Google launches new website for kids learning to read

Google has released a browser version of its “Read Along” Android app. The website, while still in beta, is up and running now.

The site includes hundreds of illustrated stories at a few different reading levels. Once kids select a story, they start reading into their device’s microphone. Words are highlighted in blue after they’ve read them, and mispronounced words are underlined in red; click an underlined word, and a virtual assistant, Diya, will pronounce it for you.

Supported browsers include Chrome, Firefox, and Edge, while others (including Safari) are coming soon, Google says. Stories are available in English, Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Google has also added new stories to Read Along’s collection, which will be available later this year in both the web and Android versions. These include adaptations of content from children’s video creators USP Studios and ChuChu TV, as well as alphabet and phonics books from education company Kutuki.

Read Along’s Android app has been used by more than 30 million kids since its launch in 2019. Not only will the move to desktop give kids more device options, but it will also allow many to read on larger screens. This is something teachers have noted as important to young learners, especially those with visual impairments.