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Started by ddeubel in Websites / links / access to new resources / communities.. Last reply by Nadeem Nawaz Jul 16, 2019. 102 Replies

We are now in our 3rd edition of "Site of the Day"! Hundreds of the best sites for teaching/learning. See #1 and…Continue

Tags: collection, list, web 2.0, resources, websites

ABCs - Alphabet Resources or Ideas?

Started by NEWS NOW in Teaching and Methodology. Last reply by Amelia Meirizka Jun 20, 2019. 73 Replies

I guess the alphabet is our bread and butter.Got any good ideas for teaching it or using it…Continue

Tags: children, abc, kids, phonics, reading

Learning Designs

Started by Elise in Teaching and Methodology Mar 27, 2019. 0 Replies

I was wondering what you all thought of learning designs pertaining to English language teaching? What are the ways in which you design your lessons to achieve better learning in your students?Continue

A NEW way to teach PHRASAL VERBS so that your students understand and remember them

Started by Andromeda Jones in Teaching and Methodology Dec 31, 2018. 0 Replies

Phrasal verbs are a verb + preposition, adverb or particle. Teaching…Continue

Tags: prepositions, teach, verbs, phrasal


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?


Downloads: 265

Comment by Mohammad Reza Minoosepehr on March 28, 2011 at 8:50pm
That 's great David, but i can't find the "hidden task"'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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