Technologically and linguistically adventurous EFL teacher, trainer, writer and manager

This is part of a series of posts showing you all the different ways you can approach the Cambridge Delta. They are designed to help you find out more about the course and what it involves, as well as helping you to choose the right way to do it for you, your lifestyle and the time you have available. If you’ve done the Delta (or any other similar higher-level teaching course, including a Masters), and you’d like to join in, let me know by leaving me a comment or contacting me via Twitter @sandymillin.

Angelos Bollos

Angelos Bollas is a Cambridge CELTA and Delta qualified TEFLer based in Greece and the UK. He is currently working towards an MA in ELT at Leeds Beckett University. He is an Academic Manager at an international educational organisation and is interested in online education, CPD, as well as teacher training and development. In his free time, he blogs (www.angelosbollastefl.com), participates in #ELTchat weekly discussions on twitter, and connects with language educators around the world. He is @angelos_bollas on Twitter.

How did you do your Delta? How did you arrange the modules?

I did my Delta at CELT Athens – same place I had done my CELTA – with Marisa Constantinides and George Vassilakis. I could either follow an online/blended course or an 8-week intensive one. I opted for the second, not because I have anything against online courses (quite the contrary), but because I wanted to be completely devoted to it.

Why did you choose to do it that way?

As I said, the course was an integrated one, which means that I did all three modules at the same time. Undoubtedly, this was the hardest period of my life, but the most fruitful one. Doing all three modules together helped me stay focused and interested throughout. From one perspective, it is much easier: I was reading an article for Module 1 and realized that I can use it for my Module 3 essay, for example. What I am trying to say is that there is a lot of overlapping and I benefitted from the fact that I was studying for all modules at once.

What do you think you gained from doing the Delta?

First and foremost, I got the chance to reach my limits both emotionally and physically: spending three nights and days writing an assignment and, then, being told that I had to rewrite it all over again was something that I had always thought I couldn’t handle. Well, I did!

It also helped me hone my professional skills: organizing time, tasks, and people were closely linked to the course. Finally, it made me accept my role as agent of change, which may add to the responsibilities I have as teacher but, at the same time, it makes me want to constantly become better.

What were the downsides of the method you chose?

That’s an easy one: lack of sleep (as a result of lack of time, of course). A typical day was as follows: 8am – 9am Travel to CELT Athens, 9am – 4pm Input Sessions/Teaching Practices, 4pm – 5pm Travel back home, 5pm – 6pm One-hour sleep, 6pm – 8pm Work for Module 1, 8pm – 12am Work for Module 2, 12am – 3am Work for Module 3. Also, note that I am not the most organized person on earth so, following this schedule was a constant battle for me!

What were the benefits of the method you chose?

Two months and I was done and dusted! This may not seem as an important benefit but I can assure you, it was a great motive. Other than that, there was no room for anything not related to Delta. As I mentioned before, this helped me a lot.

What tips would you give other people doing the Delta?

Since I have written on my blog some tips for people who are about to follow a Delta course, I shouldn’t repeat myself. People interested in reading my tips, can click here.

However, I would like to stress the importance of the following two:

a. When choosing a centre make sure that you have enough and varied support (other than trusting the tutors, that is). For example, at CELT Athens, we had physical access to a library that had as many titles as you can think of, full of rare and very well known books; we, also, had access to the Delta wiki – an online space where one can find anything related to ELT and linguistics; lastly, we were part of network of many alumni who were willing to help and support us.

b. It is of utmost importance that people on intensive courses are team players – if they don’t support each other, they make their lives much harder.

In retrospect, what would you have done differently?

There are times I wish I had done my training way before the time I did it (I had been teaching full time for 8 years when I did my Delta), but then…I wouldn’t know if things would have been better or not. So, to answer your question, I wouldn’t have done anything differently.

How much time per week would you estimate you needed to spend working on the Delta in the format you chose?

As many as possible. Unfortunately, I don’t have a better answer to that one. I spent 9 hours/day for researching, reading, brainstorming, organizing, drafting, planning, etc. As I said, though, I don’t regret any of these.

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Comments on: "Delta conversations: Angelos" (10)

  1. Great post, Sandy and Angelos! It’s a pity that the intensive courses are usually for people doing the 3 modules. I wish there were full-time courses for each module.

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    • Intensive courses can be done separately, although most commonly they combine Module 1 and 2, which is probably the best way to do it. Module 3 is primarily self-study, so an intensive courseactually wouldn’t help here. Tutor support is very useful, for M3 but over a period of time rather than intensively.

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      • I see, Sandy. I wanted to do module 2 intensively, as I’ve done module 1. Where I am from (Brazil), it’s just not possible, there isn’t much demand for Delta courses…

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        • If Distance is your only choice, go for it with three provisos:
          1. Make sure you have the most supportive local tutor you can find l and that they will definitely have time to support you through the year- it’s a lot of work for them too.
          2. Do as much preparation as you can beforehand (my ‘Preparing for the Delta’ post might help with that.) Preparation should include ‘life’ stuff, not just teaching stuff, like having a break before you start.
          3. Make sure the people around you know how intensive the course is and are prepared to support you.
          Good luck, however you end up doing it!
          Sandy

          Liked by 1 person

    • What Sandy said; Angelos was the exception, not the rule although if a candidate is willing, ready and able to cope with the workload, our centre will, of course, support him/her.

      The majority of our candidates select their specialism after the intensive course and submit for the next awards session

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  2. Reblogged this on Teaching & Learning Foreign Languages and commented:
    Angelos finished his Delta course and his assessment in what I would call one big fell swoop – in something less than 10 weeks, he had finished writing his assignments for all three modules and managed to pass ALL three!!!

    Well, that takes dedication, good planning of one’s time and despite what his says in this interview by Sandy Millin, he has drive and ambition as well as good organisational skills

    Read how he did it – may be you might want to do the same one day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anastasiya Tuzova said:

    Love the boy) He is a star and don’t believe him, he is really organised. Even more than that, Angelos knows how to organise the world around him. The time flies, but Angelos’s example is still inspiring. I feel really privileged to know this person.

    Like

  4. You can do module 2 with a local tutor in 12 weeks if that would work for you.

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  5. Great post, Sandy and Angelos!

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