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With many students currently at home due to school closures, families around the globe are looking for ways to help children grow their reading skills. To support families, today we’re sharing early access to Read Along by Google. It’s an Android app for children 5+ years old that helps them learn to read by giving verbal and visual feedback as they read stories out loud.
Read Along uses Google’s speech recognition technology to help develop literacy skills, and first launched in India (where it is available as “Bolo”). After receiving encouraging feedback from parents, we’re excited to share this app with more young learners around the globe.
Read Along is now available in over 180 countries and in nine languages including English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Hindi. Read Along will continue to improve as we receive feedback from families, expanding the selection of books, and adding more features.
The app comes with a built-in reading assistant named Diya. As kids read out loud, Diya uses Google’s speech recognition technology to detect if a child is struggling or successfully reading the passage. “She gives them positive and reinforcing feedback along the way, just as a parent or teacher would. Children can also tap Diya at any time for help pronouncing a word or a sentence”, said the company.
Google also says that the app was built with children’s safety and privacy in mind, and has no ads or in-app purchases. After the initial download of the app and stories, Read Along works offline without any internet connection, but parents can connect to the internet to download additional stories from time to time if they want. As part of the focus on privacy, the app doesn’t require sign-in and even the voice data is analyzed locally without being sent to Google’s servers.
Download ‘Read Along by Google’ from the Play Store (Free)