School of Education
Centre for English Language Education

Image of Irina Adriana Hawker

Irina Adriana Hawker

Tutor in English For Academic Purposes, Faculty of Social Sciences



Currently, I am teaching across various courses in CELE; I am involved in development work (syllabi and materials), and I also have supported the running of presessional courses as a Course Coordinator.

I have 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 systems in Romania (CLIL/ History tutor at A level, EFL senior tutor, and mentor for newly qualified EFL teachers). Having initially started as a primary school teacher in 1990 in Romania, I then moved into secondary education for which I hold QTS both from England and Romania.

I have a PhD in CLIL (University of Nottingham, 2013), I completed 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).

Teaching Summary

I am a tutor specialising in academic skills support and language advising for both undergraduate and postgraduate students whose first language is other than English.

My teaching experience at CELE includes the following:

  • presessional English for Academic Purposes (more specifically, contributions towards developing an academic literacies oriented syllabus, materials for both standard EAP and specialist courses, and tutor development documents);
  • EAP and Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) for PGCE students (Malaysian cohort);
  • on-line Masters module, Issues in EAP - 3 iterations (TESOL & TEAP programmes), and
  • in-sessional short courses focused on writing skills.

As an EAP tutor, I am equally interested in teaching and scholarship; through my class teaching reflections, development work and conference participations, I have been looking at ways in which class practice and investigations of class practice can inform each other in order to boost the quality of education offered to our international students and further the field of EAP.

Some areas of interest for me are as follows: the potential reflection holds to foster critical interrogation of one's academic identity, mentorship schemes and activities that enable current CELE students to network with exCELE students, developing critical engagement and voice in student writing, developing collaborations with departments in the university, and learner strategies of accessing content through the medium of English.

Research Summary


Veleanu, I.A., & Gooch, S. 2017. Encouraging mindful learning and academic self-development in EAP: Framing reflection as an integral part of an EAP curriculum. In J. Kemp (Ed.) Proceedings of the 2015 BALEAP Conference: EAP in a rapidly changing landscape: Issues, challenges and solutions (pp. 23-35). Reading: Garnet Education.

4th March 2016 Development workshop on integrating Reflection in a presessional curriculum (assessment task and descriptors) . This workshop was offered to the presessional unit at Leeds University, and was designed and delivered with Simon Gooch

14th November 2015 Encouraging mindful learning through reflection tasks. Joint presentation (Simon Gooch) for the conference Process and practice in EAP, BALEAP-PIM, Sheffield University

17 April 2015 Undesrtanding, thinking, meaning. EAP in a rapidly changing landscape: Issues, Challenges and sollutions. Joint presentation (Simon Gooch) for the BALEAP biannual conference, hosted by the Univesity of Leicester

15th February 2014 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

Hawker, I. A. 2013.The CLIL Learning Experience: Strategies and underlying knowledge employed by limited English primary school students during conceptual and linguistic comprehension (pages 149-170). In: BREIDBACH, S. & VIEBROCK, B. (eds.) Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) in Europe? Research Perspectives on Policy and Practice. Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang.

Hawker, Irina Adriana. 2013. The socio-cognitive architecture of the discourse of meaning making as part of the CLIL learning experience: a case study at primary level with limited English students in a Romanian context. PhD thesis, 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 CLIL classroom 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 (pre-conference event)

Hinsliff-Smith, K., Keane, J., Whiteoak, D. and Hawker, I. 2009. 'How to win friends and influence people: the value of the cohort in a doctoral research training programme', The Nottingham Jubilee Press, ISBN 978-1-906235-05-5

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

May 2002 Talk and workshop for EFL teachers 'Learning Strategies in EFL' Romanian National Conference for Teachers of English, Iasi, Romania

When not busy completing my PhD or working for CELE, I enjoy reading about animal cognition, cooking if encouraged and walking if bribed! I love spending time with my lovely daughter who kindly updates me on contemporary English and youth social dynamics. Next job choice? Gardening.

Future Research

I became a Peer Observation College Associate in 2016, and since then I have been interested in identifying colleagues from departments across the university who would be interested in sharing teaching expertise but also in a collaboration on a research project which would look at the extent to which our CELE presessional courses equip students to participate successfully in their future courses.

Centre for English Language Education

School of Education
Dearing Building
Jubilee Campus, Wollaton Road
Nottingham NG8 1BB

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