How we pronounce students’ names matter

By Sumeyra Gok

It may not seem like a big deal but pronouncing our students’ names matter. We may have students who pick “American” names, or those who say “it doesn’t matter how you pronounce it” but it is actually a big deal. It shows that you acknowledge them for who they are and value their cultural and linguistic backgrounds. As ESL teachers, we must be the ones advocating for our students, even when our students think it doesn’t matter.

“By pronouncing students’ names correctly, you can foster a sense of belonging and build positive relationships in the classroom, which are crucial for healthy social, psychological, and educational outcomes” (My Name, My Identity Act).

Here’s a great podcast about pronouncing students’ names: How we pronounce student names matter podcast

You can learn more about the My name, My identity pledge here: