Delta Conversations: Martin

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.

Martin Hajek works as an English teacher in the private sector in Colombia. He moved into TEFL in 2017 when he did his CELTA at CELT Athens. He fell in love with the profession and decided to focus on his professional development. You can read about his journey on his blog and follow him on Twitter @martinhajek_ELT. [Note from Sandy: Martin has lots of useful information about Delta on his blog – I’d definitely recommend it!]

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

II took the Delta Module One exam at the British Council in Bogotá in June 2019 after individual preparation. I got a Pass with Merit and decided to do Module Three on my own as well. It proved to be a rash decision because I had to resubmit the assignment. I asked for marker feedback and rewrote the essay according to it. I passed the module after submitting it in June 2020 through NILE, whose tutor read my assignment and told me that it was good enough to pass. Finally, I took IH Mexico’s online Module Two course from January to March 2021 and received a Pass with Merit.

Why did you choose to do it that way?

The first decision was kind of an accident, really. I actually wanted to take a preparation course with one of the distance course providers, but my payment kept getting rejected for no apparent reason, so I gave up and decided to prepare for the exam by myself. I couldn’t do Module Two immediately afterwards because online courses weren’t approved at that time. There are no course providers in Colombia and I couldn’t find a local tutor in the city where I lived, so I chose to do Module Three instead. I was then ready to travel to Mexico to do Module Two in person in 2020, but we all know what happened that year. When the option to do the module fully online was approved, I decided to do so because I didn’t want to keep waiting any longer.

What do you think you gained from doing the Delta?

A huge confidence boost! When I did my CELTA, there was a Delta course taking place concurrently at the centre. We mingled with those teachers and even observed one of the lessons, and I found it all very inspirational. I loved my CELTA experience and from that moment I knew that I would do a Delta at some point in the future. I managed to reach the goal four years later, which brought me a sense of achievement, and I hope that it will allow me to have a long-term career in TEFL. In practical terms, I feel that the Delta has helped me make principled decisions. I enjoy going beyond the coursebook and designing my own activities from scratch, and I found all three modules beneficial in that regard.

What were the downsides of the method you chose?

The biggest issue was doing Module Three before Module Two. I think it makes sense to do the diploma in the conventional order because the first two modules prepare you for the extended assignment. In addition, doing Module Two online is probably more challenging than the in-person course because many things can go wrong teaching through Zoom. It’s also more difficult to build a sense of camaraderie with other candidates. Don’t get me wrong, it was great to meet amazing people from around the world and we did have fun in our Module Two group, but it wasn’t the same experience as studying together in the library and discussing lessons, essays, and books over lunch.

What were the benefits of the method you chose?

Since I did Module One and Three independently, it helped me discover many helpful resources. I became very organised and improved my strategies for studying autonomously. My approach also helped me save money, particularly by taking Module Two online. I didn’t need to stop working and travel to another country to take the course there. 

What tips would you give other people doing the Delta?

  • Take advantage of free online resources. There is a lot of useful information on blogs and various websites. The Delta handbook is very helpful, but reading practical advice from those who have completed the diploma is even better.
  • Take notes when you do your background reading so that you know where to find key information. You also need to bear in mind that it’s necessary to have access to a lot of books and articles to pass the Delta. This is particularly important when you take a distance course, so you need to make sure that you’ll be able to do your reading.
  • Learn how to use relevant features of Microsoft Word or another similar program. Knowing how to create a table of contents, cross-references, or footers will help you save time. It will also make your documents easier to mark for the tutors and assessors.
  • When your tutors tell you that you should improve in a specific area, take their advice seriously. They want to make you a better teacher and it’s their job to give you negative feedback when you make mistakes. Nobody enjoys being criticised, but reflecting on your teaching practice is an important element of professional development, so it’s necessary to take the feedback on board.
  • Be open-minded and don’t be afraid to experiment. There isn’t just one way to teach, so it’s a good idea to explore other methods and approaches. For example, you need to pass only one of the internal LSAs in Module Two, so I think it makes sense to try something new in one of the observed lessons instead of relying on tried and tested methods and materials. Delta shouldn’t be only about confirming what you already know; it’s also an opportunity to teach challenging lessons that you haven’t done before.

In retrospect, what would you have done differently?

In hindsight, I should have asked someone to read my first Module Three essay and give me feedback. I wasn’t ready to submit it on my own without having done Module Two. There are a lot of criteria to pay attention to, and I underestimated how strict the marking is.

Introducing the ‘Take your time Delta Module One’ course (by Sandy)

Many people working towards the Cambridge Delta can find it quite stressful, particularly the demands on your time as you try to fit it in around your job and your life. This course is designed to try to reduce the stress you might feel as you prepare for Module One, the exam. [Note: this post is also available as a page!]

Feet wearing flipflops, crossed in a hammock. 
Text reads:
Why should Cambridge Delta Module One be stressful?
Take your time on a Module One course with Sandy Millin.
Find out more and apply at:
Image by Roseli Serra from – used commercially with Roseli’s permission

What is Delta?

The Cambridge Delta is an advanced practical teaching qualification designed for people who:

  • have a minimum of 1 year of teaching experience, covering a range of levels and contexts – the more levels and contexts you have worked in, the more experience you can draw on during the course;
  • have a minimum English level of high C1 or above;
  • would like to develop their teaching practice to a higher level, and learn more about the theory behind English language teaching;
  • would like to progress into more senior roles with confidence, such as management or teacher training positions.

Ideally you will already have completed a CELTA or CertTESOL qualification, or equivalent 120-hour course with observed teaching practice. However, this is not a requirement and if you can prove that you have received regular in-service training and observation, and have engaged in regular continuous professional development throughout your career, you may still be able to complete the course.

The Delta course is divided into three modules:

  • Module One: Understanding Language, Methodology and Resources for Teaching
    This is theory-based. You prove your knowledge by taking two 90-minute written exams in one sitting, with a 30-minute break in between. You can study for this module independently, through a course, or with tutor support. I cannot currently provide this. My course will help you to learn this theory and prepare for these exams.
  • Module Two: Developing Professional Practice
    This is classroom-based and highly practical. You teach four observed lessons, and in preparation for each of them you need to write a detailed lesson plan and a background essay. You also complete ongoing reflective assignments as part of your portfolio of coursebook. You must have Cambridge-approved tutors for this module. Find a teaching centre.
  • Module Three: (1) Extending Practice and ELT Specialism OR (2) English Language Teaching Management
    You write an extended assignment detailed (1) a course programme or (2) a change proposal based on a specific context you have detailed in the assignment. You can complete this module independently or with tutor support. I cannot currently provide this.

The three modules can be taken in any order and at any time, though it can help to complete Module One first to give you the theoretical knowledge to help you with Modules Two and Three.

Find out more about the modules and ways to take the Delta on the Cambridge website.

What knowledge does Delta Module One test?

  • Knowledge and use of ELT terminology
  • English language knowledge, including of pronunciation features
  • Ability to identify language and genre features of spoken and written texts
  • Analysis of spoken and/or written learner language, including ability to identify learner errors, reasons for them, and priorities for further study
  • Testing and assessment concepts, and their applications to specific contexts
  • Ability to analyse ELT materials, including identifying their purpose(s) and how the materials fit together
  • Teacher roles
  • Second language acquisition
  • An awareness of different ELT methodological approaches, including their history

Format of Sandy’s Delta Module One course

  • 90-minute live group sessions on Zoom, once a week for 30 weeks. You can attend from anywhere in the world, providing you have a reliable internet connection, a microphone and (preferably) a webcam. Sessions will work better if you are on a computer.
  • Approximately 90 minutes of homework/preparatory work accompanying each session: these tasks will be directly related to your current teaching context and how the theory behind Delta Module One connects to your own teaching, and will also draw on your previous experience.
  • Your own optional reading/research – the more of this you do, the more prepared you will be when you go into the exam!
  • One complete mock exam to be completed in your own time a month before the end of the course, with feedback from me on your performance, and personalised tips for how to improve.

Why take Sandy’s Delta Module One course?

Most Delta Module One part-time courses are 10-12 weeks, with a few lasting for 20 weeks. However, by completing the course over a full academic year, you can take your time with background reading, and consider carefully how the theory which you are learning applies to your teaching. You should be able to process information in more depth and retain it for longer. While it might not be as relaxed as the hammock shows, it should be a lot more relaxed than a traditional short course, or trying to study by yourself.

The obligatory time commitment is only 3 hours per week, which you should be able to fit around even a very busy schedule. Of course, the more time you can dedicate to reading and further study, the more likely you will be to pass the exam! 3 hours per week for 30 weeks is approximately 90 hours – most Delta Module One courses recommend a minimum of 100 hours of study (10 weeks of at least 10 hours). The exact amount of study time you need will depend on your background knowledge and prior experience. I will share tried and tested tips to help you fit your extra study around your life, while still maintaining the more relaxed pace of this course, as well as personalised recommendations of what to read and how you can research areas you need to focus on for your development based on my wide-ranging ELT knowledge and experience. There will also be regular exam practice throughout the course, as well as at least one full mock exam.

You will be working with the same small group of teachers throughout a full academic year, allowing you to build up strong professional relationships and learn from each other.

Although I’m not a qualified Delta trainer, I have completed the Delta course myself, and I remember how stressful it was! I have many years of experience as a CELTA trainer and a Director of Studies, and have helped other teachers to successfully prepare for Delta Module One in the past. I cannot guarantee that you will pass the exam (nobody can!), but I will do my best to make sure that you are fully ready for it with this course.


  • October 4th 2021 – May 30th 2022 (one academic year, ready for the Wednesday 1st June 2022 sitting) – Zoom meetings on Mondays
  • Exact dates to be confirmed for February/March to December 2022 (one academic year, ready for the Wednesday 7th December 2022 sitting)

Please note that these dates include breaks for UK Christmas, Easter and bank holidays and the IATEFL conference.

You may be able to join a group up to 6 weeks after the start date if there are still spaces available.

Depending on my availability, I may be able to arrange closed groups with alternative days if there is sufficient interest.


Exact session times will be arranged according to the group members’ and my availability to provide the best fit around our timetables. Sessions will be recorded if one or more group members cannot attend that specific time.

Course size

Minimum 4 trainees, maximum 8 trainees. If there are fewer than 4 trainees, I may be able to arrange a reduced course with fewer contact hours over the same time period, or you will be able to defer your payment to a later course date.

Taking the exam

My course fees do NOT include the exam, nor does the fee include the price of the exam.

You will need to arrange to take the exam yourself in a Cambridge approved centre. You can find a full list of centres on the Cambridge website. You will need to arrange the exam directly with the exam centre, and you will pay them the exam fee. Depending on availability at your chosen exam centre, you can take the exam on the first Wednesday of June or the first Wednesday of December each year.

Course fees

  • £520 = Early bird (sign up and pay minimum 21 days before the course start date)
  • £570 = Full price (sign up and pay by the course start date)
  • There is a £20 discount each if two people sign up together, or £30 each if three people sign up together.
  • There is a £20 discount for current or former staff of IH Bydgoszcz or IH Torun – please tick the relevant box on the application form for further details. This can be combined with the multiple sign-up discount.
  • If you need to pay in 2 instalments, please tick the relevant box on the application form – you can pay 50% before the course, and 50% after session 15 for a small additional fee of £20.

I must receive your payment before you will be able to join the course.

You can pay via PayPal, Revolut, international bank transfer (please check any fees first – you are responsible for these), or card payment. I will send exact details regarding how to pay once you have been accepted onto the course.

Materials for individual sessions and one full mock exam will be included during the course, but note that you will probably need to buy some extra books to make the most of the course. The two main books I recommend are:

The cost of these books is not included in the course.

Cancellation and refund policy

  • If a trainee cancels in writing 21 days before the start of the course, they will be refunded the full amount, less administrative costs of £50.
  • If a trainee cancels in writing less than 21 days but more than 7 days before the start of the course, they will be refunded 50% of the full amount.
  • If a trainee wishes to cancel their course less than 7 days before the start of the course they are not eligible for a refund; however, in certain exceptional circumstances (grievance, medical conditions) they can defer their payment to a later course.

Applying for the course

If you’ve read this far, and you’re interested in joining my course, complete the application form. It should take around 20-45 minutes to complete, depending on the depth of your answers.

If you are suitable for the course, I will send you a pre-course task to check the level of your written English. I will also arrange a 20-30 minute spoken interview with you to discuss the course and your suitability for it. If these are both satisfactory, you will be offered a place on the course. The place is provisional until I have received your payment.

I will consider applications in the order of application, and places will be allocated until the course in question is full or until the start date of the course, whichever is first.