Color Coded English

Color Coded English

Color Coded English is a collection of resources for improving reading and writing skills. It includes a visual system for studying grammar, a topical dictionary called The Word Map, and a game to learn all its words called Phrase Master. The main goal is to help students to read more at an early age by teaching them a core vocabulary. Students learn the most common words in the most common phrases. It's called the lexical approach, and it's based on collocations. Collocations are the combinations of words that occur most often, and the color code reveals the grammatical relationships between them.

Students learn the program's core vocabulary of words by combining them in phrases and sentences. Each Phrase Master game has 9 questions and five word choices for each question. There are 4,320 words in the core vocabulary. The words are grouped into 24 topics. Each topic is organized by parts of speech. Words are categorized into four levels according to their frequency. In each Phrase Master game, players see 45 word choices from one level and from three topics. Students must play 480 games to try to match all the words in the core vocabulary (480 x 9 = 4,320).

The sentences in the game are either random examples (for the level one words) or quotes. In the future, they will all be replaced with sentences taken from actual books. Students will be able to click on the sentences and see where they occur in a book which has been scanned by Google books. Currently students can click on phrases to see search results in which they occur and on sentences to translate them into Spanish and Chinese.

The application was originally designed so that registered students and their teachers could view their progress in matching the words in phrases and sentences.. Teachers can see which words are best and least understood by the class and by individual students..


There is a new game every day for each of the four levels of words. The "Prepare" button enables students to see the word choices for the next game. Clicking on a word will display three of the most common phrases in which the word is used by native speakers. Students can click on the phrases to hear and translate them. They can use three icons to select what they want to view. 1. a translation, 2. a text search or 3. an image search of a phrase.

Every day students can test their understanding of nine new words in four vocabulary levels. Phrase Master questions have a simple format based on tic-tac-toe and a multiple choice quiz. Each column in the nine-question grid contains three questions from the same topic.

All players must match one of 5 words with the blanks in 3 phrases. For example, the blanks in the three phrases "fresh _____ / _____ juice / _____ fly" can be matched with one of the following words: "chips, fruit, apple, banana, vegetable". Note that the word "vegetable" matches the first two phrases but not the last one.

Each player's device records the matches made and the time used after each question. Spending less than 20 seconds increases a player's score. Players must choose a word within 20 seconds or their choice is counted as incorrect. After a player makes a choice, the full phrases are displayed with the correct word.

The meanings of the words are reinforced in the follow-up sentence game. Each game includes nine sentences in which one of the answer words from the previous Phrase Master game is used but represented by a blank underline.



The formula for players' scores is 5 points for each matched word in a phrase or sentence, plus 20 minus the average # of seconds, Players and Classes are ranked according to their individual and group scores.



Students learn words by combining them in useful grammatical structures. Color Coded English lets students direct their own learning. They can review the words they matched and missed in games. They can view words by level or by topic. Students can search for words using English or their first language.

If you can visualize a goal, you can achieve it. When you are competing amd cooperating, learning is more fun. The Phrase Master game is the perfect complement to any English as a Second Language course and a great way to introduce young students to the world of words and books.

Copyright 2019 © by Ted O'Brien
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