A suggestopedic study on second language reading achievement and its effect on learning strategies

Date

1985

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to implement Suggestopedic techniques in a classroom setting to determine whether it can provide a significant effect on the English language learning efficiency of Hispanic elementary school students who have been identified by the public school system as having limited English speaking abilities. This study investigates the use of Suggestopedia as a learning technique and its relationship to significant, improved reading skills. Also investigated by this study are the individual learning strategies of the experimental and control students to determine individual characteristics of effective and ineffective learners. Theoretical Framework. Among the most impressive methodologies to date is Suggestopedia, a method which applies the general theory of suggestion to the process of teaching and learning. The theoretical basis of Suggestopedia is the desuggestive-suggestive communicative psychotherapy process. Suggestopedia combines relaxation and suggestion enabling the student to gain a greater degree of competency in another language. Suggestopedia is a technique for increased learning and efficiency because it results in the elimination of former barriers which prohibit the assimilation of knowledge. Summary of Procedures. This study has a two-fold design, the empirical study and ethnography. The study began with teacher training in the Suggestopedic method. The students comprising this study were Mexican American and Mexicans identified as having very poor academic skills, learning disabilities, psychological problems, and extremely agressive behavior. Each participant was pretested and post-tested with the Gates-MacGinite Reading Tests. Four groups, with a total of 29 students, participated. The treatment for the experimental group consisted of relaxation, presentation of the material, review of the material, and the activation of the material. The groups met for 60 minutes daily during a two-week period. After the two-week treatment, both the experimental and the control groups were administered the post-test. After the treatment selected students from the experimental and control groups were interview; these students were selected based on their degree of post-test improvement. The interviews were conducted in an attempt to determine if the learning strategies utilized by these students were related to the post-test gains. Results and Conclusions. The data analysis is divided into two separate sections. Phase I analyzes the empirical study and Phase II deals with ethnography. During Phase I of the study, a t test was administered to determine the learning significance between the pretest and the post-test of the treatment groups. The experimental group reflected an overall improvement at the p<.05 level, their vocabulary scores revealed an improvement at the p<.05 level, and their comprehension scored revealed an improvement at the p<.001 level. Phase II, an in-depth examination of the second language learners results, revealed that not only does Suggestopedia make a difference in their learning efficiency but, when using this method, any learner is able to develop more complex learning strategies which also contribute to learning efficiency. [...]

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Keywords

Reading, Mexican American children, Education, Language arts

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