More About Lena Start
The LENA system measures the early language environment of children ages birth to 36 months. Using a “talk pedometer” that children wear in a comfortable, child-safe vest, LENA technology tracks conversations with children and the number of words they hear. Conversations and words are not recorded, just the data. Parents and caregivers will receive weekly reports in the form of easily decipherable graphs and tables. In addition to seeing the data, caregivers partake in parent education classes led by trained LENA staff that will help improve interactions with the child.
The science is clear: the first three years of life present a key window of opportunity for all children. School readiness and, more importantly, the path to opportunity begins at birth. Both of these outcomes are heavily influenced by the amount of interactive talk children experience in their earliest years.
The challenge is that simply saying “talk more” or “interact more” isn’t enough. Research tells us that we’re poor estimators of how much we talk: most of us tend to overestimate. In fact, those of us that talk the least tend to overestimate the most (Richards et al., 2017). Thus, objective feedback on interactive talk is needed. This is where LENA comes in.
Early talk shapes a child’s life. Think of it as links in a chain that can influence success in school and in life.