School of Education

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Image of Irina Adriana Hawker

Irina Adriana Hawker

Assistant Professor (SFHEA), Faculty of Social Sciences



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 in Romania (CLIL/ History at A level, EFL senior tutor, and mentor for newly qualified EFL teachers).

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). I have 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).

I have Qualified Teacher Status awarded by the General Teaching Council of England (2007), Senior Teacher Status in EFL awarded by the Romanian Ministry of Education (2002) as well as Qualified Teacher Status in EFL (1997). My early career also involved training as a Primary School Teacher, "V. Lupu" Pedagogical College, Iasi, Romania (1986-1990).

Expertise Summary

My current role in CELE involves teaching EAP on presessional and insessional courses, leading presessional courses especially in the summer, and curriculum development. Since joining CELE, I have taught small and large cohorts, offered individualised learning support and developed materials across a range of programmes in the School of Education and CELE: PhD supervision and support for visiting scholars, masters level teaching, teaching and mentorship for PGCE students, and presessional and insessional teaching. From 2014 onwards, I have contributed to the creation of an academic literacy based presessional curriculum; I helped conceptualise syllabi and create materials across a range of general and specialist EAP courses.

Teaching Summary

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

Since 2009 when I joined CELE, my teaching experience has included:

  • Presessional English for Academic Purposes (more specifically, contributions towards developing an academic literacies oriented syllabus, materials for both general and specialist EAP courses, and tutor development);
  • 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 (e.g. Research writing for doctoral students).

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

Some areas of interest for me are as follows: the role of reflection in learning, academic identity, critical engagement and voice in student writing, and concept formation (acquiring complex notions through the medium of English). Since 2014 I have developed and formalised a CELE Alumni network with a view to enabling current presessional students to network with PG students.

Research Summary


April 2021 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 Alumni in welcoming presessional students into the world

of academia'. BALEAP biannual conference: Exploring pedagogical approaches in EAP

Teaching. Co-author and presenter Leah Smith.

3rd May 2019 '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 November 2018 Participant at the BALEAP/ALDinHE Joint One-day Conference (PIM) - Academic Literacies and EAP organised by University of Essex

6th February 2018 Participant at EAP in the South East: EAP for STEM hosted by University of Reading

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

17th November 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 January 2017 Participant at BALEAP ResTES 'Knowledge and the EAP practitioner: a symposium', University of Leeds

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

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

14th November 2015 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 '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 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

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 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)

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 with my job, I enjoy gardening (in all seasons!), reading about animal cognition, getting involved in a jolly good debate, walking, and cooking if encouraged! Hoping to find time for singing (choir/ classical), and traveling.

Past Research


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.

Hawker, Irina Adriana. 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.

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

School of Education

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

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