is a visual organizer for the prosody that characterizes spoken English. Each color represents a vowel sound.
For example, GREEN is the high front vowel /iy/, as found in the words “tree” and “teacher”. Similarly, BLUE represents the high back vowel /uw/, as found in the words “true” and “student.” In this way, each color word serves both as a key word and a visual cue for a specific stressed vowel sound. Click on each color to hear the Color Vowel anchor phrase and its corresponding vowel sound.
is a brain-based language teaching method that harnesses visual, kinesthetic, logical, and musical learning strategies.
Featuring the Color Vowel Chart as a compelling visual organizer for spoken English, this unique research-based approach helps teachers and learners bridge the gap between spoken and written English. Our exclusive workshops provide educators with the crucial awareness and skills they need in order to be truly effective English language teachers.
In this intensive course for certified Level 1 Color Vowel Trained teachers, participants will learn to lead and create rhythmic chants. A practicum option provides participants with the opportunity to lead chants and provide learners with feedback with the support of a mentor.
Color Vowel co-authors Karen Taylor & Shirley Thompson will present strategies for enhancing textbooks and other existing materials with Color Vowel mark-ups and lesson modifications.
ESL master teacher and graphic design mastermind Laura McIndoo will then provide tips for creating effective handouts and other materials with Color Vowel images.
In breakout rooms, participants will have an opportunity to share materials they have designed. Join us!
In this intensive, 5-session course, participants will engage in a series of brain-based English pronunciation exercises that build awareness of the sounds and rhythms of English for the purpose of being more effective English teachers. Complementing the live 90-minute sessions, participants will complete video homework and receive pronunciation coaching and feedback from Color Vowel® trained instructors. This course is designed for English teachers who are themselves non-native speakers of English and who wish to improve their pronunciation confidence.
“We saw that teachers love using the Color Vowel Chart, so Intercambio now includes it in all curriculum we produce. For many English learners here, the CVC has led to life-changing breakthroughs around pronunciation! ”
“The Color Vowel System is such a fundamentally innovative and effective methodology that we built our company, Blue Canoe Learning, on it. We digitize it, scale it with speech recognition and machine learning, and create games and activities using it. Now anyone with a smart phone can play the Blue Canoe app and leverage the Color Vowel System to improve their English pronunciation and ability to communicate effectively. We are making such a wonderful impact on people’s lives, and ELTS and Color Vowel are an integral part of why we are successful!”
“I can't thank you enough for an amazing experience [at Color Vowel Basics] this weekend. The Color Vowel Approach provides the strategy and structure I was looking for on behalf of my students. I can't wait to begin sharing it with them [next week]. The work you have done is truly remarkable. It's true that simplicity lies at the far side of complexity.
“I love using the Color Vowel Chart because it works! Student feedback on the system is so positive. I have students who tell me how helpful it has been not only for pronunciation, but also for spelling, specifically for students for whom the Roman alphabet is new. English spelling and pronunciation is challenging, and I am so thankful to have this resource!”
“When I learned about it, I sensed that The Color Vowel Chart would be a great autonomous learning tool for students of English pronunciation, but I didn't realize that so many English teachers in Central America would agree with me. When I presented it at local TESOL Conferences, everyone pulled out their phones to take pictures of the chart and the activities we were doing in groups. There was even applause on one occasion when I told them that there are free activities they can download from the website.”
“The Color Vowel Chart allows my actor, broadcaster and executive clients to instantly see the color of the sound they are mispronouncing or mixing. The visual cuing speeds up the recognition time of the sounds! I think the Color Vowel Chart is the most brilliant thing I have ever seen. It has really changed the way we work at the Speech and Accent Academy!”
“I've used the Color Vowel Chart extensively, from tutoring individuals privately to teaching classes of International Teaching Assistants. This chart gets around the difficulty students have in hearing non-native vowel sounds (what good is it to distinguish, say, "bed" from "bead" when, to a student, both vowels sound the same?). The Color Vowel Chart lets students see the sounds instead. So even though students might not be able to hear the difference between "bed" and "bead", they can certainly recognize the difference between the colors RED and GREEN. Using this language of colors allows me to convey sounds to students without their having to hear them. Students learn to produce the sounds of the colors before their ears actually recognize the differences in vowel sounds. In this way, the Color Vowel Chart scaffolds the process of acquiring non-native phonological features.”
“Who doesn’t love card games? My middle school students find Color it out! extremely engaging and I find it a powerful tool to introduce and review complicated sounds and spellings in English. In fact, I used Color it out! to introduce my students to the Color Vowel Chart before ever "teaching" them about it. I found it a very natural point of entry for the Chart. Since then, we have been exploring additional ways to use the Color it out! cards, such as Dominoes and Go Fish. A fantastic, fun, and very powerful resource!”
“One of my favorite things about the [Color Vowel] Chart is the way that it visually brings attention to the differences among the English vowels--differences that students may not be able to hear. I also like how the Chart has allowed me to incorporate pronunciation into other aspects of my classes. While students are working together on any task, if I hear a major pronunciation problem I can say, "change your vowel from 'blue' to 'mustard' for that word," and the student is usually able to improve her pronunciation.”
“This training was phenomenal. I learned an innovative but easy way to teach students about the many different sounds that vowels can make. The Color Vowel Chart is easy to learn and uses the different modalities of learning to reach every type of learner.”
Originally created in 1999 by Karen Taylor at the University of Maryland College Park and subsequently co-developed with Shirley Thompson at George Washington University, the Color Vowel™ Chart is now used by ESL teachers, speech therapists, pronunciation/accent trainers, reading specialists and other language-based professionals across the US and around the world.
The U.S. Department of State’s Office of English Language Programs distributes the Color Vowel Chart to English teachers outside the U.S. through Regional English Language Officers. U.S. Peace Corps TEFL Volunteers are trained with the Color Vowel Chart.
ELTS provides illuminating workshops and webinars for teachers of English as a Second Language, ESOL paraprofessionals, bilingual education teachers, reading specialists, pronunciation coaches, Speech Language Pathologists– in short, any educator who seeks to teach English Learners more effectively.Learn More
““I love using the Color Vowel Chart because it works! Student feedback on the system is so positive. I have students who tell me how helpful it has been not only for pronunciation but also for spelling, specifically for students for whom the Roman alphabet is new. English spelling and pronunciation is challenging, and I am so thankful to have this resource!””
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