chapter  14
10 Pages

Schuster’s SALT

In addition to conducting his own research at Texas Tech University, Owen Caskey supervised theses such as Elizabeth Robinett’s “The Effects of Suggestopedia in Increasing Foreign Language Achievement,” which showed that Suggestopedia had a positive effect on language learning. (“Individual analysis of achievement revealed that the Suggestopedic approach helped students in the lower grade point average ranges more than those with higher grade point averages” [Caskey, 1976, p. 353]). In their investigation of the influence of a suggestive atmosphere,

synchronized music and breathing on the learning and retention of Spanish words, Ray Bordón and Donald Schuster (1976, p. 27) found that, “at a practical level, these variables when present resulted in learning 2.5 times better than when these same variables were absent.” In the 1975-76 remedial reading experiments conducted by Jean Taylor and Allyn Prichard in Atlanta, 75-80 per cent of the pupils gained a year or more on the Spache oral and silent reading sub-tests after 14 weeks in the program, only 12 of which were devoted to the actual teaching of reading (Prichard and Taylor, 1976, p. 111). Researchers generally concluded that three elements of Suggestopedia were essential for the system to work effectively in an American setting: (a) an attractive classroom (with soft lighting) and a pleasant classroom atmosphere; (b) a teacher with a dynamic personality, able to act out the material and motivate the students to learn; (c) a state of relaxed alertness in the students (Bancroft, 1978b, p. 172).