Hello Kris. We are very pleased to have you as our guest in The Style Researcher Magazine. We are following you in your channels that are so interesting. We would love to get to know you better and hear more about you and your story.
Hello guys. It is my pleasure.
Who is Kris Hagan?
A boy, well now a man for many years, who hated English at school but my wonderful English teacher must have ground it into me so much that my hidden passion for our beautiful language emerged. My real name is Christopher but only to my parents or people who are angry with me.
How did the language institute start?
When I moved to Italy I was working in the language field and, due to a company I did some part time work for going bankrupt, I decided to save the staff and open my own language institute. Now with the name Kris Hagan Language Institute we teach many languages to students all around the globe.
Due to my contacts I ended up teaching and coaching some well-known people in the entertainment industry. From teaching them grammar and how to speak English to how to sing in English too. Yes, there is a difference! The way we use the words, we manipulate them making them sometimes impossible for non-native English speakers to understand.
All my staff are trained by me personally to make sure they are all keeping the standard that I expect and want to pass on to my students. We have students ranging from lawyers, university students, fashion designers, actors, radio presenters to mainstream artists. We teach them all. At our institutes we can also tailor an English course just for you. Depending on your needs. If you study with us – you learn. We all have different ways to learn. Not everyone is a scholastic person. We tweak our courses to fit the student we see in front of us.
Now we can also find you online. Where?
During the lockdown we all went through or are still going through I decided to take my ‘lessons’ let’s say online. On YouTube I have put videos and also recently started podcasts, which let me say is fun, for everyone to use no matter where they are. Helping people improve their comprehension. On Mondays I upload question videos to YouTube to get people to practice their writing skills, even if people are shy to make mistakes, and on Wednesdays I release the podcasts. Also on Fridays I publish videos on YouTube about idioms, expressions or topics to expand people’s vocabulary and knowledge of English.
Tell us about SirK Magazine.
The magazine started in March 2015. The idea behind it was to give more reading comprehension to our students. To share it we decided to upload it to its own site www.sir-k.com where our students could download it for free. Not only could students read articles written by other students, but they could also write and submit articles of their own. Obviously we checked them before publishing. So an all-round aid for students when it came down to reading and writing. I also interviewed people from famous singers to world champions to include in the mag. Then one day people from around the world started emailing in their articles for submission. I was shocked. I didn’t think that people knew it was there. Now we have regular writers and contributors just to keep it more organised and focused but we are always happy to receive articles written by English students around the world. The fact that it is totally free is a plus for the reader and so I want to try and keep it that way. At the minute due to this situation and the social distancing etc working on the magazine isn’t easy and so we intend to try and start it again in September. Don’t worry though, if you have never seen it before you have five years of issues to download and peruse over.
How can studying with your institute help a person in the fashion industry?
Our students that work in the fashion industry learn from us how to express themselves in a different language. Yes, they first need to learn the grammar behind our language if they don’t know it already, but then we focus on the specific needs of the student. Are they a designer? If so, we work on their line with them. How do they want to express their clothing to the world? I recently said to a student that describing an item of clothing that you made is just like deep personal poetry. You want to find the right words to express what made you come up with this item. If you use the wrong words it might as well just be a piece of cloth hanging on a rack in the bargain basement. When you describe your product, no matter what field you work in, you need to choose the best words. You need to share with us a part of you.
And with singers and actors?
Screen tests, writing lyrics, correct pronunciation, learning an accent, we do all. Like I said before we design the course for the person. For the client. I have been into recording studios with singers or behind the camera during screen tests feeding lines. It’s all fun. I love my job and I would never give it up. I meet so many wonderful people, and some strange ones too, but I always say, “Normal is boring.” I am not interested in sitting there in front of a student who is pulling their hair out because they were bad at school. It is my job, our job as an institute with my amazing staff, to bring the best out of each individual.
Now you have just written your first book. What is it about?
I haven’t yet contacted any publishers but I will do very soon. My book is about the pronunciation of English. There are a gazilion books out there about grammar. People need to speak the same way we do and by understanding the way we speak and doing the same, not only does your pronunciation improve but also your comprehension and fluency. This book I intend to sell around the world. No matter which city or little tiny village you live in near the Amazon rain forest there will be no excuse to speak with terrible pronunciation. One thing I hate are little things that we fix with our students in literally five minutes that teachers don’t bother with. It’s the small things that add up to make the complete package. You can’t have a delicious vegetable soup without all the little chopped up pieces of vegetables now, can you? No vegetables, it’s just hot water. So this book will fix and help people understand what mistakes they are making and most importantly why they are making them. With an audio guide to help you through the exercises. Keep an eye out for it soon and while you wait go over to my YouTube channel or listen to my podcasts to keep up your comprehension. Or even better join my language institute because no matter where you are in the world you can benefit from our lessons. God invented the internet for a reason.
YouTube, Podcasts and Facebook: Search for Kris Hagan
Photos by Giorgio Danke. Interview by Raimondo Rossi aka Ray Morrison.
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