Research Roundup: Babies are real conversational partners


Research Roundup

A team of researchers from Duke University used eye-tracking to study 6-month-old babies’ word comprehension, discovering that babies appear to understand the meanings of words long before they’re able to vocalize and use them.

“Treat your baby like a real conversational partner,” lead researcher Dr. Elika Bergelson said. “Even young infants are listening and learning about words and the world around them before they start talking themselves, and their caregivers make that possible.”

Click here to read the full story on Scientific American or here to view the original study.

Did you know that 98 percent of home-based childcare providers are female, and 48 percent are women of color? In this new series, nonprofit education news organization The Hechinger Report explores how society’s understanding of childcare affects providers and impacts children.

Read the full story here.

A new study published in Applied Developmental Science found that children’s early home learning environments affected their academic skills up to 10 years later, reaffirming that parents are child’s first and most important teacher.

As the researchers explained, “Experiences parents provide their infants as early as the first year of life may solidify into patterns of engagement that will either continue to support or impede children’s emerging skills over time.”

Click here to read the original study.


The LENA Team is a dedicated group of professionals who are passionate about increasing awareness of the importance of early interactive talk. We are statisticians, speech-language pathologists, curriculum specialists, engineers, and linguists.

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