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The Din in the Head hypothesis

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slucido
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 Message 1 of 15
22 October 2010 at 8:08pm | IP Logged 
The Din in the Head, first noted by Barber (1980), is an involuntary mental rehearsal of a language that occurs after we have had extensive comprehensible input in that language.

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.


http://www.sdkrashen.com/articles/din/din.pdf

To rehearse means to practice or go over something so that you get better at it.

Involuntary is the opposite of voluntary, and means that you don’t intend or try to do something – it just happens.

Mental refers to thinking.

So you put these all together and you get “thinking about something over and over again without actually wanting or trying to.” An example of involuntary mental rehearsal would be when you hear and song and you keep singing or humming (making noise without opening your mouth) it, even if you don’t like it! (This is sometimes referred to as the Song Stuck in My Head experience, as researcher Tim Murphey has called it.)

http://www.eslpod.com/eslpod_blog/2008/04/21/do-you-hear-a-d in-in-your-head-part-1/

One researcher thinks that hearing a Din is a sign that your brain is actually picking up new vocabulary, sounds, and grammatical structures. The “noise” of the Din is a product (result) of your Language Acquisition Device (LAD) – that part of your brain that is dedicated to (has the special purpose for) language acquisition.

http://www.eslpod.com/eslpod_blog/2008/04/28/do-you-hear-a-d in-in-your-head-part-2/


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Splog
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 Message 2 of 15
22 October 2010 at 9:13pm | IP Logged 
Isn't this closely related to earworms?

And more specifically to the phonological loop?

Edited by Splog on 22 October 2010 at 9:19pm

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Cainntear
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 Message 3 of 15
22 October 2010 at 9:38pm | IP Logged 
Krashen (as usual) overplays this.

There is no reason to assume that the din in the head is intrinsically linked to his pet theory of "comprehensible input". But by aligning his theory to something that learners readily self-identify with, he makes them believe that the existence of "din" proves his theory.

However, anyone who has ever done anything intensely will have experienced a mental rehearsal.

For example, you've got the Tetris Effect, where your brain's constantly playing Tetris. I've had it once or twice, and it can either be great fun or it drives you to distraction.

I've also dreamed in bizarre computer-logic derived manners and woken up with a screen border in my vision and the desire to "program" myself into sitting up. It's weird.

And there must be days where you've found it hard to go to sleep because you read something really interesting and your brain keeps churning through it.

The din is universal, and Krashen knows it. He's at best voluntarily deluding himself, at worst a charlatan.
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slucido
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 Message 4 of 15
22 October 2010 at 10:58pm | IP Logged 
Cainntear wrote:

The din is universal, and Krashen knows it. He's at best voluntarily deluding himself, at worst a charlatan.


If the din effect is universal, how is he deluding himself or lying to us?


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Thantophobia
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 Message 5 of 15
23 October 2010 at 1:04am | IP Logged 
This has been happening to me for a long time, for Spanish. But it will only happen sometimes. I think there's some sort of key to what will make me do it and what won't. It used to happen a ton, but now it doesn't so much.

Cainntear wrote:
And there must be days where you've found it hard to go to sleep because you read something really interesting and your brain keeps churning through it.


That happens to me all the time too.
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jazzboy.bebop
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 Message 6 of 15
23 October 2010 at 1:38am | IP Logged 
slucido wrote:
Cainntear wrote:

The din is universal, and Krashen knows it. He's at best voluntarily deluding himself,
at worst a charlatan.


If the din effect is universal, how is he deluding himself or lying to us?



To quote from that article you linked:

"de Bot states that the "Din in the Head" hypothesis relates to the idea of a "critical
stage that turns receptive knowledge into productive knowledge." 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)."

Unless I have misunderstood this, Krashen is trying to put across the idea that when
you start getting "Din in the Head" in a foreign language then your brain is actively
turning passive or "receptive knowledge" - to quote the article - of a language into
"productive" or what could be called active knowledge which you could produce yourself
whereas before you could only understand it when you came across it and not be able to
use it in conversation or in writing.

The problem with this idea is that the brain is prone to providing what could be
thought of as "flashback" like experiences with all kinds of things, especially things
we have taken a big interest in or repeated a lot throughout the day like the "Tetris
Effect" as mentioned earlier, so if the brain is prone to repeating all kind of things
mentally why then should it be assumed that something special is happening in the case
of hearing a foreign language you have been studying which is now playing in your head?

It can certainly show you have had great involvement with the language and that you
have learned a lot but how does it show that the brain is actually changing receptive
knowledge into productive knowledge? Why is it not just the brain simply replaying
memories of experiences involuntarily as it does with so many things?

Without actually reading through the research which supposedly guides Krashen to his
hypothesis, I can't fully denounce it, but it seems an odd conclusion when we take into
account the fact that the brain frequently plays back all kinds of experiences all the
time, especially auditory ones like music.
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Cainntear
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 Message 7 of 15
23 October 2010 at 1:39am | IP Logged 
slucido wrote:
Cainntear wrote:

The din is universal, and Krashen knows it. He's at best voluntarily deluding himself, at worst a charlatan.


If the din effect is universal, how is he deluding himself or lying to us?


"The Din in the Head, first noted by Barber (1980), is an involuntary ment al rehearsal of a language that occurs after we have had extensive comprehensible input in that language." (my emphasis)

He is saying that it is a consequence of learning his way, not merely a consequence of learning.

Look carefully at what he's saying.

Krashen's general theory:
Language "aquisition" only occurs in "comprehensible input".

Krashen's din theory:
The din in the head is a result of "acquisition" by "comprehensible input"

Krashen is not describing it as a universal. In fact, these theories establish logical premises, which would conclude "din".

However, anyone who has done formal logic knows that proving a conclusion does not prove the premises, yet that's exactly what Krashen is trying to do: imply validity of premises based on thruthity of conclusion.
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slucido
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 Message 8 of 15
23 October 2010 at 10:06am | IP Logged 
I am NOT defending Krashen or any method. I am defending the "din in the head" symptom as a good indicator of the effectiveness of any method.

So my point is that when you are learning a language, whatever method you use, if you feel this involuntary production ("din in the head effect"), you are on the right path.


Other indicators could be passing degrees (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2), but I don't like them, because they aren't good screenings. I need something that gives me information much earlier.

I think people waste too much time arguing about methods and their focus is wrong. Finding good indicators that you are on the right track is the real trick.

I am trying to find sensible ways to measure (indicators) as soon as possible if the method or technique I am using is right for me or I am wasting time.

The more sensible and specific is the indicator, the better.

The issue isn't about the best method or technique, it's about what works the best for you. The only way is finding sensible and specific indicators. The "din in the head" is only a way.




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