How to Find English-Speaking Practice Partners

Today we are going to learn how to win friends through English! Yes, how to be more likable and how to connect with other people who also speak English. It’s important to find English-speaking practice partners. This is going to be a life-changing lesson for you!

If this is your first visit, welcome! I’m Gabby, the founder and host here at Go Natural English.  Our amazing Go Natural English team teacher, Hale, is going to teach this lesson. So Hale, take it away!

Do You Have Trouble Finding English-Speaking Practice Partners?

Hi guys, it’s me, Hale.  I have a question for you. Do you ever have trouble finding someone to practice English with? I’m not talking about a teacher, or a language tutor, or someone that you pay to help you with your English. I’m talking about everyday language practice.

This is a major problem, especially for beginners. They can’t find someone in everyday conversation to practice English with. There’s a reason for that – a lot of native English speakers don’t want to speak to beginning speakers because the conversation is so limited. You need to make people really want to talk to you! You need to make them want to be your friend, not just someone that they’re helping with English.

How to Make People Want to Talk to You

Today, I’m going to talk to you about how to make anyone like you when you talk to them in English.

First, a little background. What I’m going to tell you today is based on a very popular book called How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. This book was written over 80 years ago, It’s a classic in business and self-help. It has sold over 15 million copies worldwide, so it is a time-tested book. The tips I’m going to give you today are directly from this book.

6 Tips from Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie was born into poverty on a small farm in the United States. Using the techniques that he writes about, he was able to bring his family out of poverty and become very successful. I’m going to share with you 6 tips from Dale Carnegie on how to make anyone like you.

Tip #1

Be genuinely interested in the other person.

Sometimes we just want to get hours of English practice so we can become fluent. However, the other person is going to “be onto you.” They might know that you just want to practice English with them, and that you aren’t really interested in them as a person. You need to ask yourself, “Am I genuinely interested in this person? Would I like to spend time with them if we weren’t practicing English?”

Be brutally honest with yourself. If you not genuinely interested in the other person, they’re going to know, and they’re not going to want to spend time with you and talk to you in English. If they’re not interested, that’s okay. There are billions of people in the world and many of them speak English! Be a friend, and you’ll find English-speaking practice partners who will want to talk to you.

Tip #2

Smile!

A smile is like an invitation to friendship. Just be smiling when you’re talking. You don’t want to be “creepy” about it. Smile like this!

Tip #3

Remember their name.

This should be obvious, but a lot of people forget. A lot of people don’t remember names. They just say, “oh, I’m bad with names.” I used to be the same way. Really, it’s a decision. If you want to remember names, you need to make the commitment.

When you’re talking to a person, there are a few tricks.

  1. During the conversation, repeat their name a few times. That will help you remember.
  2. Associate their face with their name. This is a great memory trick. Think of an image that their name reminds you of. When you see their face again, you will think of that image, and remember their name.

Remembering names is important if you want someone to like you!

Tip #4

Be a good listener.

This one can be hard when you are beginner English speaker, because you are trying to think of the next thing to say in the conversation instead of actually listening very carefully to what the person is saying. I know, I’ve been there when I learn other languages! I try to plan what I’m going to say while the other person is talking.

The problem with this is that you haven’t heard what they said. You haven’t shown that you’re interested in what they said. There are several ways to fix this.

One is body language. You can nod while they’re talking. Let them know that you’re listening. Two, you can repeat back what they said. This shows that you understood. Don’t just repeat the words exactly. Repeat it back in your own words. It will also help you express yourself in English, because you will get to summarize what someone told you in English. It’s a win-win situation!

Tip #5

Talk about the other person’s interests.

This one can be hard for a beginning English speaker. Teachers tell you to learn how to talk about yourself and your background. You learn to talk about your interests, your job, and where you’re from. That’s all very important! You should definitely know how to say that.

However, when you’re trying to get someone to like you, then you need to really show more interest in what they’re saying. This is part of it being an active listener, which was tip #4. After listening, try to talk more about what they’re interested in.

You might say, “But I don’t have the vocabulary to talk about that,” and that might be true. Maybe step one is the first conversation. Step two is to learn more vocabulary about what they’re interested in. Step three is your next conversation with them. Continue talking about their interests, because people really like to talk about what they’re interested in.

Tip # 6

Make the other person feel important.

If you followed tips 1-5, the other person should feel super important right now and want to be around you. When you make someone feel important, they’re going to want to talk to you.  They’re going to want to be around you, and then you’re going to be able to practice your English with them. Everybody gets something! You become friends, and you get to practice English.

You Can Use These Six Tips Everyday to find English-Speaking Practice Partners

These six tips don’t just have to be used only for practicing English. You can use them in your everyday life and in your native language! They can be used to get people to want to be around you, to spend time with you, and to talk to you.

Get out there and practice them today! Ask yourself, right now, who is one person today that I can practice with? Then go do it!

While you’re looking for a new friend to practice with, why not give Siri a try? Check out this post to learn how to talk to Siri on your phone.

Leave us a comment below, and tell us which of these tips was the most surprising for you. Have you heard tips about this before? Tell us what you’ve heard – but most importantly, get out there and put it into action! You can do this! You can make people want to talk to you when you speak English. Go get it!

This was an awesome lesson! Make sure to subscribe – hit the button right down there and make sure to turn on notifications! Visit us at Go Natural English.com – I hope to see you there. Bye for now!