Courses for Certification

Welcome to your Color Vowel Journey.

Color Vowel® started its own journey twenty years ago as this thing we called the Color Vowel Chart. In 2010, we formally started training teachers in a powerful set of instructional strategies known today as the Color Vowel Approach.

We are proud to provide you with the Color Vowel® Journey for Teachers, a comprehensive training program that promotes life long learning and curiosity around the topics of effective teaching, phonological awareness, brain-based learning strategies, and the English language itself.


Our Level 1 program provides you with a foundation for teaching English that has been missing from our field: a simple yet robust way to teach the rhythm and sounds of English. Combining the content of Color Vowel Basics with practical explorations of our mobile app, Blue Canoe, and a video-based technique practicum, our Level 1: Color Vowel Basics Online course satisfies all three requirements of the Level 1 certificate.

Register for FAST or COMPLETE
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.

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.

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.


Our Level 2 program guides you through a deeper exploration of concepts introduced in Color Vowel Basics, and invites you to apply Color Vowel in settings relevant to your own teaching context. Level 2 involves completing three prescribed Core workshops, three Elective workshops, and a two-stage Practicum.

Three Core Workshops

Your Level 2 journey starts with three Core workshops, each one engaging a different part of the brain. Core workshops may be completed in any order.

View workshop dates and times on our 2021 Training & Events Calendar.

Purchase our Level 2 Core Workshops Bundle and save!

Color Vowel Yoga is a collection of simple movements that parallel the movement of the jaw, lips, and tongue when producing the vowels sounds of English. These movements serve as physical anchors for producing sounds that the learner may not yet be able to perceive. In this Core Workshop, participants gain confidence in leading Vowel Yoga and will develop a clear understanding of when to use Vowel Yoga as an instructional intervention.

Spelling Exploration is a sound-based exploration of spelling patterns that ignite learners’ optimism and curiosity about words in their spoken and written forms. In this Core Workshop, participants will gain practical familiarity with each step of the process and explore pedagogical implications.

Rhythms & Chants is a workshop in which participants learn how chants support brain-based language learning; view authentic footage of learners engaging with chants; practice pre-viewing, leading and closing a chant with clear gestures; and master three Color Vowel chants and their variations.

Three Elective Workshops

Elective workshops vary in topic and theme. All workshops are practical and are designed around a performance-based outcomes. Elective Workshops titles include:

  • Readers Theater: Rehearsing for fluency
  • Teaching Vocabulary: Beyond word lists
  • Phonological Awareness for Teachers
  • Colorful Integrations: Bringing textbooks to life
  • What About Consonants?: Prioritizing feedback for fluency
  • Teaching Literacy: Enhancing Phonics with Color Vowel
  • Creative Interventions: Tutoring Pronunciation Effectively

View these workshops on our 2021 Training & Events Calendar for dates and times.

Coaching & Teaching Practicum

Apply what you learned in Color Vowel Basics while gaining teaching experience with guidance from a Color Vowel Master Trainer.

1. CV Coaching Practicum: Receive direct mentoring while coaching participants in one of our pronunciation lab courses. Your coaching practicum may be completed at any time during your Level 2 journey.

2. CV Teaching Practicum: Like any conventional teaching practicum, the Color Vowel Teaching Practicum involves collecting recorded footage of yourself teaching either online or in a face-to-face setting. Practicum assignments outline specific criteria for demonstrating your effective, integrated use of the Color Vowel Chart and related techniques. All other Level 2  components must be completed prior to your Teaching Practicum.

Level 3 qualifies you to train other teachers in the Color Vowel Approach and provides you with opportunities to deliver Core and Elective workshops for ELTS. Level 3 involves successful completion of our Trainers’ Seminar of a two-part Apprenticeship.

The Color Vowel Training Seminar is our capstone course. Topics include:

  • Teaching phonological awareness: a developmental view of teacher training;
  • The curse of the expert: Maintaining spaces for noticing and discovery;
  • Answering questions, both simple and deep, with the Color Vowel Chart;
  • Public speaking: Connecting with your audience in person and online;
  • Tools and strategies for effective online teaching.

To fully prepare the Color Vowel Teacher Trainer, we have created a two-part apprenticeship consisting of:

  • Coaching Apprenticeship: Serving as a practicum coach in Color Vowel Basics Online or a comparable course;
  • Training Apprenticeship: Teaching a round of Color Vowel Basics Online.

Both apprenticeships include the support of a Master Trainer.

ALL Upcoming Courses
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.

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.

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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