Tuesday, October 7, 2008
What's in a Name
Today there was a new student in one of my classes. She did not have an English name and did not have one in mind, so I gave her a list of possible names that I wrote as the students were listening to today's story. She chose Susan. I did not give her the possibility of some weird name that nobody has ever heard of and doesn't know if it's a boy's name or a girl's name. Most of the students have pretty normal names. As far as the ones who go by their Korean name, I don't know if they have a boy's name or a girl's name or some name that isn't a name. Kevin and Jack are pretty common for boys and Sally and Jenny are common for girls. Right now, I have three students named Chris, 2 Sams, 2 James, 2 Lauras, and 2 Amys. One student has had three different English names so far. He started out as Sonic, then Megatron, and now he is Pedro. I once had a student who went by Belly until she chose to go by Cindy. One student went by his Korean name and now he is Brocky. On the first day of class, I tried to get the students in my lowest level class to get an English name. I asked one of the students if he wanted to go by John and he adamantly informed me that his name was Joonho. I think the students in that class did not know what I was asking. I gave up trying to get them to use English names. I don't mind calling the students by their Korean names, but on that day, the names were not Romanized and so I had to write the Hangul for each student who did not have an English name. Then, I had to point to each name and ask the students what their names were. I can read some Hangul, but I read it really slowly and I make mistakes, usually with the vowels. Sometimes the students decide all of a sudden that they want to change their names. It gets confusing then. There is one student whom I have taught for three months and recently he decided he wanted to change his name from Jack to Harry because another student in the class is named Herald. More than once I've called him Jack since his name change. It's an instinct. "Jack! Get in your seat right now!" It's about like Grandma yelling "Rachel" when she was calling Sparkle.