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Discussion activities

Discussion: Introduction to the importance of names

Some conversation starters can be found in the videos here. For younger children, there are some resources here.

Key Learning:

Exploration of the importance of names and how names are connected to identity

Allows for discussion of intercultural differences

Discussion: How to respect names

Key Questions

  • What lack of respect looks like
  • What respect looks like
  • Share information about etiquette around introductions/greeting
  • What is feels like to have name mispronounced – sharing of experiences/empathy building
  • How to be a change agent around names – for example, pledge to respect names and model good practice.

Key learning

Empathy and community building

Intercultural awareness building

Empowerment of others to be change agents

Discussion: How names are (mis)-pronounced

One suggestion given by a teacher:

Students write their names phonetically, along with the way some teachers/others have been mispronouncing them. Recorded short videos on iPads, and practiced conversations of how mispronunciations are experienced and also ways to correct with respect.

I learned that I needed to fix my pronunciation on a few as well. So important to make space for getting this right. After a while, many have given up and adopted different or shortened names. Many needed to be convinced of the right to expect correct name pronunciation.

Create a Pledge

Objectives: Empower each person as a change agent in building a culture of respect and honouring everyone’s name by pronouncing it correctly
Inquiry Question: What can we do to ensure that everyone in our community is included?

o Brainstorm ideas to answer this question: What can we do to ensure that everyone in our community
is included?
o Record ideas.
o Discuss the ideas and perimeters for determining actions.
o Have each person create a pledge of what he/she will do to build a community of respect.

Honouring Student Voices: Invite people to share their pledges with the group.
Extending Learning: What can you do to promote a culture of respect beyond your class/university/school?

Some example pledges are here and below:

I, , do hereby affirm my commitment to the Say my Name Campaign by pledging to

  • Show respect for others’ names and identities by pronouncing others’ names correctly
  • Be a model for others by sharing information and resources about showing respect to others’ names and identities
  • Spread the word about the importance of respecting others’ names and identities
  • Be proud of who I am and celebrate our differences