Last week, I wrote a post about something called the Din in the Head, what is sometimes called “involuntary mental rehearsal.” (If you haven’t read the first post, go back and read it now.) I asked at the end of Part 1 what the meaning of the Din was. What does the Din say about language acquisition?
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.
Who gets the Din? Usually, it is those who are not yet very advanced speakers of the language, or those who are reading or listening to a type of language they are not familiar with (they don’t know very well). Notice that I said read or listen to this language. We acquire languages by reading and listening, especially reading and listening to things we are able to understand. The Din may be your brain’s way of telling you that you are picking up new language, that your LAD is working.
Don’t be discouraged (down, depressed) if you don’t now hear a Din after listening to or reading English. Many of you are already very advanced speakers, and the English you read and listen to now may not contain anything “new” for you to acquire (to get, to pick up). Remember the Din also seems to work for music as well as language, so just listening to a new song a couple of times will soon give you the Din experience. Just be sure to pick a song you like!