How to make English-speaking friends is one of the perennial hot topics for new overseas students and new migrants. Advice on how to make “native” friends circulates like an underground currency: “Move in with English-speaking flat-mates!” “Avoid co-ethnics!” “Watch footy and next day ask the person at the bus stop what they thought of that tackle.” “Take up a sport, a hobby, a religion and join in.” The list of what is and is not supposed to work is endless and so is the hidden sense of failure nourished by many whose English isn’t as good as they think it should be and who don’t have as many local friends as they think they should have. There is a facile assumption that language learning and making friends are connected in a virtuous cycle: English makes it easier to make friends, which in turn improves your language proficiency, which in turn allows you access to ever more widening networks and so on and so forth to the happy point where you speak perfect English and have a wide, dense and complex network of social contacts.
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- 200401 applied linguistics and educational linguistics
- 200405 language in culture and society (sociolinguistics)