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 analyses of the technology and its use in interventions and studies, see our full bibliography of more than 100 peer-reviewed publications. Read on to learn about some of the evaluations and studies demonstrating the effectiveness of LENA’s programs:
LENA Grow is a job-embedded professional development program designed to measure and improve the quality of early childhood programs. It is implemented through trusted community partners including human service organizations, county and state-level agencies, and school districts. LENA Grow has been shown to help teachers increase interaction, individualize their communication for each child, and build responsive caregiving skills, leading to improved teaching practice and measurable increases in scores on independent assessments of classroom quality.
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 (ELCEC) 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.
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.
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 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. Children whose caregivers participate in the program reap the benefits of an enriched environment, showing measurable improvements in key aspects of language development. LENA data show that children whose families participated in LENA Start are showing elevated language skills one year after the program, according to an analysis of longitudinal data. As home language environments are transformed, communities are transformed, and an early-language focus builds to city-wide impacts.
Iowa State University’s Evaluation of LENA Start efficacy
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 for Huntsville City Schools’ LENA Start program
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 pre-K, which was more than two years after their families completed the program.
LENA Home provides an innovative way to support home visitors working to help their families add an increased focus on interactive talk. Built-in effectiveness measures indicate that, through their work with LENA Home, adults are talking more and children are increasing language skills as a result.
Brown University Evaluation of Providence Talks
Independent researchers at Brown University evaluated Providence Talks for three years, finding that the program helped families to increase brain-building, back-and-forth conversations with children. Children also heard more words and showed advanced developmental skills.
Using Data to Enhance Impacts of Home Visits in the Talk to Me Cherokee Initiative
The “Talk to Me” partnership, implemented in Cherokee County, South Carolina, set out to determine the impacts of the LENA Home program’s language development-focused curriculum. Parents and caregivers made significant gains in adult words and conversational turns, which were found to be improved with a higher frequency of LENA data.