Level 1: Color Vowel® Basics Complete

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This course provides ESL/EFL teachers and tutors with concrete strategies and tools for teaching spoken English with the Color Vowel Chart.

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Level 1: Color Vowel® Basics Online

This course immerses you in the use the Color Vowel® Approach and our English pronunciation app, Blue Canoe. Over the course of 4 weeks, you will master powerful, brain-based strategies for teaching spoken English, pronunciation, vocabulary development, and oral fluency.

The first week of the course provides you with a live orientation to using our online course platform and getting set up with your free Premium license of the Blue Canoe app.

During the subsequent four weeks, you will 1) watch a recorded lecture; 2) attend a live training session in Zoom; and 3) complete a series of video-based practicum tasks in which you post videos of yourself demonstrating the techniques you have learned. You will receive personalized feedback on each assignment from a Color Vowel Trainer through written comments and video feedback.

This course is recommended for English as a Second Language (ESL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers, and pronunciation/accent coaches.

Learning Objectives

  • Discover how the human brain processes second language speech and why long-lasting pronunciation improvement requires the use multi-modal, brain-based instructional strategies;
  • Explore phonemic stress as the central organizing feature of comprehensible spoken English;
  • Use the Color Vowel Chart as a visual organizer for words and phrases, providing learners with a powerful tool for pronunciation, vocabulary development, oral fluency, and speaking confidence;
  • Master essential Color Vowel® instructional techniques: modeling, kinesthetic signaling, categorization, acoustic flooding, anchoring, and rhythm practice;
  • Learn how to maximize the power of Blue Canoe® with your students to accelerate their pronunciation improvement.

Course Schedule

Our weekly live training sessions will take place on Wednesdays as follows:

  • May 3, 8-9:30 pm ET (New York time zone) - Course Orientation Session
  • May 10, 8-9:30 pm ET - Module 1
  • May 17, 8-9:30 pm ET - Module 2
  • May 24, 8-9:30 pm ET - Module 3
  • March 9, 1-2:30 pm ET - Module 4

Participation Options

This blended course is may be completed 100% asynchronously (by watching the live training sessions as well as the recorded lectures) so long as you are prepared to keep up with the sessions, participate in our asynchronous course chat, and submit all assignments in a timely manner. Each week's assignments are due 48 before the next live meeting.

Course Materials

This course is managed through Canvas, our course management platform. Our in-house course manager provides real-time support throughout the course. This course provides you with:

  • A digital copy of our book, The Color Vowel Approach and links to supplemental readings throughout the course;
  • Access to Blue Canoe, our pronunciation app (1 premium license, a $50 value)
  • 1 year of access to recorded training sessions and lectures.

Course Benefits

  • Gain lifetime membership in vibrant online community of Color Vowel® educators;
  • Upon completion of the course, receive a digital Color Vowel Digital Image Pack containing images for non-commercial instructional use;
  • Gain access to a growing bank of teaching materials in our online Color Vowel Digital Library;
  • Earn your Level 1 Certificate. The certificate reflects 12 hours of study and recognizes you as a Level 1 Color Vowel® Trained Teacher.

Technology Requirements for this course

To thrive in this course, you will need access to high-speed internet, and a video-equipped computer, and a mobile device for filming yourself. We will use Zoom software for our live meetings and FlipGrid as our video platform (where you will upload technique demonstration videos, comment on others' demonstration videos, and receive feedback from your instructor).

"I'm not currently teaching or tutoring. May I still take this course?"

Yes. Level 1 course and certificate requirements involve demonstrating the techniques taught in the Level 1 workshop and do not require a current classroom setting. This course is appropriate for practicing instructors as well as those who are not currently teaching or who are preparing to teach.

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Organizer Color Vowel® / English Language Training Solutions

Organizer of Level 1: Color Vowel® Basics Complete

English Language Training Solutions (ELTS) is publisher of The Color Vowel® Chart and the exclusive training provider for the Color Vowel® Approach.

We take the "Solutions" part of our name seriously. ELTS co-founders Karen Taylor and Shirley Thompson have solved a problem that has underscored the teaching of English for literally centuries: namely, the gap that divides our spoken language from its written form.

The problem of learning English is multifaceted:

1. English is a stress-timed language, yet the complex phenomenon of stress is mostly hidden from conscious noticing. Without training, many teachers and students work fruitlessly on the surface features of pronunciation while missing or underestimating stress as the single most important feature of spoken English. ELTS delivers breakthrough phonological awareness training in every Color Vowel® workshop. 

2. English is not a phonetically-written language. Words like cough, tough, though and through look similar but all sound different, while words like through, new and true look different but rhyme nonetheless. The Color Vowel® Chart solves this problem by flipping the traditional phonics approach, starting instead with phonemic stress as the fundamental touchstone for learning English.

3. Conventional terminology used for teaching English is misleading: ‘long’ and ‘short’ vowels are vestigial terms that describe phonemic features of Middle English but which are mostly meaningless in the context of Modern English. The Color Vowel® Approach establishes an easily accessible yet linguistically accurate language for talking about the vowel sounds and behaviors of spoken English.

With our innovative tools and techniques, ELTS is changing the way people talk about English, enabling teachers and learners to fuel progress with language awareness found through the use of concrete, high-yield learning strategies. Welcome to the Color Vowel® Approach!

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