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ABCs - Alphabet Resources or Ideas?

Started by NEWS NOW in Teaching and Methodology. Last reply by ddeubel Oct 17. 73 Replies

I guess the alphabet is our bread…Continue

Tags: children, abc, kids, phonics, reading

Stories to inspire and teach. Share yours.

Started by ddeubel in Teaching and Methodology. Last reply by ddeubel Jun 10. 79 Replies

 I'd like to share in this forum and would like others to share, short stories that might apply to education / teaching and that will inspire. I believe stories and a narrative are powerful, whether…Continue

Tags: hodja, tao, zen, professional_development, storytelling

Learning Communities

Started by Allan Richards in Teaching and Methodology Oct 27, 2017. 0 Replies

Hey everyone!I am new to the forum and am curious how you feel learning communities benefit educators when it comes to developing a collective responsibility as educators. Do you feel a forum like…Continue


Started by Christina Shepherd in Teaching and Methodology. Last reply by ddeubel Oct 26, 2017. 1 Reply

How does implementation help you out throughout the year? I am curious to know what things have worked for you and what things have not worked for you through an implementation standard.  Continue


The "Din" inside the head

insideheadI've written a lot about Krashen's ideas on this blog. Fundamentally because they focus so well on what is "essential" in language learning.


He doesn't suffer fools gladly and I'm glad about that.

I was going over his online articles and especially his seminal work - Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning. I kept coming back to the feeling I had as a teacher - that comprehensible input was what students needed - needed to be engaged, on task and effectively learning a language. Not memorizing, not manipulating words, not learning grammar rules, not translating, not x or Y or z but only input, input, input - at a comprehensible level.

This is why extensive reading is so powerful in helping students acquire a language - but extensive listening is just as powerful yet so seldom done effectively. We need more of that - I'm trying my best  with the Gif Lingua library of leveled readers (over 3,000).

However, input really isn't all that must happen when a student receives language. They also have to "notice" the language in their conscious mind. That's when the learning happens and language "sticks".

Krashen has a nice little article where he calls this "The Din in the head" hypothesis (and yes, yet another hypothesis). He relates the din to a form of "ecstasy" or ecstatic experience.

It is kind of like the ghost inside the machine. Meaning, when language is received, there is a "din" that goes off which links the input to something "there". Scaffolding is achieved and the language rooted when the language is put into a context. What is this "din"?

Essentially it is the student's bell/brain sparking and going off. An involuntary mental rehearsal of the language. Students notice language. They are no longer fish in water but fish that know they are in water! They take the received and convert it to something and somewhere that it can be produced. It may be relating the incoming language to a known form or L1. It may be repeating it. It may be thinking a thought of something it relates to. It may be a lot of things this din - but it is important. Everything isn't just input - there has to be some ghost in the machine doing its thing.

Here's what Krashen says,

"The Din in the Head hypothesis claims that the din is the result of stimulation of the language acquisition device, a sign that language acquisition is taking place (Krashen, 1983).I noted that the Din experience correlates with less reluctance to speak the language, but did not make any hypothesis about a sudden "critical stage" that leads to a "sudden and massive restructuring" as de Bos claims (p. 173). "

So what does this mean for the working Joe teacher?

I think it means that we have to create curriculum that is strongly contextualized and thus offers "comprehensibility". I think it means we have to think more about the input that happens in our classes and how we can create regularity of it. I think we have to think about how we might get our students to do some metacognitive activities and start practicing "thinking about language".

I know it is a long shot but maybe we can try to get this "din" activating more often in our students?


Views: 170

Comment by Mohammad Reza Minoosepehr on March 28, 2011 at 8:50pm
That 's great David, but i can't find the "hidden task"...it's just a feature for stopping the video automatically..i think it's really "hidden"..

Comment by ddeubel on March 30, 2011 at 12:59am



I put a link to the screencast - missed it the first time. 


also, yes, "Hidden Challenge" is a premium feature on EnglishCentral. You'll get it for free , the first 14 days.  I think it really powerful for teachers and I'm working to get teachers free access. Let's see!

Comment by Headrick von Pizza Head on March 31, 2011 at 6:10am

The dinn is similar to the Korean context of Bado. To master the game of Bado one must memorize lots of moves but try to forget the actual moves when playing the game. This concept comes from Dr. Andrew Finch

When you studied math once you learned your Multiplication tables it suddenly beacme much easier. Actually it's very much like learning a musical instrament. There are some people who can naturally just pick it up without having to learn to read music.

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