Webinars (8)

mom and baby reading book together

Foundations of Literacy: The Science of Reading

Recorded: Nov 2, 2023

What role may a child’s earliest interactions play in laying the foundation for learning to read? In this webinar, we take an expert deep dive into how conversational turns from ages birth to five fit into the ongoing discussions around the “science of reading.”

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Embracing equitable early learning for dual language learners

Recorded: May 9, 2023

In this webinar, we’ll outline the mismatch between science and practice around multilingualism. How do we push aside myths about barriers and deficits to arrive at a place where one child’s multilingualism is considered an asset for all?

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mom working with baby

Do COVID babies “talk” less? Research findings and potential implications

Recorded: Mar 31, 2022

Babies born during the COVID-19 pandemic are vocalizing less and experiencing less interactive talk with adults than their pre-pandemic peers, suggesting they may be at greater risk of experiencing language delays. 

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The link between language and socioemotional development

Recorded: Jul 12, 2021

Many previous studies have drawn connections between the quantity of back-and-forth interactions in early childhood and later linguistic and cognitive skills. Importantly, newly published research conducted in Chile has taken a novel direction, determining that infants’ language environments predict their socioemotional skills one year later.

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The Power of Conversational Turns

Recorded: Oct 25, 2018

Three studies published in 2018 show the relationship between conversational turns and brain development. Join us for a discussion with the lead researchers, Drs. Jill Gilkerson and Rachel Romeo, moderated by Shannon Rudisill of the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative.

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Beyond the 30 Million Word Gap: A Conversation with Dr. Rachel Romeo

Recorded: Mar 29, 2018

Join LENA’s president and chief operating officer, Dr. Steve Hannon, as he hosts a conversation with Dr. Rachel Romeo, lead author on a study from Harvard and MIT that sheds light on the underlying neural mechanism that makes conversational turns so critical for brain development.

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Blog Posts (24)

decorative graphic depicting dual language learners

Are we failing our youngest dual language learners?: New data insights on child care language environments


Toddler and preschool classrooms across the U.S. provide significantly fewer conversational turns for dual language learners than for their monolingual, English-speaking peers. “[P]romoting language development for children who use heritage languages is among the most important things we can do,” said Dr. Jill Gilkerson, Chief Research and Evaluation Officer at LENA.

Articles (59)

Baby talk: how early childhood centres can help multilingual children

Fran MolloyJul 10, 2023

A study out of Australia analyzing teacher-child language interactions in early eduction settings could shed light on why children from non-English speaking backgrounds often start school with weaker language skills than their English-speaking peers.

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Do COVID Babies Talk Less

Sara NovakApr 25, 2022

A decline in socializing during COVID could mean less verbalizing for babies born during the pandemic.

Can science help poor kids earn more?

Economist FilmsDec 16, 2021

In a provocative video, Economist Films explores the role conversational turns may play in what they call "breaking the class ceiling."

Parenting: It takes a village

Walter IsaacsonAug 10, 2021

In this podcast episode, host Walter Isaacson and guests discuss parenting, how it's evolved from a group activity to something more singular, and how experts and technology are filling in the gaps for new parents.

Invention Opportunity In Early Learning And Development

Tom Vander ArkNov 30, 2020

The pandemic has impacted education at all levels, including early childhood education. As we consider how to rebuild the broken system, LENA programs have emerged as one of several promising, innovative solutions.

What went missing when Vice President Biden talked about the ‘word gap,’ record players and poor children

Nicole GuadianoOct 3, 2019

The former vice president correctly referred to recent research about poor children hearing 4 million fewer words, on average, than those in wealthier families, said Jill Gilkerson, the lead author of a 2017 study that the Biden campaign says he was citing. But she adds that there’s way more to the story when it comes to increasing a child’s verbal ability and IQ through early language.

Teachers use technology too!

Emilie CooperOct 1, 2019

A teacher describes how she used LENA technology to help create a richer language environment in her classroom.

Measuring the tides of talk

Katrina d’ApiceJun 3, 2019

Using LENA technology, researchers have discovered new insights into children’s home language environments.

Speak to Me, Baby

Armin BrottMay 14, 2019

Advice columnist Mr. Dad shares tips to help your child develop verbal skills.

Study aims to prevent children’s speech and language disorders before they start

Kelly KrauseMay 14, 2019

Speech and language researchers at Arizona State University's College of Health Solutions, together with collaborators at Washington State University, have received a National Institutes of Health grant of almost $1 million to use LENA technology in a study that will try to prevent speech and language problems before they happen.

Baby talk linked to later adolescent IQ

Kim DoleattoJan 4, 2019

The findings of a recent long-term study by LENA researchers confirms two-way interaction between adults and infants correlates with increased IQ, verbal comprehension, vocabulary and other language skills 10 years later.

Talking with babies helps them bridge word gap

Lauran NeergaardFeb 17, 2017

As talk is found to be increasingly important to the development of childhood linguistic and cognitive development, more communities are using programs like LENA to improve communication behaviors in families.