British Josie
Professional Teacher
Making friends with native English speakers
I am teaching a new course for non-native English speakers to make friends with native English speakers, particularly Brits (British people).

I would love to get some input from the italki community: what has your experience been of living in an English speaking country?

Were you able to make 'native' friends or not?

If so- how?

If not- why not?

Jun 10, 2020 4:58 PM
Comments · 6
I`ve had an amazing experience in the UK! Here are few tips of mine.

<ol><li>Be Local - While meeting new people frequently feels great I recommend you to focus on a longer lasting friendships where you can discuss broader topics than just getting to know each other and then forget it all. Visit the same pubs and bars, libraries, parks, cafes, etc. Even if you aren`t very talkative you will see that other people will start noticing you and talk to you out of curiosity. This will also remove the feeling of being a guest in that country and instead you actually have something in common with other to discuss.</li><li>Do not isolate yourself with people speaking your native language. This creates a barrier and it is more likely for you not to meet someone who actually speaks English. I`ve seen this many times and also creates the sense of separation.</li><li>Add them on Social Media. - It will make your friendship stronger or maybe weaker(who cares!). I`ve recently met someone at the airport for 10 minutes, we exchanged our accounts and now I see that we post similar memes and we comment on each others posts every week. It feels like I know him for years!</li><li>If you happen to work or study somewhere, invite your coworkers for a drink! Tell them to invite their friends too! If you are shy, ask them a simple question like - where do you hangout on your days off and there is a high chance of you being invited without even asking for it!</li><li>Don`t get obsessed with native speakers. This also will be a reason of you being perceived as a someone who just wants to practice the language without contributing to the conversation. Its like trying to be friends with every native. NO you can not! You need to have something in common other than the language! Common topics, likes,friends, jobs, ideas or genuine presence. Value has to be exchanged in any shape or form.</li></ol>
June 10, 2020
Hi Josie,

I lived in Kent and London and I was making friends with native speakers at a steady pace of roughly one friend per year (and I mean friends I'm willing to keep for life). What I find quite interesting is where these native speakers came from. I befriended exactly zero people originally from Kent, one Irish person, two Londoners, two Australians and about five people from Up North. I never lived Up North.

I don't think any of these people approached me or started talking to me out of the blue. OK, maybe the Aussies did. With the rest, we just worked together and got to know each other gradually until something clicked. A good indicator for me was when they didn't care much for small talk and were happy to have a more meaningful conversation. I'm really glad this was the case because had my social life depended on my ability to engage in small talk, I would have remained friendless. Perhaps I should have attended a friend-making course :)

Another thing I noticed was that if I got on with someone I usually got on with their family as well. In my country the chances are fifty fifty, I'd say. So if you find someone you like in the UK, if you have a similar sense of humour and general mindset, go meet the family.
June 10, 2020
Thank you for sharing your experience Nikola and great tips Sed!!! I agree 100%
June 11, 2020
Just curious who is so-called "native " in the USA?

Is 5 years living in the country enough to be native? Or 10 ? Any other criteria?
June 10, 2020
Hi Josie I"m Martin
I Think its very difficult to meet someone If you are non-english speaker but it is possible
I met one lady almost 5 years ago and we are very good friends since that time.
Feel free to contact me on p m
June 10, 2020
Show More
British Josie
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, German, Other, Spanish
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Other, Spanish