Meet Dr. Larissa Chuprina’s
A culture coach doing amazing work with a distressed population
Her journey into the world of teaching and adapting to new languages and cultures began when she was just a child, exposed to various languages and cultures due to her international upbringing.
With a passion for teaching, she pursued a career in education, eventually opening her language school in Ukraine. Larissa’s experience as an immigrant and her expertise in educational psychology, allowed her to develop a unique approach to teaching English as a second language.
She discovered that incorporating elements of mindfulness and emotional support into the learning process not only enhances students’ confidence and self-awareness but quickly leads to greater success and happiness in their new environment.
Tune in to hear Dr. Chuprina’s inspiring story and her calling to help immigrant and refugee populations adapt to new cultures, and how mindfulness helps her clients very quickly to have better lives under these stressful and challenging circumstances.
You can learn more about Dr. Chuprina from her website at https://ESLandCultureCoach.net
And her linked in profile : https://www.linkedin.com/in/drlarissachuprina/
She is a member of the Mindful Coach Association and a graduate of The Mindful Coach Method along with many other certifications and degrees.
00:00:04 - Brett Hill
Hello and welcome to The Mindful Coach Association, a podcast where you'll meet the courageous coaches and helping professionals who value mindfulness in their life and work and hear their inspiring stories. Firsthand, you'll hear about new technology that is breaking new ground, as well as discussions with experts to help you be more successful in your practice. It's going to be a lot of fun and you're going to meet some remarkable people. And I'm your host, Brett Hill. I'm a mindful. Somatic coach and founder of The Mindful Coach Association. I meet a lot of coaches working with The Mindful Coach Association and so inspired by their stories and the courageous work that they're doing that I created this podcast so you can hear them too. If you're aligned with this work, then join us@theThe Mindful Coach Association where you can list your services for absolutely free and receive invitations to community meetings where you can network and meet your colleagues. We hope you'll join us. And now The Mindful Coach Association. So welcome to The Mindful Coach Association. My name is Brett Hill. I'm your host, and I'm really excited to welcome to the show a special guest, Dr. Larissa Chupriana. Just listen to this and you'll understand why she was a guest that I felt like I absolutely had to have on the show. She works at the intersection of language, culture, and self development as a consultant and English as a second language cultural coach. She provides support to immigrants and expatriates by teaching them to use the English language mindfully and to pay attention to words and other aspects of the language. She's proficient in English, Russian, and Ukrainian. Larissa facilitates communication across cultures as an interpreter and a translator for government organizations, businesses, and provides strategic guidance on outreach to ethnic communities. Wow, what a mission. That's amazing. Welcome, Larissa. It's so great to see you.
00:02:03 - Larissa Chupriana
Thank you for having me here.
00:02:06 - Brett Hill
Oh, it's my privilege. So tell us a little bit about the work that you do, the community that you're involved with in your day to day work. What's the kind of thing that you're doing that involves mindfulness and your coaching?
00:02:21 - Larissa Chupriana
Yes. I have passion and commitment to helping people who especially new arrivals to the United States, to the culture and language with cultural and emotional support. 20 years of teaching experience and working with English learners helped me to understand that it's not only grammar or vocabulary that is needed for learners to speak English confidently, but more emotional and confidence, and also creating a new selfidentity so that they can express themselves easily with dignity, with the realization of their value. Yes.
00:03:23 - Brett Hill
I love the way you connect to dignity and value. I guess when I met you and I heard about the work that you're doing and I heard some of the stories you were telling, it just sort of touched me in a deep place because I just sort of empathetically just imagined the challenge of moving to an entirely new country, away from everything you've known and being in a foreign land with foreign customs and expectations and finding someone like you who can help them make that translation. Literally pardon the pun, but make that transformation into a new culture in a way that helps them connect and stay connected to who they really are. It just felt like such important and powerful work. So I'm grateful that you're doing that. So tell me, what are the kinds of things that you find are the most challenging for people that you engage? What are the first things that you work on with them?
00:04:32 - Larissa Chupriana
For those for whom English is a new language completely, we can call them beginners or false beginners. Maybe they studied the English language but have not used it in the new context. It is really a challenge for them to enroll in colleges or to find a place to study a language, how to connect, to find a job. And they might be very talented in the field. That is very important for the economy of the United States. However, the lack of English skills, nuances, cultural nuances, how to reach out, how to present self, it is really a challenge even to those who speak English fluently.
00:05:35 - Brett Hill
00:05:39 - Larissa Chupriana
So that is why my program is a combination of different approaches. First of all, to understand your own resources and to come to your realization of your own value.
00:05:57 - Brett Hill
So you start with that, then.
00:06:04 - Larissa Chupriana
I don't call them students, I call them participants. Because together we create a program based on their learning needs and inspirations and goals. And like ten classes of sessions, I call it coaching, co, creating together the program that can help them to build this confidence, knowledge and skills to reach their goals. It can be just to be more independent in the community, to get a driving license, to talk to teachers of their children, to make new friends. And they take it like first level.
00:06:51 - Brett Hill
To have a life, right?
00:06:55 - Larissa Chupriana
To make an appointment with a doctor, to be present at the playground with their children, and to help children make connections and make friends. And I have a very interesting exercise. It's starting with the poem I am where participants choose the words that describe them and they are usually long lasting qualities. The truth that does not disappear, whether they are in this country or before this is the soft skills or qualities which are valued anywhere across languages and cultures. And when they come to this realization that they have this quality, they feel better about themselves, even their posture changes and how they present themselves. And really, within five classes sessions, they get a new job or promotion on better rates for themselves as they work in business.
00:08:17 - Brett Hill
Yes, that's so beautiful. You're starting with not so much, but you're really starting at a level of identity. Like, who am I? What do I bring to the world?
00:08:32 - Larissa Chupriana
Yes. And there is misunderstanding that if you come to another country, you need to have to change completely your identity and what I'm saying. No. You need to recognize your truth and your value. But you can acquire some new skills and knowledge that can help you to express yourself in a new language, in a new cultural environment. So this is number one. And attitude it gives them confidence also they believe in themselves I can do. And after that when also see that it's all doable steps to learn grammar, which is easy vocabulary which they need according to their interests. It's also it comes sort of interesting with the interesting exercises and we discuss topics that are of value to them. Life relevant.
00:09:43 - Brett Hill
I'm sorry, go ahead.
00:09:45 - Larissa Chupriana
I'm sorry. So it is combination of attitude, knowledge and skills but we start with attitude and self realization, self awareness, self confidence, self value, self care and that's why it is called English for success and happiness because satisfaction and joy of learning and also acceptance of self is very.
00:10:16 - Brett Hill
Important so how do you help them do that? How do you help them connect to who? I'm going to call it using my language connect to who they are?
00:10:27 - Larissa Chupriana
Yeah, first of all, this poem also discuss in their life and just say oh, you have done this, it's amazing or also I have a questionnaire what are you good at? And when they describe what they did and what they are good at it also helps them to build like transfer these skills but also confidence they can.
00:10:54 - Brett Hill
Do into new are mindfulness skills helpful in the work that you do?
00:11:02 - Larissa Chupriana
Definitely so mindful about who you are and what language you use because language is our program conscious and subconsciously so language is very important what we say to ourselves but also what story we are telling and we also have a first even lesson what are you going to do? So it's not so much what you did not to dwell much in the past but to envision a beautiful future and how they can go there.
00:11:51 - Brett Hill
I'm imagining that a lot of the people who find themselves in an immigrant status have come through some pretty difficult times, and being in an entirely new culture is a huge challenge. So how do you work with that aspect of it when you start to encounter people that they're just so overwhelmed with the circumstances that they can't really connect well to this bigger issue?
00:12:26 - Larissa Chupriana
That's a very good point and that's why this is.
00:12:32 - Brett Hill
Another component you can start again with quite this phone.
00:12:39 - Larissa Chupriana
Yeah, I also want to close mine.
00:12:45 - Brett Hill
And you can start again with that's a really good point.
00:12:50 - Larissa Chupriana
Yes, it's a very good point and very important aspects of my work. Being an immigrant myself, I understand the challenges I also have a family in Ukraine and I understand what they go through and this is another component of my education, educational psychology that's why emotional support plays the major role. Before they can learn anything, they really need to come to peace of mind because when they're in anxiety state or in the fear mode or something of the universe is getting them, they cannot learn. So that's why I have also breathing exercises, we have breaks for stretching and affirmations. I also do healing art together I can envision something or draw ourselves how we want to be. So psychosomatic movements also help to come down. So I also have a table of map of consciousness showing that when our mind is in fear, it drains energy. But when we pass over Demarcation line with courage and they already here. They came to another country. They are learning another language, culture. They are trying themselves in different spheres, reaching out to people. It's already coming through on a higher level. And joy is the highest level of consciousness. So when they do something with joy, this is where energy comes from. So we learn how actually take a stand, willingness and we have choice as human beings we were given this adverse it's our right to make a choice either to be in low levels of vibration or to choose this higher power and energy and this is spiritual component is coming and they understand it clearly. So you can choose to be in darkness and fear or to choose love for life, for your family, for nature you are in for learning a new thing and then this is natural energy flows and when they are in joy, they learn better. So I have very carefully chosen texts, true stories about people who overcame some difficulties but always happy ending also some philosophical reflection. So is it bad? Good or bad? And so Chinese story about who knows whether it's good or bad, we will see and it always shows that what is done is for the better. So having hope and faith and usually people who came to another country, most of the immigrants, whether refugees or immigrants or expatriates, they have this resilience component. Resilience?
00:17:08 - Brett Hill
00:17:10 - Larissa Chupriana
And I added another aspect of resilience, joyful resilience. It's not just surviving but actually thriving. And that's why English for success and.
00:17:25 - Brett Hill
Happiness I see so powerful. So you help them calm down like connect to higher power and then when they do that they're in a state where they can begin to connect to what they really are about and then they meet their world of challenges from that more resource placed and life is better, right?
00:18:02 - Larissa Chupriana
And we're building together the road for success. And now I give them tools with emotional intelligence or self regulation as soon as they find themselves in the fair mode or chattering then they can come down with breathing and say no with the poem I am powerful, I am smart, I am creative and these qualities are always with them.
00:18:40 - Brett Hill
Yeah, because like you said before, they have a lifetime of engagement and accomplishment that they can connect to, and that becomes a resource for them in the moment. So how was it that you wound up doing this work? You mentioned you have a history of being in an immigrant situation, understanding that in your own life, is that what caused you to decide, I want to help people? Or how was it that you yourself turned to doing this in such a powerful way?
00:19:17 - Larissa Chupriana
Since childhood, I've been exposed to different cultures and languages, and somehow since I was ten years of age, I wanted to be a teacher and to help people to learn new things.
00:19:34 - Brett Hill
So this is someday when you were ten. How did that show up when you were ten? Like, how do you know you're a ten year old? You're walking around going, I want to teach.
00:19:44 - Larissa Chupriana
I was teaching because I learned how to read and write at the age of three, and I was surrounded by different cultures and languages as well. I was born in Germany. My father was an interpreter. My mother was from Ukraine, my father was from Russia.
00:20:07 - Brett Hill
I see. So you have a multicultural influence, a really clever young girl, and a multicultural context to begin with, your family, your parents already doing interpretive work. So it's sort of baked into who you are, in a way.
00:20:27 - Larissa Chupriana
So when I came to Ukraine at the age of six or seven, I started school in Ukraine. Ukrainian was not my first language then, but I studied it and it became part of my linguistic background as well. In our neighborhood, we had little children and I would summon summon them, help them to learn how to read or write. I played school. I played school with animals.
00:21:13 - Brett Hill
Yeah, that's funny. And you're how old you're playing school with the children? Hey, everybody, come over Larissa's playing school.
00:21:24 - Larissa Chupriana
I also did events at the age of ten, also with my other friend, and to show a talent show so the same children could dance or perform some art. So it is combination of artistic expression and holistic approach to learning. So for me, learning is more important than teaching or studying because it is internalizing knowledge for self making. It customized, it making meaningful. Yes. And with joy. Always with joy. Whatever I did brought me joy, and I did it because I enjoyed it.
00:22:16 - Brett Hill
And so was you grew up at some point you decided that this did you just keep teaching or did you what happened? You went to school and you said.
00:22:23 - Larissa Chupriana
I'm just going to keep going of 15. It was just after I finished middle school, I entered foreign language courses. It is three years courses, very rigorous. Even after them, I could teach English. But after these courses, I also had high school diploma and was admitted to a master's degree program in teaching English as a foreign language and teaching literature. So foreign literature and teaching languages. I also studied French and Latin and other languages, including Gothic, old language, to understand the dynamics, how languages evolve. That's why interesting, explain easily the spelling rules of the English language. I studied old and middle and modern English. That's why it also helps me so I can read Shakespeare, but also Chaucer.
00:23:45 - Brett Hill
Nice. Very nice. I don't think a lot of people could do that. A lot of regular native English speakers could do that. And so from there now you've got the academic background, this predisposition and the family experience. How did you make the step to deciding, now you're going to coach, now you're going to really step in and be an agent for helping people.
00:24:12 - Larissa Chupriana
So it was a long way to this state. First I was a professor of English in military academy and medical school and also the first established business school. It was just after Peristroica and there were no materials to support conversational language, language for negotiation. So I went specifically to Moscow Institute of Diplomacy, it's called Gimo for Diplomats training and got training how to teach intensive English for business people. So several years after that, I started my own school. It was in Ukraine.
00:25:13 - Brett Hill
And did you do that because you felt limited in what you were doing or it just seemed like there was an opportunity.
00:25:20 - Larissa Chupriana
But also I saw more freedom in doing what I am passionate about to make it more customized and create the school I was dreaming about. And it was again combination of language and educational tourism.
00:25:42 - Brett Hill
00:25:43 - Larissa Chupriana
My students had an opportunity to travel to the country of language and practice.
00:25:53 - Brett Hill
That's a great way to learn. Yeah, absolutely.
00:25:56 - Larissa Chupriana
We traveled to England and we came to America as well. And then I got my Fulbright Scholarship fellowship. That's how I came to America. It was also my attitude, positive attitude. Three days before the deadline I found out about this program. And I had to bring three references and resume, which was completely new concept at that time. And so somehow, yes, out of 800 people, 25 people were selected to be in the program. And that's how I came to the University of Tennessee School of Business. And the program was called The Mindful Coach Association. And when after the first year, it was wonderful. It was mostly experiential learning, attending, making presentations, co teaching with other professors, taking classes that I needed or wanted. But when I applied, when I was admitted to a doctoral program at the same university, a year after, I was hired to help newcoming Fulbright Scholars. And this is where I was like cultural coordinator. And this is where I found out that how important, it's not just academic knowledge, but understanding of the cultural requirements or somebody to talk to, somebody to have to belong. So that's why I was helping these new coming fellows to get Social Security, get apartment. Also choose subjects to present them to the professors who might be of interest to them. And all of them were so successful because of that.
00:28:34 - Brett Hill
I can imagine you did a fabulous benefit service for them. That's a fascinating story. And so from there now you have your own coaching business and you're helping people learn these magnificent skills. How can people who are interested in what you're doing find out more about you?
00:28:57 - Larissa Chupriana
It's mostly word of mouth. I wish I could do more about it. I took some classes in media and new methods of how to promote. I don't do much about it.
00:29:12 - Brett Hill
It's challenging. It really is. For many coaches out there, that part of the business is really challenging.
00:29:20 - Larissa Chupriana
However, I have my website and also my business can be found on Google, my Business and Google Maps.
00:29:32 - Brett Hill
And what's the name of your business?
00:29:34 - Larissa Chupriana
It's called ESL and culture, Coach.
00:29:39 - Brett Hill
ESL and culture, coach. So if people Google that, they'll find Larissa Chupriana, okay.
00:29:47 - Larissa Chupriana
Also on Yelp and Google search. Also.
00:29:57 - Brett Hill
We'Ll also have the links to these in the show notes for the podcast and also on YouTube when we post the video. So you can look for it there as well. That's a way people can find you. Do you do workshops or one on one work? How do you engage?
00:30:16 - Larissa Chupriana
That's a good question. I did also podcasts and workshops together with other coaches. They invited me and there were two very successful webinars. One of them speaking English with confidence, which had a lot of requests and comments from this webcast. People contacted me and then I usually work one on one because every program is very individualized. Even family. Husband and wife would have different perspectives and different paths.
00:31:05 - Brett Hill
Right. So even within a family, they need different things even though they're in the same family.
00:31:10 - Larissa Chupriana
00:31:11 - Brett Hill
That's a really high degree of customization. So it's great that you're doing that.
00:31:19 - Larissa Chupriana
Webinar was English for romantic relationship.
00:31:23 - Brett Hill
00:31:24 - Larissa Chupriana
And that was how to express yourself, but romantically. And I was contacted by people from India who are here. For them, it was difficult. Culturally.
00:31:41 - Brett Hill
It kind of blows my mind that you even say that, because I'm so of of course, because I'm, you know, I'm I'm born and bred in America and so English is substantially but of course, that would be challenging. It's like, why didn't that ever occur to me? Wow, what a great service to provide for people.
00:32:01 - Larissa Chupriana
That's amazing. To make it affordable and also sustainable for me, I probably need to go more for group coaching or maybe do more online.
00:32:21 - Brett Hill
Yeah, absolutely. You can also find her at The Mindful Coach Association where she has a listing there in the The Mindful Coach Association. So if you're wondering where you can get all this contact info, you can look her up on The Mindful Coach Association and she'll have her contact information there. And you can also contact her directly from the website. I continue to be constantly inspired by the work that you're doing and touched by the degree to which you make it so real and personal for people and empower them to be their best selves in situations that would cause many people to just kind of grumble very challenging situations for people. And I'm just inspired by the work that you do, and I know that our listeners are as well. Thank you.
00:33:24 - Larissa Chupriana
Thank you. Because I really learned a lot from your program, Mindful Coach and Method.
00:33:33 - Brett Hill
Thank you. In full transparency, Larissa was in the coaching program that I run called The Mindful Coach Association, where I teach coaches how to be more mindful and present in their interactions and also to use somatic mindfulness technique. And so that's how I came to hear about her and her inspiring work. That's a part of work that I do. This is about you, by all means. But thank you for saying that. It was great having you in the class. You brought so much presence. I want to say a certain sort of seriousness to the work, because the work that you're doing, it matters to people. It's so powerful to help people not just navigate the world by being better speakers, but to connect to who they are and speak from that place that goes way beyond just language skills that's, like you say, that's spiritual work that transforms a person's lives. So there aren't a lot of people who do that work. So I'm really grateful to have you on the show and to talk about that.
00:34:48 - Larissa Chupriana
Thank you. And I appreciate your method, holistic approach. And it's really everything is one, and there is connection between mind and body, connection and connection to other people, to community and health of community affects the societal health.
00:35:10 - Brett Hill
Exactly right. This is the way we help everybody heal the world. Right. You help someone connect to who they really are, then they're empowered to help others and inspire others as well.
00:35:30 - Larissa Chupriana
Yes. The mindful speaking, the choice of words intonation tone, so willingness, right. To connect on a more heart level, it really makes a difference. And a lot of my students become my friends or still in the circle in the community.
00:36:01 - Brett Hill
Well, it's easy to see why. So I really appreciate you coming on the show and talking about your powerful, important work and people reach out and connect with her. And thank you once again for being here.
00:36:18 - Larissa Chupriana
Thank you. And I appreciate your work as well. Very professional, also heartfelt and well done. Thank you.
00:36:29 - Brett Hill
Blessings to you. And that's a wrap for this edition of The Mindful Coach Association. We hope you enjoyed this presentation, and if you did, follow us and leave us a review. If you're a coach or helping professional that values mindfulness in your work, browse over to The Mindful Coach Association and create a free community profile describing your services so the world can find you and you'll be invited to exclusive community meetings where you can meet your colleague. I'm your host, Brett Hill, founder of The Mindful Coach Association. Coach and coach trainer teaching The Mindful Coach Association. You can find out more about firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time, stay present.