Should Vietnamese EFL learners have English names


EFL settings


In this paper, I investigate the practice of selecting English names of Vietnamese EFL learners at a language center. Although this naming practice is required at the institution for communicative convenience, there are negotiation and exceptions where learners refuse to use English names. Naming is believed to reflect one’s identity, and those learners explicitly indicate numerous reasons their acceptance or refusal of having English names. Observations and interviews with 15 participants in an EFL class were undertaken to explore the attitudes and reasons for their naming practices, and their identity reflection through that practice. The findings reveal that most learners see English names to be more convenient for their native English-speaking teachers and make them feel more westernised, which is in their belief necessary in an EFL setting. On the contrary, some learners would pay such respects to their Vietnamese names which they believe to be meaningful and should be remained. Whether using English names is an act of showing respect or not in EFL settings is also discussed. Also, regardless of genders, the paper reveals the age issue that strongly impacts the naming decision. The paper concludes with suggestions to do proper naming practice among EFL learners not to make this a discontent part in their learning processes.


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