Take your time Delta Module One / Module Three
If you’re looking at this page, you are probably contemplating doing the Delta, or are already part-way through it. I’ve created a more relaxed way to study for Delta Module One, taking your time over the course of an academic year to really get to know the content before you take the exam, or for Delta Module Three, being supported throughout the process of writing your assignment. Find out more here.
GeneralBefore you decide that Delta is the right qualification for you, take a look at this list of alternatives from Jim at SpongeELT. Sam Smith did the Delta and the DipTESOL in the same year (top tip: don’t do this – it’s a heck of a lot of work!) and has compared the two qualifications. Pete Clements’ tips on How to get a DipTESOL Distinction are equally applicable to doing the Delta. James Fuller has a general introduction to Delta. I particularly like this paragraph:
Before doing Delta I had in my mind that Delta was an impossible-to-conquer beast that only those teachers with years and years of experience would even consider taking on. Now, whilst I certainly wouldn’t recommend taking on Delta with less than two, perhaps even three years of experience, I would, however, recommend viewing it differently than I did. You see, I was looking at it the wrong way. Delta is not just exams and ridiculous amounts of assignments, LSAs, etc., it is a programme in true professional development. YOU are the starting point and Delta then makes you look at that and then look at where you want/need to be. It is hard. It is long. But, it is massively worthwhile.If you want everything in one place, try ‘How to Pass Delta‘, a very reasonably priced e-book written by Damian Williams, who was one of the tutors on my course. Another excellent resource is ELT Concourse’s Delta index, recommended by Katy M. I particularly like the myth-busting they do about Delta. ITI Istanbul have produced a webinar lasting a little over an hour, also called How to pass Delta:
Sally Hirst, who presented the ITI webinar above, is in the process of compiling a very useful website about the Delta modules – as of August 2021, it includes clear study tips on how to study for Module One, how to find what to read and how to read what you find. There is also a set of questions to help you work out what you might need to read for Delta Module Two, though much of the reading you do is applicable to all three modules. DublinTEFL have a series of short videos called ‘How can I prepare for a DipTESOL or a Delta?‘ I collected all of the Delta posts I have written on my blog into one page. The one which is probably most useful is called Preparing for the Delta, including advice about some good books to read before the course and a lot of ways you can improve/brush up on your Word skills in preparation for all of the typing you’ll end up doing. Lizzie Pinard, who got a Distinction in all three modules, has been writing an incredibly useful series of posts about the Delta since she finished her course. Here is her annotated list of the resources she read before and during the course. Sue Swift regularly posts useful materials on The Delta Course blog. Alex Walls has a selection of useful Delta resources, including reading lists for each module. Chris Wilson wrote a summary of an ELTchat entitled ‘How to survive, and make the most of, your Delta‘. Chris also recommended tools he uses to keep track of references from his background reading for Delta, and shared his Delta diary from throughout the course. Anthony Ash did the Delta full-time in Autumn 2014, and wrote a series of posts about his thoughts on various things that come up during the course. These cover the highs and lows of someone going through Delta, and give a good overview of what the course is like. He has also written a series of posts offering a general introduction to the course, particularly useful if you have no idea what it is or how it works! Olya Sergeeva has written about her Delta too, as has Emma Johnston and Dr Harriet Lowe. Harriet talks about the gaps between L2 teaching and L2 research in her series of 5 posts, as well as what she feels she got out of the course as a whole. If you’re considering doing a Distance version of the course, but are struggling to find a local tutor, Alex Case may be able to help. The facebook group Delta and DipTESOL – Candidates and Survivors is a great place to go for advice. If you are worried about academic writing as part of your Delta course, you may be interested in this short course from CELT Athens, called Academic Writing for the Cambridge Delta. [Note: I haven’t seen or done this course, but I think the premise is interesting, and I know it’s a reputable centre. The inclusion of the link does not consitute a recommendation!] Finally, although this is advice designed for MA students, I think Laura Patsko’s tips on how to recover from an MA can definitely be applied to Delta candidates too!
Module OneI’ve created a Take your time Delta Module One course. It runs over 30 weeks, with about 3 hours of work per week. There are three options: October to May for the June exam, March to November for the December exam, or a little more intensively over the summer followed by monthly meetings for the December exam. Here’s what current participants say about the course: self-study tips for Module One, based on the post-2015 version of the exam. [Please note: the rest of these links are based on the old version of the exam. Many of them are still relevant, but please check carefully that the descriptions of the questions match up with the updated version of the exam.] ELT Concourse has a comprehensive Module One preparation course, which is completely free. You probably won’t need many of the other resources here if you use that, but just in case… I created a ‘Delta’ group on Quizlet, which contains all of the Delta-related flashcards I made/could find. Quizlet is a great resource to help you brush up on your terminology, which is especially useful for parts one and two of Paper One of the exam. If you have never used Quizlet, here is my guide to show you how to make the most of it. There is also an app available for Apple devices. The Cambridge website has a list of materials for Delta candidates, including various past papers. David Harbinson has compiled a list of books and resources for Delta Module One. James Fuller has a guide showing you how to prepare for the exam. Dale Coulter created a step-by-step guide to the Delta exam, divided into one post for each of the two papers: Paper One; Paper Two. Lizzie Pinard did the same: Paper One; Paper Two. She also created a list of useful resources to help you revise for the exam, as well as a countdown which you can use as a last-minute checklist to make sure you know everything, or a starting point to plan your studies. Ricardo Barros describes how he prepared for the exam, as do Yuliya Speroff and Sérgio Pantoja. I’ve written a post with ideas about how to lay out your answers in the exam and information on how I prepared for it (though this is now perhaps out of date due to changes in the exam since I took it). Emma Gore-Lloyd made an infographic with questions for evaluating the effectiveness of a test, relevant to Paper 2 Question 1, and much prettier to look at than a lot of the things I was revising from! You can also find a guide to the exam on ELT Notebook and tips from Lu Bodeman. Roya Caviglia has created a flowchart with a breakdown of the marks for each section of the exam. Barry O’Leary has general tips for how to prepare for the Delta exam and tips for dealing with Module 1. Elliot Brett wrote about how he felt about doing the exam and his tips for success. Jamie Clayton reviewed the Distance Delta Module One course.
Module TwoIf you’re trying to decide where to do your Delta Module Two course, Sue Swift has a set of useful questions. Information about all of my Delta Module Two assignments is available on my Delta page, including a summary of feedback on two passes (one merit for an essay) and two fails, so you can get some idea of the problems I had and what I learnt from my experience. At the other end of the scale, Ricardo Barros tells us how he got a distinction in at least three of his LSAs (nobody ever finds out about LSA4!) and shares his bibliographies. He has also shared the bibliographies from Konstantinos’ LSAs, mostly focussing on young learners. Stewart offers practical tips for writing your background essay and lesson plan based on his experience from his first two LSAs. Lizzie Pinard gives you her reading list and feedback from her LSA1 on lexis (collocations), and Tiago Bueno goes into a lot of detail about his LSA3 on reading. Jim Fuller from Sponge ELT has a list of tips for the whole of Module 2, along with his reference lists for all of the assignments he wrote. Alex Walls talks about how to succeed in Module 2. Martin Hajek shares his Module 2 tips, including a list of books he found it useful to read. Matthew Smith shared his Delta Module Two assignments and Joanna Malefaki shared her grammar one and her vocabulary one. Jemma Gardner shared her experimental practice assignment, on the subject of Dogme, and Rachel Tsateri shared her lesson plan on the same topic. Ricardo Barros has shared an example of some of the materials for his LSAs on phrasal verbs and listening. ELT notebook also has examples on developing fluency and phrasal verbs. Emma Halliday shared an example of a listening essay (merit) and lesson plan (pass). Bruno Sousa wrote about Community Language Learning, his choice for experimental practice. Please bear in mind that Cambridge does not take plagiarism lightly, and it can result in you being banned from the course – these are examples only, so please do not copy from them! Talk TEFL has a Delta LSA survival kit full of lots of tips and decoding some of the many acronyms on Delta courses. Katy M has written about her experience of doing Delta Module Two, including some practical tips for how to reduce your stress levels. Jamie Clayton wrote some notes from different weeks of the Module Two course, including tips for planning lessons. Christina Rebuffet-Broadus and Jennie Wright have written a book called ‘Experimental Practice in ELT‘ which came directly out of their experiences of Delta Module 2. It includes lesson plans and ideas for the five most popular topics for the Experimental Practice part of the Professional Development Assignment. It’s available from the-round for a very reasonable price. Mike Harrison runs the Experimental Practice Academy blog, including interviews with various people about their Delta experimental practice. Lizzie Pinard explains:
- how to write a background essay for an LSA
- how to write a lesson plan for an LSA
- how to write a post-lesson reflection and evaluation for an LSA
- how to approach the experimental practice lesson
- how to approach the Professional Development Assignment (PDA)
Module ThreeDublin TEFL have a guide to help you choose your specialism for Module 3. Read this before you start writing anything: Lina Gordyshevskaya has practical tips which will make completing your Module 3 assignment more efficient and hopefully save you time and stress. Information about my Module 3 assignment, on teaching exam classes, with a specific focus on IELTS reading and writing, is available on my Delta page. Jim Fuller at Sponge ELT has written a very comprehensive guide to what Module 3 is, ideas for how to approach it, and supplied a very long reading list you could use as a starting point. Martin Hajek reflected on his Module 3 experience, and talked about why he recommends you find a tutor to help you, or at least somebody who can read your assignment. An overview of types of syllabus was a useful primer for different types of syllabus, although I would recommend reading about them in more depth before you write about them. Jonny Lewington shared his Module 3 essay on young learners, for which he got a distinction (well done!). He also has a related book list on his blog. Robert William has shared his Module 3 essay on IELTS. Please remember that these are samples only: Cambridge looks on plagiarism very seriously – if you copy sections of these assignments, you are likely to be disqualified from the course. Yuliya Speroff has written about her whole Delta experience, and has included her reference list for the Module 3 EAP syllabus she wrote. Anthony Ash has a general overview of Module 3. Lizzie Pinard has guides to writing each section of the Module 3 assignment:
- Module 3 essay overview and starting out
- The introduction
- Needs analysis
- Course proposal
- Conclusion and appendices