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TEFL Training In Costa Rica | Updated: 03/04/2023

3 Ideas for Learning Students' Names

Written by International TEFL Academy Costa Rica

One of the easiest ways to create good rapport with your students, regardless of the subject you are teaching, is by knowing and using their names. This shows that you honestly care about your students and are interested in them. Some people are great at memorizing names; others of us are not. Check out our three ideas to help you remember your students' names.

1 - Pictures

This is great for larger classes. Spend a couple of a minutes on the first day of class taking pictures of your students. I have the students write their names or nicknames on the whiteboard and then stand next to it to snap a picture with my phone. Now I have an easy way to study at home and will know all of them by name before the next class!

2 - Name Tents

When starting a new class, I like to make simple, 3-fold name tents for my students. Prepare half-sheets of paper, folded and ready to go, when your students walk in. Put a bunch of pens or markers on the table so they can write their names, or whatever they prefer to go by, on the name tent. With the name sitting right in front of them, it's easy to call on the students and quickly memorize.


3 - Seating charts

I don't assign permanent seating charts for my students, as my classes are small. However, on the first day of class, I often prepare a piece of paper in the same shape of the tables of the classroom. Then I start my class by asking students their names and writing their name on my paper in the place they are sitting. Seeing and personally writing their names helps me remember.

If all else fails, do like we do with our TESOL trainees: buy your students personalized coffee cups!

Ready to put these teaching techniques into practice?  Sign up for one of our TEFL-certification courses today!  

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