Using NameCoach to learn student names and correct pronunciations is a low-stakes way to foster community and inclusion. Using this simple tool can have a positive impact on the students’ experience in your classroom. NameCoach can help all students (especially those with marginalized identities).  Something as simple as learning the correct pronunciation can make students feel like they belong (Kiang, 2004; Kohli & Solórzano, 2012; Sue, 2019)

What is NameCoach?

NameCoach is a tool that works with Canvas to allow students, faculty, and administrators to record how their name should be pronounced, and to hear how others’ names should be pronounced.  Users can record the correct pronunciation of their names using a computer, tablet, or mobile device.

Record Your Name

To get started, you can record your own name. To do this, go to your Canvas Profile, click on NameCoach, and choose Record Name.

Canvas Course Menu with NameCoach indicated

  1. Record name by Phone, Web, or upload, Submit

Name Coach Edit Your Info Dialog Box

Use NameCoach in Your Class

Instruct students to record their pronunciation using NameCoach. You can link to NameCoach’s demo page to help them get started. Click on NameCoach on your Course Navigation Menu. If you don’t see it, enable the NameCoach Roster Tool, so that you and your student can review correct pronunciations.

Enable NameCoach

Settings >Navigation>NameCoach >Roster Tool (Unified) and enable the app by clicking the three dots to the right.

NameCoach option in Canvas Navigation

Listen to Name Pronunciations

Once your students have recorded their names in NameCoach, you will see a list of their recordings. Each name will have a play button next to it so that you can hear the pronunciation.

NameCoach Recordings List

Use NameCoach to Create a More Inclusive Environment

  1. Before the quarter starts,
    1. Review the roster from Faculty Access. (It’s a good idea to print out a hard copy and make notes on names unfamiliar to you.)
    2. Verify that NameCoach is available in the Course Navigation
    3. Students may already have a recording – check recordings in NameCoach.
    4. Consider using name tents to put names to faces.
    5. Encourage students to recite their names and repeat them back when responding.
  2. At the beginning of the quarter,
    1. Introduce yourself, and give the preferred pronouns and pronunciation of your preferred name.
    2. Encourage students to record their name if they have not done so already. (Note: You can make an assignment to create a NameCoach Recording.)
    3. Engage students in an Icebreaker to learn each other’s names.  (Students should not have to mention or declare their pronouns.)

More Information

  • If you are interested in learning more about NameCoach, please see the blog post NameCoach Is Here!

You are also welcome to attend one of the many workshops offered by ATS, or drop by our Office Hours to have your questions answered (both virtual and in-person; no appointment required).

Works Cited

Kiang, P. N. C. (2004). Voicing names and naming voices: Pedagogy and persistence in an Asian American studies classroom. Crossing the curriculum: Multilingual learners in college classrooms, 207.

Kohli, R., & Solórzano, D. G. (2012). Teachers, please learn our names!: Racial microaggressions and the K-12 classroom. Race Ethnicity and Education, 15(4), 441-462.

Sue, Derald & Alsaidi, Sarah & Awad, Nadhum & Glaeser, Elizabeth & Calle, Cassandra & Mendez, Narolyn. (2019). Disarming racial microaggressions: Microintervention strategies for targets, White allies, and bystanders. American Psychologist. 74. 128-142. 10.1037/amp0000296.