So You Think You Can… Delta?

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 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.

THE COURSE

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.

16 thoughts on “So You Think You Can… Delta?

  1. Hi Angelos!
    Great post for people to have an idea of what the course is about. I’ve done module 1, but it was hard to me. I did a course, thought it’d all been great, but when I received the results and found out I’d failed, that was kind of a bummer. About 2 years after that I decided it was high time I tried again, studied on my own and did some mock tests with the help of a tutor and what a difference it made! His feedback was straight to the point and then I noticed why I’d failed the first time.
    I’d love to know more about how things went wit your module 2!

    • Thanks for your post. Module 1 can be very tricky. I have friends that were expecting other results other than the ones they received. Even I was expecting a higher grade (based on the scores I had received in more than one mock tests). All I want to say is that M1 is a hard exam but not as hard as people tend to say. FYI, I passed all three modules. 🙂
      What about you? Have you finished with M2 and M3?

      • Yes, I totally see your point. M1 can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. Congrats on passing all the modules, it’s a great achievement!
        I haven’t even started the other modules. I decided to invest my time and money in an MA, but I definitely intend to do them in the future.

  2. Thanks Angelos – really helpful. I’m about to start Module 1 via distance learning in preparation for the exam in June. I’ll see how that goes before committing to Module 2. The pre-course reading (titles suggested by the course!) is really energising and interesting already – I definitely should have read and researched more since completing my CELTA…

    • Hello Mike and thank you for your comment. In my opinion, rich and varied classroom experience is much more important than reading. Once you have enough experience, reading starts making sense. Do you see what I am saying? When I was younger, I started reading methodology books, etc. but they didn’t make any sense. Now they do, though. As for the Delta, you need to read a lot (especially when writing your LSAs in M2) however, you first must know what your LSAs will be focused on and then read the relevant literature. It is much more efficient than reading titles that attract your general interest in ELT. Good luck with the Diploma. It is a great experience, indeed.

      • Thanks Angelos and yes, I know exactly what you mean. The books are making sense to me now (and I’m learning so much) but a couple of years ago I think some of them would have been wasted on me! Thanks again

  3. Thank you for the post – it’s always great to read about how others experienced the Delta.

    As you mentioned, there are numerous modes of delivery. Do you think any particular mode is more preferable for a particular module?

    • That’s a great question, Anthony. Personally, I really enjoyed the integrative nature of my course at CELT Athens. The busiest 8 weeks of my life but I was very focused and that made all the difference. For a non-integrative course, though, I think that if Modules 1 and 3 are delivered on a part-time basis, candidates would benefit a lot. On the other hand, if one does a Module 2 course on a part-time basis, there is the danger that s/he will lose touch with the nature of each part of an assignment. Still, though, these are my own beliefs. What do you think?

  4. Hi Angelos – very well put. I especially like your PS: ‘Be a team-player and make your fellow candidates become team-players.’ That’s good advice for professional life – and life in general!

    Best wishes
    Elaine

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