Interact with the Chart

The Color Vowel® Chart is more than a visual tool; it is the powerful touchstone of the Color Vowel® Approach, a collection of powerful brain-based strategies for discovering, practicing, and mastering the rhythm and sound of English.

Click on each Color to hear the vowel sound

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Learn more about each Color Vowel.

View the entire Color Vowel Yoga video series.

Our Color Vowel app is here! Blue Canoe combines AI and speech recognition with Color Vowel-infused feedback to provide users with real-time feedback on their spoken English.

Request your free trial.


The Color Vowel® Chart was created by Karen Taylor and Shirley Thompson in 1999. The charts below serve as a brief visual history of the Color Vowel Chart while providing you with continued audio-enhanced access to the vowel sounds of English.


The 4th Edition Color Vowel Chart (2015):

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The 3rd Edition (2012) Western US Chart (2012):

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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.

Teach English with Color Vowels: An Introduction for ESL/EFL Teachers
September 22, 2021 • Wednesday, 8-8:30 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.

Fridays@Five: Color Vowel Show & Tell
September 24, 2021 • Friday (5-6 pm ET)

There are many ways to start the year with Color Vowels. Join us to share your successes and collect tips!

Level 1: Color Vowel® Basics Complete, Cohort 35
Oct 6-Nov 3 • 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 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.

Teaching Vocabulary beyond word lists: A Level 2 Elective Workshop
October 7-28, 2021 • Thursdays, 11-12:30 pm ET

Do you dread having to teach vocabulary? Do your students seem to forget vocabulary as soon as you move on to the next unit? In this 4-session workshop, we will approach vocabulary from a sound perspective to appreciate how word learning intersects with pronunciation, collocation, and the aural context. Participants will gain practical strategies to boost learner retention through both incidental and deliberate 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.

Instructor: Jennifer Campion, Color Vowel Master Trainer

Fridays@Five: Ask the Linguist, with Dr. Robin Barr
OCTOBER 8, 2021 • Friday, 5-6 pm ET

Robin Barr, PhDThe English language is ever-changing, yet it follows patterns and deep rules worth knowing about. Join us to explore language-related questions with Dr. Robin Barr. 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.

Spelling Exploration: A Level 2 Core Workshop
October 9-30, 2021 • Saturdays, 10-11:30 am ET

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

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.

Pronunciation for English Teachers (PET)
November 2-30, 2021 • Tuesdays 8-9:30 pm ET

This course is for non-native English-speaking teachers (NNESTs) 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.

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.

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.

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.
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