Frequently Asked Questions
LENA is on a mission is to transform children’s futures through early talk technology and data-driven programs.
We envision a world where every child enters kindergarten ready to succeed.
- We are proactive through data.
- We get it in the iron.
- We're more than just technology.
- We persevere to simple.
- We have high standards and low egos.
Visit Join Our Team to see open positions at LENA.
In addition to an excellent benefits package for full-time employees (including medical, dental, vision, life/disability, HSA/FSA, 401(k), and Paid Time Off) and a competitive salary, we offer:
- High-performance, cloud-enabled office technology that supports remote work.
- A commitment to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, identities, perspectives, and skills.
- A mission-driven culture devoted to improving outcomes for young children and families.
All of LENA's programs — LENA Grow, LENA Start, and LENA Home — are designed with built-in efficacy measures. Visit our Program Effectiveness page and our blog to see numerous case studies demonstrating the programs' effectiveness.
In the short term, LENA and its implementation partners create data reports that track such metrics as conversational turn counts, adult word counts, child vocalizations, CLASS® scores, TS Gold® scores, and ECI scores.
In the longer term, each organization's LENA program contributes not just to improved outcomes for individual children, parents, and teachers, but also to sophisticated research. Over time, that research translates into an even more effective, evolving program model.
We also conduct annual surveys to track parents', teachers', coaches', and organizational leaders' satisfaction with the programs.
Implementing a Program
Early talk is one of the most important factors shaping children’s brain development during the first few years of life. To understand why early talk matters, it’s helpful to understand what science tells us about child development during the earliest years.
Brains are built from the ground up. Unlike other organs, the human brain is unfinished at birth, and must be built through interactions with adults. Research shows that back-and-forth interactions with adult caregivers are one of the most powerful tools to create a firm foundation of healthy brain architecture for children. During the first years of life, infant and toddler brains are forming more than 1 million neural connections every second, according to the Harvard Center on the Developing Child. That means that these years offer a unique developmental opportunity.
Conversational turns are linked to brain structure, brain function, reading skills, IQ scores, socioemotional development, and executive function. Download LENA's latest report, Inside Early Talk, here.
LENA partner sites across the world are implementing our programs to help close opportunity gaps.
Aggregated results show that relative to where they started, children whose parents or teachers participated in LENA programs are experiencing more brain-building interactions, particularly those who started the programs experiencing the least amount of talk. Children whose parents participate in the LENA Start program are gaining nearly two months of developmental skill every month. A longitudinal evaluation from Huntsville City Schools in Alabama looked at the school readiness of 4-year-olds whose families had participated in LENA Start an average of 2.5 years prior, finding that the children demonstrated considerably higher early literacy scores than a matched control sample.
By teaching caregivers about the importance of interactive talk and equipping them with practical strategies to increase conversations every day, our mission is to close the “early talk gap” for good. Learn more here.
In short: any language.
LENA has primarily been used in English and Spanish, and studies have been published to validate adult word counts in English, Spanish, European French, the Shanghai dialect of Mandarin Chinese, Korean, and Swedish. Researchers are working on validation studies in several other languages, including Hebrew, Norwegian, Danish, Vietnamese, and Brazilian Portuguese. For other languages, the word count may be less accurate, but we would expect that the error rate would be consistent, so users can still confidently measure change over time and see times of high talk and turns. This is not a comprehensive list, so please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about a language not listed above.