Sunday, April 24, 2011

Activity 18- The Story of My Name

                                              picture credits:

That`s a very interactive and interesting activity, specially for the first day of class. It`s a great opportunity for  students to learn a bit about themselves.

Level: from Lower Intermediate to Advanced
Skill: speaking
Material needed: none


  • On the board, write a number of questions related to students’ names (see box below for suggestions). Students write their name stories based on the questions written on the board. Tell students they are going to share their stories with their colleagues.
  • Tell students they have about 4 minutes to mingle with as many classmates as they can, sharing their name stories. Circulate while they talk to hear as many name stories as possible.
  • Have students stand and mingle.
  • Back to their seats, students talk to a person sitting next to them about the name stories they heard from their friends.

Questions that can elicit name stories:
Does your name have a meaning?
Why did your parents call you by your name?
Do you know what your name would have been given if you had been born the opposite sex?
Do you have a nickname?

Do you like your name? 
Would you prefer another name?

Have you ever wanted to change your name?
 Do you get angry when people mispronounce or misspell your name?

Source: adapted from Dörnyei, Z. (2001). Motivational Strategies in the Language  
             CUP, Cambridge.
             Adapted from Hess, N. (2001). Teaching Large Multilevel Classes. CUP,  

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