Google might be the eventual downfall of all humanity but when the smoke clears and the mist lifts, at least they did something for the kids. Specifically, they promoted literacy, in several different languages. There’s always room for one more, though.
Google’s Read Along app has made the jump from the Android ecosystem to a regular web browser. The point, apparently, is to make it even more accessible to potential readers. The site remains in beta for the moment, meaning that it may change, but you can access it now if you want to.
Read Along with Google
The concept behind Read Along is quite simple. Similar to how Duolingo works, kids read into a microphone. As they say each word, it lights up blue — provided it’s correct. If the word is pronounced incorrectly, it shows in red. Clicking the red word summons Diya, a kid-friendly AI assistant, who will help with pronunciation.
Google says that Chrome, Firefox, and Edge web browsers are supported for the moment. Support for the less popular applications will come later. Language support for Read Along is also a little limited. Right now, the browser-based version includes English, Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Spanish, and Portuguese language reading support.
If you’re a little bit miffed at the lack of African representation, you don’t have to be too annoyed. The company still has African Storybook Reader, an app that includes stories in more than forty African languages. It’s not quite as interactive when it comes to assisting young readers, but it’ll do until Google gets a little African literacy going in its Read Along app.