The Cambridge Delta and Why I Chose the Intensive Course Option

 

Since the time I completed my Delta course and overall assessment, I have received several messages from prospective candidates who want to or have to follow an intensive course because no other viable option is open to them.

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But often, colleagues have read this or that comment, especially in various forums, and have been intimidated or even downright  put off!

The purpose of this post is not to convince people that the intensive Delta course option is easy – why would it be, anyway?

It is a level 7 qualification that allows its holders to be awarded exemptions and credtis from a great number of related M.A programmes in the UK.

And it does give people access to some of the best jobs around! So I didn’t live under the misapprehension that I was going to have a summer holiday in Greece!

The purpose of this post is to clarify some things relevant to the intensive Delta course which I followed (and completed successfully, I will also add!) and hope that those thinking about it will not be frightened away.

My intensive Delta Experience at CELT Athens

The intensive Delta course at CELT Athens lasts for 8 weeks during which candidates attend all Module 1 and Module 2 input sessions  as well as introductory sessions on most specialisms available for Module 3, observe colleagues teaching (these could be tutors, experienced teachers on other courses, or other Delta candidates), write 5 background essays for their assignments, design 5 lesson plans and teach assessed  and  unassessed lessons and complete a Professional Development Assignment which has them taking stock of their progress after 4 points during their course as well as at the very end.

It’s a lot of work.

But hear me out.

  1. It was less intensive than I expected

The intensive Delta course lasts 8 weeks. This means that I had 8 weeks in which to complete 4 LSA’s (glossary at the end of the post)  and the 3 parts of the PDA assignment.

People on the online/blended course attend input sessions and write their background assignments throughout a longer period of time (usually 8 months), true.

But they do this while they are working, so for Module 2, candidates on an intensive course have more time than candidates on a part-time one.  Of course I didn’t have all the time in the world, but I had more time than expected because I was focusing only on my module 2 work during these 8 weeks.

  1. I was fully focused on my course

My understanding is that people choose the online/blended course because they have other commitments (teaching, family, etc.). People who choose to follow an intensive course, though, are much more focused as they spend 8 weeks dealing only with matters related to the Delta course. Also, because of the intensive nature of the course, it is less likely that one might lose touch with the subject matter. This, in my case, helped me pass Module 1 examination without spending very much time revising Module 1-related content.

I felt that this complete focus on the course without any other distractions is what helped me concentrate, organize my work and do well in all my internal assessments, as well as my final external assessments for my Module 2.

  1. I did not have to do everything at once.

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Observing your colleagues is a lesson in professional development all on its own

There are, indeed, people who need more time than others and cannot handle many things in one time (like preparation and assessment for 3 Delta modules). However, the intensive course does not necessarily mean that candidates have to submit assessment for all three modules at the end of the 8-week period. The only thing that is certain is that by the end of the 8 weeks, candidates will have finished with all the attendance requirements, as well as with Module 2; whether they choose to participate in Module 1 examination and/or submit their Module 3 assignment at the end of the course is the candidates’ choice.

For example, summer candidates have until the beginning of December to revise for their Module 1 exam and to write and submit their Module 3 assignment. Or, they can wait till the next exam session in June.

  1. I acquired some invaluable organisational skills

Having to squeeze all Delta-related tasks in a 8 weeks makes candidates hone up a number of professional skills. One, inevitably, learns how to organize their time, how to be a better team player (because collaboration with one’s fellow course mates is key!), to combine  and synthesise information from different input sessions, to observe, support and help other colleagues and much more! These are skills that I did not expect I would get or improve but which I found of great value when given new responsibilities, for example in my new job supporting teachers.

  1. I learnt how to work under pressure

Being productive under pressure is not everyone’s cup of tea, but teachers do need this skill and experienced teachers who may soon need to acquire more responsibilities either as trainers or academic managers or materials writers, do need to be able to do that!

Following the course I followed an MA course in ELT (for which I got to do 3 modules less than the others because I had the Delta), I got a job supervising teachers for summer school in the UK, worked as an EAP tutor at a University in the UK and, I also got a job with a great local language centre in Greece to help with teacher development and materials writing and, believe me, all these new-found skills have truly made a great difference to my working life.

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I used Trello to organise my work

Take the plunge – it’s a great course and a great experience

No matter what course mode one chooses to follow, the Cambridge Delta is – and will be – one of the most prestigious qualification one can attain. Delta holders are employable for top ELT roles in most – if not all – countries and prospective candidates should not be discouraged by hearsay.

In any case, it should be noted that even those who typically tend to scare people away from such courses or modes of study, when asked, usually confess to the Delta being one of the most eye-opening and significant experiences in their careers as teachers. It was for me, too! So I know!

So, if you are interested in applying for a Delta course, contact the centre(s) of your choice and discuss all your concerns, as well as your schedule and preferred mode of study, with an experienced tutor who will be better able to suggest a course that best suits your particular needs.

 

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Don’t forget to socialise and collaborate – you will be making friends for life! Here, out on the town with my coursemates. 

 

Glossary

Module 1: One of the three Delta modules. Candidates are assessed through a two-part examination,

Module 2: The second Delta module and according to many, the most demanding one. This module’s assessment is continuous and consists of the following parts:

  • Four LSA’s (Language Systems/Skills Assignment): Each LSA consists of a 2,500-word background essay, a lesson plan, delivery of a lesson, and a post-lesson written reflection. Delta candidates have to submit 4 LSAs, three of which are internally assessed and one, the last one, is assessed by an external assessor. Of those, two have to be focused on skills (reading, listening, speaking, or writing) and two on systems (grammar, lexis, discourse analysis, or phonology).
  • A PDA (Professional Development Assignment): This assignment has four parts. For the first one, candidates teach an observed diagnostic lesson, receive feedback and reflect on their performance and beliefs about teaching and learning. For the second part of the PDA, candidates do the same as with part 1 but this time they do so for their first two LSAs. Part 3 of the PDA involves the design, execution, and reflection of an experimental lesson (a lesson in which the candidate tries out a method/technique that they have never tried before in their career). The last part of the PDA involves the candidate’s reflection on their overall progress and development.

Module 3: This is the third Delta module and is assessed by submission of an extended written assignment on a specialization of the candidate’s choice. Usually, this assignment is about syllabus/course design

 

Teacher, hoping to be a manager?

Teacher, hoping to be a Manager?   Or are you already a manager and learnt how to run your institution on the job? Like many of us, you probably thought there wasn’t much to running a school.

But running a school is a very special kind of management and requires special skills. No wonder teachers often do not show a preference for managers who have no background in education and no experience of classroom teaching.

Whichever direction you are coming from, an organised course on ELT Management, especially one which is part of the Cambridge Diploma and so clearly connected with a background in teaching and understanding of sound pedagogical principles may well turn your career around and give you the opportunity to develop it in a different way.

Enter the Cambridge Delta ELT Management Course

ELTM-Poster-2

ELT Management Module 3 Course

Delivered entirely online – you can log in and complete tasks whenever you have free time

 

Join this 8-week online course to learn all about what it takes to be a manager in a Language Teaching Operation.

Cambridge Assessment offers this opportunity to Delta candidates who wish to move from being a teacher to being a manager. More and more institutions are becoming aware of this qualification and are showing a preference for teachers who also have management potential.

The course is assessed via an extended assignment on one of the following specialisms listed below:

  • Academic Management
  • Human Resources Management (HRM)
  • Customer Service
  • Marketing

In order to participate you must be eligible to be a Delta candidate (more here).

In addition you must

– be able to do academic research
– be able to write academic English
– have access to a language teaching operation (LTO) e.g. a language school or institution
– have access to data/information which will be useful to their project.

In order to apply, please download the application form from this link and send to info@celt.edu.gr

Tuition is 700 euros inclusive of Cambridge assessment fees.

Payment details will be sent to candidates upon acceptance to the course.

Watch an interview with a recent successful candidate

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

The course is asynchronous and you are not required to attend at a specific time.

Candidates who aim to obtain the Cambridge Certificate are required to write a 4,500 word assignment on one of the four areas mentioned earlier.

Submission of assignments is  either in early June or early December.

Module 3 ELT Management – Interview with a recent candidate

The interview was suggested by Liam who really liked the format of the course and wanted to help us spread this information.

His promised blog post will appear on this very same page in a few weeks.

leadership

Meanwhile, here is what he said about our course

 

Different platforms for online courses

How we combine online spaces for our courses

Every online course needs to fulfill certain functions in order to work well for all concerned

  1. inform
  2. communicate
  3. provide resources
  4. support trainees
  5. allow trainees to socialise
  6. encourage sharing

Clearly, there are overlaps in the functions I have outlined above and all course providers are constantly on the lookout for the perfect platform that does everything, all in one space.

I haven’t found such a space yet – Moodle can do this perhaps on asynchronous courses but if the course is a synchronous one, it may be better to ‘shop’ elsewhere.

Click on the image below to watch a short presentation which we use to introduce our own trainees to their online spaces; in a lighthearted way, of course.

             https://www.emaze.com/@ATFICCW/delta-online

Adobe Connect Pro

As you will note, our top gear teaching tool is Adobe Connect Pro, a virtual learning classroom which we consider  the best available one at the moment; when I was in the process of looking for a VLE, I could not believe that it was possible to have 100 participants all with video and voice, but it is!!!!


Screenshot of one of our Delta recent sessions with identities blurred

Pbworks wikis

Wikis are great both for collaboration as well as for support; we use ours as a resource repository and it is the second major online tool we use – even on the free version you can have up to 5GB space for resources; on the paid option up to 40GBn and despite the multitude of uploads we haven’t filled even 10GB yet.

Wiggio

Our third platform is a free platform which we absolutely swear by,Wiggio. Wiggio is our communication platform and eliminates multiple emails on the same questions/topics as it has its own public feed and the option to message a tutor or a fellow course participant privately. Our trainees can upload assignment proposals, assignments and even have assignment drafts edited online with comments visible (thanks to Zoho Documents which power the app).  I have blogged about this wonderful platform before and will attach a link to my blog post here, for anyone interested in more details, such the live text chat and live audio and video conferences and presentations available:

June Wiggio Group: Cambridge DELTA Trainees

Facebook Closed Group

Finally, we opted to create one more – closed – group on Facebook to be used as a playground by any current or recent trainees. This works as a social connections point where current or new trainees can talk to the ‘veterans’, can ask them about the learner profiles, ask for advice or a suggestion for material but also share photos from an outing or a conference or webinar they have been to, a great blog post which is not related to current course input and might confuse in Wiggio.

Is there one single place that can do all this and still be affordable and flexible enough? Not sure. Adobe Connect solutions at that level seem as expensive as paying rent on one of the most expensive streets in Athens – all right, this is something of an exaggeration. But the point is that if you are not a big university outfit and are looking for online platforms within your means, you might have to use a combination of solutions.

Which ones do you use?

Moodle and Blackboard?  Adobe and something else? Would love to hear about your solutions.

Summary of the Cambridge Delta Module 2 assessment

carolineThe DELTA Module 2 assessment is somewhat complicated to someone unfamiliar with this model of reflective practice in which candidates reflect on the practices, values and beliefs throughout the course and identify and pursue the goals they have set for themselves.

Module 2 Assessment Summary in Table format

I have summarised the various assessment components in a table format to make it easier to visualise – I hope this helps candidates and tutor colleagues on the Delta course.

You can find the latest Cambridge Delta Handbook (2015) embedded below. If you are thinking of following a Delta course, careful reading of this document is necessary!

 

Students engaged in an activity during a Module 2 teaching assessment

 

 

What you need in order to pass Module 2

Both the internal and the external assessment contribute to the final grade.

Pass requirements

  • a Pass grade in both parts of the submitted internally assessed assignment
  • a Pass grade in both parts of the external assessment • completion of both parts of the PDA.

Merit requirements

  • a minimum of a Pass grade for the submitted internally assessed background essay
  • a Pass or Merit grade for the submitted internally assessed lesson • a minimum of a Pass grade for the externally assessed background essay
  • a Merit grade for the externally assessed lesson
  • a Pass in both parts of the PDA.

Distinction requirements

  • a minimum of a Pass grade for the submitted internally assessed background essay
  • a Merit or Distinction grade for the submitted internally assessed lesson
  • a minimum of a Pass grade for the externally assessed background essay
  • a Distinction grade for the externally assessed lesson
  • a Pass in both parts of the PDA.

Where there is a difference in the internal and external grades, the coursework will be moderated and the internal grades and the predicted coursework grade taken into account.

(information taken from the Delta Handbook) 

Images by CELT Athens

Do your Delta at CELT
Do your Delta at CELT

DELTA options and opportunities in 2015

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  DELTA options & opportunities in 2015


Face-to-Face in 
Athens 8 weeks

our intensive course

April 6 – June 6

June 15 – August 8

September 28 – December 6

8 weeks to complete your course and  input for Modules 1-3,  one extra week for your Module 2 Assessment and you are done!!! Module 3 is written after the contact course in Athens as you need to be in touch with a class in order to write it.

To participate in this intensive and highly demanding option, ideally, you do need to have finished your CELTA or equivalent course and you need to have done some background reading – before the course starts!

Other courses

Find out about our upcoming courses by clicking here – Coming up in April, May and all through the summer months

The Cambridge CELTA – a great course & international qualification – recommend this course to a colleague!

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adobe1
Online 24 weeks – 
Athens 4 weeks

our blended course

October 3 2015 – March 27 2016

24 weeks to complete your course input for Modules 1-3 and 4 weeks in Athens to complete your Module 2 teaching assessments! You can come to Athens ANY four weeks you can!

More time for reading and reflection – following a course from the comfort of home though does not mean you miss out on the experience of interactive live sessions with some great teachers from around the globe!!!!

Blogs & Social Media

Follow our blogs to keep up with your professional development – be inspired to blog yourself!

Join the CELT Athens page on Facebook to be constantly informed of the latest tools, materials and blog posts

Follow us on Twitter and become a connected educator!

cambridge-Celta

Face-to-Face Intensive or Online/Blended Part Time Cambridge DELTA Course?  

Cambridge DELTA Courses – Soon to Begin

Face-to-Face Intensive or Online/Blended Part Time Cambridge DELTA Course? Which mode is the best one for you?  There is still time to apply for one of our fall courses

 

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Teaching Practice with our adult learners at CELT

Face-to-Face? 

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Our online Class in Adobe Connect Pro

Blended?

Our 8-week face-to-face course in Athens is your best option if you are the type of person who needs to focus on your studies fully with no other distractions. Our Blended course with 24-weeks of input sessions online and 4 weeks in Athens, may be your best option if you are a working teacher and you have commitments which do no allow you to be away for more than the 4 weeks needed to complete your Module 2 assessments.

Our next course begins on September 29th 

Of course, you need to have those 8 weeks available!!!! During those 8 weeks, you will have classes available to observe and teach your assessed lessons for Module 2 and one of the best ELT librariesavailable.It’s intensive and highly demanding, of course, it is! But if you have a solid background in ELT, have a CELTA or equivalent initial training qualification and prefer this mode, it is a great course to follow.Click here to find out more about the demands of the course during the 8 weeks and here to check our forthcoming course dates for the fall and for 2015.

Remember to check the General Info page on the Cambridge DELTA  and to download the application form from this link.

Do join our DELTA Facebook Group 

 

Our next course begins on October 4th

This course is delivered using Adobe Connect Pro, which is the top virtual classroom with tools such as audio, video for ALL participants, voice and text chat as well as technology which allows participants to work in separate breakout rooms and discuss during workshop activities. Sessions are offered usually on weekends.The 4 weeks in Athens are needed for participants to teach our classes as part of their Module 2 coursework.Click here to find out more about this course option and here to find out about the dates of our forthcoming courses.

Remember to check the General Info page on the Cambridge DELTA  and to download the application form from this link.

Do join our DELTA Facebook Group 

 

Exemptions and credits to DELTA holders on related MA level courses

creditsOfqual, the exams regulator of the UK government, has confirmed that Cambridge ESOL’s Delta qualification for teachers is at the same level as a Master’s degree or a professional diploma in the European Union. This is a result of Delta being placed at level 7 of the UK government’s Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF), making it the only English language teaching diploma currently included at this level.

Welcoming this new recognition, Cambridge ESOL’s Chief Executive Dr Mike Milanovic says: “Teachers holding this qualification demonstrate a very high level of expertise indeed and we’re delighted by this acknowledgment from Ofqual. This reflects the quality standards associated with the Delta qualification which is great news for teachers and the millions of students around the world learning English.”

N.B. The DELTA on its own does not constitute an MA qualification but is considered to be at the same level, which makes holders eligible for exemptions, credits, and fast track options in a variety of UK based universities.  

The following UK institutions offer credits or exemptions to DELTA holders, for the courses listed. We make every attempt to keep this information up to date – however, applicants should always check with the institution, as they do change their requirements, and these may differ for individual applicants.

Please use Google to verify the information below and do leave a comment if you have information about other universities not included here – we have added total number of credits where this was available and easy to find from the university website.

Institution Courses with credits/exemptions Further information  Total Credits
Aston University MSc in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages (TESOL)

MSc in Teaching English for Specific Purposes (TESP)·

MSc in Teaching English to Young Learners (TEYL)

MSc in Educational Management in TESOL (EMT)

Exemption from the Methodology module plus 20 credits toward an additional module  4 modules
Bath, University of MA ELT Fast track available: exemption of two core units (from total of 5).  5 core units
Bath Spa University MA/Teach TESOL Exemption from first semester equal to 60 credits  180 credits
Birkbeck, University of London MA TESOL

MA Language Teaching

30 credits
Bristol, University of MSc in TESOL 40 credits.
Bedfordshire, University of Applied Linguistics MA (TEFL) Exemption from assessed teaching practice (30 points)
Canterbury Christ Church MA TESOL Exemption from first two modules (40 credits).  5 modules
University of Derby Education MA DELTA holders offered up to 60 credits upon consultation
East London, University of MA English Language Teaching (ELT) Exemption from one 30-credit module
Edinburgh, University of MEd TESOL Students may request accreditation for prior learning for the core course in TESOL Methodology.2 core modules  6 core modules
Exeter University Med TESOL DELTA holders offered up to 60 credits  Link to info
Institute of Education, University of London MA Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (campus-based) Exemption from one 30-credit optional module.  180 credits
King’s College London MA in ELT & Applied Linguistics (part-time programme only) Fast track option – exemption from one core module (Principles and Practice in ELT) and one option – 30 credits in total.  180 credits
Leeds Beckett University MA English Language Teaching 60 credit exemption   Direct entry to semester 2
Leicester, University of MA TESOL & Applied Linguistics (campus-based and distance learning versions) 30 credit exemption  6 modules
Northumbria University MA in Applied Linguistics forTESOL·       MA TESOL Exemptions of up to 3 modules, or 60 credits, equivalent  to 1/3 of the MA  180 credits
Nottingham, University of MA ELT distance Exemption of two core modules running from May to end of year (January start recommended)  40 points/credits
Open University, The Masters degree in Education (Applied Linguistics) 60 credits
Oxford Brookes University MA in Education One module only worth 20 credits  180 credits
Portsmouth, University of ·       MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL (both on site & distance modes) 30 credits at M-level.  180 credits
Reading, University of ·       MA in English Language Teaching Language Curriculum Design (10 credits) and one of: Written Language (20 credits), Spoken Language (20 credits), Language Testing Principles (20 credits). This equals a total credit transfer of 30 credits towards this 180-credit degree.  180 credits
Sheffield, University of MA Applied Linguistics Exemption from 15-credit core module on Language Teaching Methodology.  8 core modules
Sheffield Hallam MA TESOL 60 credits to DELTA holders (i.e. they are exempt from the Postgraduate Certificate, which forms the first part of the MA).  180 credits
York St John University MA English Language Teaching Exemption from 30-credit core module on Practical English Language Teaching
Warwick University MA ELT Exemption of 60 credits from an 180 credit course  Link to info

 


About the Author

MARISAMarisa Constantinides, Dip.RSA, M.A. App Ling

A teacher, teacher educator and materials writer, Marisa Constantinides is the head of CELT Athens, a teacher education centre established in 1993, She is responsible for the design and training on all courses including Cambridge CELTA and DELTA, face-2-face and online. Marisa has a strong presence in Social Networks, moderates #ELTchat, a weekly discussion on Twitter (recently nominated for an ELTons award in Innovation in Teaching Resources). Marisa maintains a number of blogs (TEFL Matters#ELTchatTeaching & Learning Languages, the DELTA course blogthe CELTA course blog). She has published materials for young learners as well as for B2 and C2 level classes.

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