Understanding why LENA programs work

Through a focus on actionable feedback and coaching, LENA has helped communities all over the world provide programs for parents and teachers that create sustainable increases in the quality and quantity of talk with children. Many independent evaluations have shown similar results with LENA: stronger families, improved classroom quality, and increased early literacy and school readiness.

For studies validating the accuracy of LENA technology and its proven effectiveness in interventions and research studies, see our full bibliography of more than 200 peer-reviewed publications.

Read on to learn about some of the evaluations and studies demonstrating the effectiveness of LENA's programs.


LENA Grow is an evidence-based professional development program that helps early childhood educators equitably improve classroom language environments in early learning settings.

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The Impact of a Language-Based Intervention with Individualized Coaching in Early Childhood Education Classrooms

An independent evaluation from the SproutFive Center for Early Childhood Innovation in Columbus, Ohio, showed gains in teacher satisfaction and child language and literacy skills, as compared to a sample from classrooms that did not participate in LENA Grow. Read the white paper here.

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Evaluation of LENA Grow in Milwaukee Head Start Classrooms

In partnership with researchers from the University of Wisconsin and Marquette University, Next Door Milwaukee completed an independent evaluation of LENA Grow. Children's TS GOLD® literacy scores increased, as well as teachers' self-efficacy and job satisfaction. Read the white paper here.

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Qualitative Evaluation of Professional Development Model Designed to Improve Child “Talk Environment”

Researchers at the University of Hartford completed an independent qualitative evaluation of the LENA Grow program at Hartford Talks. The report is organized into nine primary findings on educator engagement, enthusiasm, confidence, intentionality, and more.

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Report from Escambia County on LENA Grow Shows CLASS® Gains

Data from the first year of partnership with the Early Learning Coalition of Escambia County shows that classrooms using LENA Grow showed gains on CLASS® assessment scores, not only in language-related dimensions, but in dimensions like Positive Climate that are impacted by enhanced communication and relationships.

Fort Worth Independent School District Evaluation

In a pre-post evaluation, classrooms that used LENA Grow were found to have increased scores in key CLASS domains compared to classrooms that did not use the program. Teachers who participated in the program increased the amount of Conceptual Development, Quality Feedback, and Language Modeling in their classrooms.

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LENA Grow Pilot Results from Juniper Gardens Children's Project

A pilot of LENA Grow in Kansas early childhood classrooms found that teachers responded well to the program’s data-based coaching and children were more than twice as likely to be "on track" in their language skills than a comparison group after participating.

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Preliminary findings suggest LENA Grow accelerates language development

Preliminary analysis conducted by LENA’s research team shows that children participating in LENA Grow during the COVID-19 pandemic gained nearly 1.5 months’ worth of language skills in just one month’s time, achieving developmental milestones at an accelerated rate compared to a sample of children who did not participate in the program.

Teaching Strategies Pilot Exploring LENA Grow Effectiveness

During a four-month pilot, LENA technology was used to measure talk and provide objective feedback to teachers in early childhood classrooms in central Virginia. In one classroom, 87.5 percent of children experienced an increase in either adult words or conversational turns.

LENA Start

LENA Start is an evidence-based group program for families that uses regular feedback from LENA technology to help increase interactive talk between adults and young children.

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Iowa State University’s Evaluation of LENA Start efficacy finds richer home language environments

A study by Iowa State University found that families who participated in LENA Start provided increasingly rich home language environments for their children, expanding how much they talked to and with them over the duration of the three-month class, compared to families who did not attend.

Initial Longitudinal Results from Huntsville City Schools show increased literacy skills and school readiness

Data show that children whose families participated in LENA Start demonstrated considerably higher early literacy scores and were far more likely to be at an advanced literacy level entering preschool, which was more than two years after their families completed the program.

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Study from University of Minnesota finds LENA Start fits well into community infrastructure

A study on LENA Start from the University of Minnesota discovered that the program can be successfully implemented in community-based settings and that families enjoy participating. The LENA Start group also increased their parent-child interaction as measured by key LENA metrics.

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Developmental Snapshot analysis shows that LENA Start’s benefits endure for two years

"These results are very encouraging, both for the validity of the Developmental Snapshot and for the effectiveness of LENA Start. I am most excited for what the results say about children who began the Start program at risk for language delays, ”said Dr. Jill Gilkerson, LENA’s Chief Research and Evaluation Officer.

Correlation between kindergarten readiness, parent education, and conversational turns in a rural South Carolina school district

A study out of Cherokee County, S.C., has found a correlation between parent participation in LENA programs and higher scores on the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment.