Suggestopedia is a teaching method developed by the Bulgarian psychotherapist Georgi Lozanov. The method has been used in different fields of studies but mostly in the field of foreign language learning.
Lozanov says that by using this method one can teach languages approximately three to five times as quickly as conventional methods. However, it is not limited to the learning of languages, but language learning was found to be a process in which one can easily measure how much and how fast something is learned.
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”. Suggestopedia is used in 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”. Many discussions and misunderstanding have caused this name because people connects the word “suggestion” to “hypnosis”. There are many different definitions for the word “suggestion”. When Dr. Lozanov chose this word, he was thinking about the English meaning: TO SUGGEST = TO OFFER, TO PROPOSE (BUT THE STUDENTS ARE FREE TO CHOOSE).
Although people think that Suggestopedia is a methodologies that works with relaxation, music, and baroque music, it is not.
Suggestopedia, however, does not use any kind of manipulative technique, such as hypnosis or guided imagery. It DOES NOT have any connection with SUPERLEARNING or NLP, although many people misunderstand Suggestopedia and think that it is Superlearning. This is confusion is caused because after UNESCO approved and recommended Suggestopedia as a superior method (in 1978), Dr. Lozanov was placed under home arrest for 10 years in the communist Bulgaria. During this time, the free world had no more access to him and researchers tried to use Suggestopedia according to their best understanding. Only after 1989 when the political situation changed in Bulgaria, Dr. Lozanov got to move to Austria.