Google unveiled on Tuesday the Arabic version of its free Read Along Android app – which supports language education for children over five years old – after increased demand from users across the Arab world, the technology megacompany said.
Read Along, which was launched in other languages earlier this year, is designed to improve reading skills in an engaging way with the help of an in-app reading buddy named Diya.
"We saw a positive impact on children’s reading abilities with those who read at a speed of less than 45 correct words per minute, seeing an improvement of anywhere from 35 percent to 85 percent in their oral reading fluency after using the app for 100 minutes over the course of 2-3 weeks," Google said in a statement.
Read Along, which now includes a series of original Arabic stories, works without internet after initial download and uses Google’s speech recognition technology to give young readers visual and verbal feedback. It includes personalised recommendations based on each child’s progress.
Google is also inviting talents between the ages of five and 11 to join in a writing contest "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," with submissions open until the end of September.