If you would like to encourage your child to continue their English studies, here’s a great motivational story that is sure to excite them! One of our talented Novakid students, Kartal Biljanli, is a great example of the fact that dreams have no boundaries – he has been cast in a new Netflix show! This is attributed to the fact that he focused on his English lessons, leading to this wonderful career opportunity.
The new Netflix project takes us to the times of the Ottoman Empire. The streets of Istanbul have become an ideal backdrop to the story, and the confident performance of the actors, even the youngest ones, really brings the story to life on the screen.
The series was filmed in English, which is not the native language of most of the actors. This is important, as it meant that they had to work really hard to be able to star in this series.
Kartal Biljanli (11 years old) completed an English course through Novakid and he believes his success on set can be accredited to this experience. His knowledge of the language has helped him feel confident on set.
From the role of a chicken to the image of a villain
Kartal is clearly talented! When he was younger, he participated in a drama studio production where he played … a chicken! After his first acting experience, Kartal decided to continue to develop himself as an actor. However, to reach the international level, good English skills are required, so Kartal diligently set to work.
“The director from the United States said Kartal spoke fluent English and he had a very good accent”, says Huma Biljanli, Kartal’s mom. “He got the role not only because of his acting skills and experience, but also due to his English fluency.”
Kartal plays quite a challenging role, some would say even an odious one. However, the young actor found it interesting: “I know he is a bad character, but he fights for his freedom. Also, he is ambitious. If he really wants to achieve something, he does everything for the sake of it. I do exactly the same, I also have aspirations and strength to achieve my goals”.
Willpower on the set – age is nothing but a number
Working in an international project for a company like Netflix is a serious challenge for any actor, no matter what age they are. Kartal had to get up before dawn to be on set. Complex make-up, costumes, regular meetings with tutors and teachers – all of this requires remarkable endurance and commitment.
“The filming process was quite hard on the family. We were all waking up very early and had to move to different towns. Although the main cast was based in Istanbul, the filming happened in other places as well. Sometimes the changes in the schedule took place quite suddenly, so we had to adapt our family routine to this reality. Usually, we had to be at the set at 6 a.m and each scene was filmed from different angles. For example, Kartal needed to fall down in the sand at one point, and he had to do that over and over again to get it right. So he had to have a lot of patience”
shared Huma Biljanli.
Overcoming the language barrier
“Novakid really helped me to achieve my goals,” says Kartal. “With Novakid, I had the opportunity to study English online with native teachers. Before taking lessons at Novakid, I was afraid to speak English, probably due to a lack of practice. My confidence has grown since then. I then took two international exams, an Oxford and Cambridge exam, and passed.”
Kartal is confident that in future, English will be an even more important and universal means of communication for many people. He shared an example of his father who runs an international business. The business operates within markets of different countries and requires a good command of English. Kartal sees how important it is for the further growth of the company.
Feeling confident when travelling
The young actor dedicates a lot of time to practising English. “At school Kartal does 10 hours of English on a weekly basis, and he also completes 2 hours with Novakid and 1 hour with a private teacher”, shared Huma. “Before the Covid-19, we were travelling a lot with the family, and the children could practise while travelling.”
Kartal loves those memories: “When I was little, we went to France! I spoke English there. We have our family friends there, but they do not speak English well. So when we were at restaurants and were ordering things, I was speaking English! It was a cool opportunity to practise.”
The studies stand above all
Parents of talented children often discuss the potential risks of a child’s psychological development if they start an acting career from an early age. We asked Kartal’s mother about this.
“It’s quite difficult for children to start this sort of career from a very young age, but I believe that every child is different and special. Every child has different abilities and different social activities. So as conscious parents, we need to support our children to help them develop their skills, and pay attention to their needs along the way. I do not see those as risks, I see them as opportunities. I know that Kartal is very good at acting, but also he is good at studies. So, first, he has to pay attention to his studies, and then he can do something extra! I think that this way parents also prevent children from any risks,” highlighted Huma Biljanli.
We know that every Novakid student is talented, and everyone has their own story of a big or small victory that is worth sharing. We support talented children and their wonderful parents! Leave a comment below this article if you’d like to share your child’s story and the Novakid editors will contact you.
If your child is not learning English at Novakid yet, then sign them up for a free trial lesson. At the lesson, the teacher will show an interactive platform and assess your child’s English level. Make sure learning English is fun!