LENA shapes early talk.


LENA is based on the belief that all parents have the ability to unlock their children’s social, emotional, and cognitive potential. We focus on increasing interactive talk because it has been proven to be a key factor in early brain development – and we focus on the earliest years because research points to those as the most critical. The feedback we provide helps parents improve talk and conversations with their children. The results are stronger families and children more prepared to succeed in school.

LENA technology is used worldwide to measure early language environments for research, intervention, and clinical use. Our methods are clear. They’re measurable. And they work.

What is LENA?

LENA (which stands for Language ENvironment Analysis) is the industry standard for measuring talk with children birth to three, a critical factor in early brain development. Used all over the world, LENA will support your initiative to improve early language, to close gaps in cognitive, emotional, and social development, and to improve school readiness.

  • recordingRecording

    A full day of talk is captured by a small, child-safe recorder worn in a comfortable vest.

  • feedbackData & Feedback

    Recordings are translated into data about talk, provided in clear reports shared with families.

  • cloud-dataManagement & evaluation

    Secure online tools enable efficient program management with built-in, real-time measures of fidelity and effectiveness.

Where is LENA?

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History and Mission

Our founders, Terry and Judi Paul, pioneered reading, math, and testing products used in 70,000 schools in the U.S. and over 50 countries worldwide. Through these efforts they were able to help hundreds of thousands of kids become better reading and math students, but they still felt they weren’t reaching many of the children who needed them the most, those who come to first grade knowing only 2,500 words when their peers know 10,000. Terry and Judi were inspired to establish the LENA Foundation by the research and writings of Drs. Betty Hart and Todd Risley. Drs. Hart and Risley identified talk environments in the first 24-36 months of life as the single most important determinant of language ability, IQ, and school success.

LENA is increasingly being used in the way Terry and Judi originally intended, as a key component in programs to accelerate language development of disadvantaged children. Together with LENA, we can make a difference in the lives of children worldwide.

Our mission is to accelerate language development in children birth to three, in order to improve their cognitive, social, and emotional health and to close opportunity gaps.

We are a 501(c)(3) public charity based in Boulder, Colorado.

Watch Terry Paul describe the work and vision of LENA


Leadership Team

Scientific Advisors