Once a foreign student now an English coach | My story | Confidence in English


Hey guys, it’s Hadar. So you all know me
as a pronunciation coach here on YouTube but I’ve never told you my story and how
I get to do what I do and why I do it. Now as some of you already know, I’m
not a native English speaker. I’m an Israel born Hebrew speaker and English is a second language to me. When I was twenty I moved to New York. I wanted to become
an actress and I wanted to start a new life away from my home. I was in love with New York City and I really wanted to be a part of it and didn’t want to be different, I didn’t want to be perceived as the other, as the foreigner. In fact, in the first year, I even changed my name to Julia, so I wouldn’t have to face questions like “Oh, Heydar? Hadaar? Oh, what an interesting name? Where’re you from?” You see I didn’t want my neighbors start a conversation about the fact that I’m a foreigner but not that it helped because you know the moment I would open my mouth, people would hear my voice and say: “Oh, what a cute accent!” or “What an exotic accent you have?”, “Where are you from?” but you know what it wasn’t just that
that made me feel self-conscious about myself or about my English I felt that when I speak my English is like a baby that constantly had to be tended or cared for you know by me or by others like when people have to complete my
sentences, you know that, when people have when people complete your sentences
because it was too difficult for me to express a complex thought or idea or
when I get stuck or say something but get those blank expressions because I
was pronouncing it all wrong now luckily I had really-really good friends that
made me feel super appreciated and gave me tons of confidence and I realized
that they were interested in what I have to say and you know even if it was
broken or slower than what they were used to hearing and obviously that gave
me more confidence and I became more forgiving and less judgmental of
myself and that really helped me. And then when I was 23 I started my training at Circle in the Square Theatre school. So I finally went to an acting school. Now this really has been a life-changing experience for me because I’ve learned
so much about life and hard work and about being genuine and honest. I’ve
discovered my passion for the written word and for the spoken word but mostly
I loved my speech classes where I felt and where I fell in love with the sounds
of English and the ability to modify my accent because we also work on different
dialects of English like Scottish and Irish and British and to do all that
just by learning the phonology and phonetics of English and really
listening to the language and I was inspired and in awe by the change in my
confidence and self-worth thanks to the new understanding of English something
that it is really simple just understanding something and what impact it had on me. So, yes, I ended up not becoming a famous actress although it had been my dream since I remember myself but I know that every choice I’d made got me to where I am now and looking back that was the journey I had
to take and everything I’ve learned from my teachers and fellow students and
friends is here with me as I’ve been teaching others as I’m a friend to others as and as I am as a mother. So, yeah and when I moved back to Israel in 2006, that was ten years ago, I felt that I have to share those things
that I’ve learned with everyone like I remembered what impact it had on my life and my English. So I started giving private accent lessons. Now, of course, everyone around me started saying “Oh, accent training? That sounds really interesting but we’re not actors, that’s not important we don’t need to change your accents. I mean we should learn grammar and vocabulary.” But you know what I knew that it can help people because accent is not just sounds and melody. It’s about having a deeper understanding
of the language and when you know something and you’re specific obviously
it boosts your confidence, you’re less judgmental and you know what to do in
order to change it’s not big and overwhelming So I started teaching but at first, I was really embarrassed to admit that and not a native English
speaker. I would even try to hide it. Because after all there are so many amazing speech coaches out there who are native speakers. And what do I have to
contribute? How can I possibly reach their level? But as I got better at what
I do and I saw the results in you know my students, I realized that what I
believed to be my disadvantage turned out to be my biggest strength because of
my background and training and history I know the way non-native speakers think
while trying to process the sounds and intonational patterns of English. I know
that because I’m one of them and because I’ve been there myself I know what to
say and how to explain it to make it specific and clear. So I realized that this is something that is unique to me and only I can deliver it that way and
my otherness something that I wanted to hide in the past has become the thing I’m
proud of the most. Now to say that I’m perfect, that I don’t make mistakes? No. Because you know what just the other day I had a student texting me saying:
“Hey, Hadar, you know ‘persistency’ is not a word.” No, yes I know that. But at 3 a.m. when I was sending my newsletter to thousands of subscribers of people, it sounded pretty darn good to me. So, yes I still make mistakes but I don’t beat myself up over it. I learned from it and I know that I’ll be a little better next time
and this is something that I’ve learned from you guys because I see the journey
people make, struggling through the tedious grammar rules and pronunciation
challenges and irregular everything. I see so much courage and passion in my
students and my YouTube followers you guys struggle to get your voices out
there, to express yourself even when it feels unnatural and uncomfortable you do
it while and despite hearing those voices of “shut up, you sound stupid” or “you
sound terrible”. I know these voices. I feel like I invented them but thanks to you I realized that the need to be heard and to communicate is stronger than self-criticism or outward criticism and pursuing change and improvement comes from learning from mistakes and not silencing yourself because of them. This is what gives me inspiration and drive to share my knowledge with everyone because our strengths and uniqueness
come from being different and you know what especially these days it’s important to stand for who we are and what we have the contribute to the world and say to the world as others. So this is my story and now I’d love to hear from you, about your story. Tell me what is your story? Tell us your story. What are your struggles and what makes you stronger and better? Share it with all of us in the comments below so we can learn from your experience and feel less lonely in our journey because we are all a part of a bigger community that is connected by words and sounds that allow us to overcome cultural, social and political barriers. And this is also a great opportunity to say thank you for following me and trusting me. Alright, that’s it. Please share this video with whom everything may benefit from it and subscribe to my channel so I can keep on
sharing everything I know. Thank you so much for watching. Have a great day and I’ll see you in the next video. Bye!

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