Can a bit of technology called LENA help young brains develop language?

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The LENA program has just been rolled out at Bright Beginnings, a school that serves families experiencing homelessness in Washington, D.C. Once or twice a week, one or two pre-K classes of 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds don LENA-equipped smocks. At the end of the day, the recorders are collected and the data they captured is uploaded to a hub to be analyzed. Language environment data will be shared with teachers and parents, to help them find new opportunities to increase interactive talk.

“The objective really is to build on the research that’s shown that the early childhood talk environment really advances language and brain development for children,” Sims said. “This particular approach seeks to increase language and what they call conversational turns between adults and their children.”

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