Tips on remembering 514 Korean names

How should I do it? It’s over 500 students… In the first semester, I was overwhelmed from trying to get used to the teaching schedule… but for the second semester, I wanted to remember student names! Because that makes a BIG difference if I want to make a good relationship with students. It’s been a month and I think I know a third of the students that I teach. I’m still learning, but students love it when they know that I’m studying their faces and names.

Here are some essentials and tips on how to try to remember student names.

  1. Know how to pronounce your Korean alphabet. Don’t just read it, but say it out loud for practice, and have a native speaker correct your pronunciation.


    I sometimes rewrite it in Japanese or English if it helps me remember.

  2. Ask your co-teacher to take pictures of all your students and organize it into a file with their names.


    This helps a lot!!! I covered their names and faces so it looks ugly… >.<

  3. Make a notebook. Practice writing their names. Write down what they like, describe their looks, associate them with someone you already know, assess their English level, and keep track of what you talk about with students.

    A lot of students love dodge ball and EXO. I can’t remember the EXO members’ names and faces.


  4. Look at the notebook before, during, and after class. Look back and forth between the notebook and the students and mutter their names.

    I am not embarrassed to show that I still can’t remember their names. It’s the effort that counts!


  5. Call their names during class.

    They sometimes laugh when I mispronounce it… oh well. But I can see that they smile more when I call their names.


  6. Find similarities and patterns in their names.


    It’s sometimes like I’m playing しりとり/끝말잇기 to remember student names because some characters like 현, 준, and 정are popular, and this helps remember student names in a set.

  7. Test myself by showing off my ability to name all of the students.


    I usually do this with students who seem bored in class because they finished a task early. I can also use this to communicate with students who have low English skills.  They are happy to know that I care, and they help me remember their names.


Hope this helps anyone who is trying to learn Korean names!


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