It’s such a simple concept, but it’s also one that deserves to be shared far and wide. Help us spread the word about how important early talk is and how easy it is to improve! Download the images below, add either our suggested caption or one of your own, and tell your social media friends and followers about LENA and about the importance of early talk.
The amount of interaction between early childhood teachers and young children varies widely through child care centers and classrooms around the country. In an exploratory sample of LENA Grow data, we discovered that more a third of children experience just four or fewer interactions per hour with a caregiver for the vast majority of their day.
Improving early language development is widely agreed to be the most effective — and cost-effective — way to address a wide range of societal challenges. Now, LENA has collected and analyzed its most expansive data set to date through the 10,000 children annually impacted by our programs for families and early childhood teachers. These data put us in the unprecedented position to understand the early language environments of very young children and answer questions we've been hearing from the field for years.
Conversational turns are simple back and forth alternations between a child and an adult. Conversational turns are LENA’s proxy for quality “serve and return” interactions. Recent research has shown conversational turns to be one of the most predictive metrics of child outcomes. Most importantly, a string of recent studies have indicated that conversations have more brain-building power than adult words alone.
Dr. Rachel Romeo, post-doctoral researcher at MIT and Boston Children’s Hospital, gives an overview of the research on the achievement gap and how a child’s environmental influences — like socioeconomic status — can influence their brain development.