May 7th, 2020
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.
How Read Along works
Read-Along helps kids independently learn and build their reading skills with the help of an in-app reading buddy named Diya. As kids read out loud, Diya uses Google’s text-to-speech and speech recognition technology to detect if a student 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.
Read-Along keeps young minds engaged with a collection of diverse and interesting stories from around the world, and games sprinkled into those stories. Kids can collect stars and badges as they learn, which motivates them to keep playing and reading.
Parents can create profiles for multiple readers, who tap on their photos to learn at their own pace and to track their individual progress. Read-Along will personalize the experience by recommending the right difficulty level of stories and games based on their reading level performance.
Safety and connectivity
Read-Along was built with children’s safety and privacy in mind and has no ads or in-app purchases. And after the initial download of the app and stories, Read-Along works offline without Wi-Fi or data—helping with worries about unsupervised access to the Internet. Parents can simply connect to Wi-Fi periodically to download additional stories.
Read-Along is also easy to start and doesn’t require sign-in. Even the voice data is analyzed in real-time on the device—so that it works offline—and is not sent to any Google servers.