Thursday, February 11, 2010

Learning Student Names and Introductions for Beginners

Hello ESL teachers and tutors!

In this post I will discuss the importance of learning students' names. Think of how it good it feels when your teacher says hello to you and says your name! This is how you want to make your students feel in your class, especially the students who have names that you feel are hard to pronounce!

Take it on as a fun challenge, to finally pronounce their name correctly one day. Your ESL students will enjoy watching you learn the names, but then again, why leave them out. It greatly enhance a classroom's cohesion when not only the ESL teacher but the students also know other students' names. It makes it more likely that they will interact with their classmates and more likely to want to come back and be a part of your class.

Your class will feel more and more like a family, and that is a great feeling. You want your class to improve together and to help each other, as they would their own family. Trust me, us ESL teachers need all the help we can get.

So, learn your ESL students' names, and use their names when you call on them in your class, when you greet them and when you say goodbye!

If you have other techniques for learning student's names' please feel free to share in the blog or through e-mail at Also, visit my hubpage for some more fun tips.

Thank you for allowing to share this post with you!

Your fellow ESL teacher,


Beginner Introduction and Name Learning Technique
The main technique that I use is to have the students do a memorized introduction in front of the classroom each class. This technique only works for beginner students, and optimally for adult learners who don't study as much as full time students.

1) I use an introduction like "Let me introduce myself. My name is Meylysa. I'm American. I've been in Hawaii for 10 years. I've been coming to the Drop-In Center for 3 years. I'm a teacher".

2) While the students are doing their introduction, I will write their name on the board. If I don't know the spelling, I will ask them what it is. I will tell the other students in the class to write the student's name in their notebooks.

3) After they finish their introduction, I have the class greet them in unison "Good Morning Meylysa!". This keeps the class focused and gives them an opportunity to say the name themselves. It also teaches them how to say the basic greeting "Good Morning" or whatever you want to use.

4) Finally, when all the students finish, I may quiz the class on each student's name. I have all the students say the student's name before moving on to the next student.

I hope this technique is helpful to you in your classroom. For advanced students, you just have to mix up the introduction with new phrases or asking the students to share interesting facts about themselves. Enjoy learning your students' names. Trust me, it is well worth the effort!!!!


  1. Ha... learning names...^^;; Only if we can socialize with them outside the class... The whole process would be a whole lot easier. : )

  2. Thanks for the comment!

    Just tell yourself you have an amazing memory, and that remembering students' names is a cinch =) My philosophy is always say the students' name before you address them...and address every student at least once in every class.