couple of songs at the festival and takes out the lyrics from the suitcase while the assistant teacher hands them out to everyone. The first two songs are didactic with the verbs “to be” and “to have”.The last song /songs are authentic. The teacher is accompanied by everyone who knows the songs and encourages the whole class to join. After the singing, the teacher reminds the class of their travel arrangements and leaves to go and see the sights.
10 minute pause
When the class returns, the room has been tidied up and there is classical music audible in the background. The teacher/s look serious and slightly smiling to welcome the group. They are now wearing normal clothes and they do not have their name tags. Each student is given the booklet with the text and translation and they are encouraged to open it with gestures.
As soon as everyone is seated and has opened their booklets, one of the teachers starts reciting the text line by line (not the translation) very slowly and clearly following the tempo of the music and allowing time for the students to look at the translation before reading the next line.
This activity is called Active Session (or Analysis) because the students are actively assimilating what they are being read aloud, understanding the meaning of the words and phrases and remembering a lot of what they were exposed to during the first phase, the Introduction.
When the teacher finishes reading, they smile to the class and they suggest them to close their booklets and relax. This can be done by closing the book himself/herself, sitting down, stretching the legs and arms and closing the eyes for a while. The lights start to dim. Meanwhile, the assistant teacher has changed the music from classical to pre classical - baroque. This music helps relax and visualise what is heard. The other teacher takes a seat near the group and starts reading the text at normal narration speed for the students to enjoy the natural flow and intonation of the language. This is the Passive Session (or Synthesis). The students are not supposed to understand everything but they will surely recognise many words and phrases.
At the end of the recital, we allow the music to be heard for an extra minute and slowly and quietly leave the room suggesting that it is time for another pause.
10 minute pause
This is the phase when the students are the most active. The teacher wears the name tag again, greets them, reminds them of their journey and explains that they are also going to play at the theatre so they are now rehearsing their parts. He/she asks them to open their booklets at page … and to repeat each phrase twice, the first time reading from the book and then from memory. Meanwhile, the assistant pins up the poster with the pronunciation charts. It is easy! The teacher and assistant demonstrate how professional theatre actors take the help of their suggestors to recite their lines. The didactic songs in the text are sung and danced to.
In the teacher’s booklet, there are 10 spots at which the rehearsal stops for communication and activation with games. These Stop Spots are:
- Greetings: with the question-ball, we greet each other and ask how they are
- Introductions: wearing the masks and the name tags we introduce ourselves and others
- Professions: we play the game: Match the pictures with the words
- I like.../My favourite ….is …….: with the question-ball, we ask each other “What is your favourite (colour/day/sport/music/school subject)
- Languages: We play the oral memory game “I speak …” : Everyone repeats what everyone else has said before
- Talents: We play the card memory game with the verbs and their translation
- Interests/Hobbies: We play the guessing game about each other
- Family: We create four big families and present the members
- Dreams : We work in groups to decipher secret messages by putting the words in the correct order
- Friends: we choose a person each and present a new friend to the class giving as much information about them as we remember (name, age, profession, likes, interests, hobbies, languages, talents, family)
10 minute pause
The assistant projects the slides of the Job Interview questions while the teacher explains that it is possible to find a job for anyone interested when they visit the teacher’s country. The teacher starts interviewing the job candidates who volunteer while the assistant has handed out a questionnaire to everyone. Those who do not wish to be interviewed fill in the questionnaire about their new self. (photocopied and returned)