TESOL International blogger, Judie Haynes, recently posted a story about naming conventions among immigrants coming to our communities. (http://blog.tesol.org/7-naming-customs-from-around-the-world/). She held that learning how to properly pronounce and spell a person’s name is a sign of respect and is important in making each one feel welcome in our classrooms. She cited the Guide to Names and Naming Practices to help us English speakers understand the naming customs of other countries (https://www.fbiic.gov/public/2008/nov/Naming_practice_guide_UK_2006.pdf ). Of course, the easiest way to know how to say a new learner’s name is simply to ask him or her! Make it part of a first lesson on “introductions,” and let everyone try to say each other’s names as part of a group activity. But, even so, it is very interesting to know how each culture decides how to name children, and to have a discussion on how important our names are to us.
What do you think? lder