'Emo-pron' Stories

An EFL phonics approach to teach pronunciation to Young Learners

by Stella Palavecino

'Th Th Thumkie' book release at IATEFL International Conference Belfast 2022


Welcome to the support hub for EFL teachers who are using Emo-pron stories to teach pronunciation to young learners. Teachers will find lesson plans, activities, songs and games that accompany these stories, and which will surely help children acquire the pronunciation of new English sounds through emotions in an innovative and memorable way.

Emo-pron stories are based on the need of the EFL learner to acquire new English sounds when working with Phonics. Phonics is a systematic approach to reading and writing, pronunciation and the English language, which seems to be ideal for children. The problem is that the material is designed for native speakers of English. There is a mismatch at this point. How can we make Phonics effective for the EFL learner? How can this be possible, considering that the major difficulty for them is the acquisition of English words and sounds before they actually learn to blend and segregate English words? The answer to this question lies in designing a phonological core (Jenkins, 2000), and activating previous knowledge. To this effect, some sounds have been selected to be the protagonists of the stories. (Click here to read about the  Sound Priorities for Spanish Speakers suggested by the writer) For example, the story of Thumkie, who struggles to fit into the EFL classroom because children cannot see TH in words. This story will act as a scaffold to acquire the English sound through Thumkie and his friends (Palavecino, 2022).

Through fantasy, children are introduced to English sounds through stories that motivate them to easily remember the place of articulation of a new sound, notice, acquire, play and sing with the sounds that do not exist in their mother tongue.

Teachers will be delighted to see how simple it can be to transform their classes into cheerful pronunciation sessions, the main objectives of which will be creatively accomplished through stories, fancy characters, sound tricks, music and games. There is a world of Emo-pron stories for the EFL learner lying ahead. Come and discover it for yourself!


Jenkins J. (2000). The Phonology of English as an International Language. Oxford University Press.

Palavecino, S. (2022). ‘EFL Story Books & Resources.’ https://eflphonics.com.ar/efl-phonics-story-books.