The Name Game

Do you give your students Spanish names?  I do. For many years I chose not to do this but when I switched schools all of the teachers did it, so I decided to give it a try. I always thought that 1- I wouldn’t possibly be able to remember everyone’s name and 2- in a real life context their names probably wouldn’t be changed- but this is what I have discovered…

1.  It really does help them with pronunciation- they no longer mispronounce names they encounter in readings, etc…

2.  I do remember everyone’s real name and Spanish name.  My system is to make my class lists with their Spanish name in parenthesis so I can see both.  Within a few weeks I have learned all of their names.

3.  They love it!  And that is what counts.

Here are few name games I play the first few weeks to help them (and me!) remember their names.

1.  Tingo Tango – similar to a “hot potato” game.  I close my eyes and say tingo, tingo, tingo, etc… as they pass a ball around.  When I say tango! whoever has the ball has to answer a question and in this case the class asks in unison ¿Cómo te llamas?  and the person who has the ball has to respond Me llamo… and the class replies with mucho gusto.

2.  El micrófono caliente – this is similar to the above game but instead of a ball I use two plastic microphones I bought in the dollar section at Target.  I play music and the students pass the microphones around- when the music stops one student asks ¿Cómo te llamas? and the other responds.  The microphones are different colors so I assign one to be for the question and the other for the response.

3.  No dejes caer la pelota! – this is another ball game where the students practice me llamo… and se llama…  I start by introducing myself and then throw the ball to another student.  That student introduces him/herself and introduces me as well. This continues but if the ball is dropped we have to start over and in the same order!  What is really fun is once you’ve done it you can time them to see if they beat their first record.

Do you give your students Spanish names?  Why or why not?  Do you have any name games you play?

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