Why take the Cambridge DELTA?
By Diane Mullen, Director of the St Giles Educational Trust
You may have started your career in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) because you felt it was your vocation or because you wanted to see the world, experience working in other countries and gain an insight into other cultures from the unique perspective which working as a teacher can give you. You might have worked in private sector language schools, in public sector education in the UK or overseas. Perhaps you have been a company language trainer or you have worked in a challenging but rewarding environment with few resources in a developing country. Whatever your history and background, you have now reached the point at which you know this is your chosen career path and you want to excel in it.
Your initial teaching qualification and your experience have brought you this far, but you now want to take things to the next level with a practical qualification which will enable you to deepen your understanding of how your students learn and to further develop all aspects of your professional competence as a teacher.
The Cambridge Diploma in TESOL (DELTA) is a demanding and challenging course and during the darkest moments of endeavour you may ask yourself why you ever decided to do it! However, the rewards are manifold. Most ELT management positions (and even permanent teaching positions in the case of many UK employers) require the DELTA or equivalent. The time and effort you have invested enables employers not only to see that you have improved your teaching competence but also that you have made a serious commitment to professional development. In both the UK and overseas, salaries for DELTA qualified teachers are higher. Most importantly however, it will help you to become a reflective practitioner and a better and more confident teacher.
The DELTA is a level 7 qualification which means the delivery and content of the course content is at Master’s Degree level (some Master’s Degrees award up to 20 credits for the DELTA). It is a key element of the Cambridge English Language Teaching Framework: as a higher level in-service teaching qualification the DELTA sits between ‘proficient’ and ‘expert’.
The DELTA consists of three free-standing modules. Module 1 focuses on ‘understanding language, methodology and resources for teaching’ and is assessed by two 90-minute written exams. Module 2 enables candidates to ‘develop their professional practice’ through a mix of composite assignments, observing other teachers’ lessons and being observed. This module is underpinned by a Professional Development Assignment which requires candidates to reflect on their strengths, weaknesses and to test and evaluate an area of experimental practice. Module 3 requires candidates to produce a 4,000 to 4,500 word written assignment: ‘Extending practice and English language specialism’ or ‘English language teaching management’. Each of the three modules is separately accredited by Cambridge.
DELTA course applicants usually have at least two years’ teaching experience (though exceptions may be made). In the case of Modules 1 and 3, we recommend that candidates are (currently) practising teachers but this is not essential. For Module 2, candidates need to be in employment in order to complete the assignments.
St Giles Brighton is currently offering DELTA Module 1 exams (in June and December). We expect to offer the full DELTA again from 2020.
If you would like find out more, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or on (01273) 682747.