Watching native-English-speaking YouTubers definitely helped me with learning English as a foreign language. There are certain things you can’t pick up on while sitting in a classroom, so YouTube became my window onto how the language works in practice which I’m grateful for. However, I found my subscription box to be limited to YouTubers predominantly from the UK and the US… which poses certain problems.
You might ask yourself: why would I want to watch non-native English-speakers if English is my first language? Following this train of thought you might also ask yourself ‘Why would I want to watch Black YouTubers if I’m White?’; ‘Why would I want to watch trans YouTubers if I’m cis?’; ‘Why would I want to watch disabled YouTubers if I’m able-bodied?’, and the list of those questions goes on…
Your subscription box shouldn’t be treated like a cardboard box – limited in its capacity, closed, small and simply boring. Rather, it’s a subscription window; a window in which it’s you who create the view, so I encourage you to take a look at the YouTubers I listed below. Hopefully, you’ll find someone who interests you.
Antastesia: Emy is a postgraduate in Linguistics and Literature from France, based in Paris, and makes videos both in French as well as in English. In her videos, she mostly talks about veganism, feminism, literature, politics, sexuality, and her travels – which constitute a large portion of her content, especially on her blog. What I like about Emy’s travel vlogs is that she doesn’t visit obvious touristy spots – Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Myanmar are among a the countries she has visited.
Marie Jacquemin: Marie doesn’t upload very frequently, but when she does, it’s a real aesthetic feast for your eyes. Originally from Bonn (Germany), she then moved to London, where she currently lives, to study Film. She has now graduated and works in the creative industry. Her videos are not elaborative; they are more of a snippets from her life, peaceful and very well-edited. If you’re Will Darbyshire’s fan, chances are you’ll like Marie as well.
Marie Jacquemin https://www.youtube.com/user/mariejacquepot/featured
Ana Marta: Ana is a graphic designer from Porto, Portugal. Together with Marie Jacquemin and a bunch of other YouTubers they created a channel called New Age Creators (they collaborated on a couple of videos with SoulPancake – a channel with over 2 million subscriptions). Even though Ana’s channel, nor New Age Creators’ channel, are active, I still highly recommend you check them out, especially if you’re interested in graphic design.
Kat Napiorkowska: Best known for her ‘LIVING WITH DEPRESSION’ video (over 8 million views) Napiorkowska is an award-winning amateur filmmaker and a professional photographer from Poland who focuses on mental health. She doesn’t just explain what different mental health disorders or illnesses are. Instead, using image, words and sound, she skilfully paints a psychological picture of a person who is suffering from those. She does so in a very sophisticated manner that resembles that of Wes Anderson, where colours and symmetry are of great importance. She also has her own lingerie line with a wide range of sizes.
Kat Napiorkowska https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxoaO7nLSSUjtVFm_tA4EEQ
doyouknowellie: Ellie is a filmmaker from Italy, based in London. Although most of her videos are in English, she always puts Italian subtitles. She talks a lot about what it’s like to learn English, the differences between the UK and Italy, as well as her opinions on a broad areas of social and cultural phenomena.
A little bit of Monika: Monika, originally from the Dominican Republic, is a film graduate who lives in the US. Her videos cover a broad range of issues –from film reviews and talking about what it’s like to study Film, through favourites videos and room tours, to videos about the Dominican Republic and the perception/stereotypes of Latinas.
A little bit of Monika https://www.youtube.com/user/moniGobaira/featured
Fran Meneses: Fran is a Chilean illustrator based in New York. In her videos she talks about her profession (we can follow the processes of drawing illustrations), what does being a freelancer mean in practice, her travels (she used to live in Berlin and Hastings). She also owns an online shop where you can buy her art work, graphic novel and planners.
Fran Meneses https://www.youtube.com/user/frannerd13
booksandquills: Sanne is a YouTuber from the Netherlands, where she studied English Literature. She’s lived in London for a couple of years now and works in book publishing. As her channel’s name would suggest, she mainly talks about books, though not only in the form of book reviews… On her channel you can find interviews with authors, book to film adaptation reviews, book hauls and many more.
Elise: Seeing the raising popularity of ASMR channels, I had to include at least one. Because of the nature of her channel, I don’t know much about Elise. She lives in South Korea and has got a French accent. She definitely stands out from the multiplying crowd of whispering YouTubers who want to apply make on your face. Even in her channel’s description, she says, ‘I only aim to entertain & educate. :)))’ and that educational factor makes Elise unique among other ASMRtists. Browsing through her videos, you can find titles such as: ‘Favourite German words & their etymology’, ‘Simone de Beauvoir does your makeup’ (I know it’s a make-up video, but hey! Done by Simone de Beauvoir!) or ‘Game of Thrones characters and their real life historical counterparts’.