Color Vowel® Teachers

Why teach with Color Vowel?

The Color Vowel® Approach is compelling, accessible, and based in the science of learning according to how we process language in the brain. It gives learners a tangible system to hear the sounds of English through tools that help them overcome interference with their L1 in a fun and engaging way.

I love the Color Vowel Approach; it has forever changed the way I think about the sounds of English and approaching pronunciation teaching.

Chelsea Olsen, ESL/EFL Teacher
& Color Vowel® Trainer

Color Vowel focuses instruction and saves time.

Thousands of teachers around the world use these tools every day.

It's simple. It's deep.

Dip your toe in the water with these Color Vowel® essentials.

We organize spoken English visually.

This essential graphic organizer is a daily-use tool that enables learners to categorize words and phrases by their stressed vowel sound.

Teachers use the Color Vowel Organizer as a systematic way for learners to take notes about the way words sound.

Download your free copy from our shop.

The Color Vowel® Chart is powerful even in black and white!

The blackline version of the Color Vowel® Chart is a convenient way to put the Chart in students’ hands.

Here, Karen Taylor describes ways to use this deceptively simple-looking resource.

Download your free copy from our shop.

Blue Canoe® is our mobile app!

With Blue Canoe, your students can take their Color Vowel learning experience beyond the classroom. Our educator’s subscription includes access to a robust dashboard so that you can view your students’ engagement and progress through each lesson.

Request an educator’s demo of Blue Canoe.


Color Vowel® Crossword Puzzle

Meaningful play means meaningful learning.

Every answer features the vowel sound in ROSE and BOAT.
Give it a try!

Thanks, Crossword Puzzle Maker!

Gain access to dozens of printable and online resources when you take our Level 1 course, Color Vowel Basics Online. Learn more about Color Vowel Training.

Learn to teach English the brain-based way

Discover the Color Vowel® Approach

Teaching the Color Vowel way means becoming aware of the way we actually speak with and understand other speakers of English. With this foundation in phonological awareness, Color Vowel teachers learn how to engage learners in powerful brain-based speaking activities that enable them master the prosody of English, its unique stress-based rhythm, and its peak vowel sounds, or Color Vowels.

aware • informed • inspired

Color Vowel® Trained Teachers

Together, Color Vowel Teachers are revolutionizing English language education around the world.



Liz Bigler specializes in teaching Japanese speakers of English. Her independent business, Bigler ESL, is based in Atlanta, but as of 2020, she is thrilled to be teaching learners around the world online. With a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics and ESL from Georgia State University, Liz has studied teaching pronunciation with a variety of approaches, but none have impressed and fascinated her as the Color Vowel® Approach has. She enjoys travel photography and understanding others’ perspectives.


Kristyl Boies is a middle school specialist teacher for emergent bilinguals in Colorado. With an extensive background and specialized skills in culturally & linguistically diverse learning (English learning), gifted & talented education, and differentiated instructional strategies in elementary and secondary settings, Kristyl is passionate about staff development and preparing both teachers and learners for success. Kristyl discovered the Color Vowel Chart at a conference in 2014 and has since introduced it to hundreds of teachers and administrators.


Megan Calvert teaches English for Specific Purposes for the MI-BEST program at Montgomery College in Maryland. Megan, a State Department Specialist, has served as an English Language Fellow in Turkey, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kyrgyzstan, and as a Fulbright-sponsored teaching assistant in France. Megan has been teaching and training teachers with the Color Vowel® Approach since 2008. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages and Linguistics from University of Maryland and a master’s degree in TESOL from American University.


Robert “Skip” Gole teaches ESOL at Newport Mill Middle School in Silver Spring, Maryland, and often travels to Peru, where he served as an English Language Fellow. Skip has introduced hundreds of teachers to the Color Vowel® Chart. He holds an MA in TESOL from Anaheim University and is an editor in TESOL’s CALL Interest Section. Skip loves reading about science, politics, and language learning, lives for his CrossFit workouts, and enjoys cooking  Indian food.


Nao Yuhki is a musician, music educator, and English teacher based in Tokyo. Nao discovered the Color Vowel Chart in 2016 and, inspired, completed a certificate in Teaching English to Japanese Learners from Temple University Japan. She now trains corporate clients for Blue Canoe Learning, teaches Japanese as a foreign language, and teaches English to very young learners through music and arts integration.


Chelsea Olsen is an online ESL instructor and course designer at the University of Wisconsin, VIPKid, and previously Northern Michigan University. Inspired by an experience with resilient newcomer refugees in Lansing, MI, she pursued a career in education and holds an M.Ed in TESOL from Mizzou. In collaboration with the U.S. State Department, she created and facilitated a virtual discussion class for adult Egyptian learners. She enjoys spending time along Lake Michigan, reading, and crocheting.


Samantha Parkes has a Masters in English from The University of Kansas and a Masters in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from American University in Washington, DC. She has over 15 years of teaching experience at The University of Kansas, Northern Virginia Community College, American University, The University of Miami, in addition to Texas Tech-Costa Rica. She has been training teachers in the Color Vowel Approach since 2015.


Mariah Scheumann is a Faculty Lecturer at the University of Miami and has worked domestically and internationally in higher education since 2004. In 2015, Mariah attended ELTS’s Sound Awareness Retreat in Santa Fe NM and has been teaching and training teachers with the Color Vowel Chart ever since. Her professional interests include teaching academic writing and curriculum development. With colleague Leslie Saghar Naghib, Mariah co-authors the blog


Rebecca Wilner

Rebecca Wilner holds an MA in TESOL from American University, where she first learned about the Color Vowel Chart. A former Senior English Language Fellow and English Language Specialist, Rebecca has used the Chart in myriad ways with students, teachers, and school administrators in Panama, Central America, and in the eastern U.S. She is currently an ESL and Spanish teacher with the District of Columbia Public School system and an instructor at American University. In her free time, Rebecca likes to bike, swim, and play music.


Jane Alperson: Literacy Council of Montgomery County (MD)
Yu Bai: Northern Virginia Community College (VA)
Olivia Ball: E.L. Haynes Public Charter School (DC)
Vivian Bauer
: Macalester College & Open Door Learning Center (MN)
Mary Belknap
: English Conversation Club (MD)
Anna Dolina: English Language Institute, Notre Dame of Maryland University (MD)
Deborah Durham-Vickers
: DC Public Schools (DC)
Robin Anne Floyd: LADO International Institute (DC)
Anne Hopewell: Washington English Center (DC)
Becky Horner: School District of Philadelphia (PA)
Lisa Jeffery: Speech and Accent Academy (FL)
Andrew C. Lawrence: Montgomery College and Lado International Institute (MD)
Erin Lebacqz
Lenore Meyers
: private tutor (MD)
Jessica Moore-Solano
: Community Ministries of Rockville (MD)
Becky Miskell
: DC Public Schools (DC)
Bill Parson: Bigler ESL (GA)
Liese Rajesh: Seattle Central College (WA)
Amy Reavey: Elizabethtown Literacy Volunteers (NJ)
Colleen Rose
: Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School (DC)
Mark W. Sherman: LADO Institute (DC)
Rose Eiland Smith: ESL instructor and Consultant (MD)
Claire Sontag: DC Public Schools (DC)
Liza Wentworth
: University of the District of Columbia (DC)

Merilyn Beres: Beres Educational Services LLC (NM)
Julie Bradley: Cedar Rapids Community School District (IA)
Theresa Brunker: Paper Airplanes (Intl.) & Central Wyoming College (WY)
Chon Cheng: Keith Industries (Japan)
Mahdi Duris
: St Cloud State University (MN)
Olatoya Fabiyi: Toyita’s Language Corner, LLC (FL)
Amy Fingerhut: Washington Literacy Center (DC)
Magaly Flores T. Teixeira: M.R. Idiomas (Brazil)
Beverly Froberg
: George Mason University (VA)
Debbie Goldman: Intercambio Uniting Communities (CO)
Katie Goodfellow: Paper Airplanes (Intl)
Amy Haas
: REEP (Arlington County, VA)
Janice Harrison: Hebron Church International Learning Center (GA)
Mary Burch Harmon: Notre Dame of Maryland University (MD)
Neil Hasegawa-Yates
: EY Japan (Japan)
Herick Herrera Huerta: VOLKSWAGEN / AUDI México Campuses & Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (Mexico)
Katie Holtz: ESL Katie (MN)
Aleksandra Ivanov (WA)
William K. Keith Jr.
: Keith Industries K.K. (Japan)
Roland Kwan: EY Tax, Japan (Japan)
June Moe Lim: Education First Japan (Japan)
Mindi Maline: George Mason University (VA)
Catherine McIntyre: English BCS (TX)
Imoni Molette: Bigler ESL (GA)
Carly Nixon: Colorado Mountain College (CO)
Marissa Oda: Berlitz Japan (Japan)
Gabriela Claudia Properzi (TX)
Beatrice Michaela Rehm
: Berlitz Brazil (Brazil)
Amanda Ross: Enlgish BCS
Kathleen Rossell: INTO Mason, George Mason University (VA)
Karen Schiff
: Well Said Coaching (CA)
Paul Shumaker: American University MA TESOL Program (DC)
Richard Silberg: English Language Programs U.S. Dept. of State
Sarah Springsteen Trumble: Washburn University (KS)
M. Lynn Swanda: Oklahoma City Community College (OK)
Carol Tripp: Lexington 2 Adult Education (SC)
Adriana Vaughn: Link Tutoring, Houston Community College
Daphne Visscher: Blue Canoe Learning (WA)
Carol Weidner: Savannah College of Art and Design (GA)
David Williams: Central New Mexico Community College (NM)
Alejandra Zambrano Aronja: Agustín Melgar School, Yucatán, México
Amy Wetterau Zhupikov: Central New Mexico Community College (NM)

In addition, Color Vowel® is used by thousands of teachers at the following schools and organizations:

  • American University TESOL Program (DC)
  • Arlington Education & Employment Center (VA)
  • Baruch College, CUNY (NY)
  • Berlitz (Brazil and Japan)
  • Carlos Rosario International Charter School (DC)
  • Central New Mexico Community College (NM)
  • Central Wyoming College (WY)
  • Chemeketa Community College (WA)
  • Christina Public Schools (K-12) (DE)
  • College of Western Idaho (ID)
  • Colorado Mountain College (CO)
  • District of Columbia Public Schools (K-12) (DC)
  • Edmonds College (WA)
  • Education First (Japan)
  • E.L. Haynes Public Charter School (K-12) (DC)
  • El Instituto Culturál Peruano Norteamericano, Huancayo (Peru)
  • Fairfax County Public Schools Adult and Continuing Education (VA)
  • Frontrange Community College (CO)
  • Hardin County Schools (KY)
  • Harvard University (MA)
  • Hebron Harrison International Learning Center (GA)
  • Intercambio Uniting Communities (CO)
  • INTO Mason, George Mason University (VA)
  • Kaplan International (DC)
  • LADO International Institute (DC)
  • La Mariposa Montessori School (NM)
  • Literacy Council of Northern Virginia (VA)
  • Literacy Volunteers of Santa Fe (NM)
  • Northern Virginia Community College (VA)
  • Notre Dame of Maryland University (MD)
  • Madison Central School District (SD)
  • Mason Crest Elementary School (VA)
  • Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy (MD)
  • Montgomery College (MD)
  • Oklahoma City Community College (OK)
  • Oregon State University (OR)
  • Panama Bilingüe Program at American University (DC)
  • Paper Airplanes (international)
  • Pinellas County Schools, Adult Education (FL)
  • Prince George’s Community College (MD)
  • Pueblo City Schools (CO)
  • Rockville Senior Center ESL (MD)
  • Santa Fe Community College (NM)
  • Savannah College of Art & Design (GA)
  • Steamboat Springs School District (CO)
  • Tokyo International University of America (OR)
  • The University of Akron (OH)
  • Universidad Latina de Panama (Panama)
  • University of Alabama (AL)
  • University of Chicago (IL)
  • University of Delaware English Language Institute (DE)
  • University of Michigan (MI)
  • University of Missouri (MO)
  • University of Oklahoma (OK)
  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)
  • U.S. Dept. of State, Office of English Language Programs
  • U.S. Embassy, Manama (Bahrain)
  • Washington Area TESOL Association (DC)
  • Washington English Center (DC)
  • Washington Literacy Center (DC)
  • WeEducation (NY)
  • Western Michigan University (MI)
  • Worcester County Public Schools (MD)
  • Yale University (CT)
Teachers say...
“I find the way the elements of your training sessions weave themselves together genuinely elegant. It isn't just a "bag of tricks to deal with different problems" … there’s a sense of integrality and completeness in what you have developed overall.”
Brock Brady, U.S. Peace Corps Specialist (Washington DC)
“I don’t think I’ve ever been with a more skillful presenter [in Karen Taylor]. It was like watching a high-wire artist, but with NO misgivings: you know she’s totally secure up there. We were in the palm of her hand!”
Laurel Pollard, Author of "Zero Prep" and "Wow!"
“Interesting, fun, and I met people I look forward to keeping in touch with. So many 'Ah ha!' moments. Loved it.”
TESOL PCI Participant, Toronto (2015)
“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)
“Wonderful session. Stellar presenters. Great activities. Best session I've been to. They were on fi-yur!”
TESOL PCI Participant, Toronto (2015)

Get the Basics!

Dive in, and complete the Color Vowel Basics Online, Blue Canoe Training, and a personalized technique practicum, all in six short weeks.

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