The Cambridge Delta (Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) is an advanced teaching diploma for teachers of English as a Foreign Language.


Take your time Delta Module One

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. Find out more here.


My Delta (overview)

I completed Modules 2 and 3 of the Delta in June 2013, getting a Pass in the former and a Merit in the latter. My Module 3 speciality was ‘Teaching Exam Classes’ and the course I created was designed to help IELTS students improve their reading and writing skills.  I did Module 1 in December 2013 and got a Distinction.

Sandy holding her Delta certificates
My Delta certificates 🙂

I have written a large number of posts related to the Delta, and have a dedicated category on my blog.

Delta conversations

To help people find out more about the different ways that you can do Delta, I have interviewed various people about how they did it. They also offer their own tips on how to make the most of the course. The notes below their names should help you to find a similar course to the way you want to do it. (M1 = Module One, etc. Modules listed in the order taken.)

  • The full list of interviews (where you can read them one after the other)
  • Katy
    M2 face-to-face intensively over six weeks through IH Dubai, M1 online course through IH Wroclaw, M3 self-study (in progress at time of writing), 2012-2013
  • Mike
    All three modules over six months part-time face-to-face through UCL (University College London), 2012 (?)
  • Mat
    M1 through Distance Delta, M3 then M2 through Bell Delta, 2011-2012
  • Lizzie
    All three modules completed as part of an M.A. at Leeds Metropolitan University (now Leeds Beckett), 2012-2013
  • Christina
    M1 distance, M2 with three on-site week-long sessions with autonomous time in between through ESOL Strasbourg (now The ELT Hub), M3 not completed at time of writing, 2011-2012
  • Sandy (me)
    M2 and M3 at the same time via Distance Delta, M1 study through Distance Delta and self-study, organised exam myself, 18 months 2012-2013, while working
  • Roya
    M3 then M1 Distance Delta, M2 intensive through IH London, 2010-2011 (?)
  • Nati
    M1 through Distance Delta (passed on second attempt), M2 intensive at IH Buenos Aires, M3 self-study, 2011-2014
  • Matthew
    All three modules face-to-face over 8 months at IH Madrid while working there, 2012-2013
  • James P
    All three modules through the Distance Delta integrated programme, 2012-2013
  • Sheona
    M1, M3, M2 consecutively all through Distance Delta, 2011-2013
  • Angelos
    All three modules in an 8-week intensive course through CELT Athens, 2014 (?)
  • Anthony
    All three modules in 12 weeks through IH Newcastle, Sept-Dec 2014 (having previously completed the IH online M1 prep course and IH Certificate in Advanced Methodology Sept 2013-June 2014)
  • Joanna
    M1 self-study, M2 blended through CELT Athens, M3 online with Bell, finished 2014, all while working, taking breaks between modules to avoid burnout
  • Emma
    M3, M2, M1 all through an intensive course at IH Seville/CLIC, with M3 submitted after the rest of the course was complete, 2014-2015
  • Sarah
    M1 through Distance Delta, M2 part-time face-to-face through Cambridge School in Granollers, Barcelona, M3 through Distance Delta, part-time, 2015-2017
  • Yuliya
    M1 then M3 online through ITI Istanbul, M2 blended through AVO Bell in Sofia, Bulgaria, 2017
  • James E
    M1 self-study with colleagues, M3 distance through IH Madrid, M2 6 weeks full-time at IH London, 2014-2015
  • Kirsten
    M2 8 weeks full-time at IH Barcelona, M1 and M3 self-study at the same time, 2009
  • Iza
    M1 then M3 self-study, M2 3-month online course, 2015-2017
  • Jim
    M1 preparation course, M3 then M2 via distance, 2016-2017, while working
  • Jo
    M1 blended online, M2 part-time blended, M3 face-to-face part-time course then 3-4 years before submitting it, all through IH Accademia Britannica in Rome, 2010-2016
  • Jenni
    All modules in 11 months 2017-2018, while working, through Leeds Beckett University UK, coupled with Postgraduate Certificate in English Language Teaching and Professional Practice
  • Harriet
    M2 part-time at Oxford House College in London, M3 self-study with a private tutor giving feedback on the final draft, M1 with a private tutor, while working part-time and doing a PhD part-time. Finished in 2020.
  • Claire
    All modules via Distance Delta, 2018-2021, while working full time. Orientation course at IH London.
  • Martin
    M1 self-study, M3 self-study first time, with tutor feedback second time, M2 online with IH Mexico. 2019-2021.

While not part of my Delta Conversations series, Adi Rajan’s post reflecting on his Delta covers a lot of the same ground, and is worth reading so that you know what you’re getting yourself into. He did all three modules simultaneously on a full-time face-to-face course in Bangkok. Adam Beale wrote about what he has taken from the Delta in the immediate aftermath of Modules One and Two.

Trinity DipTESOL

If you’re interested in finding out a bit more about the competition, the closest equivalent to the Cambridge Delta is the Trinity DipTESOL.

Dave Dodgson has written about different aspects of the DipTESOL: using a Moodle/online course review,  face-to-face teaching practice/reflections, written exam, research projects, the phonology interview, the course in general and the Dip versus the MA.

Gemma Lunn has also written about her DipTESOL experience, and shares links to all of her posts.

Peter Clements has written about perceptions of the Trinity DipTESOL. For what it’s worth, I think that it can be a more practical qualification for those wanting to go into management, providing your employers understand that it is a Delta equivalent.

Delta resources

I have written a couple of posts to help people who are doing the Delta:

  • Preparing for the Delta – things to do before you start, for example books to read, and things you can learn to do to make using Word easier.
  • Useful links for Delta – links for each part of the exam, and general links for the whole course.

My work

Module 1

This post shows you how I approached preparation for the Module 1 exam, including how I laid out my answers for each task.

Module 2

I found it very difficult to find examples of assignments to know the kind of thing I needed (not) to write/produce as every assignment is different, and Cambridge prefers not to put the temptation to plagiarise in people’s way. I know that this makes it a real challenge to produce a good assignment, but the drafting process and the work you do with your tutor will make your work better.

I have listed the areas I chose to focus on to give you an idea of the spread of assignments you might expect to do during a course. I’ve also given you my grade and some of the feedback I got.

Module 2: LSA 1 – grammar: conditionals
  • essay – pass
    The tutor said it was a clear pass, with a well-supported analysis. To get a merit I needed to add more critical commentary to my reading in the analysis and use a wider range of sources. In terms of the teaching ideas, it relied too much on learner-generated output (also a problem in my lesson) – I didn’t really include any more traditional ideas. My evaluations of the activities were also a bit weak.
  • lesson plan (first conditionals) – fail
    My lesson was pitched at too low a level for the students, the timing was unrealistic and I relied completely on learner-generated output for the target language, within a very weak context. My task set-up, grouping of students and use of information gathered while monitoring were also poor. Despite this, the tutor said ‘it had the potential to be a useful and effective lesson’ as a lot of the planning was strong (my note: just the procedure that wasn’t, which is a fairly major oversight!). I tried to make it learner-centred and to include some guided discovery, but didn’t really know how to do this well. I managed to be flexible and add extra activities, but did not predict any of the problems mentioned above.
Module 2: LSA 2 – listening: transactional listening
  • essay – pass
    The analysis is clear because of my use of headings and sub-headings to signpost important areas. I used a wider range of texts than in my first essay, which made it stronger. The activity evaluations were also stronger than in LSA1. However, the descriptions of the activities needed to be clearer and more detailed, so that anybody could reproduce them. There also needed to be stronger link between the analysis and the activities. The contexts I described did not cover a wide enough range, for example I did not cover different levels.
  • lesson plan – pass
    My choice of materials meant that this lesson was much more successful than LSA1, and it felt like a pass while I was in the lesson (I knew I’d failed LSA1 after about 20 minutes of the lesson!). I was also much more responsive to the learners, and there was clear evidence of learning. I’d found out more about guided discovery by this stage, so that thread of the lesson worked better than in LSA1 too. However, I still had problems with task set-up (this was a recurring theme throughout my Delta), and my monitoring was still not completely effective.
Module 2: LSA 3 – writing: discursive essays
  • essay – merit
    This was my strongest piece of work for module 2 ‘due to its depth, accuracy and organisation’ as my tutor said. I managed to identify and use key sources effectively (which I’d found difficult in my previous two LSAs). There was a clear line following through the whole essay, linking the problems and solutions to the analysis clearly. I shouldn’t have focussed on the writing process as one area in itself, as this restriced the solutions I could offer in terms of learners editing their work.
  • lesson plan (writing paragraphs) – fail
    As I said in my post-lesson reflection, I was way too ambitious about how much we could get through in an hour. I should have asked students to write their paragraphs in a previous lesson, then used the hour to analyse, improve, and re-write them. Because they spent so long on writing their initial paragraphs, there was no time for them to re-write them, meaning I didn’t hit my aim. The lesson plan ‘was detailed and contained some very useful elements and activities’ but I didn’t show the flexibility I needed to to still be able to achieve my aim. I also ended up focussing on written discourse, rather than writing skills, which falls under systems: discourse analysis, rather than skills: writing. As with LSA1, I pitched the lesson wrong, but this time the students needed a lot more support than I expected, and my tasks were too complicated. I also had problems with task set-up again. The moral of the story: test out your activities on other students – don’t make your LSA the first time you’ve ever used them.
Module 2: LSA 4 – lexis: multi-part verbs

I don’t know the separate grades for the essay and lesson as it was externally assessed, but I passed Module 2, so I must have passed at least the lesson!

  • essay
    I felt much more confident with the essay than I did with any of the others, because I finally felt like I knew what kind of document I needed to produce. I read the tutor comments on my previous LSA essays and used these to help me make sure I ticked all the boxes Cambridge wanted.
  • lesson plan
    I did a diagnostic test before I taught the lesson to show me exactly which of the verbs the students already knew. This made a real difference when it came to writing about my students in detail, as I really felt I knew what they needed to learn. The lesson felt good while I was teaching it, and I was pretty sure I’d passed. I think you can normally tell whether the lesson was a pass or a fail. For merits and distinctions, it’s probably guesswork (I didn’t get any, so I don’t know how they feel!).
Module 2: (Professional Development Assignment) (pass)
  • experimental practice lesson – grammaticization
    I only realised about 5 minutes before writing here that my tutor put comments on my document after the lesson – don’t forget to check what your tutors wrote to help you with later assignments!
    This was an interesting part of the course for me, adding an extra tool to my repertoire, although I haven’t used it a great deal in the year since I did the assignment! I didn’t include scanned examples of what the students actually produced, which would have been better.
  • PDA reflection and action stages 2, 3, and 4
    I didn’t do anywhere near as much work on this as I would have liked to due to time restrictions, and some of my evidence was a bit cobbled together. However, I think it was by far the most interesting and useful part of the whole course, and I wish it was weighted to reflect this more. It is a very valuable process to go through. The fact that it is only a pass/fail assignment means it can be somewhat neglected, which I think is a real failing in the course. (rant over!)
Module 3: Teaching Exam Classes, with a focus on improving reading and writing for IELTS students (merit)
  • Part 1: 4,500 word essay, needs analysis and diagnostic test results, course proposal
  • Part 2: all other evidence in appendices

I don’t have any specific feedback about Module 3. To get to the point where a merit was possible, I handed in two drafts, although neither of them were anywhere near complete. Make full use of any draft/commenting facility you have available. I’d have gone completely wrong if I’d stuck with my first version!


Please note that all information about the CELTA on my blog is my personal opinion or the opinion of the writers, unless otherwise stated. It does not constitute anything officially sanctioned or recommended by Cambridge.

A final note

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions. I’m afraid I can’t share my assignments as there have been plagiarism issues. What I have written here is just my interpretation of the requirements, and you could do it completely differently – keep checking back with the criteria and with your tutors. Good luck!

124 thoughts on “Delta

  1. Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us, Sandy. I’m currently doing module 3 and I can tell you there isn`t much around. I mean, there are some module 3 assignments on the internet, but it’s difficult to know if you can rely on them when you don’t even know if it’s a pass.
    Once again, thank you very much.


      1. Hi Sandy,
        Thank you very much for preparing such a useful blog. I don’t know if it’s me but I can’t seem to find your Module 3 assignment on your page. I’m working on mine right now and it would be great to see an example. Thanks in advance.


          1. Hi Sandy
            Hope you’re well. I wondered if you could send me your biography for Module 3? I’m doing Exam Classes – IELTS Writing too and am struggling to find some good books out there.

            BTW- your website has been a life saver these last few months!
            Hope you can help.
            Laura (@Plots_of_Brum)


  2. Thanks for sharing! I’ve completed modules 1 and 2 and will be doing 3, your delta blog is very useful and helpful for others in the same boat! Good luck with module 1.


  3. Thanks for posting this up. I’m currently doing the Delta Module 1 and I’m having some difficulties producing what I’ve learned the way they want it. Any advice on how I could improve ?


    1. I think the best thing to do is to look at the exam reports (available on the Cambridge website) and to bullet point things as much as possible. You don’t need full sentences if it’s clear what you’re referring to. The fewer words you can use, the more time you’ll have.

      For specific parts, you can also use reminders to help you:
      Paper 1 part 2: Use D E F to remind you to include definition, example, and further information
      Paper 1 part 4a: use CLOGS to remind yourself of different features typical of a particular genre (content, layout, organisation, grammar and lexis, style)
      Paper 2 part 1: Create a table with 2 columns: positive/negative. For each thing you write have two titles: point/application to the learner – you need both to get the mark e.g. point: the test allows a lot of fresh starts; a/l: this will help S because…
      Paper 2 part 2a: start every purpose with ‘to…’
      Paper 2 part 2b: use this to remind yourself that for each assumption you need two reasons:

      I hope that helps! Good luck,


  4. Thanks for posting the module 3 EA Sandy. It is really helpful to see a completed version of what Cambridge are looking for. It can all seem quite ‘bitty’ when you are in the middle of it. I really like the way you have used colour coding throughout.


  5. Hi sandy,

    How are things? It’s always a pleasure reading your posts. I was waiting for your post on Module-1. Is there any? Could find though.

    I was just wondering if you have the set of past papers of module-1. Is it possible for you to send it? or maybe the link where I can download it from?

    Any other tip off for mod-1 would be most welcome.

    Many thanks,



    1. Hi Rageshree,
      Thanks for the message. I don’t have a specific post about Module 1, and I don’t plan to write another one at the moment. My Useful links for Delta has all of the information that I could find to help me prepare for the exam, including links to past papers. The only other information is on this page, and I guess you’ve read that already!
      Good luck!


  6. Hi Sandy,

    Sorry for the delay in replying. I’m a little occupied with my presentation preparation. I’m presenting a paper in a teacher educator conference next month.

    Thanks a lot for the link in your message. That’s like a one stop solution for all my DELTA queries. 🙂

    Will let you know how the conference went shortly..




  7. Hello Sandy! First of all, tks a million for your tips. I am doing distance Module 3 EMLT and I am kind of lost. I haven’t found any sample assignment to help me know what I am expected to write. Can you help me?


  8. Hello Sandy,
    Thanks for this wonderful site which helped us a lot. I would like to ask you one thing. I am now preparing my LSA3 in module 2 and I wrote a background assignment on writing introductory paragraphs and I am planning to have a lesson especially on thesis statement. Can the title of the BA and the lesson plan different? I mean the title for BA is ” helping learners write an introductory paragraph effectively” and lesson plan’s aim is they will be able to write effective thesis statement. It is too late for me to ask it to my tutor because the observation is in 2 days and I have to finish and upload it tomorrow. I wrote my BA on introductions and can I only focus on thesis statement in the lesson? What do you think.?
    Thanks so much.
    Deniz from Turkey


    1. Hi Deniz,
      I’m not a Delta tutor so I can’t give you a definitive answer, but my feeling is that if the thesis statement lesson plan is based on the research you did into introductory paragraphs for your background essay then it’s probably OK. I was always told that the BE was the ‘pie’ and the LP was a piece of it. Your lesson plan shouldn’t have a title, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
      A better place to ask might be the Delta group on facebook which is moderated by Marisa Constantinides. There are quite a few Delta tutors on there. Good luck!


  9. Hi Sandy,

    I am planning on applying to the Distance Delta Module 1 ran by IH London. I was wondering about the application task. It seems as if both the tasks they ask for are the same type of tasks that are on the actual test. Do you have to do this when you applied? Either way, what are they looking for? Should I study up on what they are looking for in the answers or just answer to the best of my ability now? I would think that some of the course would prepare you for the essays, and seeing as I haven’t taken the course yet, I don’t know how to answer. I would really like to get accepted and hope the main objective of the tasks is to judge my writing ability and not so much of the content. Thanks for any advice!


    1. Hi Yvette,
      That takes me back! They’re looking at your writing ability now and your ability to reflect, so don’t worry. It’s also looking at your level of language, amd whether you’re likely to be able to deal with the course.
      Good luck,


  10. Hi Sandy

    Thank you for the wonderful resources on Delta. What do you think are the best resources for Delta M 3 needs analyses. You indicated that your were at first attempt not so impressive.


  11. Hi Sandy,

    Your blog is great. Some really helpful stuff on here. I am currently doing my LSA2 on writing a discursive essay. I am boggled as to how I am supposed to analyse the sub-skills in the lesson. I am doing a distance course and finding it tough to find anything to even guide me. I noticed you said you failed the lesson which is what I am concerned about too. Not having enough time to get it done. Also, we have to include a stage on demonstrating that the learners have upgraded their skills which I am a little confused by too. Any suggestions for me?




    1. Hi John,
      That’s exactly how I felt with the distance course!
      The main reason I failed it is because I spent too long onthe essay and not enough time on the lesson (plan).
      For analysing the sub-skills, you need to narrow down exactly what it is your students need to do bit by bit to build up to a complete essay. For example, if they were writing a report, they might need to be able to write an introduction, write recommendations, include sub-headings etc.
      In terms of upgrading their skills, you need to be able to show that they are better at the end than they were at the start in whichever area you chose. One reason I failed is because I chose to focus on structuring a paragraph, then spent ages in the lesson getting them to write a paragraph before doing any teaching at all. There was little time for me to teach, and no time to see the results of my teaching by getting them to write again.
      I hope that helps. Good luck!


    1. Hi Andrew,
      Sorry it’s taken a few days to get back to you. Here is the bibliography from my assignment. I hope that helps. Good luck!
      PS If you’d like to buy any of the books, please consider buying them through my Amazon affiliate link, meaning I’ll get a few pence for each book you buy. Thank you!
      Sandy’s Amazon page

      Background Reading
      Alderson, J. C. 2005 ‘The testing of reading’; in Nuttall, C. 2005 Teaching Reading Skills in a Foreign Language (2nd edition) Macmillan: Oxford
      Brown, H. D. 2003 Language Assessment: Principles and Classroom Practices Longman: New York
      Burgess, S. and Head, K. 2005 How to Teach for Exams Pearson Longman: Harlow
      Graves, K. (ed.) 1996 Teachers as Course Developers Cambridge University Press: Cambridge
      Graves, K. 2000 Designing Language Courses: A Guide for Teachers Heinle & Heinle: Boston
      Gronlund, N. E. 1998 Assessment of Student Achievement, 6th edition Allyn & Bacon: Boston
      Harmer, J. 2007 The Practice of English Language Teaching Pearson Longman: Harlow
      Harris, M. and McCann, P. 1994 Assessment Macmillan: Oxford
      Hedge, T. 2000 Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom Oxford University Press: Oxford
      Hughes, A. 2003 Testing for Language Teachers, 2nd edition Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, undated ‘IELTS | Researchers – Band descriptors, reporting and interpretation’, accessed 20 January 2013
      May, P. 1996 Exam Classes Oxford University Press: Oxford
      Murphy, D. April 2000 ‘Key concepts in ELT: Evaluation’; in ELT Journal, Volume 54/2 April 2000, Oxford University Press: Oxford
      Nuttall, C. 2005 Teaching Reading Skills in a Foreign Language (2nd edition) Macmillan: Oxford
      Prodromou, L. 1995 ‘The backwash effect: from testing to teaching’; in ELT Journal, Volume 49/1 January 1995, Oxford University Press: Oxford
      Puchta, H. November 2005 ‘Making the most of multiple intelligences’; in English Teaching Professional, Issue 41 November 2005
      Richards, J. 2001 Curriculum Development in Language Teaching Cambridge University Press: Cambridge
      Thornbury, S. 2006 An A-Z of ELT Macmillan: Oxford
      UCLES (University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate) 2002 Cambridge IELTS 3 Student’s Book with Answers: Examination Papers (IELTS Practice Tests) Cambridge University Press: Cambridge
      Woodward, T. 2001 Planning Lessons and Courses Cambridge University Press: Cambridge

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Sandy,

    thank you very much for sharing! So useful!

    I’m currently writing my LSA 2 lesson plan on listening, and I’m having trouble with the analysis… any tips on where I could find something about how to analyse listening subskills (identifying intonation and meaning in tag questions)?

    Thank you in advance and again for your blog!


    1. Hi Mary,
      Thanks for the comment. I’m not sure if they are listening subskills – to me the second sounds more like a grammar point. Or do you meaning using intonation to identify meaning in tag questions?
      I’m not sure I can be very helpful with this, as I always had trouble finding information about subskills. Perhaps Adrian Underhill’s Sound Foundations may have something about intonation, and The English Verb might have something about tag questions, although I can’t remember ifit mentions intonation or just the grammar of them. SorryI can’t be more specific here!
      Good luck with your LSA2.


  13. Dear Sandy,
    First of all I would like to thank you for having this blog. It has been really helpful. I have finished module 2 last year and doing module 3 this year. I am having trouble sorting out the organization of the whole paper; it would be really helpful for me to go through papers that have passed. I could even send you mine so you can see what I have done so far so there is no fear of me copying or anything, I am at the final stage, that is, the assessment.
    I have read the handbook but I still feel I need to have a picture of the whole thing as an example. Any suggestions?
    Thanks in advance


    1. Hi Iphigenia,
      Thanks for the message. The organisation is not easy to figure out from the handbook, but I’m afraid I can’t publish my module 3 papers for others to see here. I’m really sorry not to be able to help out more with this.
      Good luck with module 3.


  14. Hi Sandy. Good to see you’re doing well. You may remember me from teaching at IH Brno in 201-11. I’m four weeks into Delta Module 2 (done 1 and 3 already) but I have to say I’m hating this one! I have a problem with finding specific incidences of learner problems when using TED talks. I don’t suppose you could offer any examples? Much appreciated if so!


    1. Hi James,
      Of course I remember you 🙂 I can understand your feelings about Delta Module 2 far too well…not my favourite period of my life!
      Are you looking for problems students might have when listening to TED talks? Take a look at Listening in the Language Classroom by John Field and Phonology for Listening by Richard Cauldwell. They’re both great sources of listening issues as they describe lots of problems students might have and solutions you can use to help them. A lot will depend on exactly which TED talks you’re using and what you want to use them for.
      Where are you doing your Module 2? Good luck with it!
      P.S. If you decide to buy the books and use these links, I’ll get a few pennies:
      Listening in the Language Classroom
      Phonology for Listening


  15. Hi Sandy,

    I’m in the process of sending in my Delfa Applications for the Full-time program. I’m really stressing out about being accepted into the program. How detailed should the essay and lesson plan and evaluation be for the initial application? Do they expect in-depth knowledge of terms and analysis/justification?


    1. Hi Anam,
      Remember that it’s an application, not a Delta lesson plan. They know that you’re not on the course yet. They expect to see that some though has gone into the lesson plan and the essay, but they are aware that you haven’t done the course yet, so won’t expect Delta-level analysis. Apart from that I’m afraid I can’t really tell you, as each centre will have different requirements. Good luck with your application!


  16. Hi Sandy,

    Another question – is it okay to not include copies of materials if I don’t have copies of pages of course books I used for my lesson plan?



  17. Hi Sandy,
    I was wondering if you could give me the reading list for your Module 2 essay on discursive essay writing?

    Many thanks..


    1. Hi Cat,
      Here you go:
      Byrne, D. 1979 Teaching Writing Skills Longman
      Fox, H. 1994 Listening to the World: Cultural Issues in Academic Writing National Council of Teachers of English
      Harmer, J. 2004 How to Teach Writing Longman
      Hedge, T. 2000 Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom OUP
      Hinds, J. 1987 ‘Reader versus writer responsibility: a new typology’ in Connor, U. and Kaplan, R. B. (eds.) Writing across Languages: Analysis of L2 Text Reading Addison-Wesley 2011 ‘IELTS Global Warming essay’ (retrieved 10 February 2013)
      Neville, C June 2007 ‘Essay writing 4: Ten ways to liven your essays’—Ten-ways-to-liven-your-essays.pdf (retrieved 23 February 2013)
      Peet, K 2008 ‘Navigating through academic waters’ English Teaching Professional Issue 54 (January 2008)
      Raimes, A. 1985 ‘What unskilled ESL students do when they write: a classroom study of composing’ TESOL Quarterly 19/2: 229-55; in Hedge, T. 2000 Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom OUP
      Richards, J. C. 1990 The Language Teaching Matrix Cambridge University Press
      Steinway, C. 2008 ‘Getting it ‘write:’ Essay styles vary by country, creating difficulties for international students’ (retrieved 24 February 2013)
      Taylor, L. April 1997 ‘Teaching writing – teaching culture’ in English Teaching Professional Issue 3
      Thornbury, S. 2006 An A-Z of ELT Macmillan
      Tribble, C. 1996 Writing OUP

      Good luck!


  18. Hi Sandy, I’ve just passed Modules 1 and 2 and am trying to psyche myself up for Module 3! I have a similar question to the last poster. I am also doing Exam Classes (IELTS) and am trying to get hold of a reading list. Could you please advise me?


  19. Hi Sandy, I am planning to study DELTA modules 1 and 2 next year on an intensive course and so I am starting my reading early. I just found your blog and I am so grateful for the information and resources that you are sharing. Many thanks!


  20. Hi Sandy, a friend of mine is doing Module 2 and she’s failed the first essay. I am really concerned if this would look bad for later on and how many fails are allowed for the essays and lessons to get a pass for the overall Module? Thanks.


    1. Hi Angie,
      As far as I know, you can fail two of the LSAs and still pass Module 2, as long as you pass LSA4. I failed my lessons for LSA1 and LSA3, and it was OK. It doesn’t appear on your certificate at all. Part of the point of Delta is that it’s supposed to be a learning process, so it doesn’t matter if you fail sometimes, as long as you learn from it. Good luck for your friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Hi, Sandy! Your blog has been recommended to me as I am preparing to take my
    DELTA course (module 2 and preparation for modules 1 and 3) this summer. I am still trying to organise my studies. My future tutor said I could start reading more about the systems and skills I want to focus on. Funnily enough I was considering working with Conditionals and Essay writing (still not sure about the other system and skill), but I cannot confirm anything since I don’t know the levels they will give me, right? How did you organise your reading before the course?

    The other funny thing is that I am going to choose IELTS preparation for my module 3, but that will be only in the second semester next year, so I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. But I’ll definitely have questions to ask you.

    Thank you so much for writing this blog! I’m sure it’ll be very helpful!


    1. Hi Vanessa,
      Thanks for the comment. Most of what I wrote on the blog was because I wasn’t organised in the slightest before the course, and I didn’t really have any idea what I was letting myself in for. I put together these posts to try and help other people understand it better. It sounds like you’re already way ahead of me!
      If you’re planning to do something about writing, start looking at some general writing books, and don’t worry too much about the essay side of it at the moment. For grammar, ‘The English Verb’ is life-changing (at least I think so!) Have a look at my ‘Preparing for the Delta’ page for some other general books I recommend. It’s hard to organise yourself before the course, but the more things you’ve read, the easier it will be to know where to look for the things you need.
      Good luck,


  22. Hi Sandy, Happy New Year to you, and thanks for sharing so much information on your blog. I took my DELTA Module 1 exam in December and am now getting ready to start Modules 2 and 3. I’m working on the Blended DELTA with Teaching House. I’ll be doing 5 weeks of Module 2 face-to-face, but the rest of it is by distance. Could you tell me how long it took you to do Module 3? Also, how long do you need to have access to a class for in order to complete Module 3? I’ve got a steady teaching job and my own class at the moment but there’s a chance that things may change over the next 6 months due to family circumstances, and I’m trying to imagine how much time I’ll need to do Module 3, i.e. if I have to leave my job, is it still possible to finish Module 3 if I’ve already done the needs analysis, diagnostic test, data collection, etc? Hope that question makes sense. Thank you!


    1. Hi Mary Beth,
      Thanks for the comment, and I hope you get the results you wanted from the exam.
      I was doing the Distance Delta, so we had to submit parts of the Module 3 throughout the course of an academic year. It’s difficult to say exactly how long it took me because it was in between bits of the other two modules. If you’ve already got the needs analysis and diagnostic test, you should be able to do the rest of it without access to your students. My groups changed all the time, so I only had the exact group that I wrote my plan for for about two weeks. I suggest gathering as much information about them as you can in the time you have with them, and then you should be set up for the rest of it. Apart from that, the time management will be down to you – I estimate I probably spent 100+ hours on the whole thing, and possibly a lot longer.
      Good luck!


  23. Thanks for sharing,
    I was wondering whether you made a questionnaire for your learners group in Module 2 to include the results in your lesson plan. If you have, can you please share it with me? And one more thing, do you include those answers (or the result of these answers) in all your LSAs’ lesson plans?


  24. Hi,

    In relation to DELTA paper 1 part 1 which requires an understanding of terminology, what is the best way to acquire this knowledge ? To my mind, it is pretty impossible to remember some kind ELT glossary, so are there any books that directly relate to this ? Thanks


        1. Have a look at my Preparing for the Delta page for some book recommendations. They’re not connected specifically to parts of the exam though. You might also want to look at the book ‘How to Pass Delta’ by Damian Williams for extra advice.


  25. Hi Sandy,

    I’m Sarah and I found your Delta Conversations section really handy before I took the Delta. I have recently completed it in the North of Spain and would like to participate in the Conversations, if you are still doing them. Thank you for the wealth of information you’ve provided here, it was really informative to see the different ways the Delta can be completed. Sarah


  26. Hi Sandy,
    I have found your blog really useful for my Delta. I am now writing M3 on teaching 121. I haven’t seen a model essay to have an idea of what to include in each section and am panicking as it seems very different to a class-based course. My 121 is an advanced student who has academic needs (PhD writing etc!).
    I don’t get why we can’t see a model. We would never ask a student to write a report or prepare a presentation without showing them a model!! I know they say it is to do with plagiarism, but with Turnitin, they can check up on it anyway! (Sorry for the rant)
    Do you have any words of wisdom regarding layout and do you know of the best reading for formative and summative assessment?
    Thank you.


    1. Hi Nicky,
      Thanks for the comment.
      I’ve emailed you my M3 to give you an idea of layout, and I completely agree with your comments – I had exactly the same issue, and it’s frustrating that other people still have it 5 years on. I’ve also seen the first part laid out as a series of 4-6 issues with implications under each section.
      In terms of the layout, you’re still looking at a similar range of content in each part of the assignment, regardless of whether you’re talking about groups or 121s. So the first part is the issues that exist in this area, including a kind of literature review, and the rest is as described in some of the posts above (try Useful links for Delta for more info and other examples, including 121s I think!)
      As for formative and summative assessment, I’m not too sure. You could try the section on ‘Evaluating progress’ in Teaching English One to One: You also need to peg your assessment to the needs of the student, so if it’s connected to PhD writing, then it should be something academic, though it depends on exactly what aspects of that you plan to teach them. Sorry not to be more helpful there.
      Finally, take some deep breaths and don’t panic! It’ll all be OK in the end!
      Good luck,


  27. Hi Sandy, just querying if you didn’t mind me using the picture of you holding the certificates for my website? My website’s a website shopping directory and I was looking to add your picture to A-Level Courses, which I will create a link from the picture on my website to your link on this website. Look forward to hearing from you. Best wishes David


    1. Hi David,
      Thank you for checking. However, I’m not sure my picture is an appropriate one for A-Level courses, as it’s a teaching Diploma and I’m much older than I imagine the target market would be. I hope you manage to find a suitable picture elsewhere.


  28. Hi Sandy

    I am not sure if you still post comments on this website but I just have a question for you. I have completed Modules 1 and 2 successfully in the Delta and now I am thinking of starting my module 3. I am currently about to start teaching a one to one student who needs a higher score in the IELTS test for speaking. This student is satisfied with her reading, listening and writing scores but her speaking score was lower than she expected and I would like to base my module 3 around this. However, would the specialism be “Exam Preparation” or “One to one?” It states in the Delta handbook that if two specialisms cross over then one must take priority but which one in my case? Also is it ok to just build a course around speaking skills? I would have thought so due to the limited number of hours the course is designed for.

    A final note this is a great website and really helped me with my previous modules so thank you and I always recommend other teachers who wish to do the Delta that they visit this site 🙂

    Best wishes



    1. Hi Paul,
      Thanks for the nice comments and for recommending my site to other people.
      I’m afraid I can’t give you a specific answer as I’m not a Delta trainer, but I think the reason that you have to choose one specialisation is because of the first part of the assignment. In that section you have to do a kind of a overview of the topic you’re talking about, almost like a literature review as I understand it. You don’t have many words so you have to pick one area. My suspicion is that exam prep will be an easier one to write about as I think there’s a lot more literature about that, but I have no idea whether you’d be able to do a 121 course in that case. I’m afraid you’d have to check with a Delta trainer. I think that just doing speaking skills is fine as long as you can justify it based on the needs of your student, but 20 hours of speaking skills could be quite a lot!
      Good luck, and sorry I can’t be more specific!


  29. Is it necessary to have a class to do module 3 or can you do it hypothetically, inventing student assessment etc? I would probably focus on exam classes. I’m managing more than teaching now but could have access to colleagues’ classes


    1. You need to have real needs analysis documents to support it as far as I know. However, I’m not a module 3 tutor, so you’d need to check with somebody more qualified. Good luck!


    1. Hi Nigar,
      That’s quite hard to separate out as I was working on all three modules at the same time. I did the course part-time over 9 months, and I used to spend 10-20 hours a week on all of the modules if I remember rightly – basically all weekend! I definitely wouldn’t recommend doing that. It’s best to space it out as much as you’re able to, so that you have time for yourself too and can maintain your health. Good luck!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.