Teachers, discover what's been missing from English language instruction.

Welcome to Color Vowel®, providing you with tools and strategies for teaching English phenomenally.


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.

Color Vowel focuses instruction and saves time.

Blue Canoe® is our mobile app

With Blue Canoe, your students can take their Color Vowel learning experience beyond the classroom. Learners can purchase the app on their own, or schools can purchase bulk licenses that provide teachers with a robust dashboard where you can monitor student engagement.

Request an educator’s demo of Blue Canoe.


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.

Color Vowel Journey map

Get trained-- your students will love you for it!

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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 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School in Germantown, 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 Hurkmans 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 bookmebiteme.com.


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.


Level 2 Certified Teachers

M. Lynn Swanda: Oklahoma City Community College (OK)

Level 2 Certifications in process

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: Lebacqz Consulting
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: Mentora College (DC)
Rose Eiland Smith: ESL instructor and Consultant (MD)
Claire Sontag: DC Public Schools (DC)
Liza Wentworth: University of the District of Columbia (DC)

Cristina Abell: San Diego College of Continuing Education (CA)
Manar Al Shams
: Paper Airplanes (Syria)
Kathy Appleton: Grace Reformed Pres. Church (MD)
Gemma Archer: University of Strathclyde (Scotland)
Merilyn Beres: Beres Educational Services LLC (NM)
Melissa Bitter: International High School at Langley Park (MD)
Donna Blanton: La Fontaine Language Center/ Latin American Association of Atlanta (GA)
Bowers: Owensboro Community and Technical College (KY)
Julie Bradley: Cedar Rapids Community School District (IA)
Monica Braunstein: Los Angeles Unified School District (CA)
Annette Brown: Oklahoma City Community College (OK)
Theresa Brunker
: Central Wyoming College (WY)
Christine Kassover: Florida Atlantic Universiry (FL)
Nicole Candiano: Edmonds College (WA)
Lihua Chen
: Bryant University, Zhuhai (China)
Chon Cheng: Keith Industries (Japan)
Helen Clogston: Reading Area Community College (PA)
Jennifer Covey: Willow Hills Baptist Church ESL Ministry (AZ)
Kevin DiPalma: Literacy Volunteers of Santa Fe (NM)
Mahdi Duris: St Cloud State University (MN)
Jessalyn Epstein: Plain Language (OR)
Paula Eslava Lozzi: Colombia
Olatoya Fabiyi: Toyita’s Language Corner, LLC (FL)
Amy Fingerhut: Washington Literacy Center (DC)
Magaly Flores T. Teixeira: M.R. Idiomas (Brazil)
Cynthia Flynn: Fairfax County Public Schools ACE (VA)
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)
Kristie Lynn Hayes: Native English Institute (US)
Herick Herrera Huerta
: Facultad de Administración, BUAP (Puebla, México)
Katie Holtz: ESL Katie (MN)
Carol Foley Hodges: Chesapeake Public Schools (VA)
Aleksandra Ivanov (WA)
Jill Jarman: Union Adult Learning Center (OK)
Aviva Katzenell: Florida Atlantic University (FL)
William K. Keith Jr.: Keith Industries K.K. (Japan)
Roland Kwan: EY Tax, Japan (Japan)
Lisa Lamar: Southern Cross Language Institute (New Zealand)
Corey Tyler Larsen
: Bryant University, Zhuhai (China)
Sarah Lawrence: Edmonds College
Claire Lee
: University of Economics HCMC (Vietnam)
H. Sophie Lees: Gabby Academy (Canada)
June Moe Lim: Education First Japan (Japan)
Gilson Lopes: Escola Estadual Betina Gomes (Brazil)
Mindi Maline: George Mason University (VA)
Raegan Marshall: Owensboro Community and Technical College (KY)
Catherine McIntyre: English BCS (TX)
Laurie Mitchell: Water for Ishmael: The American School for Women (OH)
Imoni Molette
: Bigler ESL (GA)
Carly Nixon: Colorado Mountain College (CO)
Marissa Oda: Berlitz Japan (Japan)
Willa Ogata: Fairfax County Public Schools ACE (VA)
Susan Otero: Fairfax County Public Schools ACE (VA)
Marie E. Parsons: Fairfax County Public Schools ACE (VA)
Ginessa Payne: Texas A&M University (TX)
Elaine Pierce: US
Gabriela Claudia Properzi (TX)
Janet Pryor: Grace Reformed Pres. Church (MD)
Guoxiong Qiu: Bryant University, Zhuhai (China)
Pavithra Rajesh: Fairfax County Public Schools ACE (VA)
Martha Ramirez (Colombia)
Beatrice Michaela Rehm: Berlitz Brazil (Brazil)
Nancy Reynolds: English, Poco a Poco (TX)
Susan Reynolds
: Oklahoma City Community College & Language Learning Fellowship (OK)
Veronica Romero-Romo: Pueblo East High School (CO)
Amanda Ross: English BCS (TX)
Kathleen Rossell: INTO Mason, George Mason University (VA)
Vanessa Sager: Battle Ground Public Schools (WA)
Nesrine Sadi
Laurie Scheible: Fairfax County – Adult & Career Education (VA)
Karen Schiff: Well Said Coaching (CA)
Julie Scott: VIPKid (NC)
Deborah Secrist: Fairfax County – Adult & Career Education (VA)
Patricia Shannon
: Intercambio (CO)
Rebecca Sherry: Central New Mexico Community College (NM)
Minoo Short: Anglo-Link Languages (United Kingdom)
Paul Shumaker: American University MA TESOL Program (DC)
Richard Silberg: English Language Programs U.S. Dept. of State
Rose Smith: Montgomery County Public Schools (MD)
Rob Staton: Bryant University, Zhuhai (China)
Naila Stocks: Fairfax County Public Schools ACE (VA)
Julie Stoessel (MD)
Carol Tripp: Lexington 2 Adult Education (SC)
Sarah Springsteen Trumble: Washburn University (KS)
Anthony Tyrrell: Oklahoma City Community College (OK)
Marbella Valenzuela: IL
Melinda Vander Ploeg Fallon: Fairfax County Public Schools ACE (VA)
Laura Varga: Soka University of America (CA)
Adriana Vaughn: Link Tutoring, Houston Community College
Daphne Visscher: Blue Canoe Learning (WA)
Ruth Voetmann: Edmonds College (WA)
Alyshia Wagstaff: Gabby Academy (Canada)
Lara Wallace: English for Sustainability LLC (OH)
Betty Wang: SGS-CSTC Standards Technical Services (China)
Carol Weidner: Savannah College of Art and Design (GA)
Jacqueline Whisler:  Lane Community College (OR)
David Williams: Central New Mexico Community College (NM)
Alejandra Zambrano Arjona: 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)
  • Albany County School District (WY)
  • Apollo Career Center (OH)
  • Arlington Education & Employment Center (VA)
  • Baruch College, CUNY (NY)
  • Battleground Public Schools (WA)
  • Berlitz (Brazil and Japan)
  • Carlos Rosario International Charter School (DC)
  • Central New Mexico Community College (NM)
  • Central Wyoming College (WY)
  • Charlotte Mecklenberg Schools (NC)
  • Chemeketa Community College (OR)
  • 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)
  • George Mason University Korea (Korea)
  • Hardin County Schools (KY)
  • Harvard University (MA)
  • Hebron Harrison International Learning Center (GA)
  • Howard Community College (MD)
  • IFRISQ Training Institute, Algeria
  • Intercambio Uniting Communities (CO)
  • International High School at Langley Park (MD)
  • INTO Mason, George Mason University (VA)
  • Kaplan International (DC)
  • LADO International Institute (DC)
  • Lakeshore Technical College (WI)
  • Lane Community College (OR)
  • Literacy Council of Northern Virginia (VA)
  • Literacy Volunteers of Santa Fe (NM)
  • Lotus School for Excellence (CO)
  • Northern Virginia Community College (VA)
  • Notre Dame of Maryland University (MD)
  • Madison Central School District (SD)
  • Mason Crest Elementary School (VA)
  • Michigan Language Center (MI)
  • Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy (MD)
  • Montgomery College (MD)
  • Montgomery County Public Schools (MD)
  • Oklahoma City Community College (OK)
  • Oregon State University (OR)
  • Owensboro Community and Technical College (KY)
  • Panama Bilingüe Program at American University (DC)
  • Paper Airplanes (international)
  • Pinellas County Schools, Adult Education (FL)
  • Prince George’s Community College (MD)
  • Prince George’s Public County Schools (MD)
  • Pueblo City Schools (CO)
  • Reading Area Community College (PA)
  • Rockville Senior Center ESL (MD)
  • Santa Fe Community College (NM)
  • Savannah College of Art & Design (GA)
  • The Shop University (MT)
  • Steamboat Springs School District (CO)
  • Soka University of America (CA)
  • 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)
  • Virginia Commonwealth University (VA)
  • 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 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 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 trained-- your students will love you for it!

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