DELTA Diary: ELT Methodology causes flu

That’s the only conclusion I can come to after a week of nasty man flu. Reading about ELT methodology must cause the flu. I haven’t been ill for over three years and after starting paper 2 and reading about testing, the history of ELT, how second languages are acquired, I was hit with the flu. I should have got that flu jab.

Anyone for a jab up the #@$%
I guess it’s more a reflection of how much a DELTA can take over your life. For the past month my timetable has been manic. Up studying, writing terminology cards, and doing assignments from 8am till 1pm, then some lunch before heading off to work until 10pm. That’s just Monday to Thursday. I’ve been working flat out Friday, Saturday, and even Sunday mornings. My body had to break at some point and last week it did. Photo by sylvar.

I’m not moaning though, even though my wife will tell you different if you ask her how I was last week, I’m enjoying Paper 2 and the first Mock Exam is just around the corner.

How’s Paper 2?
It’s actually really useful. Yes I am surprised because when I started reading about testing, I questioned its uses.
Question 1 is all about analyzing whether a given test is appropriate for a given student. It’s probably one of the most difficult parts of the exam for me because I didn’t have a clue about the terminology and during my working day I don’t think much about testing. Saying that, after the assignments I feel ready for the exam.

Questions 2 and 3 are linked and I think these are both quite practical and useful. You have to analyse exercises from a given course book and comment on their purposes and state certain assumptions about why the authors have included them. One great aspect of this question is that you start to question yourself more about each activity you do in class. Exactly why am I doing a warmer? What’s the point of talking about the images in the book? Is it necessary to do two different types of grammar exercises? How do all these exercises link together?

It’s not that I’ve never really thought about my classes before, and maybe now I’m thinking too much about what I’m doing, but you get a better sense of why you’re doing what you’re doing. I’m hoping that over time this will become automatic.

We’re on question 4 this week and it’s a bit of a pig. The problem is that the question is unpredictable, there is no set rubic, and it’s worth almost half the paper’s marks. The question can cover anything from the grammar or lexical approach, accuracy to fluency or fluency to accuracy, the importance of course books over no course books, plus a lot more.

I’m just hoping with the reading I’ve done and my teaching experience I can get a few marks together.

What’s in store?  
As I mentioned before the mock exam is next week. The tutors suggest doing it under exam conditions, which means doing paper 1 in 90 minutes, having a 30 minute break, and then doing paper 2 in 90 minutes. I’ve got a couple of days off before where I plan to study and then give the exam a go. Then it’s back to assignments based on paper 1 again.

How am I feeling?
The closer we get to the exam the more I just want to get it over with, but at the same time I’m trying to apply things that I’m learning to my classes. I’m definitely doing a lot more pronunciation this year, writing in phonetics, and I feel more prepared helping FCE with their writing. I think module 2 will tightened up my classes even more though. It’s hard work, but now I’m over the flu, I’m back on track and raring to go.

Is anyone else out there doing the DELTA? Drop a comment below and let me know, get in touch. 

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