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Delta reading list question

 
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sisyphus



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 170

PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:34 am    Post subject: Delta reading list question Reply with quote

I have the reading list for the distance Delta, i just wanted to ask if anyone knows from the list which are the really essential texts to look at. There are so many marked 'essential' on the website i dont know which to buy...or do i need to buy all of these..? Ta very much . Sisyphus.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1838

PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if it is on your reading list, but if it isn't it should be. Michael Lewis, The English Verb. It will transform your thinking about some aspects of English grammar. If you check out the reviews on Amazon.co.uk and on Amazon.com, you'll find similar comments on this book.
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 3292
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some comments I've made about the DD booklist, as it appeared in 2005, and then more recently:
http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?p=764843#764843

Taking a quick look at the list for at least the third time now, I would say that the Parrott may be a reasonably solid grammar book, but is it really that interesting or inspiring? Some of the other books in that section (or indeed outside it) would seem to whet the intellectual appetite more, and once one starts reading around beyond just the one book, is Thornbury really needed as the last word on language awareness and related pedagogy? Basically, one should try to buy as many grammar books as appeal and one can afford. (BTW, the Bygate et al has been out of print for at least a few years now - it's a great book and of course "should" be on lists still, but there's not much point listing it if availability would likely be an issue).

Lexis-wise, most people that I've heard or read commenting on Lewis' Implementing the Lexical Approach found it a bit of a disappointing dud (and I agree) compared to his earlier, inspired and inspiring The Lexical Approach (which isn't on the list), whilst the Teaching Collocation collection of papers that he edited is at least somewhat interesting and engaging even if it isn't all immediately "practical" stuff. Same thing really with Willis' Rules, Patterns and Words - his The Lexical Syllabus (again, not on the list) was much more focussed. Generally, the book I enjoyed the most in the lexis section is Schmitt's.
http://www.cels.bham.ac.uk/resources/LexSyll.shtml

Pronunciation, those books are fine, but I'm surprised there's no mention of the likes of Jennifer Jenkins (or is she too radical? Seems like a realist to me - describes what will probably often happen with many learners, despite everyone's best efforts with standard pronunciations).

Discourse, like I said in my comments in the linked thread, Thornbury has written a solid and interesting book with Diana Slade on conversation that might also be worth checking out, and could perform double-duty by covering the list's Speaking section as well.

Listening, I am not a great fan of the way it is "taught" in CLT (nor it seems are many others - see e.g. http://forums.eslcafe.com/teacher/viewtopic.php?t=8933 ), but what can you do eh (perhaps stop forcing students to listen to extended texts before they have learnt enough to understand them, let alone express any potential disinterest in the topics? Can't beat quality face-to-face genuine human interaction, IMHO). Michael Rost isn't bad though when you've run out of sleeping pills and need something to help put you out.

Reading, Nuttall has long been about the only book that seems to be out there (which reminds me, I really should check to see how well it teaches bottom-up processing - phonemic decoding of spelling, and tackles word frequency etc, silly ultra-empirical stuff like that).

Writing, many teachers teach conversation rather than any form of composition, don't they? Anyway, good luck with that!

The Learning and Teaching section is a bit of a hodge-podge (SLA alone is a "huge" area), and there are many more, potentially better books, out there. Take your pick really. Ellis' SLA (OILS series?) is I think more 1997 than 1987, whilst the Richards et al AL dictionary is now in a nice expensive 3rd edition that has suffered in the proof-reading a bit (assuming the 2nd edition was neater). Little things like that make me wonder how much care and attention has really been given to the DD list. Still, at least they know that the classic Richards & Rodgers is now in a 2nd edition.

Course Design/Materials, again, there are more (and some more recent) books available than just those 3. Some names off the top of my head are Tomlinson, Yalden, White, Nunan (his Designing Tasks...), and there was once IIRC a freebie Uni of Birmingham MA sample unit download by Dave Willis on 'Syllabus and Materials' or somesuch that was quite wide-ranging, that you might still be able to get (worth a search perhaps).

Sorry, just having a bit of tongue-in-cheek fun (though I am a bit of a cynic when it comes to ELT training). I suppose which exact books to buy will depend on whether you will be expected to quote chapter and verse from stuff that your trainers love, or are just expected to be generally informed and up-to-speed whilst being entitled to have some actual opinions and theories of your own. Probably the latter, seeing as this is a more "practical" DELTA than a supposedly more "theoretical" MA! Smile

A list of books that I consider useful*, just out of interest or for a laugh (you'll need to scroll down to about halfway through the looong post):
http://forums.eslcafe.com/teacher/viewtopic.php?p=41198#41198

*To which I'd add something like Swan & Smith's Learner English (on the DD list), for those teachers with little or no knowledge of the language(s) of the learners they might be teaching.


Last edited by fluffyhamster on Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:20 am; edited 5 times in total
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 3292
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

coledavis wrote:
I don't know if it is on your reading list, but if it isn't it should be. Michael Lewis, The English Verb.

It is, right near the top. Wink

Quote:
It will transform your thinking about some aspects of English grammar. If you check out the reviews on Amazon.co.uk and on Amazon.com, you'll find similar comments on this book.

I agree, great book, well worth reading. Smile
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Pikgitina



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 420
Location: KSA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

3 books I found very useful:

1. About Language (Thornbury)
2. Beyond the Sentence (Thornbury)
3. How Languages Are Learned (Spada & Lightbown)

Steven Pinker's 'The Language Instinct' is also a great, entertaining read, but I only read that way after the DELTA. Very Happy

'The Lexical Approach' (Lewis) offers good introductory lowdown re "names" that will be thrown around a lot, e.g. Krashen.
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sisyphus



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 170

PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brilliant.Thanks very much. Im nervous about this course so i want to get on with some reading, not sure yet if i do the distance or intensive. I know people fail the course but i dont know why.I want to be a bit prepared.
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Pikgitina



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 420
Location: KSA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sisyphus wrote:
I know people fail the course but i dont know why.I want to be a bit prepared.


When people fail the (intensive) course, it's often because they've failed either the extended assignment or the exam (or both Sad).

Just as EFL teachers need to get their students prepared for exams like the Cambridge suite, IELTS or TOEFL, DELTA trainers need to prepare their DELTAees for the exam. When it was time to write the exam (in Seville), we had gone through 3 mock exams (and each time received extensive feedback as well as past paper answers/commentary published by Cambridge ESOL). It was excruciatingly painful Crying or Very sad, but heck, we all passed! Very Happy

Again, as EFL teachers with their students, DELTA trainers need to give the candidates examples (of the format at least) of the extended assignment. Otherwise, how are the candidates supposed to know what is expected of them?

When choosing your DELTA centre, ask the tutors about the time spent preparing for the exam and doing the extended assignment. Even if the trainers don't want to do all this work (it's a lot for them too, ya know Wink), IMHO they have to in order to justify the price.
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kaw



Joined: 31 Mar 2003
Posts: 302
Location: somewhere hot and sunny

PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doing the Delta - either intensively or by distance depends a lot on your own learning style and financially what you can afford - as in can you afford to take time off work if your organisation won't provide 'study-leave'.

If you decide to go the intensive route then ask around - personal recommendation is definately a plus. I know people who had a pretty awful time doing theirs in Poland while I was actually enjoying the whole DELTA experience in Seville. The same is true with the distance delta - I have colleagues who nhave said that their orientation course at the beginning was awful and tutors just passing out handouts. Not the way to go.

As for reasons why people fail - as Pikgitina said it has a lot to do with the extended assignment (which I think has been dropped now in the new syllabus), the exam and the externally assessed assignment - the one that everyone dreads I think. Ok, I will admit, I failed my exam first time round, mainly due to lack of preparation. This wasn't the fault of my tutors, it was mainly due to the fact I had to go back to work and couldn't spend the time preparing. Luckily I passed on the second attempt.

One of the things I found useful was to do a lot of reading and research before I actually started, at least then I had a vague idea what was going on when it came to writing up the background assignments and could concentrate more on writing a delta standard lesson plan.

Good luck with it, whichever way you decide to do it.
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sisyphus



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 170

PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very decent of people to take the time to reply, appreciated.
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twowheel



Joined: 03 Jul 2015
Posts: 751

PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^^ bumped

twowheel
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twowheel



Joined: 03 Jul 2015
Posts: 751

PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did a quick sniff around the Internet and came up with the following:

1. IH Barcelona: http://www.ihes.com/bcn/tt/delta/reading.html
2. The Distance Delta: http://thedistancedelta.com/howitworks/books.aspx
3. ESL Base: http://www.eslbase.com/forum/viewtopic/cambridge-delta-course-recommended-reading-list/
4. Bilkent University (Turkey): http://busel.bilkent.edu.tr/data/ttu/Delta_Module_One_Reading_ListV2.pdf ; http://busel.bilkent.edu.tr/data/ttu/Delta_Module_Two_Reading_List.pdf
5. Lizzie Pinard (blog): https://reflectiveteachingreflectivelearning.com/2013/08/05/an-annotated-list-of-resources-i-found-useful-in-preparing-for-and-doing-the-delta/

...and, not a reading list per se, but highly useful for those considering the Delta, from the horse's mouth itself:

http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/teaching-english/teaching-qualifications/delta/prepare-for-delta/

twowheel
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twowheel



Joined: 03 Jul 2015
Posts: 751

PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^^bumped
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