The last school I taught at had a high percentage of immigrant and refugee students. This meant that many graduation ceremonies were cringe-worthy. Despite practice and notecards with phonetic hints, the administrator butchered the names of the majority of students.
One year was particularly heinous.
Not only did the announcer butcher most names, he did so multiple times in an attempt to get them right. That year, I did not know as many graduates. Sitting in the front row with the other faculty and staff, I hung my head, desperately wanting to cover my ears. I remembered all the times I’d been called “Sahara” or “Frogberg.” I could only imagine what those students and families felt as their best moment was unintentionally ruined.
Ruined is the correct term.
Graduation is an important part of a person’s life. It is a rite of passage. This is even more important when you have generations of families who’ve never experienced a commencement of any kind. It is more common than you think, especially if you live in urban or rural areas with high poverty or with a large number of immigrants (especially from developing countries).
This is where NameCoach can help.
NameCoach programs are easily connected to your school’s existing learning management software. It is a simple process for an announcer to ensure that every student and member of their family are able to fully enjoy and celebrate commencement. No more worrying about a moment ruined by repeated mispronunciations. They can feel the joy along with the pride and experience respect from the institution they invested so much into.
“NameCoach was a huge asset to the success of our graduation ceremony. It’s a simple, intuitive, and most importantly helpful tool to make sure that each person hears their name pronounced correctly during their moment of honor. I look forward to continuing to use the service to make sure that students are respected and announced accurately at our future events.”
— MIKE WILSON, FACULTY, HALTOM HIGH SCHOOL
“As an administrator and linguist who works with students from all over the world, I have loved using NameCoach to help my staff and me get better at pronouncing and learning students’ names.”
— JULIA MOORE, DIRECTOR OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROGRAMS, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY
Submitted by Sarah Frohmberg, a high school teacher in Kansas City.