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DELTA - How ready were you?

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Joined: 14 Dec 2008
Posts: 252

PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 6:08 am    Post subject: DELTA - How ready were you? Reply with quote

I'm interested in hearing from people who have completed the DELTA. I really want to do it at some point, but despite about 5 years experience I still don't feel 'ready' or confident enough. It sounds very challenging to say the least! In the last couple of years I have only taught on short term contracts somewhat sporadically, so I think I need at least another year full time experience before I actually do it.

How ready or experienced were you before you took it?
Also, I am currently looking for positions to start in September for the academic year, either in Europe or Asia. Keeping in mind that I may want to apply for the DELTA next year, what kind of school would be best in terms of experience? ( e;g. IH chain, uni, or any specific recommendations?)

Any input would be great!
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Joined: 30 Sep 2007
Posts: 145
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you're doing the right thing in taking a long-term view towards preparing for Delta. I think it would be a good idea for you to get into a routine of reading - including the British Council Teaching English site and some methodology and language books. It would also be a good idea to join a local EFL teachers' association and attend events / workshops etc. If you are teaching, you ought to try to extend your experience in terms of levels and types of classes (e.g. business / EAP / exams etc) and, if possible arrange for some feedback on your teaching (for instance, exchanging some observations with another teacher).

As far as schools go, ideally, I think, you'd want to work for a school that:

runs teacher training courses
has good resources, including a library of methodology books
has a professional development programme for teachers
has other teachers who have done Delta and/or hold other advanced qualifications
has senior staff, including DOS / Principal etc who have worked as teacher trainers and are contributing to the field (e.g. by writing books / giving public workshops / administering teaching organisations etc)

I moved to such a school near the end of my part-time Diploma course (the precursor of Delta) and it certainly made things easier. As a Delta trainer and assessor, I've also noticed that working in a good school is a significant advantage for candidates.

Most schools aren't like this - and it may be that you have to take what you can get. However, there ought to be at least a few schools like this in most cities. You can find a list of schools which run Celta or Delta courses here - most of them ought to meet the criteria I've mentioned above. Otherwise, it's a question of looking around where you are interested in teaching and asking questions about potential employers. Good luck.

Martin McMorrow, Massey University, New Zealand

Last edited by mmcmorrow on Sat May 11, 2013 11:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 24 Feb 2006
Posts: 178

PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, good question...

I did M3 first, then M1 and now M2, and I'm but an assignment away from being finished the whole dang-blasted thing (thank god!). I think mmcmorrow's advice to start reading is a perfect way to go, not only because it will prepare you for the work ahead but it will also give you a leg up on all the reading that will inevitably come your way throughout. If you can't find a school that has the checklist mmcmorrow offered, try to get one that has PD or offers to help pay for PD and is in an area where you can at least find DELTA-qualified teachers who can support and guide you (and as he said, who have worked as teacher trainers). Remember that you can do the DELTA via distance now, which makes it tremendously accessible, but having good support around you is key.

How prepared was I? Well, I'd already completed a masters and aced the CELTA years before and was/am an IELTS instructor AND had several years' experience, most recently in an adult school teaching academic and business English; it was still a challenge. Incredibly rewarding and a path of tremendous PD, but a lot of work. Make sure you're ready before you begin and don't start with M2 if you do it modularly; it's by far the most expensive and seems to me to have been the most work.

You could do one module to see if you like it before you commit. Because each module is individually certified, you could still have the experience and certification for one module and if you decide not to move on, your time doing it wouldn't have been wasted.

Good luck!

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Joined: 17 Jun 2010
Posts: 148

PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Apologies for taking this slightly off topic, but I thought it was better than starting another thread ...

I'm coming to the end of my Module One through and will be relocating in the summer. As such, I'd like to hear people's opinions as to the pros and cons of studying Module Two through (including, of course the obligatory two-week orientation course) against attending a DELTA training centre.

The school I'm thinking of going to is one where I've worked before. They have someone qualified to be a Local Tutor but don't run any PD sessions, nor do they have any kind of DELTA library. On the other hand, attending the training centre would mean ten weekends travelling by train three hours either way.

Any advice, please? Thanks.
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Joined: 24 Feb 2006
Posts: 178

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey there...

I'm just finishing M2 as I said, and I'm doing it through distance. If you have a local tutor, that's a plus; having no DELTA library isn't the end of the world thanks to the Internet. You should keep in mind that IH London (who runs is not the only game in town for the Distance DELTA. They are a great school with wonderful support but, as you pointed out, there is the obligatory two-week orientation course, which is not the best option, especially if you are far away from any of the places where the course is being held. There are at least two schools, Bell and NILE, that offer M2 without the orientation course (both of which are cheaper and offer quicker courses).

I can't speak toward attending a DELTA training centre. I can only say that my M2 has gone rather well with my local tutor and though there is a CELTA training centre near, I've not borrowed from their library (thanks, again, to the internet and my own resources).

Good luck!

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Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 140
Location: Bristol

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's also some schools that do a part-time DELTA - I did mine at IH Budapest a few years ago. We started in September and finished in May - we did it all 'combined', in that we were working on all three modules integrated together throughout he year, which seemed to make sense to me.

The part-time route might be an option if you feel you're not ready to take on an intensive course. I know I wouldn't have enjoyed an intensive course! I also liked the support that doing the course face to face rather than distance gave, especially as the teacher training department in Budapest is so good.
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Joined: 05 Oct 2013
Posts: 126
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DELTA is grueling. Candidates (including myself) tend to go in there rather cocky, as they tend to be experienced teachers, and quickly find themselves humbled. Some even become distraught, especially if they fail LSA1.

In order of difficulty (most to least), I think:

Mod 1
Mod 2
Mod 3

They're different (and in their own way equally demanding) and you can't really compare them, but the main thing for me which makes Mod 1 such a monster is the time pressure in the exam setting. I could pass that exam if I had 5 hours, but 3 is asking too much of me. On the other hand, I rate Mod 3 as the least difficult for the same reason - you've got a lot of time. Sure, you have to write a 4,500 word essay, read a lot of books/journals and design a course (and append your activities), but I had several weeks in which to do so. The hardest things about Mod 2 are (a) the background essays, (b) the umpteen-page lesson plans. Getting through the observed lessons themselves is comparatively straightforward.

Suggestions for would-be DELTAers:

* Buy Scott Thornbury's 'A-Z of ELT'.
* For LSA4, do a relatively robust needs analysis and diagnostic test - and append them. Do this during one of your unobserved lessons. If you can demonstrate learner progress in your reflection & evaluation, this would be of great help.
* Do a very thorough needs analysis and diagnostic test for Module 3, otherwise you'll have nothing to write about. Expect to have to email your learners to come back for more, which is a bit embarrassing.
* Expect to fail at least one module if you do the whole thing at once. As far as I know, not a single person in my group passed all three (at least one person failed all three). Different people fail different modules as well. One candidate got a Pass with Distinction for Mod 1 and Mod 2 but got referred for Mod 3 (the one I claim is least difficult).
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Joined: 03 Jul 2015
Posts: 298
Location: Beijing

PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Thanks to all who posted in this thread with invaluable advice for those of us considering Delta courses.

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