Everything you need to know about the Delta
She’s CELTA’s older sister; the popular, overachieving dux of the school. The first pick when it comes to hiring study directors and school management. And her name is Delta.
Delta (Cambridge keeps it lowercase, since its no longer an acronym) is a Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages. The course is for experienced English teachers who want to advance their careers into direction and management, or even teacher training. Delta can also facilitate progression to other qualifications, such as MAs in Linguistics and Language Teaching – MA programmes sometimes accept Delta credits (up to 20 credits per module).
Argentina’s Delta tutor Neil McMahon spoke to us about the improvements he sees in Delta graduates, “I think the most obvious is how their confidence grows as they develop during the course. When you know why you are doing what you are doing and you know that it is effective and why it is effective, that gives your actions and beliefs a confidence and authority that pre-Delta teachers don’t tend to have.”
The Delta diploma is made up of a combination of three modules and is one of the most recognised TEFL qualifications, worldwide.
Former Head of Teacher Training at Catania, Robert Martinez could not recommend Delta enough, “After 5 years in ELT and having the CELTA, I felt I was finally able to understand what was happening in the classroom and how to take my teaching further through reading, studying and action research.”
Breaking it down…
The ins and outs of the course’s layout, however, sometimes leave potential candidates scratching their heads. The entry requirements are less straightforward than the first-stop CELTA, the module order is flexible and you can take each a stand alone certificate, if you want. You can take the modules over a few months, or a few years! Its a great qualification for those already teaching, and there are many format options that can fit around most schedules or commitments!
Still confused? We want to lay it out, plain and simple…
The Modules – how do they work?
The course format is broken up into three different modules, each with their own format, content and assessment type. You can study them in any order you choose – you can take the three modules, or just one or two. To earn the entire Delta, however, you’ll need to have all three. These don’t need to all be taken with the same Delta training centre or in the same format – Cambridge will keep a record and you’ll get an overarching certificate once all are complete.
Let’s break down each module:
Module 1 is essentially a long, written exam, preceded by a few weeks (full-time) – or a few months (part-time) – of preparation. It covers language concepts, teaching methodologies and resources, as well as specific terminology and learner skills and problems.
Module 1 courses can be taken either online or in person, in the lead up to your written exam, which is held every June and December. You can take the exam in your local Cambridge accredited centre, worldwide.
Of the three modules, this one is that requires some serious in-class time. Just like its little brother CELTA (but a lot more advanced), Module 2 of the Delta is an overall assessment of coursework portfolio, compiled of teaching practice, written essays and lesson planning. It focuses more on the practical teaching practice side of things; the intricacies of good lesson planning, in-class resources, and managing and supporting learners.
Module 2 is available both part and full time in our centres across the world. Traditionally, it’s only offered face-to-face, however we do also provide Online blended options for those hoping to study from a distance (see more information below). This option means that you can learn the theory aspects online, in your own time, then focus on the teaching parts at your own school, with the help of a local Delta tutor. A Cambridge Assessor will then come to your place of work for your practical assessment. This option works well for those without a face-to-face Delta centre nearby and can be taken from anywhere in the world!
The third module is broken up into two options, the first focusing on ELT specialism and the second on management.
Option 1 looks primarily at student needs analysis, syllabus construction and assessment. Basically, the candidate chooses a specialist area to write an extended essay on, which is then marked by an external Cambridge assessor.
Option 2, on the other hand, is based around a management specialism, and includes situation analysis and the implementation of change proposals. Once again, it comprises a long-form written assignment on the candidate’s chosen management field.
Courses for Module 3 take you through the base content of your option and the writing process, right up until submission in June and December.
The typical Cambridge spiel is that a Delta candidate should hold a TEFL certificate or equivalent, and have at least one year of teaching to a variety of levels under their belt. But, rules are made to be bent and even broken, so most acceptance is up to the discretion of selectors. As long as Delta tutor believes you have the knowledge and experience required, you may be able to take Delta without a previous TEFL.
Lisbon’s Head of Teacher Training Paula de Nagy said, “Most experienced teachers have very good teaching skills but the Delta gives you an opportunity to consider your practice and think of the theoretical principles behind what you do in class. It is not necessarily that your teaching method and style is going to change but that you will be much more aware of why you’re doing what you’re doing. Like many people, I felt that taking the Diploma really made a difference to my understanding of what it was to be an English Language teacher.”
Cambridge explain that the Delta can be taken at any stage in a teacher’s career and is suitable for:
• Teachers of EFL working in a variety of contexts (e.g. primary, secondary or adult).
• International candidates of non-first language and first language speakers of English, whose level of English is between CEFR Levels C1 and C2 or above (or IELTS 7.5). However, Delta candidates are not required to have taken any English language examinations, as the tutors will assess your level throughout the application process.
• Teachers with previous EFL teaching experience.
Delta may also be taken by teachers who wish:
• To refresh their teaching knowledge
• To review and update their teaching practice
• To extend their expertise in a specialist area.
Let’s look at a few hypotheticals:
Mary is 28-years-old and has been teaching English for 8 years. She’s taught children and adults, beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, in several different countries around the world. She’s completed a 120-hour TEFL course and taken part in professional development at the several schools she’s worked at. She never went to university and didn’t complete her final year of high school.
Is Mary eligible for Delta?
Yes. Provided she sends in a thorough application, Mary’s extensive experience (both in life and in English teaching) means she’d make the cut for a course. With mature candidates, a lack of formal education is normally compensated by their wealth of hands-on knowledge. Mary doesn’t have a CELTA, but her 8 years of teaching and professional development training means she’ll be familiar with important TEFL concepts.
James is 24 years old and is was last teaching English in Thailand. He completed a 60-hour online course two years ago, and has been bouncing from job to job as he backpacks around the world. But, he’d like to take his teaching a little more seriously, and wants to apply for the Delta. He’s finished high school and has a Bachelor’s degree in commerce, but has only taught part-time beginner classes for children.
Is James eligible for Delta?
No – James would be better off studying the CELTA to advance his TEFL career. Although James has a couple of years of experience, he’s only taught one level, and on a part-time basis. Plus, James’ 60-hour online certificate will probably not have covered the assumed knowledge for the Delta diploma. With a bit more experience and a CELTA or equivalent certificate, however, James could apply.
How do I know if I’m eligible?
As you can see from the two examples above, there’s no set rule of thumb for entry. Extensive experience can compensate for a lack of qualifications, but some qualifications aren’t always up to scratch. Delta selectors always value well-written and thorough applications, which demonstrate that the candidate is really serious about taking the course. We have a Delta Eligibility Test that may be able to give you a clearer idea. If you’re still unsure about you’re eligibility, get in contact with us and we’ll help you out.
What are my study options?
As explained before, the Delta is a flexible diploma, in that the three modules can be taken in any order, and in any way you like. If you want to do all three in one hit, for example, we have courses available that teach different modules on varying days of the week, leading up to the June or December submission and exam dates.
Or, if you’re looking to take it at a slower pace, we have both online and face-to-face part time courses, that can range anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Check our our Delta Calendar for dates.
If you want to figure out your best option, get in touch – we can personally advise you on dates, locations and course structures to suit your needs.
How can I study Module 2 by distance?
Traditionally, Module 2 was the anomaly of the three, in that it was the solitary Delta course only available in the classroom. Times have changed, however, and we now offer online Module 2 Delta courses that can be taken from wherever you’re based.
With these options candidates can take the online aspects from anywhere in the world, part-time, and they just have to find a ‘regional Delta tutor’ to help them complete the course. Basically, the tutor can be a Delta qualified colleague, such as a director of studies or an experienced trainer – and if they’re approved by the centre, they’re good to go. Provided most Module 2 candidates are already working in the industry, finding a tutor shouldn’t be a tough task – and, their salary is covered by the course fees.
I want to study Delta – what now?
With the inner-workings of the Delta clear in your head, you’ve decided to take the plunge and apply. First up, you can apply here and you will be sent a Delta application pack to return. This usually includes your C.V, a pre-interview task, and copies of qualifications and references.
Once the application is assessed by a Delta tutor, you’ll be contacted for an interview; either face-to-face, over the phone or on Skype. If you’re accepted into the course, accommodation (and even additional language courses!) can be arranged via the centre. Then it’s just a matter of preparation. Hitting the ground running is key, which also means hitting the books: there are a number of great titles that’ll brush you up on all the main concepts and terminology.
So, if you’re looking to step up your game in the EFL world, or are on the hunt for more respectable, better-paid teaching jobs, contact us and we’ll help you on your way.
Lets hear what some of the industry experts have to say about the benefits of Delta…
Sunshine Coast, Australia’s Teacher Trainer, Michelle Doherty said, “It helped me to refocus and to notice the beginning of some bad habits. It also strengthened my ability to analyse tasks and activities and determine what students really needed.”
Frankfurt’s Guus Van Der Made recommends Delta too, “If you want to move on to, for instance, a position as a Director of Studies, or you want to go into teacher training, the Delta is the best option available.”
Simon O’Donavan at our London Russell Square location, also found a great improvement in his teaching, post Delta. “After completing the DELTA I felt more confidence in my knowledge of my subject and my ability to exploit students’ language in order for them to learn. I no longer felt the need for the support of a coursebook as such, although they obviously have curriculum in etc. My ability to reflect on my teaching was also enhanced”
Cape Town Sea Point’s Head of Teacher Training Susan Walden also speaks highly of the Delta, “It helped me to solidify what I had learnt on the CELTA but also gave me the opportunity to get into teacher training which I was so keen to do. I wanted to help others learn what I had learnt.”
Yulianto Lukito – Delta tutor in Sydney explains, “Many Delta qualified experienced teachers stand out mainly because of their sound understanding of ESL pedagogy as well as its direct application in their classroom practice. They seem to have better awareness of the students and their needs as evidenced by the quality of tailor-made materials/resources that I have seen and the diversity of their experimental teaching practice. A few of my friends with Delta are now successful senior teachers, head teachers, directors of studies, teacher trainers, curriculum developers and material writers.”