LENA believes that interactive talk with babies is an essential factor in early brain development, and so do Early Talk Ambassadors. Early talk Ambassadors care deeply about children and want to spread the word about the importance of talk with babies both in short- and long-term outcomes. They want to make a difference in the lives of families and children by sharing how important interaction is!
Why spread the word about early talk? Because every child deserves the best start in life that we can possibly give them. Join us in encouraging every teacher, parent, family, and caregiver to harness the power of conversation to build brains.
The only thing you have to do to join the Early Talk Ambassador movement is to share the importance of talk, whether through word of mouth, through online communication, or other channels. We’ve developed social graphics for Ambassadors to share, along with text posts that go along with each image. Share these on your Twitter, Facebook, or other social site to teach others about early talk.
The amount of interaction between early childhood teachers and young children varies widely through child care centers and classrooms around the country. In an exploratory sample of LENA Grow data, we discovered that more a third of children experience just four or fewer interactions per hour with a caregiver for the vast majority of their day.
Improving early language development is widely agreed to be the most effective — and cost-effective — way to address a wide range of societal challenges. Now, LENA has collected and analyzed its most expansive data set to date through the 10,000 children annually impacted by our programs for families and early childhood teachers. These data put us in the unprecedented position to understand the early language environments of very young children and answer questions we've been hearing from the field for years.
Conversational turns are simple back and forth alternations between a child and an adult. Conversational turns are LENA’s proxy for quality “serve and return” interactions. Recent research has shown conversational turns to be one of the most predictive metrics of child outcomes. Most importantly, a string of recent studies have indicated that conversations have more brain-building power than adult words alone.
Dr. Rachel Romeo, post-doctoral researcher at MIT and Boston Children’s Hospital, gives an overview of the research on the achievement gap and how a child’s environmental influences — like socioeconomic status — can influence their brain development.