This is the summary of an #ELTchat which was written up by Chris Wilson who has himself just started following a DELTA course.
You can read the original chat transcript here and Chris’ summary on his blog.
On the 15/02/2013 teachers from across the world met to discuss my suggested topic “How to survive and make the most of your DELTA (or similar course)” A topic I had chosen as I am about to start my DELTA (having been persuaded on a previous #ELTChat) and having seen Sandy Millin reflect on her issues and struggles on her DELTA. Thankful the ever helpful ELTchat PLN came to the rescue!
Top Survival Tips
1) Get reading early
@Marisa_C shared this tip and it quickly lead to a sharing of recommended reading books, which I’ve added to an Amazon list.
@ShaunWilden later added that forming a reading group was a good idea to assist other trainees learning.
2) Build a Jargon list
@ShaunWilden commented on the large amount of Jargon in the DELTA and so recommended making a Jargon list. @TEFLerinha agreed and added that the Exam now asks you to define terms as well (although as @Shaznosel pointed out, you only get a few points for defining terms so don’t worry too much)
@SandyMillin shared her Quizlet group as a tool for learning DELTA jargon but @toulasklavou was more critical stating that learning terms by heart was useless and that it was much better and more effective to read and learn the terms in context.
3) Get assignments out of the way early
@TheTeacherJames shared this tip from his CELTA course. Of course (no pun intended), the DELTA has a different format from the CELTA with assignments not being part of Module one, Module two has five writing assignments and Module three has an extended assignment. So time management is still a big issue.
4) Develop a good note taking system
@Marisa_C Sshared that when she did her Diploma she used Large paper mindmaps and Note cards but now there are plenty of tools that make storing notes a lot easier. @ShaunWilden agreed but @Shaznosel said that she still uses paper mindmaps and note cards.
Some Of the curation tools that were recommended included Evernote (my favourite), One note (from Microsoft), diigo (Useful highlighting tools) or even a tool like Pintrest. In hindsight I noticed that no one mentioned an online mindmapping tool so i’d like to recommend Google Drive’s drawing feature or wallwisher.
Why do I blog?
Richard St. John shares his eight secrets of success in a fantastic video and I want to talk about blogging and how I think it is connected to these eight great secrets.
Here are the eight secrets in a word cloud
I blog for all the reasons in the word cloud:
- I blog because I want to be an excellent educator (Excellence- get good at what you do)
- I blog because I want to share my ideas (Serve Others)
- I persist even when I am tired; good results need hard work! (Work!)
- I blog to focus more on my interest and learn more about it (Focus)
- I blog because this makes me think and learn new things (Push Yourself)
- I get more ideas by trying to explain my ideas to other people. (Ideas)
- I blog because I love my job and I am passionate about teaching (Passion)
- I persist because I believe communicating your ideas is important for learning (Persist)
What should you blog about?
Blog about something you love, something you are passionate about. It may be using songs in the classroom, using Web 2.0 tools or it may even be a blog about the English language!
If you love your subject, you will find more things to write and you will also find the time, no matter how busy you are.
It takes time but it’s worth it!
May be you will find it hard at the the beginning. I found it hard too!
But with time, it gets easier. Remember! You won’t get better by waiting! You will get better by trying!”
Go beyond your comfort zone
Challenge yourself and you will surely be amazed by how much you will learn by communicating with the world!
And if you would like to listen to this great talk which inspired this post, here it is below, one of the great TED talks.