Preparing for Delta Module 2
Delta module 2 is generally considered the hardest part of the Delta. This is for two reasons:
- You generally have to complete this within a set period of time, and it is usually face to face;
- This is the part that contains observed teaching practice, and a high level of performance is expected from teachers.
You shouldn’t go into Delta module 2 without serious preparation.
What is Delta Module 2?
We assume that most people who found this page will already know something about the Delta course, but for anyone who has stumbled upon this page, here is a quick explanation.
Delta is a diploma in teaching English to adults. It is a higher-level qualification than the CELTA, being equivalent to part of a masters’ degree (in fact you can use credits from Delta towards some masters’ degrees). It consists of three modules which can be taken separately or integrated into one course.
Module 2 is the part that contains observed teaching practice. For each of these the candidate produces an LSA (learning skills or systems assignment). In addition candidates produce a professional development assignment (PDA) and attend input sessions.
To pass, you must produce 4 LSAs, and a PDA. You must pass no less than two of the LSAs including the final one. In order to ensure consistency of the Delta award, an external assessor assesses the final LSA.
The professional development assignment also consists of two parts; reflection and action, and experimental practice.
We will discuss each part further down this page.
Why is it Difficult?
Module 2 is difficult for a few reasons:
- The face to face course generally takes place over 6-8 weeks. This means completing an LSA every 10-14 days. Other options are not so intensive. However, if you are working full time, completing LSAs part time could be challenging.
- The level of teaching and expectation of knowledge about teaching and language is understandably higher than for CELTA. You should have a decent understanding of theories underpinning communicative language teaching.
What Should you Know about Delta Module 2?
The course requires teachers to complete 4 LSAs (learning skills/systems assignments).
Each LSA consists of two parts:
- A background essay focussing on the aspect of language that you have decided to teach. This is a 2000-2500 word essay that must cite relevant sources.
- A lesson plan, the delivered lesson and an evaluation of the same.
Including the essay, lesson plan and materials, it is not unusual for LSAs to exceed 30-40 pages.
The background essay should include a specific topic relevant to the learners, an analysis of the problems with learning and teaching this topic and suggestions on how it can successfully be taught.
The lesson plan addresses some aspect of the topic and outlines a 40 to 60 minute lesson. The lesson is observed and is accompanied by an evaluation.
The background essay and lesson are given different grades. These can be fail, pass, merit or distinction.
In addition, you are required to complete a PDA (professional development assignment) consisting of reflection and action and an experimental practice.
For the experimental practice you are expected to chose an approach, method or technique that you haven’t tried before. You then research this, deliver an unobserved lesson, collect feedback and write up your findings. Such approaches or methods can include dogme, suggestopedia, Callan and many more.
Reflection and action requires teachers to think about their performance prior to the course, to consider their strengths and areas for development and to suggest actions that will help them to continue developing.
The PDA is marked as pass or fail, and so long as it is passed, does not affect the award of merit or distinction for the LSAs.
The majority of teachers taking Delta get a pass. Merits and distinctions are rarer and usually awarded to teachers who have been teaching for 5 or more years within schools that have a strong emphasis on professional development. Generally however, getting a merit or distinction does not really alter your employability. Having a Delta, on the other hand, massively does.
What Else do you Need to Know?
The Delta module 2 is a tough cookie. If you want to make passing easier on yourself, it helps to do the following:
- listen to the tutors, especially to their criticism. During your lesson they have a list of points that they need to tick off. Listen, do it and make it easy for them to give you a passing (or better) grade.
- help your course mates if you can. They can probably be helpful back.
- take notes about the students in your practice group when you have unsupervised lessons with them. Why are they learning English, what do they like, what problems do they have. All of this is useful.
- pre-empt problems students have with your chosen focus. If you don’t hear any problems in monitoring, use these to give feedback. Claim they came from some corner of the classroom that isn’t near the observer.
- know your best areas to teach before you start the course.
- don’t plan to do anything at the same time as the Delta. It will consume your life. Tell your partner, kids, pets, house plants, etc. that they are going to be neglected.
The main reasons people seem to fail Delta are because they lack the length and variety of teaching experience, because they are unwilling or unable to take criticism and act upon it or because they don’t take it seriously enough.
How Should you Prepare for Delta Module 2?
Take a Course
You have to take a course to do Delta module 2. We would recommend choosing carefully. As it is a Cambridge award, there should be a good degree of standardisation. However, some tutors will meet the minimum requirements, while others will go well above.
You should do a lot of reading for Delta module 2. Consult our reading list here. Additionally these websites are useful:
Delta module 2 is a tough gruelling 6-8 weeks and should be taken seriously. It is well worth doing if you wish to progress on to better teaching positions, management, materials development, teacher training and so on.