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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Your Name Is......

The Importance of Remembering Students' Names

I'm starting my group classes in a week and I'm making the necessary adjustments in my mind to be prepared after the three-month holidays. I've already planned how I'll do my best to motivate my students to be more exposed to English (see my previous post). Now I'm thinking about key factors I should bear in mind to feel my classes are successful. One important ingredient from the very beginning is remembering my students' first names. I'll have two group classes this year with about 15 students each. One of the classes won't offer my memory much trouble because I had those students last year in their upper intermediate class. So it'll be a question of looking at them again and their names will reappear in my mind. But I'll have a group of new students and it'll require a little effort to ensure their confident participation. For students to be called out their names is of utter relevance to feel they belong to the group. You can recognise that fact in their faces and for that reason I do my best to remember new names. I always use some kind of nemomic that instantly matches the face I'm looking at and that student's name. Generally, I make connections in my mind between that student and another person I know. Anyway, that memory aid should act in seconds.

Former Students' Names

As time passes and I come across students of mine, I continue making efforts because I feel embarrassed about not remembering that person's name. The instant I see their face, my mind starts the searching function and while I hear: "Hello, Marisa. How are you?" I put my memory in action. Many times I'm successful, others I'm not.

What about you? Do you use memory aids to remember your students' names?


  1. I have a difficult time pronouncing names and even when I ask for corrections many of my adult students won't correct me so I end up feeling guilty.

  2. Thanks, Shelly, for sharing your experiences!