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Mideast & North Africa


Meet your child’s newest reading buddy

Families across the Arab world are always looking for ways to help their children improve their Arabic reading skills, so much so, that Arabic became one of the most requested languages on Read Along by Google. Read Along, a free Android app, helps children over the age of 5 to improve their reading skills in a fun, engaging way through the help of an in-app reading buddy. Today, to support Arabic speaking families around the world, we’re happy to be launching Arabic support for Read Along.g

Since launching the app in other languages earlier this year, 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.sRead Along, which works without internet after the initial download, uses Google’s speech recognition technology to give young readers visual and verbal feedback as they practice reading books from around the world. This will include a series of original Arabic stories which focus on values such as empathy and perseverance, with “Coco is going to the ball” being published at launch. The original stories were written by Googlers from the Middle East and aim to help expand the variety of Arabic content from the region. To nurture the love of reading, Diya, an in-app reading buddy helps children by listening and encouraging them in real time. She gives them positive and reinforcing feedback along the way just as a parent or teacher would. Children can also tap Diya at any time to help them pronounce a word or sentence.eRead Along can also make personalized recommendations based on each child’s progress and encourages them to collect stars, badges and play educational games to help keep them motivated.dSafeguarding children’s safety and privacy as they practice reading in Arabic is at the heart of Read Along’s design.

The ability to work offline without Wifi or data helps prevent unsupervised access to the Internet. It also has no ads or in-app purchases and doesn’t require sign in. Even the voice data is analyzed in real time on the device.eAs part of our commitment to promote reading across Middle East and North Africa, we're 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.

Reading enables creativity and confidence in children and we’re committed to helping children, wherever they may be, to discover the joys of reading and the magic of storytelling.g--Families can download Read Along for their Android devices by visiting the Play Store.

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