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Click on a color to hear the vowel sound.

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The Color Vowel® Chart

is a visual organizer for 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

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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
Level 1: Color Vowel FAST Training
On Demand • asynchronous course

Color Vowel FAST© is an self-paced introduction to the Color Vowel® Approach. FAST training entails completing four video-based modules and taking companion quizzes for each module that you complete at your own pace. FAST training fulfills one of three requirements for Level 1 certification. Learn more about Level 1 certification requirements here.

Pure English Practice (PEP) Workout
Every month • 1st and 3rd Thursdays • 10-10:30 pm ET

Practice the rhythms and sounds of English and boost your speaking confidence with Pure English Practice, a brain-based pronunciation ‘workout’ for English learners. Teachers, invite your learners! Learners, invite your teachers! PEP happens on the first and third Thursday of each month.

To attend Pure English Practice, subscribe here. After subscribing, you will receive reminders and links for our next event.

Level 2 Coaching Practicum
Oct 26-Nov 30, 2021 • Tuesdays, 8-10 pm ET

Gain pronunciation coaching experience and insight throughout this 6-week experience as you support participants in our Pronunciation for English Teachers (PET) workshop. Working closely with your practicum mentor and coaching cohort, you will lead select class activities and provide feedback to between 1-3 participants enrolled in our 5-week Pronunciation for English Teachers (PET) workshop.

Prerequisite: Coaching Practicum candidates must have completed all three Level 2 Core workshops, including Color Vowel Yoga, Spelling Exploration, and Rhythm & Chants.

Level 1: Color Vowel Basics Complete • Cohort 36
November 2-30, 2021 • Tuesdays, 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 5-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.

Speak Confidently: A English pronunciation course for non-native speakers
November 2-30, 2021 • Tuesdays 8-9:30 pm ET

This course is for non-native English-speaking teachers and advanced learners who wish to increase their comprehensibility and confidence in spoken English.

In this 5-session practice-based course taught by Karen Taylor and her team of Color Vowel Level 2 Coaches, 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.

Rhythm & Chants: A Level 2 Workshop
Nov 6-Dec 4, 2021 • Saturdays, 10-11:30 am ET

Learn how to preview, lead, and close chants with learners using existing chants and modified chants. Workshop participants will:

  • Learn how chants support brain-based language learning;
  • Practice priming, leading and closing a chant with clear gestures;
  • Master three Color Vowel chants and their variations;
  • Learn when and where chants are most effective in a lesson.
Fridays@Five: Blue Canoe Success Forum
November 12, 2021 • Friday, 5-6 pm ET

Our Color Vowel pronunciation app, Blue Canoe, is used by ESL/EFL teachers and their learners around the world. Collect practical tips from teachers who have integrated Blue Canoe into their courses and inspired their learners to engage in daily practice.

Teach English with Color Vowels: An Introduction for ESL/EFL Teachers
Wednesday, November 17, 2021 • 2-3 pm

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.

Level 1: Color Vowel® Basics Complete, Cohort 37
Jan 11 - Feb 8, 2022 • Tuesdays, 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 5-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
Jan 11-Feb 1, 2022 • Tuesdays 8-9:30 pm ET

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

Color Vowel® Yoga is a collection of simple movements that parallel the movement of the jaw, lips, and tongue when producing the vowel sounds of English. These movements serve as physical anchors for producing sounds that the learner may not yet be able to perceive.

In this practice-based workshop, participants increase their own phonological awareness as they gain confidence in leading Vowel Yoga and learn when to use Vowel Yoga as an instructional intervention.

Instructor: Karen Taylor

Colorful Integrations: Bringing ESL/EFL textbooks to life
Jan 13-Feb 3, 2022 • 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® Basics Complete, Cohort 38
Feb 9 - Mar 9, 2022 • Wednesdays 1-2:30 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 5-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.

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