DELTA: Module 1 Breakdown

After doing a webinar for Cambridge English Teacher about How Delta changed my life, I’ve realised there are still a few areas to write about for each of the three modules. This blog is about Module 1 and gives a breakdown of what is involved, how long it takes and costs, and also some tips and advice.

Photo by College of William and Mary
What’s involved?

The module prepares you for two exams, which you can take in either December or June. They are 90 minutes each and you have a short 30 minute break in between, so it’s a long morning. The whole idea of the module is to get you to read a shed load of books, memorise lots of jargon (which most of it you will never use once your Delta is finished), and become an expert on the following areas:

·      Language – grammar, discourse, lexis.
·     Testing – how to do it and fairly.
·     Phonology – learn how to read and write phonetics, and analyse spoken errors.
·         Methodology – history, weird and interesting approaches.
·         Skills work – the four main skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking.
·     Course book design – analyse text books and say why authors did what they did and the reasoning behind it.

I did module 1 online, which was lonely, but interesting and useful, at times. I enjoyed the banter with other teachers and the tutors, and as the course went on I felt more prepared for the examsI did a load of bloody reading, probably too much. I actually started the April before the course started in September to do some 'light' background reading.

The tasks were individual and group based. You go through the exam twice and do example questions and also set your colleagues questions. It was very exam focussed but I did enjoy that aspect.

Mock exams were key. We did one half-way through the course and just before the main exam. The mocks were great as it gave you an idea of your strengths and weaknesses and, most importantly, timing, which I’ll chat about in tips.

Length and cost

·         Over 3 months for the module.
·         3 months reading before.
·         Between 10-15 hours a week task based projects or studying.
·         €550 for course, plus €130 for exam fee.

Tips and advice

·         Do a ton of pre-reading if you can to make your life easier during the course. I picked one book on each main area to start with just to get a feel. I made notes on some areas, but you have to look at the books again anyway when you meet a question that needs a more detailed answer, but every little helps.
·      Terminology cards are key. They emphasis this on the course, and give you plenty of examples so you can make your own, but it’s a vital part of preparing for the exam. Not only because the first couple of questions are about definitions in ELT, but also because once you have really learnt the terminology you can apply it to all the remaining questions. I looked like a right weirdo, memorising cards while on my way to work on the metro, but it paid off.
·       Try to get ahead. Firstly for yourself so you don’t have to hand in anything in a panic, but also for your colleagues. At times it got frustrating waiting for others to finish their contributions.
·      The mock exams are really important. As I said above mainly for timing. Everyone you talk to who has done the exam says about how tricky it is to do all the questions in the allocated time. The mocks also give you an idea of what areas you need to work on. Do past papers as well, and check out the examiners notes on each of the questions so you know how to pick up most points.
·      Study – not only the terminology cards, but also phonology, answers to some of the longer essay style questions in the 2nd exam, and the past papers.
·     Try some of the techniques in class. From the start I began to use phonetics in class, I also changed how I marked students writing to mirror the exam, and also did more work on grammar in class to test myself, and the student of course.

So those are my tips for success in Delta module 1. I managed to get a distinction, which I think was because I was really motivated at that point, not so much by the time I got to module 3. Next month I’ll be looking more into module 2, which is the lesson focussed module. 

Have you done module 1? Got any more tips and advice? Leave a comment below. 

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