It is well known that a good listening environment has a positive impact on the language and communication development of deaf infants. That’s why we are excited to have launched our LENA loan service, which is available to any professional that supports a child (or children) aged under 36 months.
LENA stands for Language Environmental Analysis and is a small, body worn recorder that captures a child’s daily listening and language environment.
Essentially, you could think of it as a ‘FitBit for words’.
The recordings LENA makes are uploaded to a secure, cloud-based tool that analyses them and provides detailed reports. These reports illustrate all of the sounds a child hears day-to-day, including speech and other background noises (like TV or electronic sounds).
The evidence and reports that LENA generates can be a catalyst for changes to home/nursery environments, approaches to language and communication development activities, and to identify where further technology could be integrated.
We have been researching and evaluating LENA for the last 18 months and see it as a key part of our technology work in the Early Years. We are confident that it can inform and shape improvements to a deaf child’s environment at a critical stage of their development.
To support the effective use of LENA, we have also created some online training resources that will guide you through all the steps involved in using it confidently. Our staff will also be more than happy to help you along the way, should you ever need it.
Professionals who participated in our research project said:
“It sounded really complicated – especially for someone who’s not gifted with statistics, I thought it was going to be really tricky. Then once we’d had the training, I realised its manageable.”
“The training helped me get my head around it because if you hear someone talking about LENA, it can sound a bit difficult, but actually I found it very straightforward.”
Further information and details of how to apply are available in the NDCS technology section.