University of Nottingham Malaysia
School of English

Derek Irwin

Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Arts


  • workRoom 428 Admin Building
    The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China
    199 Taikang East Road
    Ningbo 315100
  • work+86 (0)574 8818 0520
  • fax+86 (0)574 8818 0175

Expertise Summary

I joined UNNC in January 2009 in the Division of English. I previously taught for three years at Lakehead University Orillia Campus and six years at York University, both in Canada.

My research expertise is in two broad areas: Systemic Functional Linguistics and Canadian Literature. My work in SFL has been predominantly in language development, language contact, and lexicogrammatical analysis. My work in Canadian Literature has focused on 19th-century texts which reflect a dawning consciousness of national identity.

Since my appointment at UNNC, I have begun to focus on language contact between Chinese and English systems, both in the particular campus environment and in a study I have just begun on children's second language development in Chinese. I have also continued my examinations of Canadian English, adding in diachronic analysis to previous work.

I am the Programme Chair for the upcoming 2nd ESP in Asia Conference, to be held Nov. 13-17 at UNNC.

There is also a strong connection between my research and the classroom. I am currently teaching MA modules on Applied Linguistics, and Literature and Language Teaching, along with a BA module on Language and Context. I am supervising several MA students, including ones working in language acquisition and language teaching practices, along with several PhD students doing exciting work on English classroom practices in China.

Recent publications

"Of Tamarack, Hackmatack, and Muskeg: language resources for the integration of loanwords in early Canadian English." Proceedings of ISFC 36 (in press)

Creating Canadian Culture: First Nations Loanwords in Early Canadian Texts. Dissertation, York University, 2008.

"From Lexis to Culture: First Nations' Loan Words in Early Canadian Text." Proceedings of ISFC 35 : voices around the world. Eds. Wu Canzong, Christian Matthiessen, and Maria Herke. Sydney, N.S.W.: 35th ISFC Organizing Committee, 2008.

Review: "Lexicology: a Short Introduction." Halliday, M.A.K and Colin Yallop. Linguist List 19.2423, 2008, ISSN 1068-4875.

商务英语步步高--通过案例提高商务能力 卢彩虹,陈明瑶 编著 , 上海科学技术出版社 2008.01 ISBN 978-7-5323-9421-4 [English language consultant]

Review: "The Development of Language" eds Geoff Williams and Annabelle Lukin, Linguist List 16.112, 2005, ISSN 1068-4875

"George Ryga". The Columbian Encyclopedia of Modern Drama, Irvington, NY: Columbia UP, 2007.

"All My Relations: Thomas King," "One Good Story, That One: Thomas King" Encyclopedia of American Indian Literature, New York: Facts on File, 2007.

Recent papers at Conferences, Workshops & Seminars

"The Beginnings of Autonomy: First Nations loanwords in 19th-century Canadian texts." IAWE2010, Vancouver, B.C.

"The Mighty Muskellunge: a tale of dual evolution." 37th International Systemic Functional Congress (ISFC), Vancouver.

"Of Hackmatack, Tamarack, and Muskeg: language resources for the integration of loanwords in early Canadian English.", ISFC 36, Beijing, P.R. China, 2009.

"From Lexis to Culture: First Nations Loan Words in Early Canadian Text." ISFC 35, Sydney, Australia, 2008.

"Inquiring Minds Want to Know." den Otter, Alice, Derek Irwin, Tim Kaiser, Glenn Legault, and Linda Rodenburg. Paper presented by den Otter and Irwin. The Spirit of Inquiry: Developing Critical Thinking, Creativity, and Community. Concordia University, Montreal. May, 2007.

"Inquiring Minds Want to Know: Teaching Inquiry-Based Courses at Lakehead-Orillia." den Otter, Alice, Derek Irwin, Tim Kaiser, Glenn Legault, and Linda Rodenburg. Paper presented via videoconference by den Otter, Irwin, Kaiser, and Rodenburg. Symposium on Critical Thinking. Lakehead University, Thunder Bay. May, 2007.

"Of Lexicogrammar and Genre: Patterns of First Nations' Loan Words in Early Canadian Texts." ISFC 33, São Paulo, Brazil, 2006.

"Context of Cultures: Canadian English and Its Literary Roots." ACCUTE, York University, 2006.

"Remnants of Contact: Borrowing in 19th Century Canadian English". Remnants, Remainders, and Reconceptualizations, York University, Toronto, 2006

"The Caregiver Role in Contextualizing Transgression." ISFC 32, University of Sydney, Australia, 2005.

"The Masterful Duet: The Role of Dialogue in Infant Language Development" ISFC 32, University of Sydney, 2005

"Talking 'Canadian': The Role of Linguistic Difference in Strike the Wok: An Anthology of Contemporary Chinese Fiction" ACCUTE, University of Western Ontario, 2005

"On Apes and Exchange" Circulations: The Ins, Outs, and Abouts of Exchange, York University, Toronto, 2005

"So What's on Georgia's Mind? A Systemic Study of Infant Language Development" M/MLA, St. Louis, 2004

"Hey Baby, What's Your Sign? A Systemic Examination of Sign-based Infant Protolanguage" M/MLA, St. Louis, 2004

"The Tao of Empire: towards a new schema of marginality." Rules: Makin', Breakin', Rearticulatin', York University, Toronto, 2003.

School of English

University of Nottingham Malaysia
Jalan Broga, 43500 Semenyih
Selangor Darul Ehsan

telephone: +603 8924 8000
fax: +603 8924 8001

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