The ElVes Magic MoVes

A Pronunciation EFL Phonics story book series for young leanners
by Stella Palavecino

The ElVes’ magic moVes is a story that will create a perfect scaffold to help young learners to pronounce the V sound. >B< and >V< are pronounced similarly in languages such as Spanish. But what EFL learners might not realise is that there are actually two different sounds in English.

This sound is indeed difficult for the non-native speaker of English to acquire, as the tendency will almost invariably be to produce the V as it is articulated in the mother tongue. If the EFL learner language is Spanish, for example, the learner will tend to produce a bilabial sound similar to the voiced plosive bilabial /b/, although it will be a much softer /b/ than in English —especially in intervocalic positions— because the lips vibrate and do not “pop.”

To create the /v/, the jaw is held nearly closed. The upper backside of the bottom lip is pressed very lightly into the bottom of the top teeth. Air is pushed out the mouth between the top teeth and the upper backside of the bottom lip. On the other hand, every teacher knows that, in all probability, this description will not be remembered by the young non-native speaker learner.

This is the reason why the story of Victor and Vicky introduces a conflict that will enable children to acquire the sound articulation naturally. The magic JiVe brings together good characters, but the bad elVes grow green with envy because they are not part of such happiness. They have a plan and make Victor & Vicky lose their teeth. With the help of the Tooth fairy, they get their teeth back: the conflict is solved.

Children will get the picture of a little hug between the lower lip and the teeth, turn their voice on, so that air goes straight and get the magic back during the climax of the story.

EFL Phonics Stories

By Prof. & Lic. Stella Palavecino, M.A.

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