Remember what is was like learning to read when you were a kid? I do. Sitting there in the classroom, being asked to read out loud and being corrected at every second word. But that’s how we learn. What you tend to forget that this process is a luxury not everyone has access to.
Understanding this fundamental problem, Google introduced the Bolo App in India last year. An app aimed to increase reading capabilities among children at a primary level. Today the app, now known as Read Along, offers 10 languages and makes it way to the UAE as the newest language in their offerings is Arabic.
So the Read Along app is a free app available on the Google Play Store. It has no ads and stores no information. It offers 10 languages including Hindi, Urdu, Spanish Portugese, Arabic and more.
How does it work?
So once you get the app on your smartphone, you can load a profile for your children. Assisted by the in-app reading buddy, Diya, children are taken through a process of reading. Diya recognises you children’s voice and corrects them when needed using speech recognition technology. She encourages children the same way a parent or teacher would.
Children are rewarded with stars for accuracy and reading time. A child must read for a minimum of 10 mins reading time. There are also 3 games available on the app for children to test their reading abilities as well as get more points.
Parents can check their child’s progress on the app and receive reports with details of the past 7 days.
Arabic is the latest addition to the app. With over 40 stories for children to read from, including a series of original Arabic stories which focus on values such as empathy and perseverance, children will get to nurture the love of reading Arabic. The original stories were written by Googlers from the Middle East and aim to help expand the variety of Arabic content from the region.
As part of their commitment to promote reading across Middle East and North Africa, Google is also inviting budding authors between the age of 5-11 to discover the magic of storytelling by writing and sharing their own stories until 30 September for the chance to be published on global learning platforms like Read Along by Google, Global Digital Library and Pratham Books Storyweaver across multiple languages. The winners will be announced in October.
The app is available on the Google Play Store and is free. There is no data consumption while using the app too. For more information or to download the app, click here.