How to Teach Children to Say “My name is …” in English

Children learning English (ESL/EFL) love to introduce themselves in English. Asking the students, “What’s your name?” and having them answer is a daily task in my classes. Here are my top tips for teaching this:

Top 5 Tips for Teaching Children Self Introduction with Name

    1. Introduce yourself first: I always begin by saying, “My name is Matt.” Next, I will invite a student up and after learning their name help them say for example, “My name is Bell.” The students can slowly repeat each word after you.
    2. Use puppets to introduce the idea: I often use small hand puppets that I bought at a local store to model saying, “My name is…” I have a dog puppet, and a cat puppet. I introduce myself by saying, “My name is Matt” then I pull out the puppets. I make a silly dog voice and using the dog puppet say, “My name is Douggy Dog. Woof, woof!” Then I take out the cat puppet and say, “My name is Catey Cat. Meow!” The students start seeing that we are introducing ourselves.
    3. What’s Your Name? Song: After introducing the idea of saying our names, we sing the What’s Your Name? Song. You can get a free mp3 download of that song here.¬†And check out the simple video here:
    4. Game Idea: Have the students stand in a circle. Use a ball, and have the students throw it to each other. The student that throws the ball has to ask “What’s your name?” The student who catches the ball answers, “My name is _____.” See if they can gradually speed up without making mistakes. If the students are younger, ages 2-5, you can have them pass the ball and say their name.
    5. Name and Numbers Quiz: When the students are comfortable saying, “My name is …” you can combine asking the student’s names and a number quiz. I do this in big classes with students ages 4-6. I invite a group of students to the front of the class. I ask, “What’s your name?” and they all answer. Next, I show them a number card usually from 1-10 and ask, “What number?” and they answer for example, “Five!” Then I ask those students to sit down again, and invite another group up until all of the students have had a turn. This is fun, simple, and gives young learners confidence in English!

      Tip:
      ¬†Simplify! If something is too difficult for your students, you can always simplify the activity. For example, in the game above if the students are not ready yet to ask “What’s your name?” have them pass the ball and say, “My name is…”

I hope this helps you get your students introducing themselves in English. Happy Teaching! – Matt