Lesson Plan: What’s Your English Name? Crafting Your ESL Identity

Welcome to a fun and empowering ESL lesson that goes beyond vocabulary and grammar! In this activity, students will explore their English-speaking identities by choosing new names and creating unique acronyms to express their personalities. This interactive exercise not only helps learners practice vocabulary and creative thinking but also fosters self-reflection and builds confidence in using English to communicate their individuality. Get ready to discover your students’ hidden alter egos and watch their language skills blossom! Here’s an ESL lesson plan designed to help non-native English speaking students choose an English name and create a fun acronym to express their “English personality”:

Lesson Plan: My New English Name & Acronym

Introduction for Peers:

This engaging lesson goes beyond simply choosing a new name; it encourages students to explore their identities and how they want to be perceived in English. The acronym activity adds a creative and memorable element that helps solidify the connection between the chosen name and the student’s desired English persona.

Learning Goals:

  • Cultural Awareness: Understand the significance of names in English-speaking cultures.
  • Vocabulary Development: Learn new adjectives and traits to describe personality.
  • Identity Exploration: Reflect on personal qualities and aspirations in the context of learning English.
  • Creative Expression: Practice creative thinking and wordplay to create acronyms.


  • Whiteboard or Chart Paper: To brainstorm and write down names and adjectives.
  • Dictionaries (or Online Resources): For students to research name meanings and adjectives.
  • Name Lists (Optional): Provide lists of popular English names for inspiration.


  1. Warm-Up (10 minutes):
    • Discuss the significance of names in different cultures.
    • Ask students to share their native names and any meanings or stories associated with them.
    • Introduce the concept of “English names” and why some people choose to adopt them when learning English.
  2. Brainstorming Names (15 minutes):
    • Brainstorm a list of popular English names as a class.
    • Encourage students to research names they like, paying attention to meanings and origins.
    • Discuss factors like pronunciation, cultural relevance, and personal preference.
  3. Defining Your English Personality (10 minutes):
    • Brainstorm a list of positive adjectives to describe personality traits (e.g., creative, adventurous, kind, funny).
    • Encourage students to choose 3-4 adjectives that best describe their ideal “English personality.”
    • Write the adjectives next to each student’s chosen English name.
  4. Creating Acronyms (15 minutes):
    • Explain the concept of an acronym – using the first letter of each word to form a new word or phrase.
    • Demonstrate with an example (e.g., Rita: Resourceful, Imaginative, Thoughtful, Ambitious).
    • Have students work individually or in pairs to create acronyms for their English names based on their chosen personality traits.
    • Share and discuss the acronyms as a class.
  5. Wrap-Up (5 minutes):
    • Have students introduce themselves with their new English names and acronyms.
    • Discuss how the activity helped them think about their identity and goals in learning English.

Classroom Management Tips:

  • Cultural Sensitivity: Be mindful of cultural differences and personal preferences when discussing names.
  • Individual Choice: Allow students to choose names that resonate with them.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Encourage creativity and praise thoughtful acronyms.


  • Participation: Observe students’ engagement and contribution to the brainstorming and discussion.
  • Acronym Creation: Assess the relevance and creativity of the acronyms.

Additional Tips:

  • Resources: Provide resources for name meanings and lists of popular English names.
  • Pronunciation Practice: Have students practice saying their new names and acronyms with correct pronunciation.
  • Follow-Up Activities: Encourage students to use their new names in future class interactions.

Example Acronyms:

  • John: Joyful, Optimistic, Helpful, Nurturing
  • Emily: Energetic, Motivated, Independent, Loving, Youthful
  • David: Determined, Adventurous, Versatile, Intelligent, Diligent

This lesson not only helps students choose an English name but also encourages them to reflect on their personal qualities and goals in a fun and creative way.