Suggestopedia Meets TELTL: A Perfect Match?

Suggestopedia Meets TELTL: A Perfect Match?

Konstantinos Vlachos, Katerina Makri, Stavriana Soubassi
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8981-6.ch007
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This study attempts to investigate the effectiveness of a distance learning program for young learners of Greek. Its theoretical basis is directly influenced by Suggestopedia, a learning/teaching methodology developed by G. Lozanov in the late 1970s. This highly experiential way of learning is combined for the first time with the systematic use of digital applications to teach young learners. The researchers designed, implemented, and evaluated an original model course of Greek as a second language employing specific educational applications with a two-fold purpose: first, to assess their effectiveness and, second, to investigate whether the technological tools can provide added value to Suggestopedia. The conclusions indicate the positive impact of the model on students: specifically, on their memorisation, creativity, and general engagement in distance learning. Finally, the use of the selected digital tools seems to upgrade the content of Suggestopedia making it possible to be implement in distance learning settings.
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Traditional educational practices have been greatly disrupted by social distancing and restrictive movement policies (Pokhrel & Chhetri, 2021), shaping the educational reality during the COVID-19 pandemics. This situation raises many challenges for both students and educators. On the one hand, accessibility, affordability, learning pedagogy, and educational policy are major challenges that affect students and their families (Murgatrotd, 2020). Apart from that, when students are away from their regular school schedule, they face social and psychological consequences of equal importance (Pokhrel & Chhetri, 2021). On the other hand, the pressure on educators is high and forces them to adapt, as quickly as possible, to the new distance learning environments (Flores & Swennen, 2020). Teachers are expected to come up with innovative ideas to help compensate for the drawbacks of virtual teaching, proving thus their “pedagogic agility” (Kidd & Murray, 2020, p.1).

However, others support that the COVID-19 crisis was an opportunity to introduce digital learning in schools and capitalize on its benefits (Dhawan, 2020; Pokhrel & Chhetri, 2021). When educators, parents, and students share common experiences, there are incomparable opportunities for collaboration, innovative ideas, and willingness to learn from others and try new tools (Doucet et al., 2020). Many educational organizations shared their resources and solutions for free to assist and facilitate teaching and learning in a more immersive and engaging manner. What is more, online learning has enabled teachers and students to teach and learn in new ways that cultivate their multiliteracy skills. Focusing more on multiliteracies, these new out-of-school literacy worlds signify a new set of skills that each student should obtain, such as: flexibility, adaptation to change, collaboration, and general communication skills along with computer literacy are some indicative examples (Hornberger, 2004, p.163).

An emergent need stemming from the above challenges is that calling for a new pedagogical framework that will put no extra strain on students, provide them with psychological support and promote their well- being. All these should be accompanied by a consistent educational methodology, respecting students’ linguistic, social, and cultural resources while simultaneously promoting their multiliteracy skills.

The main objective of this research was to explore the potential of didactic tools emerging from the paradigm of Technology Enhanced Language Teaching and Learning (TELTL) to promote young learners’ second language acquisition. It was intended to identify the “affordances” that the selected tools may provide to enhance an instructional design inspired by Suggestopedia, an innovative approach to experiential accelerated learning. The challenge was to keep the experiential character of Suggestopedia intact in a distance learning environment.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Storyboard: A series of graphical images, sequentially read to convey a story in a comic strip.

Multimodality: In the context of this research: the pedagogical use of different modes (auditory, visual, spatial) of meaning afforded by digital tools.

Immersion: A state of full engagement in the learning environment and activities, on behalf of the students, indicated by vivid interest and participation.

Added Value: The pedagogical use of a digital tool in such a way, that the set learning outcomes are augmented, in relation to not using the tool.

Affordances: The specific features of a digital tool, allowing for different uses (in the context of this research, pedagogical uses).

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