Adventurers Wyndham Vale first in Aus to use Lena Grow to boost children’s language
Early childhood educators at Adventurers, a small, family-owned centre in Wyndham Vale, are the first in Australia to participate in the LENA Grow professional development program to help educators to increase language interactions in the classroom based on feedback from ‘talk pedometers’.
LENA, the parent company responsible for the creation of the program, and associated technology, are a US public charity with a mission to accelerate language development in children aged birth to three years, in order to improve their cognitive, social, and emotional health and to close opportunity gaps.
The LENA Grow offering features professional development coaching sessions to help educators to be more aware of the “serve and return” interactions happening in the classroom, via feedback from the LENA ‘talk pedometer’ technology.
These ‘serve and return’ practices increase the amount of interactive talk children experience, supporting healthy brain development during the critical early years when babies’ brains are building more than one million neural connections every second.
Research has found that the amount of conversation children experience during the first few years of life is related to their brain structure and function and their IQ in adolescence.
“Since many children spend a large portion of their day in a childcare setting, increasing interactive talk in early childhood classrooms is essential to making a difference to children’s cognitive, social, and emotional growth,” a LENA spokesperson said.
Children wear small recorders or ‘talk pedometers’ to monitor the unique language environment that each child is in. Recordings are then processed using software that provides feedback to educators about the language environment that they are providing to the children.
Educators then review reports with coaches, using video examples and other tools to master techniques for increasing interactive talk with their children.
“We’re very excited to be using LENA Grow to ensure that Adventurers children will be ready for school. Language environment has an impact on vocabulary, reading ability, IQ and even the speed of a child’s brain – all important things for school readiness,” said Adventurers owner Matthew Gillet.
Adventurers are using the talk pedometers in their baby’s classroom as well as their toddler room, with educators “enjoying having the feedback to improve the language experience for the children in their classrooms,” he added.
More information about the LENA Grow program may be found here.