ELTS is dedicated to teaching sound awareness as a key component of the teaching and learning process. Known academically as phonological awareness, sound awareness includes an understanding of both the individual sounds of language and the overarching elements that contribute to the whole of spoken language.
The inherent challenge of teaching sound awareness is that the human brain largely suppresses awareness of speech. Why? So that the speaker can focus on the message they are trying to convey. As with breathing, we are able to control our speech consciously on demand, but for the most part, we produce speech unconsciously, allowing the brain to focus on the larger task at hand.
In teaching phonological awareness, it is therefore necessary to engage the brain in ways that support conscious exploration of what is otherwise suppressed. The Color Vowel Approach utilizes visual, kinesthetic, and musical modalities to ‘open the brain’ as we discover how spoken English works and how it relates to written English.
Because teachers are learners too, we take a vibrant multimodal approach to teacher professional development. Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory plays a formative role in our workshop design, which is why you’ll find yourself stretching rubber bands (to notice phonemic stress), humming into a kazoo (to discover voicing and intonation), and doing Vowel Yoga (to notice how your jaw, lips, and tongue work together in producing the vowel sounds of English).
Learn more about our professional development options.