One of my CELTA tutors once had said that courses like the CELTA and Delta ones are like the army: you can talk about them to death but only those who have followed one of these courses will be able to understand you.
So, the intensive course is over, submission of all assignments for all modules is over, and results have been announced and are satisfying. Two months after the completion of the course (and after receiving various requests from Facebook friends) I am writing some final thoughts about the modular Delta course.
MODULE 1: The Exam
There is a certain trend in the Delta blogosphere that presents Module 1 exam as if it is something really hard – it isn’t. It is demanding (well, this is a Diploma level course – what would you expect?) but definitely not as people present it to be.
Don’t start reading on your own, ask your tutors for suggested titles and find the Examiner’s Report on past papers. This last document is the only source (along with your tutor’s suggestions) you should consult. Remember, you must save energy for Module 2.
MODULE 3: The Extended Assignment
Module 3 can be as easy or difficult as you want it to be. The Cambridge handbook for Module 3 is very explicit and presents candidates with guiding questions. Answer all these questions and there is nothing to be worried about. Don’t forget to consult a tutor’s advice.
MODULE 2: Professional Practice
Module 2 is the heart and core of Delta – and the only one you don’t want to fail. Module 2 has two parts: internal and external assessment.
Internal assessment comprises of three language skills/systems assignments and the Professional Development Assignment. Each one of the internally assessed LSAs has a background essay and an observed teaching practice –you must pass at least one internally assessed LSA (pass both the background essay and the lesson) in order for the external assessor to be able to assess you – this makes things really easy: you pass one of the three internally assessed LSAs and you still have a chance to pass the module). The internal assessment has also one more feature: the PDA. The Professional Development Assignment is like a journal in which the only thing you have to do is reflect on your progress, as well as develop and reflect on a lesson which is based on a method with which you are not familiar.
Two things to remember: Get a pass in one of the internally assessed LSAs and a pass in the PDA and you will get an overall pass for the internal assessment.
Once you have received a pass in the internal assessment, the assessor will be able to assess your last LSA. Similarly to the previous three ones, you must write a background essay, teach an observed lesson, and get a passing grade in both.
Module 2 is a very complicated module. For one thing, you put theory into practice and – as if this is not tough enough – you have to keep up with all the work and meet the required deadlines. Therefore, make sure you have good communication with your tutors and don’t trust anyone else but them once the course kicks off.
Selecting the right course for you is vital. There are full-time and part-time courses, face-to-face and online, modular and integrated ones. Think carefully which mode of delivery is the best for you and once you made up your mind, things will be easier. Once you have decided on that, you can ask for recommendations anywhere – however, don’t trust everyone just because they say that their centre is the best. Have you done a CELTA? Ask your CELTA tutors. Have you done an MA in ELT? Ask your professors. Alumni of centres (especially those who have passed will obviously recommend their centres) therefore, they are not the best source – unless you know them professionally. Also, don’t forget that the best guide is no other than your gut feeling. Follow this and you’ll be fine!
Good luck and don’t forget to plan for vacations before and after the course! 🙂
P.S. The most important of all: Be a team-player and make your fellow candidates become team-players. This is what saved me. Plus, it is nice that I can add a Diploma in my CV; it is even better that I have lifelong friends.