Teacher Tip on Spanish Names

Now that you’re able to pronounce students’ names in Spanish, following is a note about the culture.

In Latin America and Spain everyone has two last names. One is paternal and the other is maternal. The last name of the father is first and the last name of the mother is second.

Many teachers make the mistake of using only the second last name when addressing the student or even hyphenating the two last names.

Consider the following example:

The well-known author and winner of the 1982 Nobel Prize in literature is Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He could be addressed as Gabriel Garcia Marquez or Gabriel Garcia but never Gabriel Marquez.

From Professional Learning Board’s online continuing education course for teachers: Spanish for Educators

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