Learning Names

Staff guide

In the first seminar

Memory game

Sit in a circle. Start by introducing yourself. Then ask the person to your left to introduce you and themselves. Then ask the person to their left to introduce you, the person to their right and themselves and so on. At the end you should be able to name everyone in the circle. Good for learning names.


Put the students in pairs and give them five minutes to talk to each other. Explain that at the end of the five minutes they will have to introduce their partner to the group. Good for getting students used to speaking in class and making them feel more comfortable.

Introduce your self

Ask students to say their name before they make a contribution.

Getting to know you

Ask student to introduce themselves with their name, where they come from, an academic interest and a non-academic fact. e.g. “Hi I’m Carole and I come from Wimbledon, I’m interested in late medieval history and I enjoy basket weaving.” Good for helping the group to gel and allowing students personalities to emerge.

In the second seminar

Recalling last week

Start seminar two by going round the room and trying to remember everyone’s names. Explain to your students that you have lots of names to remember.

Inviting someone else to join in

Ask students to comment on something and then name someone else to respond to them. “I found the critic very difficult to understand when she was talking about feminism, what did you think John?” Continues to reinforce name learning but helps you to move onto the course content. Also works as a strategy for involving everyone (you may need to give students a few minutes to prepare questions and comments for this activity).

Throughout the term

Use students names

Try and use students’ names whenever you are inviting them to contribute. If you forget someone’s name ask them to remind you.

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