DELTA – An introduction

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 Modules

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.

  1. Delta will make you reflect on EVERY aspect of your teaching.
  2. 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.
  3. Delta forces you to try new things. Methodologies, techniques, materials – everything ELT-related you will try, or at least read about.
  4. 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:

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:

Sandy Millin’s blog is full of lots of useful Delta and non-Delta info.

Study CELTA go over if Delta is right for you:

I hope this has given you some insight into what Delta is. Stay posted for updates!




  1. Thanks for the short and concise view of DELTA.waiting for more

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Farah! We will have the next blog post out soon!


  2. TylerScharf says:

    Thanks Jim! This is a great overview of what to expect.
    I might add not to teach more than 20 hours if possible as well. I was doing about 30-35 at the time I did the Delta and had to use every free moment to compile research by copying quotes from my kindle to my notepad on my phone… on the bus, at lunch, before bed, between classes, during breakfast.
    But it most certainly is worth it. It’s also a common misconception that those who have already got a MEd or PhD won’t learn anything new from this program, but what makes it such a good learning experience is exactly what you outlined above: reflection, realization and justification of theory through practice, and of course, self development

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cheers, Tyler! I totally agree – I will make sure to add this into one of my future posts. I, like you, was working quite a lot and only really found that I could fully commit and keep up once I started working one day less each week. Time management certainly is key.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the link, Sandy!


  3. Sandy Millin says:

    Thanks a lot for linking to my post Jim. And you have good taste in non-Delta authors 🙂


  4. burp182 says:

    who are you taking the DELTA with?


    1. Hi! I took Module 1 facetoface with inlingua Ferrara, Module 3 with International house Rome via distance and am finishing Module 2 now via distance with ITI Istanbul. I would recommend them all!


      1. Sandy Millin says:

        Let me know if you’re interested in writing a Delta Conversation for my blog once you’re done.


      2. Hi Sandy. I would love to! How should I go about it?


      3. Sandy Millin says:

        Hi Jim,
        I’ll reply to your email with the information in a few minutes 🙂


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