Before doing Delta I had in my mind that Delta was an impossible-to-conquer beast that only those teachers with years and years of experience would even consider taking on. Now, whilst I certainly wouldn’t recommend taking on Delta with less than two, perhaps even three years of experience, I would, however, recommend viewing it differently than I did. You see, I was looking at it the wrong way. Delta is not just exams and ridiculous amounts of assignments, LSAs, etc., it is a programme in true professional development. YOU are the starting point and Delta then makes you look at that and then look at where you want/need to be. It is hard. It is long. But, it is massively worthwhile.
Delta is split into three modules. Module 1 goes through understanding language, methodologies and resources. Module 2 is the ‘practical’ module where you are assessed on your teaching. Module 3 sees you design a syllabus for a specific group of learners. The modules can be taken in any order and they don’t need to be taken one after the other, i.e. you can take a break should you want. Now, this is obviously a very, very brief summary of what is covered and involved, however I will be covering each of the modules in more detail in future posts.
Why take Delta?
I could spend all day writing about why to take Delta, however I won’t. I’ll just put four of the main reasons.
- Delta will make you reflect on EVERY aspect of your teaching.
- You will become more aware of not only your teaching and how it affects your learners, but how your learners learn and what can be done to maximize this learning.
- Delta forces you to try new things. Methodologies, techniques, materials – everything ELT-related you will try, or at least read about.
- Delta opens up career pathways – DoS, teacher training and materials development are all possibilities.
What do you need?
Time – Delta is time-consuming. I mean really time-consuming. Your social life will suffer, weekends will be sacrificed, and there will be many early mornings and late nights. People say Delta is difficult and, whilst it is true to a degree, I think it is only really difficult if you don’t dedicate the right amount of time to it. Expect to be studying anywhere between eight to fifteen hours a week.
A passion for reading – You will be reading extensively, all the time. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to read those awesome sci-fi novels by Raymond E. Feist or delve into the worlds of Terry Pratchett. No, you, my dear blog readers, will be going head first down the rabbit hole of everything ELT and linguistics. Be warned.
Library – A follow-on point. You will need access to either an online library or a physical library with lots of ELT books. I bought a lot of my books second hand, and now I have a fairly impressive library that I constantly use. If you want to take this route, I would suggest Alibris: https://www.alibris.co.uk/
Understanding – This is perhaps the biggest point here. You will need time, yes, but more so you will need understanding from your employer and your loved ones. There will be days that you want the world to just leave you alone so that you can read all of Dörnyei’s publications on motivation (awesome, by the way) or write an analysis section of an LSA, so it’s better that you get everyone on board from the get-go.
Where to from here?
As I said before, I will be writing more Delta-related posts in the near future, in which I will cover the modules in more detail. But, if you can’t wait and want to get as much information as you can, here are some useful links:
The Cambirdge Delta page: http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/teaching-english/teaching-qualifications/delta/
Sandy Millin’s blog is full of lots of useful Delta and non-Delta info. https://sandymillin.wordpress.com/category/delta-2/delta-conversations/
Study CELTA go over if Delta is right for you: https://www.studycelta.com/blog/advice-and-tips/worth-taking-delta-course/
I hope this has given you some insight into what Delta is. Stay posted for updates!