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Study Skills
English as a Foreign Language


I initially trained as an Anaesthetic Technician (now known as Operating Department Practitioner) and held various anaesthetic practitioner/technician positions in UK hospitals. Before going to work overseas, I acquired knowledge of a wide range of anaesthetic procedures and pharmacology. I also gained firsthand, participatory experience of trauma surgery, patient resuscitation, cardiao-thoracic surgery, intensive care procedures, neurosurgery, respiratory medicine, reconstructive and plastic surgery, colorectal surgery, general surgery, vascular surgery, gynaecology and obstetrics, orthopaedic surgery and organ transplant. Subsequently, I spent some 5 years working in Saudi Arabia as a healthcare professional and trainer of Saudi anaesthetic practitioners. I learned to speak Arabic of a reasonable standard (I even began to dream in Arabic). After giving anaesthetics in a Dutch Hospital for 2 years, I returned to the UK and worked in NHS operating theatres for a further 6 years, during which time I completed a part-time Open University honours degree. I then became a clinical research assistant, then clinical trials coordinator, then PhD research fellow, then senior (university) research fellow, then university lecturer and reader. Last year, following voluntary early retirement from a London University, I decided to diversify into teaching English as a foreign (or second) language and passed both standard and advanced courses. The latter is something I have long had an interest in, always having been fascinated by languages and cultures, both from learning and teaching perspectives, yet never having time to properly indulge in. I would now like to channel all of my experience, qualifications, skills and knowledge into the pursuit of private tutoring.

Teaching Experience:

During 8 years as Reader in the Faculty of Health and Social Care at London South Bank University, I led the delivery of the Faculty-wide Research Methods Module, for which I wrote a textbook (Cowan DT. 2009 Research Issues in Health and Social Care, M&K Publishing, UK). I regularly lectured large cohorts of postgraduate healthcare professionals on research methods. My teaching has involved conveying knowledge about most aspects of research, usually beginning with lecturing on quantitative and qualitative research approaches and different underpinning philosophies, such as positivism and phenomenology. I addressed issues involving concepts of objectivity versus subjectivity, clinical significance versus statistical significance and explanatory versus pragmatic research. I delivered sessions facilitating critical appraisal of research study designs, research findings, results and subsequent conclusions. I taught students how to identify the appropriateness and feasibility of different levels of evidence, such as that yielded by controlled trials, surveys, quasi experiments, interviews and focus groups. I facilitated statistical analysis and appropriate testing of data (nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio), development and modification of research questions and hypotheses, designing of studies as well as the writing of research proposals, research reports and papers for publication in academic journals. I also served on a research ethics committee and accordingly taught sessions on research ethics and governance.
I was also coordinator for the Faculty Masters Dissertation. As first point of contact, I ran workshops to advise students starting their Dissertation. In addition, I was Academic Supervisor for numerous Masters Dissertation and Doctoral Thesis students. In supervising students' academic progress, I accumulated considerable experience in one to one tutoring.

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