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Community Member

Tagging Foreign Languages in Canvas for Accessibility

Hi all,

I'm working on a project right now to help move some old language placement exams into Canvas and was tasked with coming up with some accessibility best practices and guidelines for our faculty when creating foreign language exams. 

One particular issue that came up specifically because of the foreign language content was the question of how to tag your content so that it is read out by screen readers in the appropriate language. The only way I've found to do this is to go into the HTML Editor and add a lang attribute like this:

<span lang="es">Quiero ir a la playa</span>

Does anyone know of a less-tedious way to do this? Smiley Happy We are currently planning to have a student employee go through and review each and every exam question, and it is going to take a while, so if there's a faster way to get this done that would be awesome. 

That being said, if you're not already doing this, I'd say it's definitely good to do if you know that you will have screen reader users accessing foreign language content. I was really surprised what a difference it made to the screen reader experience. Here are two demo videos I created in VoiceOver with some different languages to show faculty what students will hear:

This video is currently being processed. Please try again in a few minutes.
(view in My Videos)

This video is currently being processed. Please try again in a few minutes.
(view in My Videos)

If these videos or the tutorial are useful to you, please feel free to share them with your own faculty! Here are the links:

Asian language example [video]

European language example [video]

Tutorial on adding language tags in Canvas [Google Doc]

Anyway, please chime in if you a) know of any faster ways of accomplishing this, b) have other tips for foreign language content accessibility in Canvas, or c) have any questions or comments about any of the above content!

1 Reply
Community Member

I've tried to get this approach to work several times without success. What other settings did you have? Does it work in all browsers? Did you have VoiceOver set to a certain language?

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