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ERIC Number: ED572938
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Mar
Pages: 40
Abstractor: ERIC
Getting It Right: Reference Guides for Registering Students with Non-English Names, 2nd Edition. REL 2016-158 v2
Greenberg Motamedi, Jason; Jaffery, Zafreen; Hagen, Allyson; Yoon, Sun Young
Regional Educational Laboratory Northwest
Getting a student's name right is the first step in welcoming him or her to school. Staff members who work with student-level data also know the importance of accurately and consistently recording a student's name in order to track student data over time, match files across data sets, and make meaning from the data. For students whose home language is not English, properly recording their information can be more difficult. School personnel who register students may not be familiar with different naming conventions in languages other than English. For example, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese names usually list the family name first, followed by the given name. Typically, Russian male and female last names have different endings, so a brother and sister may use slightly different versions of the same name. Incorrectly entering student names can mean that the same student is listed in different databases in various ways and often with incomplete records. Consequently, students who are eligible for services (e.g., English learner support) can be unidentified or overlooked. This set of naming conventions reference guides can help you accurately enter students' names in school, district, and state databases.* The guides are currently available for students with home languages of Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Ukrainian, Urdu, and Vietnamese. In addition to facilitating accurate data entry, these guides can ensure that school and district staff (e.g., front office staff and registrars) address and greet parents and other family members in a culturally responsive and respectful fashion. The naming conventions reference guides provide a general overview of the naming practices in a given language (Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Ukrainian, Urdu, and Vietnamese). Each guide will help school and district staff become more familiar with what to expect when they encounter students from these cultural backgrounds: for example, the number of given names or family names, the order of these names, and where the names might fit into common database fields. The reference guides also provide guidance on how to politely address parents. For each language, a single-page, double-sided, user-friendly guide features: (1) What you need to know: a brief overview of the naming conventions in a specific language; (2) Addressing parents, students, and families: appropriate ways to address family members whose language is other than English; (3) Registering students: rules on how to register students; (4) Examples: a visual representation of how to enter some typical names; and (5) Remember: additional guidance on naming conventions in a specific language. At the end of this guide are reference cards with examples of how to identify first, middle, and last names in each language. The reference cards offer a quick guide to the naming structures prevalent in each of the 11 languages featured in the set. [For the first edition "Getting It Right: Reference Guides for Registering Students with Non-English Names. REL 2016-158," see ED566519.]
Regional Educational Laboratory Northwest. Available from: Institute of Education Sciences. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20208. Tel: 800-872-5327; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Support Staff
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Regional Educational Laboratory Northwest (ED); Education Northwest; National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (ED)
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: EDIES12C0003