Doing a DELTA is a big decision and a lot of work but it’s a fantastic learning experience which opens up many doors. But is it right for you and what can our recent DELTA grads tell you about their learning experience?
Is it for me?
The DELTA is an in-service training course. That means you’ll need to have a CELTA or equivalent pre-service training qualification, and you’ll also need to have some teaching experience behind you. Cambridge Assessment states that you only need to have taught for one year but you may find it more suitable for you if you already have at least two under your belt. People also take DELTA after many years of teaching. It is a level 7 qualification, equivalent to a Masters degree, so be prepared to work hard and learn lots!
What’s it all about?
The course is divided into three modules and they are a combination of both theory and practice.
Module 1 is theoretical and helps to develop a deeper understanding of language as well as methodology and resources. This module culminates in a written exam which can be taken at our school.
Module 2 is the practical module in which your teaching is assessed. You’ll also need to write background essays about the area of language focus behind all your lessons, linking the practical to the theoretical.
Module 3 is an extended written assignment which can focus on an ELT specialism of your choice, for example Business English, Young Learners or English for Academic Purposes (EAP). You can decide to work on an area you are already familiar with, or research into a brand new area in which you’re interested in knowing more. Alternatively, for those of you who are interested in a future in management, you can opt to research an ELT management specialism such as Academic Management or Marketing.
Why should I do it?
Although it’s a general consensus that the DELTA involves hard work and commitment, no teacher we spoke to regretted their decision to embark upon it. It makes you stop and reevaluate everything you thought you knew about teaching. For those of us who work in education, it’s vitally important to value learning – and during the DELTA you learn so much. Being DELTA qualified undoubtedly makes you a better teacher but it also opens up many other opportunities. If you want to move into Academic Management or Teaching Training positions, this qualification will be a prerequisite for the role.
How can I take it?
You can take the modules at any time and in any order. I took one module a year over a three year period which fitted well around my work and family commitments. Other people prefer to knuckle down and get it all done in one go. It’s very flexible so you can work in a way that suits you. Our school offers a preparation course which combines Modules 1 and 2. It makes perfect sense and is a great way to organise your study. Although the modules are separate in terms of assessment the content is integrated so if you combine the two you can study and then put that study immediately into action. The theory and methodology you learn for the exam will also be vital for writing those background essays in Module 2.
Why IH Milan and San Donato?
All learners know that a good teacher makes the difference, and having had personal experience working with the DELTA trainers at IH Milan and San Donato – I can’t recommend them enough! But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what some of our recent DELTA trainees have to say….
I feel so much more confident as a teacher
I needed a new challenge and DELTA really took my teaching up a notch
It really reawakened my enthusiasm for teaching
The DELTA helped me think about each individual student, how they learned and how to choose and develop materials to fit their needs
It has made me much more reflective about my teaching
Thanks to the DELTA I’m now working in Academic Management which I really love
Now I can look at the learning process from the learners’ point of view
The hardest period of my life, but the most fruitful one!
Kate Knight is a freelance Teacher Trainer based in the UK. She started her ELT career in 2007 first as a teacher, then Senior Teacher, Young Learner Coordinator, and Director of Studies. In her various academic management roles she has served as a mentor for hundreds of teachers. She is most passionate about teaching children and teenagers and is the main course tutor on both the IH VYL and IH CYLT. She is both CELTA and DELTA-qualified.