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Google simplifies reading with ‘Read Along’ app

As part of activities to mark this year’s International Literacy Day (ILD) Google has upscaled the Read Along app, a speech-based reading app designed to help primary grade kids learn to read – anytime, anywhere. Read Along, formerly known as Bolo, acts as a personal reading tutor for children. It uses speech-based technology to provide personalised assistance in a student’s reading journey, correcting them when they need help and encouraging them when they get it right. Students select stories to read from a growing app-based library and earn stars and badges when they read correctly.

After an initial download, the app works offline, even on low-cost phones, making it more accessible and relieving worries of privacy and security. According to Google, the Read Along app now includes improved features that make it easier for multilingual children to switch languages or get phonics support when they tap a word. The app also has more than 700 unique books across all nine languages, including Arabic, with a refreshing new look for the content library.

“Google is taking the education journey back to the basics by providing a digital platform that will make learning to read simpler and fun, especially in the light of COVID-19-related school closures,” notes Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, Head of Brand & Reputation, Sub-Saharan Africa. “At Google, we believe technology can help children around the world learn how to read to help achieve the goal of basic universal literacy.”

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