Madeleine, Willa, & Caroline
Trip Start Aug 25, 2010
286Trip End Jun 29, 2011
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In my Education English classes, which are the top level among English classes, every student has an English name. In my new engineering classes, only one or two students have English names. It's much easier for me to remember my students' names when they have English names.
During the first meetings of each of my classes, I offered to help my students choose English names if they wanted to. Only one person took me up on the offer. She already had an English name, but she didn't like it because she thought it was too old-fashioned. Her name was Rose. She asked if I could suggest some English names that started with the letter "m." I don't remember all the names I suggested, but she picked "Madeleine."
I explained to her that both Madeleine and Madeline are common in the US, and I told her that most people would agree that Madeline can be pronounced as both Mad-e-line and Mad-e-lynn. I told her the proper French pronunciation of Madeleine, and she liked it best of the three pronunciations.
A few weeks ago, I met a student at English Corner who didn't have an English name, but wanted one that started with a "w." The two "w" names I like most are Wynn and Willa, and when I saw her again a few weeks later, she told me she had chosen Willa. I saw her again at English Corner tonight, and after spending a little more time with her, I think Willa suits her perfectly. She seems very happy with the name.
I also got a third chance to help a student choose an English name tonight. She was sitting at my table and said she wanted a name that started with a "c" or an "s." Her Chinese given name starts with an "x," which is a difficult Chinese sound to describe, but it sounds like a cross between an "s" and an "sh." I knew that she wanted names that started with soft "c" sounds, but I decided to just list all the "c" names I could think of that I liked, even the ones that started with hard "c" sounds. At the top of my list were Caroline, Clare, and Cora. She chose Caroline, and I think it suits her very well.
I hope I get to help more students choose English names. It's fun.