School of Education

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Image of Irina Adriana Hawker

Irina Adriana Hawker

Assistant Professor (SFHEA), Presessional Course Leader, Faculty of Social Sciences



Irina has over 20 years of teaching experience, some of which as an EAP tutor in UK Higher Education, and some in various roles in both mainstream and private education in Romania (CLIL/ History at A level, EFL senior tutor, and mentor for newly qualified EFL teachers).

Irina is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). She holds a PhD in CLIL (University of Nottingham, 2013), an MA in Research Methods for Education (University of Nottingham, 2008), an MEd in TESOL (Exeter University, 2006), and a BA in English-Romanian Language and Literature (Al. I. Cuza, Iasi, Romania/1994).

She has Qualified Teacher Status awarded by the General Teaching Council of England (2007) as well as Senior Teacher Status in EFL awarded by the Romanian Ministry of Education (2002). Her early career also involved training as a Primary School Teacher, "V. Lupu" Pedagogical College, Iasi, Romania (1986-1990).

Expertise Summary

Since joining the School of Education and CELE, in 2009, Irina has taught and tutored a wide range of postgraduate students, worked on curricular projects, and supported fellow tutors with their professional development. She has been involved in PhD supervision and support for visiting scholars, taught MA and PGCE students, and mentored tutors working towards their fellowship of HE. Irina is also an Academic Misconduct Officer in the School of Education.

Since 2014, she has contributed to the creation of an academic literacy presessional curriculum which involved conceptualizing syllabi and creating materials across a range of general and specialist EAP courses. To present, her work has also involved course coordination of a range of presessional courses both on campus and online. Between 2014 and 2020, she developed and formalized a CELE Alumni network which helped presessional students transition to their degree programmes. Since 2018 she has taken on leadership roles with responsibility for curricular projects, the Centre's CPD Programme and the Presessional Summer Programme.

Teaching Summary

As a tutor, Irina specializes in research skills as well as English for Academic Purposes for international and home students (both UG/ PG). In addition to providing tailored support to a range of… read more

Research Summary

As a researcher, Irina is interested in the learner and L2 mediated learning and would welcome research projects and collaborations focused on the psychology of learning from a socio-cognitive… read more

Recent Publications

Dissemination of research and scholarship of T&L

Nov 2023 CPD Workshop: Developing synthesis writing through reading. School of Education (CELE) CPD Programme.

May 2023 CPD Workshop: Disciplinarity-Interdisciplinarity. School of Education (CELE) CPD Programme.

April 2023 Conference Workshop: Reflection for learning and its role in student education and engagement. University of Nottingham 2023 T&L Conference: 'Beyond Satisfaction, Student Engagement and Partnership in Teaching and Learning'. 26th April 2023. Co-author and presenter Joanna Al-Youssef.

April 2021 Conference Workshop: EAP meets PBL. BALEAP biannual conference: Exploring pedagogical approaches in EAP Teaching. Co-author and presenter Simon Gooch.

April 2021 Poster Presentation: The role of Alumniin welcoming presessionalstudents into the world of academia. BALEAP biannual conference: Exploring pedagogical approaches in EAP Teaching. Co-author and presenter Leah Smith.

3rd May 2019 Conference Presentation: Reflection in practice: The What and the How. Teaching and Learning Conference, Universal Design: meeting the challenges of teaching and learning in 21st Century Higher Education. Nottingham University, May 2019. Joint presentation of interim findings of a small-scale research project (Teaching and Learning Transformation Sandpit 2018- 19, School of Education. Project coordinator, Dr Denise Sweeney).

24th Nov 2018 Participant at the BALEAP/ALDinHE Joint One-day Conference (PIM) - Academic Literacies and EAPorganized by University of Essex.

6th Feb 2018 Participant at EAP in the Southeast: EAP for STEM hosted by University of Reading.

18th Nov 2017 Participant at BALEAP PIM: Intercultural Communication and EAP, Nottingham Trent University.

17th Nov 2017 Talk on the experience of publishing as a practitioner given at PIM BALEAP ResTes Event From presentation to publication hosted by Nottingham Trent University.

April 2017 Participant at the BALEAP Biannual Conference: Addressing the state of the union: Working together -Learning together. 7th, 8th, 9th April 2017, University of Bristol.

28th Jan 2017 Participant at BALEAP ResTES 'Knowledge and the EAP practitioner: a symposium', University of Leeds.

4th March 2016 CPD Workshop: Integrating reflection in a presessionalcurriculum (assessment task and descriptors). This workshop was offered to the presessional unit at Leeds University (designed and delivered with S. Gooch).

24th Feb 2016 Participation in a Professional Development Event: EAP in East Midlands.

14th Nov 2015 Conference Presentation: Encouraging mindful learning through reflection tasks. Joint presentation (S. Gooch) at the conference 'Process and practice in EAP', BALEAP-PIM, Sheffield Hallam University.

17th April 2015 Conference Presentation: Understanding, thinking, meaning. Joint presentation (S. Gooch) at the BALEA biannual conference 'EAP in a rapidly changing landscape: Issues, Challenges and solutions' hosted by the University of Leicester.

15th Feb 2014 Conference Presentation: Authenticity in Inauthenticity: Creating opportunities for critical engagement in academic writing. Joint presentation (Simon Gooch) for the conference 'Authenticity in EAP', BALEAP, PIM, Leeds University.

May 2013 Participation in a CLIL expert workshop: 'Literacies through Content and Language Integrated Learning: effective learning across subjects and languages'. This international expert meeting led by Professor Do Coyle, Aberdeen University which brought together some of the key contributors in the field of CLIL. (Graaz/ 28th -29th May 2013.

April 2013 Participant at the BALEAP Biannual Conference: The Janus Moment in EAP: Revisiting the Past and Building the Future. 19th-21st April 2013, University of Nottingham.

29th Sept 2011 Research Presentation: The Socio-cognitive Architecture of the Discourse of Meaning Making as part of the CLIL Learning Experience (The Discourse of the Interaction with Others). The 24th Conference of the German Society of Foreign Language Research, The University of Hamburg, Germany. Section: CLIL Competencies, Panel 8: Shaping educational spaces between languages and cultures.

19th Feb 2011 Research Presentation: Accessing and Inhabiting an L2 Mediated Discourse Space: The Socio -Cognitive Architecture of Meaning Making as part of the Content and Language Integrated Learning Experience 4th International Langscape Conference, hosted by Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main. Section 1: Educational standards and core competencies in CLIL.

14th Jul 2010 Research Presentation: Tailoring an Analysis Framework to Investigate Cognitive Engagement in an L2 Mediated Learning Environment School of Education Post Graduate Research Conference, University of Nottingham.

23rd Jun 2010 Research Presentation: Patterns in the cognitive architecture of the CLILclassroom discourse 13th Warwick Postgraduate Conference in Applied Linguistics, University of Warwick.

7th Apr 2010 Poster Presentation: Cognitive Engagement in Content and Language Integrated Learning and Collaborative Autonomy 44th Annual International IATEFL Conference, Harrogate Learner Autonomy Special Interest Group.

October 2006 Talk: GlocalEFL Romanian textbooks: Balancing global and local elements in support of critical thinking Conference organized by the Romanian Association of the Teachers of English (RATE), Iasi, Romania.

May 2002 Talk: Learning Strategies in EFL Romanian National Conference for EFL Teachers, Iasi, Romania.

As a tutor, Irina specializes in research skills as well as English for Academic Purposes for international and home students (both UG/ PG). In addition to providing tailored support to a range of learners, she has also made contributions to various programmes. See below some of her teaching activity and supervisory roles.

  • PhD supervision as a second supervisor, external examiner (PhD candidates), support for visiting scholars, internal assessor (UoN EdD Programme Ningbo)
  • MA TESOL - assignment tutor
  • EAP and CLIL for PGCE students (class teacher and personal tutor)
  • MA TEAP Programme (lecturer and module convenor: Issues in EAP)
  • Presessional- teacher, tutor and materials developer
  • ALACS Programme- teaching (e.g. Research writing for doctoral students) and one-to-one consultations.

In terms of pedagogy, Irina is interested in teaching strategies to make complex notions accessible for L2 learners, techniques to increase learning through interaction, reading and note making strategies to foster deep learning, working with the literatures and synthesis writing, use of reflection to encourage long term academic self-development, task design, critical engagement, voice in student writing, and argumentation and disciplinary variation.

Current Research

As a researcher, Irina is interested in the learner and L2 mediated learning and would welcome research projects and collaborations focused on the psychology of learning from a socio-cognitive perspective in a variety of teaching and learning contexts (EAP, EFL, CLIL, EAL, TESOL). Some of the more specific aspects of interest are self-regulation, meaning making strategies, internalising complex notions (limited and advanced English learners), content-driven and task-based L2 mediated learning, affective-cognitive-motivational factors in learning, independent and collaborative learning . Other interests include EAP curriculum, the role of reflection in teaching and learning (HE), teacher development, criticality and higher order thinking, academic socialisation, international student adaptation and identity.

School of Education

University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

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