How I lost my accent and became fluent in English

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At the end of my second year of acting school,
I was offered to play the role of Lady Macbeth by William Shakespeare in the final school production. (Out, damned spot! Out, I say!)

I did not hesitate.
Shakespeare made sense to me and I felt connected to his words even though I wasn’t acting in my native tongue.

But then, when the director came up with the ‘brilliant’ idea of doing the entire show in a Scottish accent, well…

This is pretty much what went through my head:
$#^*&$%^*$)^&(*^&(*&@#!@#!@!@$#@#@%@@@!!!!!!!!!!!
And then –
OMG, really dude?
People barely understand Shakespeare as it is.
And you wanna do it in a Scottish accent?! Are you KIDDING ME??

I said no way. I will fail.
I’ll sound stupid.
I could hear the audience saying: “Nice acting, but what’s the deal with that strange Americanized-Israelian-Scottished accent”?
Nuh-uh.

But then, I said to myself…There’s no way I’m giving up on this part.
I know how to work on dialects, I mean, I’ve done it once with Standard American…

So I rolled up my sleeves and terrified yet determined wrote the entire text in a notebook, took notes, marked new sounds and watched dozens of Scottish films (ok, just one). I even took a dialect coach.

I actually did pretty well, taking into consideration the time limitations and resources (I don’t think YouTube was even invented back then).
But more than anything, overcoming this challenge made me a more capable and knowledgeable speaker, and it helped me understand my needs and my accent so so much better.

Why am I telling you all this?

Many people have asked me about my journey.
What steps I’d taken to become a fluent speaker.
After giving it much thought, I detected 5 elements that set me up for success and helped me become a fluent and confident speaker.

Challenging myself was one of them.

If you want to know what the other 4 are, and to hear about my 5-day fluency challenge that is starting next week.. Do NOT miss out on today’s episode.

Watch: How I lost my accent and became fluent in English

So.. what about YOUR fluency breakthrough?
Have you been looking for an opportunity to put what you’ve learned into practice?

If so, I’d LOVE to see you in my 5-day fluency challenge.
You’ll get daily emails from me, a practical workbook, watch live videos and join a supportive community on FB.
But the best part about it is that you’ll TAKE ACTION.

So come join us for the 5-day fluency challenge.
Here’s to everlasting fluency!
xoxo

Hadar

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Hey it’s Hadar and this is the

Accent’s Way.

Today I want to talk about the five

elements that helped me become

a confident and fluent speaker.

And I’m going to invite you to join

my challenge that is going to take

you out of your comfort zone and

help you become a fluent

and confident speaker as

well.

When I moved to New York when I was

20 I had a fairly strong

accent and my level

of English was let’s say

intermediate.

I could express myself

and conduct basic conversations

but I couldn’t go into deeper

conversations without feeling

self-conscious or insecure.

And when I’m looking back

I’m trained to detect the few

elements that really helped me

become a confident speaker doing

what I’m doing right now.

That is teaching American

pronunciation, coaching English.

And I discovered five things, five

things that were essential

in helping me become who I

am today.

Now the first one was immersion.

I immerse myself in an English

speaking environment.

I surrounded myself with English.

Now I know this may not be an option

for many of you.

This is why you need to join my

challenge to discover how to do

that when you’re not living in an

English speaking country.

But for me that was the one thing

that really helped me own

it eventually.

I surrounded myself mostly with

English. I watched television I read

books I read the newspaper, I

had American friends and

I was working in English.

So all I did was

speak English, listen to English.

I lived English.

The second thing is methodology.

The method and the technique

of what I’m doing today and actually

what I’m teaching today.

I learned it myself when I was an

acting school we had speech

classes.

In there we broke down

English language into sounds

and melodies and

elements of speech.

That when you understand

every single one of them separately

it’s a lot easier.

And you’re so much more in control

when you put it all back together.

So for me it wasn’t about what I

learned in school anymore or what I

thought I was hearing.

It was clear and I had an answer

for everything.

And I knew what my weaknesses and

strengths are.

And I knew what to focus on.

And what to let go of.

The third thing was challenging

myself.

Every situation that made me feel

uncomfortable, every situation

that I was intimidated by I

jumped on it.

I took it.

I took any speaking opportunity,

I took any part that was

challenging.

I mean at the end of my second year

I played Lady Macbeth in

a Scottish accent.

So think about it two years before

I had a foreign accent and I was

self-conscious about my English

and there I was getting this offer

to play a role a Shakespearean

role in a Scottish accent.

I was terrified about it.

I freaked out but you know what.

I worked hard.

I challenged myself.

And I was actually really good at

it.

The fourth thing is practice.

I Practice.

I did the work. So first

I had my assignments from school.

I had top practice sound

so I would drill the words, repeat

words and phrases and sentences with

the same sound.

I would take my speech book and sit

and read it aloud and record myself

with a tape recorder and play it

and listen to it and play it again.

And repeat it again and again.

Every single day.

I’m lying cuz it wasn’t every day

but I was supposed to do it every

day. Don’t tell my speech teacher.

Anyway but I did it a lot

and I felt the change and I

felt the difference immediately.

And then I leveraged situations

into practice opportunities.

So for example if I watch television

I would speak back to it.

I used to hear people and I would

repeat them right after I would

echo them.

I would read aloud whenever

I could.

I would memorize texts and

monologues from movie scenes

and television series.

And I would just go over it

in my head and I would practice

and practice and practice.

I loved it. I enjoyed it because

every time I did it I felt a little

better than I did before.

And I felt that I’m actually making

a change. Because those small steps

that you take they empower you.

And when you feel empowered you feel

capable and you feel that you can

actually make a change.

And that’s the one thing you need to

remember when you know that you can

do it.

You can do it.

If you feel that you can’t do

it and it’s too difficult.

Then it’s going to be really hard

to get to that breakthrough.

The last thing is communication.

I would talk

a lot even if I didn’t

want to talk even if I didn’t feel

comfortable talking I

talked.

I talked with people, I talk

to people.

I would take any speaking

opportunity that I could.

I used to wait tables so I remember

that the introduction and

talking about the specials was a

thing for me.

Because it was an opportunity to

practice and I would make a big deal

out of it in a friendly and fun way.

And I saw what worked and what

didn’t work. What activated

people, what helped people connect

to me.

What motivated people to ask

questions and I took all this

information and used it

again and again every time

I communicated.

And when I moved back to

Israel and I had less opportunities

to communicate in English.

I mean there’s a certain amount of

tourists that come into the city a

year.

Then that’s when I started teaching

and let me tell you this teaching

was also a game changer for me

because that’s when I understood

everything clearly.

Because to explain something in a

clear way you have to be very

clear about it in

your head and I think that’s

what made the difference for me.

And of course speaking in English

and teaching in English helped me

become the speaker that I am today.

So that’s it.

These were the five elements

that helped me become a confident

and fluent speaker.

And these are the five elements that

I included in the challenge

that I prepared for you today.

In the challenge which was a free

challenge you’ll have access to

LIVE video lessons you’ll be able to

interact with me and ask me

questions.

You’ll receive a daily email with a

PDF sheet with instructions

for the next day, you’ll receive

tasks and assignments.

You’ll make videos of yourselves and

you’ll communicate with other

people.

We will lay out all the

conditions to help you succeed

and help you make a change

towards becoming a fluent and

confident speaker.

To join the challenge all you need

to do is just click on the link

below and get instructions

straight to your email with a link

to our private Facebook group.

Look, those five days are going to

pass anyway.

Question is what are you going

to do in those five days.

So we’ll help you reach your goals.

Don’t miss the opportunity and join

us for the challenge.

Also share this video with

your friends. If you don’t want to

do this challenge alone.

Have a wonderful week.

Thank you so much for watching and

I’ll see you next week in the next video.

Show Episode Transcript

4 Comments on “How I lost my accent and became fluent in English”

  1. Thank you, Hadar for the great job that you are doing for people like me- not young, with not good English in a new country, who has to start everything from beginning. I heard that it is very hard to learn a new language when you are not young, moreover, you will never speak as a native speaker. But I believe everything is possible if you have strong faith inside of you.
    Again, thank you for proving that everything is possible.

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