Google has shared early access to its Read Along Android applications to help the housebound masses. The application is designed for children 5+ years of age. Read along helps them learn to read with an intuitive audio-visual experience.
This Android application uses Google’s text-to-speech, and speech recognition technology to provide real-time feedback as the children read stories out loud. Real Along was initially launched in India, and after an overwhelming response, the application has been launched in 180 countries globally, including Pakistan, where it is dubbed ‘Bolo.’ Apart from helping children improve their English learning skills, Bolo will also help Pakistani children improve their Urdu reading with locally inspired stories.
Bolo (Read Along) features 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.
To help encourage children, Diya is trained to provide students with positive and reinforcing feedback along the way, similar to what teachers and parents do. In case your child is having an issue pronouncing a word, he/she can tap Diya at any time for help.
Explaining the application in a blogpost, Zohair Hyder Engineering Lead at Read Along writes:
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.
The application allows children to learn at their own pace. Parents even have the flexibility to create multiple profiles for multiple readers.
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