All You Need To Know About DELTA

Learn everything about DELTA with Jane Richbell, Cambridge CELTA & DELTA tutor and assessor, and Abeer Okaz, IH Cairo Director of Studies.

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What is the DELTA?

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In terms of qualifications and qualification grading, the DELTA is like a level 7 in the UK and CELTA is a level 5 and it’s the same, it’s the equivalent of a master’s.And yet, when you get the DELTA so you can actually go and you can apply for a master’s in the same sort of area and you would get some credits. It depends on the place that you go to and the course that you want. Actually, the DELTA does help you to get some credits for a master’s as well and it’s one of the highest qualifications that you can do in teaching English.

Why do some people seek the DELTA diploma?

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For so many different reasons. I think the reason why I did it was because I had done the CELTA and I really realized after a couple of years, I really wanted to improve my teaching skills. I wanted to extend my knowledge and I wanted basically to have better lessons. So I did it for my own professional benefit. You can learn about different techniques and methodologies and different ways of approaching things. Also, people go, if you want to get into some Senior Management, this is the qualification that helps you get into Senior Management. Also, if you want to be a teacher trainer, this is a qualification. So, if you wanted to eventually teach on CELTA courses, for example, and also in terms of a manager, this is often what’s needed. Needed for the course and in British Council accredited schools in the UK. The DELTA is the requirement to be a senior teacher or a manager. So for professional reasons, promotion reasons, training reasons and like you know, as I said for me, it was just like I really wanted to know how to do it better.

Is DELTA higher than PGC?

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It’s different. It’s different from PGC. So PGC is like a degree or certificate in education, and DELTA is like a level 7 and it’s a master’s or a master’s equivalent. PGC again could be in any qualification. DELTA, of course, is in teaching English. Learning about teaching English as a foreign language.
Yeah, that’s really interesting because Muhammad was asking and he was saying, can I teach financial accounting with CELTA or DELTA? We’ll eventually if you’re in your specialism. Yes, if you were doing financial accounting and you were doing English for accountants, then yes. In module 3, you could actually make this part of your specialism. Yes, you could but when you’re doing module 1 and module 2, you’ll find it is going to be like General English.

What are the Entry Requirements for taking the DELTA?

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This will be as in any course quite a rigid interview task and interview procedure. But before you start you need to have C1 plus level of English on the common European framework.
We recommend you have two years of teaching experience. I think Cambridge changed it to one year of teaching experience and to have a range of different levels and different types of classes. Some people I’ve been talking to, like experienced trainers and assessors like myself, some say actually two years is quite a good time, at least two years. And the reason for that is some people perhaps particularly after their initial qualification like a CELTA, they go in, they teach and maybe they teach the same sort of classes. That’s not going to really help about different contexts.

For example, you could have like an intermediate class, you could have like a higher class. You could have exam classes. You could have Young Learners. It could all still be just in Egypt. Absolutely fine. But I think we do encourage you to have a range of different experiences and that’s going to really help you think about because the course is very much looking at practical things and relating the Practical ideas to theory. A lot of people ask if CELTA is a requirement to do the DELTA, and you can help us with this, right?
It’s not a requirement.

It is pretty useful because obviously, in terms of perhaps the intensity of the course, some of the right ways of learning are very similar, however, at the interview, for example, if you have a lot of experience and you’ve have like other qualifications in teaching English, then of course, this will be considered.

What does the DELTA consist of?

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There are three modules and again, it is incredibly practical like I said, is the practice linking with the theory. You’ve got module 1, which is the whole thing of understanding language methodology and resources. So this is the time where it is practical, but you can also do some background reading and you can relate the theory to the practice and you can also use your teaching experience and what you’re doing in the classroom to help you with some of the ideas in the questions. So that’s to do with understanding language, methodology and resources. And that leads nicely into module 2 and module 2 is professional practice. So, that’s when you actually do the teaching practice. And that module 3 is extending that practice. And basically is course design. And again, we’ll see sooner or later, you have to think about a particular group of students and plan a course for them.

Basically, I think Cambridge suggests that you can do module one, two and three, however, you can do the modules in any order that you want. And I’ve seen some people do module 3 first, for example, and then come back and then do module one and two. In my experience, I would suggest that you do it in this order 1, 2 and 3. And I definitely think it’s going to be very useful for you to do number one first and then number two. It makes a little bit of a sense to start with module one with all the readings and terminology, and getting a little bit of a background research before doing the teaching, and then finally module 3, but as you said, Cambridge has not put any kind of restriction on the order but if we’re talking logically one would come first and then followed by two or three or since 3 requires more and more in-depth research.
Yeah. It’s a different type of research as well because you’re actually doing course design. So is it slightly different.

And again, you could take a long time doing this, some people I know have taken that say three or four years to do it. They haven’t done it straight away. So again, it’s completely up to you how you want to do it. And again with module 3, which is again, curriculum design. I mean, some people have done two module threes because they’ve had different specialisms that they’re interested in. So it’s completely up to you how you want to do it. However, you only need to do one, two, and three, once you pass them to get the certificate. Basically, there is no timeline for how many years, how many months or years or period of time, you can take between the modules.
But obviously, we recommend you to do it, you know, like not don’t leave it too late because all as they were saying all the good things that you’ve been thinking about and also knowledge that you’ve been thinking about you can liaise into the next module.

DELTA Module One

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As I said, DELTA Module One is understanding language, methodology and resources. It actually ends up being an exam. So there’s a module one exam that starts in June in the first week in June or it’s the first week in December. Basically module 1 consists of two ninety minutes exams on the same day and you have a breather between them. Paper one has mainly more to do with the ideas and the theory and paper two is often the Practical side. In fact, again it is very practical. So things like for example, speaking skills, but what sort of functional language would you need for a particular? Speaking tasks and it’s things that we do everyday in the classroom.
Again language analysis as an authentic text and we have to work out and analyze the language from the text.
So it’s all very useful for our own practical teaching, you look at some coursebook materials.

And then you see, what are the assumptions that the writer made about the materials and any problems with it? So there’s also again you could actually do this and we will encourage you to try and do this while you’re teaching your classes. There’s also as Abeer said this in terminology that you need to find out about and again, you have to write down some definitions you will need some reading background for it. But again is pretty practically based.
So you have, as I said, two exams on the same day and again, I think you get the results in about six weeks after you take the exam. And they only run in June and December.

And you have to take it from a recognized Center like IH Cairo. You can’t take it on your own at home. Yeah, I think one of the things with module one is not so much the knowledge, but it is a very sort of Cambridge type of thing in that there’s a certain way of answering questions. So I think a lot of People’s approach to it, is obviously doing the research but then having a lot of practice and knowing how to answer the questions without having to have perfectly formed sentences and know and you just put down the ideas as quickly as you can. So there will be a lot of exam practice as well.

And I think also, correct me if I’m wrong, this is where the teaching experience comes into effect, in some of the questions you may want to pull from your own teaching experience or classroom experience I’m not sure if this is correct information or not.
Not necessarily, that’s more actually for module 2, however, obviously, like I said, some of the things that you’re going to be doing like looking at course books and looking at maybe a page from a course book and it’s usually like a grammar item or something like that and say, how would you teach it? What things would you need to know?
Obviously, you do need teaching experience to be able to do that.

DELTA Module One in IH Cairo

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So it’s going to be online, it is going to be starting in February, and there will be during your weekends. You will have some classes at the weekend in February and again, I have done a lot of classes with DELTA Module One, so my philosophy about it is obviously doing background reading, helping you to get some research, getting you familiar with the different papers and the different components of the papers, also having some right many mocks, all the way through for each paper that you each test, each task you have. And then, as I said, having some mocks as we go along. Also having tutorial time. So having chances that you do a mock and then we can have a chat about it. And then, you know, we can say to you, right you really need to work on this and how are you going to go about it?

I did a lot of work in South America, and I think with module one particularly, people knew the information, but the problem was getting their ideas down on paper. So a lot of it for me, I think, in Brazil, we had three mock tests, actually, and I think we’re going to have that too, but just to give that confidence of being able to answer the questions in this format and the time required. Yeah, I remember you stressed about time management when it comes to the exam. So yeah, yeah for sure. And it says it’s just again, you know, this is a very Cambridge way of doing exams and I was like the first certificate, you have certain things and you have to get them down. Yeah, and it’s just managing time and Then that whole thing. We will have two mocks where you do the two 90 minutes papers and do it exactly the same as you would on exam day because it really is tiring. And then there’ll be a time afterwards to go back and have a reflection. And then, okay, how do you do? What could you do better with and obviously give you support?

DELTA Module Two

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DELTA Module Two is, as I said, the classroom practice. So in module 2 is that you are doing the lessons, you have to do four essays on language skills and language systems, you have to do two on systems and two on skills and these essays are 2500 words each. And they inform your lessons. So from the essays, and the research you’ve done, you then plan and deliver a lesson. So one’s going to be on receptive skills, one will be unproductive skills, one will be on grammar, vocabulary pronunciation, or discourse and another one on systems. Three of them will be internally assessed by your tutor. And one of them, the last one will be externally assessed by a DELTA assessor from Cambridge. You have to pass the last one to pass the course. And you have to pass at least one of them internally to pass the course. So you have these four LSA, as we call them, language skills or systems assignments and I think one of the best parts of it, you also have a professional development assignment. And this carries on throughout the course before you do any teaching or assess teaching, your tutor will watch you give a lesson and it’s like a diagnostic lesson. And will see you at the strengths that you have and all the knowledge that you have from your lesson and teaching and also any areas that you want to work on.

So you can think about your professional development during the course, thinking about what sort of areas where I want to work on. You can change this as you go along. You also have to do your professional development. This is like reflection and action, and also, you have to do an experimental practice. So it could be an area that you’ve never ever done before, will be something maybe materials free or Dogme. And then you have to write an assignment.
So, this professional development assignment is all to do with you thinking about how you can develop. And I think it’s a really, really maybe very, very important part of the course. And it’s the thing you can really think about which methods are the best methods for you to grow?

So it could be maybe writing a journal or a diary of observing other teachers. You’ll also have to observe 10 hours of experienced teachers teaching, this could be like a DVD recording, this could also be watching your peers when they do their assessment lessons. So again, we have to have 10 hours.
You will have Tutorials with your tutor, so you won’t be left behind and after each of the three, internal assessed lessons, you will get a report that your tutor writes, which clearly says, every single criteria you know, there’re quite a few criteria. As you probably know the five A form many criteria and which ones you are okay with, which ones that may be partially met and which ones are not met. And again, your tutor will stick with you in the work out strategies for the next one.

Okay, so we will have input sessions on writing the essay, we will have input sessions on language systems and also on language skills and how to teach them. And before you do each type of lesson, we will help you with it.
This is why doing module one first can really help you with module 2 because you’ve already done some of the background reading and research. As Abeer was saying, before in module two, particularly in the assignment, you need to talk about some of the research, support your ideas, with background reading, and also your classroom experience.
It’s really important to have at least two years of a wide range of experience of teaching and then you can just say yeah, I remember in this class, this group of students or this type of learner would really benefit from this activity. Again, it’s incredibly practical and we will have you know, like help with writing the essays, of course, they’re not like Masters essays. They are incredibly practical where you link the theory that you’ve read with the practice and how.

Online and Face-to-face DELTA Module Two

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If the DELTA Module Two is done online it is going to be for 8 weeks. If it’s face-to-face, Module Two is going to be for 6 weeks. The reason for this is, with face-to-face you can talk to your tutor there straight away and you can get ideas from each other in the classroom.
With online, of course, we will have that maybe a channel where you can talk to each other and share ideas, but you know, you’re not physically in the same room.
So the reason why is just to give you that time to be able to absorb the ideas and also to ask for support if necessary. That’s why one of the other differences and again Cambridge’s had a meeting about this in Cambridge is really sort of trying to consider this. They are accepting online lessons. Now, they say it’s absolutely fine. One of the big things is though it takes, if you probably know, you can’t get through as much online as you can in person.
So your aims in an online class are going to be much smaller than perhaps it would be in an in-person class even though you’re doing 60 minutes, but Cambridge have said, this is fine.

The other thing as well, Cambridge is working on is to have online resources for these courses. Because obviously in centers, we have the book, the physical books. We need to have a bank of resources. So Cambridge is working on them. So basically it’s the same except for delivering the session and, and, and looking into resources. I mean, but all the other requirements are the same. Yeah, the course is exactly the same, the criteria hasn’t changed at all. The only thing I think Cambridge are thinking about doing, but they haven’t done yet is just providing, they have a gloss like a sort of summary for each criteria, the actual criteria are not changing. Like I said, but what they are suggesting is to have a gloss for online lessons and some things like managing the classroom space, obviously going to be different because it’s a virtual classroom. So they’re going to just tweak and change it but they’re not going to actually change the criteria at all.

DELTA Module Three

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DELTA Module Three is the one where, you know, you really have to work on your own, of course, there’s guidance, but it’s a 4,500 word assignment and people go, Oh my goodness, That’s so big.
Actually it’s not and one of the problems is trying to get all the ideas that you have into these 4500 words and it has to be, can’t be more. It has to be that number. No more than that. Basically, what it is, it’s course design. And there are two different strains you can do.You can either do an ELT specialism, something like for example, English for academic purposes, purpose classes English for special purposes, I think we were talking about accountancy, so perhaps that could be your specialism. It could be a language for teachers, it could be Young Learners. So again, you choose your specialism. The other branch of it is management as well. So it’s like EFL management. So again, that could be how to do advertising, how to do marketing, so you can actually Branch into two different sections.

And the whole thing is with the ELT specialism, you have to have a class, you don’t actually have to teach them but you have to meet this class and you have to have needs analysis, and you have to do diagnostic tests and then you design a course for this particular group of people. And again, this is really useful, if you’ve been asked to design courses, this is a really useful thing to do, however, some people like to design a course for a group of students, but they actually never end up teaching it.

DELTA Module Three with IH Cairo

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The course proposals are about like say 20, they think they say, the minimum is 20 hours and we recommend you only do 20 hours so it could be a part of the course. And you also have to work out how you do this assessment. There are five parts for DELTA Module Three and again, you submit it and what we recommend is, you do each part, you send it to your tutor, they mark the draft and at the end then you do the whole thing you submit to the tutor they make any amendments, and then you send the tutor sends it to Cambridge.
This will be the end of May or the end of November with the only dates that you can do it. You could do it any time in the year, but the only time that the center will be able to send it to Cambridge is in May and November.

DELTA Certificates from Cambridge & IH Cairo

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After each module, you get your certificate from Cambridge, but to say that you’ve got the complete DELTA, you have to do the three modules and then you’ll get a certificate at the end to say, you’ve done the whole complete DELTA and certification and then what grade you’ve got as well.

IH Cairo’s Plan for DELTA Modules in 2022

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So basically there are three Modules, module 1, the preparation for the exam is online. With module 2, There are two options, either online or face-to-face. And then with module 3, it’s online. Just to sum up how IH Cairo is planning to offer those. Most centers in the world do modules 1 and 3 online.

How is the MA TESOL or MA Applied Linguistics for Language Teaching different from the DELTA?

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I think it does depend on which center you go to, and traditionally though, I know that lots of MAs do have components with MA TESOL, for example, you can go and actually, teach.
However, DELTA is much more practical. Like I said, before you’re matching the theory and the same theory with the practice all the way through. So I think it is much, much more practical and a lot of people who have done MAs, do the DELTA and sometimes they do find it quite hard to write the essays, because like I said, the essays are actually quite practical and they’ve said, well, I’ve been learning many, many more techniques and I’ve been able to put it into practice, much more on the DELTA than on the MA, of course, it does depend on the MA and then, of course, Linguistics is a different story, that is much more theoretical. Again, it does depend on the center where you do it, but this is usually the difference.

What if I failed one of my LSA assignments in DELTA Module Two?

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In fact, that often happens with the first one, because you’ve never had to teach or you’ve never had to do these essays in that way. So for example, you’ll get a grade for your essay and you get a grade for your lesson and you have to pass both of them.
If for example you got a merit in your essay and a pass in your lesson, the overall grade would be a pass because the lesson always outweighs the essay if that makes sense, and because it’s like, it’s a very, very new way of doing things and usually, what I try and do with a pre-course task is get people to write an essay, just to see what it’s like and then in the input sessions, we can unpack it and say that, okay, how was it? What do you need? How are you going to improve these particular areas?

What so often is people do find it hard to do particularly the essay and often for LSA One, the lesson they have to plan in a lot of depth, which they’re not used to and it does happen that people don’t pass. However, and this is the good part so you need to pass one Systems LSA and you need to pass one Skills LSA, and one of them has to be LSA Four, which is the assessed one. They’re all assessed, but this is by the assessor.
So, for example, I know people who have not passed two of them, but passed the third one, and they’ve passed the external one LSA three and LSA four and they’ve passed the course.
I think this is what sometimes people find hard is a continuous assessment in a way, is a continued continual progress and you get better and better at it, as I said, you have to pass one Systems and one Skills, that’s it, so you could not pass two of them.

Okay, that’s an answer to the question, because a lot of the trainees worry, once they fail one of their assignments and they feel it’s the end of their DELTA Module 2 and they worry about the assessor, coming and finding in their portfolio that they have not passed when it is only a learning experience for them to look into the action points, and to work on the other assignments. Basically, it is slightly different because, basically, the assessor for LSA Four only sees an external assessor, you know, you don’t know them, they don’t talk to you, that they may be saying “Hello!” and that’s it. They only look at that lesson only they don’t look at your portfolio. Your tutors though have your portfolio and I say one, two, and three, they write a report at the end, which they send to Cambridge and then Cambridge sees the internal report your tutors report and then they see the external assessors report for LSA Four and they match the two. And then Cambridge is the one that gives the grades. Normally, the grade that the assessor gives is usually the one you get. It depends.

I think, and I think you’re right, that the whole idea of thinking, if I don’t pass, it’s terrible and we don’t know, we don’t expect you to pass but it’s a different way of looking at things. So if you don’t pass the first one then, it’s just how to improve for the next one. It is different, and of course, it’s a bit disappointing and a bit sad when you think I’ve been teaching for all these years and I can’t do this but it’s just having to rethink it and think of an easier way to do it.
Often people don’t pass because they try and plan too much or perhaps the subject in their essay is too big. So again, obviously after your LSA and you have a Tutorial with your tutor and they go through and think about ways that you can improve in the best steps for you.

IH Cairo’s Calendar for DELTA Modules

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Just to show the calendar for the DELTA, just to make sure that everyone knows where we stand as IH Cairo. So February is the start of DELTA Module One Preparation Course Online. We have the start of DELTA Module Two Online in May. There is an exam for DELTA Module One in June, and that is the online one. Towards the end of August, is the DELTA Face-to-face Module Two in Cairo, in IH Cairo.

If you’re doing DELTA Module Two Online in May, when do we get assessed by the external assessor?
It’s interesting that the day is, in fact, maybe we can go back to DELTA Module One.
If you did DELTA Module One in February, as I said, you take your exam in June and then you’d get the results, usually comes out probably in August. If you did the DELTA Module 2 Online and you start in May and you finish in June, then you’d probably get the results in October. We have to put in the results at the beginning of June.
If you did the Face-to-face One in August, again one of the entry dates would be in September, so again, you’d get the results in October November. With Module Three, if you started right from the beginning, then you could in February, then you could put in your assignment at the end of May and get the results in June, or you might want to put it at the end of November and get the results
So basically, two entry dates for DELTA Module One, June December. Three entry dates, for DELTA Module Two, June, September, and December. And we’re going to have this calendar color-coded on our website.

How to apply for the DELTA?

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You will have to send an email to teachertraining@ihcairoeg.com, and then someone will get back to you with the application and all the dates for applying.
And again, that’s the same as any course, but you’ll have the application, we will look at the application form, then we will invite you for an interview, if we think that you meet the requirements, which I’m sure you will. And then again it’s going to be quite an in-depth interview.
If you get accepted, then you’ll have a pre-interview task and again, for DELTA Module Two, like I said, I’m going to ask people to actually write an essay, obviously, I’ll give examples and you can write the essay is just to get you used to what you need to do.

Do I go for DELTA or TOT Course, for teaching Financial Accounting?

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It depends on what you want to do. If you only want to stay with teaching Financial English, great, and maybe, find out more about that course. I’m afraid I don’t know that much about it.
However, if you want to have perhaps, you want to do this and maybe you want to branch out later and you want to maybe do different ways of teaching and you want again to think about different techniques and different ideas in your lessons you could be teaching these types of students an you could also be teaching Young Learners.
A lot of people I’ve been observing are teaching, perhaps like students at University absolutely fine. And then again you could do DELTA Module 3 and do that as your specialism area.
But along the way, you’ll also find out about other courses too, so I think perhaps it’s a little bit broader. So there again, if you wanted to change later on, you could. And again it’s like any course, because it’s got all the basic techniques and it’s, you know, for you to find out about different techniques, resources, ideas, that’s very exciting.

What’s Special about DELTA with IH Cairo?

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Well, obviously, I think it’s a really good course. I mean, I think one of the things I think is really interesting about it is, I think things that we learnt on the CELTA like, you know, perhaps some centers are quite prescriptive that you have to do it this way.
In fact, on the DELTA you’re thinking about the students you have in front of you. And I really like it because you have to think about what’s best for them. You can change your plan during the lesson if you’re responding to their needs.
So in a way, it’s much more useful for you as a teacher and every day teacher, because you’re always thinking about the people that you’ve got and also, how to achieve the aims as quickly as possible. So I think all the things perhaps we’ve learned, It does make you question everything. Yeah, and I just find that fascinating.
It’s a different kind of experience, and it is hard work no qualms about it, it is particularly like doing it intensively for sure.

And that’s why, you know, we try to give you support before and support all the way through.
Having said that, when you get to LSA Four for Module Two, then the tutor can’t give you any help, they can just check your essay title and check your lesson aims and that’s it.
So we’re trying to make you more and more independent at the beginning though we can give help of course. Well, actually to discover different things, and maybe books that you wouldn’t normally read and you can specialize into certain techniques that you wouldn’t normally know about them. So it’s, it’s interesting.

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