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Name Effects. Name Use in the Multicultural ELT Classroom b y Tony Rusinak . Reflection. Which names were easy to remember? Why? Which names were hard to remember? Why? Did you do anything to help you remember the names?

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name effects

Name Effects

Name Use

in the Multicultural

ELT Classroom

by Tony Rusinak


Which names were easy to remember? Why?

Which names were hard to remember? Why?

Did you do anything to help you remember the names?

Which of these names did you like? dislike? find interesting?

Did this remind you of your classroom?

How would you feel if you were given this as your new name?

why some students change their names
Why some students change their names?

Fluency favors information that’s easy to use (Lahama, Kovala, Alter)

People predict income and education using only their first name (Lahama, Kovala, Alter)

Fear of discrimination

Many foreigners can’t pronounce their name

Many foreigners can’t remember their name

Don’t want to stick out

Can’t find an adequate English spelling

Eas­y-to-pronounce name may help you win allies and favor in the work­place

Students feel pressure to assimilate

why should students keep their names
Why should students keep their names?

Students name choice = Canadians getting Chinese character tattoos

You know the students English name, but no one else does.

Sounds like a name your great-grandmother called her milkman


Only nationality in class to have changed their name

ELTs should be leaders/ first Canadian to use name fluently

Wine connoisseurs spend more $$$ on foreign sounding names (G&M)

Remember this?

Canada is a melting pot. Get used to it!

If your students learn 200 words a month, you can learn 20.

what should teacher s watch out for
What should teacher’s watch out for?

Do the students…?

insist on using “English names”

have an attachment to their “English names”

prefer their L1 name only with peers or close friends

prefer teachers in their own culture to use this name

have other teachers and staff at the school use this name

worry that fumbling or forgetting their L1 name might bring shame and embarrassment

worry that others will confuse which name should come first

useful classroom activities
Useful Classroom Activities

1.Word association  and pronunciation games/ rhymes 2.Photos and profile wall 3.Name modification games4.Seating plan maps5.TPR Alphabetical Arrangement 6. Create Business/ Name cards and exchange etiquette

useful classroom activities continued
Useful Classroom Activities continued…

7. Course Book labeling 8. Social media exchange9. Spelling tests and tasks for each other’s names10. Same name presentations11. Name swaps role play

useful classroom activities continued1
Useful Classroom Activities continued…

12.Boarding names for tasks and activities13.Who is it? Pop Quiz Sshead down and see w14.Name spelling visuals- IPA15. L1 Phonetic Sounds Presentations- use Ss names as target sound 16. Pronunciation Charts for common names and pronunciation guides.


Globe and Mail Online. If Wine is Hard to Pronounce its Worth MoreAccessed October 2013 from

Lahama, Simon M. , Kovala, Peter and. Alter, Adam L. “The name-pronunciation effect: Why people like Mr. Smith more than Mr. Colquhoun.” By Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, published online Dec. 9, 2011. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2011.12.002

Lescher, Troy. How Can I Build and Maintain Classroom Rapport? From Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development Center (TLPDC)Texas Tech University Accessed October 2013 from

Stern. NYU and CultureAccessed October 2013 from

UberFacts Online An Easy Name Gets You Ahead. Accessed October 2013 from

what would you do if
What would you do if…

1. …you met a long time student outside of class and completely forgot his/ her name?

2. …you mistakenly call the same student the wrong name numerous times?

3. …other students in the class find it impossible to remember a classmate’s foreign name?

4. …an adult student has an offensive name they have been using for years?

5. … you offend a student by using their name in a funny chant?

6. … a student changes their name once a week?