Revolutionizing English Language Teaching and Learning

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Start your Color Vowel Journey.

Click on a color to hear the vowel sound.

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The Color Vowel® Chart

is a visual organizer 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 phrase 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.

Why Color Vowel?
More Testimonials
“Blue Canoe and its Color Vowel methodology is brilliant and incredibly effective with my students. I’ve been teaching English to Japanese students for more than a decade, and had never imagined a pronunciation approach could be this good.”
William Keith, Managing Director of Keith Industries, Tokyo, Japan
“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! ”
Lee Shainis, Founder • Intercambio Uniting Communities • Boulder (CO)
“The Color Vowel System is such a fundamentally innovative and effective methodology that we built our company, Blue Canoe Learning, on it. Now anyone with a smart phone can play the Blue Canoe app and leverage the Color Vowel System to improve their English pronunciation. 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!”
Sarah Daniels, CEO of Blue Canoe
“I can't thank you enough for an amazing experience at Color Vowel Basics. The Color Vowel Approach provides the strategy and structure I was looking for on behalf of my students. The work you have done is truly remarkable. It's true that simplicity lies at the far side of complexity.”
Amy Reavey, Literacy Volunteer (NJ)
“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!”
Vanessa S. ESL Teacher, WA
“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!”
Lisa Jeffery, Director, The Speech and Accent Academy (FL)
“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!”
Michael Connors, E.L. Haynes Middle School, Washington DC
“The Color Vowel Chart 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 OLIVE to MUSTARD" and the student is able to self correct.”
Jody Gabler, ESL Teacher (NY)
“Color Vowel Basics 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.”
K-12 ESL Teacher, Pueblo City Schools (CO)
simple • deep • engaging

Who uses Color Vowel?

The Color Vowel® Chart is used by English as a Second Language teachers, speech therapists, pronunciation trainers, reading specialists and educators across the US and around the world.

Teachers

We empower teachers with a framework for life-long learning and curiosity about the English language. Join us!

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Schools

We provide schools with cutting-edge professional development and products that transform learning for students and their communities.

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Partners

Our partners are helping spread the word!

Blue Canoe® is our mobile app

Blue Canoe combines the Color Vowel® system with voice recognition and machine learning to provide learners with high-yield pronunciation practice.

With Blue Canoe, students can take their Color Vowel learning experience beyond the classroom. Blue Canoe is available for individual use or at the school level, providing teachers and administrators with a robust dashboard for monitoring student engagement.

Why Blue Canoe?
“It's an amazing app. If you're patient enough, you'll experience how you can improve your pronunciation with Blue Canoe. It takes time, but it definitely works. I'd like to strongly recommend this app!”
John Kwon, Program Manager, Korea
“I am so glad I found Blue Canoe to help me practice speaking English. I never thought learning could be so fun. It's the best app I have ever had.”
Sergio Gonzalez, Customer Support Associate, Mexico
“I spent 10 minutes yesterday playing with Blue Canoe and fell in love with it! I can't wait to introduce it to my students! Thank you!”
Ruth Voetmann, Intensive ESL Instructor and Department Chair, Edmonds College
“Blue Canoe is so simple, and very effective at the same time. I would like all our students to use it! The emphasis on the stress drives home how students can become more natural in their spoken English. The gamified nature is really great. I'm a big fan.”
Director of Training, global English education company
“Blue Canoe and its Color Vowel methodology is brilliant and incredibly effective with my students. I’ve been teaching English to Japanese students for more than a decade, and had never imagined a pronunciation approach could be this good.”
William Keith, Managing Director of Keith Industries, Tokyo, Japan
“The Color Vowel System is such a fundamentally innovative and effective methodology that we built our company, Blue Canoe Learning, on it. Now anyone with a smart phone can play the Blue Canoe app and leverage the Color Vowel System to improve their English pronunciation. 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!”
Sarah Daniels, CEO of Blue Canoe
Our Upcoming Events
Color Vowel FAST Training
On Demand • asynchronous course

Color Vowel FAST© is an accelerated introduction to the Color Vowel® Approach and our Blue Canoe® pronunciation app. It consists of four 90-minute video modules and companion quizzes that you complete at your own pace. Upon completion, you will receive a FAST certificate of completion reflecting 6 hours of professional development. FAST training partially fulfills the requirements for Level 1 certification.

Rhythm and Chants: a Level 2 Core Workshop
March 4-25, 2020 • Thursdays 1-2:30 pm ET

During this workshop for Level 1 Color Vowel Trained teachers, participants will learn to lead and create rhythmic chants as brain-based interventions to improve English learner pronunciation and boost speaking confidence. Through their participation in four live online sessions, workshop participants will:

  • Practice pre-teaching, leading and closing a chant with clear gestures;
  • Master three Color Vowel chants and their variations;
  • Create two new chants using tried-and-true chant-writing ‘recipes’;
  • Learn when and where chants are most effective in a lesson.
Phonological Awareness: A Level 2 Elective Workshop
March 5-26, 2021 • Fridays 2-3:30 pm ET

Robin Barr, PhDPhonological awareness is a person’s awareness of the sounds, rhythms, and intonations they use when speaking.

In this practice-based workshop, Dr. Robin Barr will lead participants through a series of discovery activities and mini-lectures aimed at increasing teachers’ phonological awareness for the purpose of English language teaching.

This Level 2 workshop is open to Level 1 certified teachers and is recommended to those who have completed at least one Level 2 Core workshop.

Fridays at Five: Making the most of your textbook
March 5, 2021 • Friday, 5-6 pm ET

Teachers, this is for you! Whether you’re new to Color Vowel or already part of the tribe, our Friday gatherings are wonderfully interactive, inclusive, and informative. The topic changes each week, but the sense of community is a constant!

Fridays At Five: Color Vowel Show & Tell
March 12, 2021 • Friday, 5-6 pm ET

Share and enjoy Color Vowel successes and anecdotes in this collaborative session for Color Vowel enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

FREE WEBINAR: Introduction to Teaching English with Color Vowel®
March 25, 2021: Thursday, 6-7 pm ET

Join Karen Taylor, co-author of the Color Vowel Approach, for an overview of this innovative, brain-based method for teaching spoken English, pronunciation, vocabulary, and reading to English learners. Workshop discounts will be made available to you during this webinar.

Fridays at Five: Ask the Linguist, with Dr. Robin Barr
March 26, 2021 • Friday, 5-6 pm ET

Robin Barr, PhDEvery fourth Friday, we gather to ask Dr. Barr our language-related questions. This session is open to all.

Dr. Robin Bar is Linguist in Residence at American University, Lead Instructor at the Washington Literacy Center, and Lead Phonologist at ELTS/Color Vowel.

Level 1: Color Vowel® COMPLETE, Cohort 27
April 7-28, 2021 • Wednesdays 8-9:30 pm ET

Color Vowel COMPLETE combines live training with asynchronous learning to immerse you in the use the Color Vowel® Approach and our pronunciation app, Blue Canoe. During this 4-week course, you will learn how to use powerful, brain-based strategies to teach learner pronunciation, vocabulary development, and oral fluency. Color Vowel COMPLETE fulfills ALL of the requirements for Level 1 certification.

Level 1: Color Vowel® COMPLETE, Cohort 28
April 8-29, 2021 • Thursdays, 11 am-12:30 pm ET

Color Vowel COMPLETE combines live training with asynchronous learning to immerse you in the use the Color Vowel® Approach and our pronunciation app, Blue Canoe. During this 4-week course, you will learn how to use powerful, brain-based strategies to teach learner pronunciation, vocabulary development, and oral fluency. Color Vowel COMPLETE fulfills ALL of the requirements for Level 1 certification.

Colorful Integrations: Bringing ESL/EFL textbooks to life
April 8-29, 2021 • Thursdays, 1-2:30 pm ET

In this 4-week online workshop facilitated by Shirley Thompson, co-author of The Color Vowel Chart, participants will learn about and exchange ideas related to:

  • Identifying the strengths and limitations of an ESL/EFL textbook;
  • Recognizing activity types that can easily be adapted for speaking practice;
  • Using simple Color Vowel mark-ups to enhance textbook activities;
  • Using more advanced mark-ups to scaffold students’ effective use of intonation, linking, reduction, and blending in their spoken English;
  • Applying all of these strategies to a chapter or unit in a textbook of the participant’s choosing as part of a culminating project.
Level 1: Color Vowel COMPLETE • Cohort 29
May 5-26, 2021 • Wednesdays 10-11:30 am ET

Color Vowel COMPLETE combines live training with asynchronous learning to immerse you in the use the Color Vowel® Approach and our pronunciation app, Blue Canoe. During this 4-week course, you will learn how to use powerful, brain-based strategies to teach learner pronunciation, vocabulary development, and oral fluency. Color Vowel COMPLETE fulfills ALL of the requirements for Level 1 certification.

Color Vowel Yoga: A Level 2 Core Workshop
May 5-26, 2021 • Wednesdays 8-9:30 pm ET

Increase your phonological awareness and gain confidence in the use of this powerful brain-based instructional technique.

Pronunciation for English Teachers (PET)
May 6-June 3, 2021 • Thursdays 8-9:30 pm ET

This course is for non-native English-speaking teachers (NNESTs) who wish to increase their own confidence with English pronunciation.

In this 5-session practice-based course taught by a Color Vowel® Trained Teacher, 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 confident in their spoken English.

Spelling Exploration: A Level 2 Core Workshop
June 2-23, 2021 • Wednesdays, 8-9:30 pm ET

Learn how taking a sound-based approach to spelling empowers learners to notice patterns and engage in life-long language discovery.

Rhythm & Chants: A Level 2 Workshop
Aug 4-25, 2021 • Wednesdays 8-9:30 pm ET

Learn how to preview, lead, and close chants with learners using existing chants and modified chants.

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