9 FAQ about DELTA

1. What’s Cambridge DELTA?

DELTA is a teaching-oriented certificate designed for experienced teachers who want to take their career to the next level. There are three modules:

  • Module 1: Understanding language, methodology and resources for teaching (theory of ELT). It is assessed through a two-part written exam, 90 minutes each part. 
  • Module 2: Developing professional practice (practical component). This is assessed through coursework and the teaching of four lessons (LSAs), one of each assessed externally. Your portfolio will include a PDA (professional development assignment), the essays written in support to the lessons taught (background essays), and post-lesson evaluation.
  • Module 3: Extending practice and English language teaching specialism OR English Language Teaching management (extension). This is assessed through an extended assignment of 4000-4500 words. 

2. Do I have to take the modules in a set order?

No, DELTA can be taken in any order. However if you are thinking about adopting a modular approach to it teachers who do module 1 first and then go to module 2 tend to benefit more from all the theoretical basis they need to go through, which generally helps them with the essays they need to write in module 2. This remains true when modules 1 and 2 are done together.

You can prepare for the exam in module 1 (or even for the extended assignment in Module 3) independently. However, it is recommended that, at least for Module 1, you attend a course that helps you understand not only the concepts, but also exam strategies. 

3. Is the DELTA for me?

This is a difficult question!

Official requirements: In order to do modules 1 and 3 you should have some teaching experience (at least a year in ELT), which is a must if you intend to do module 2. 

Prior Qualifications: For all three modules teachers should have an initial teaching qualification like CELTA, and a level of language between C1 and C2. But these are not official. If you can demonstrate some suitable prior qualification and a good enough level of English, you are eligible. 

Experience: The gap between initial training qualifications and DELTA can be wide. Ideally, teachers who hold an initial qualification should go for a course that helps them dive deeper in theory before they face DELTA (for example the IH Certificate in Advanced Methodology). This will help you with sufficient knowledge to make the most of the DELTA. 

4. What kind of jobs can I expect to be qualified for after completing the DELTA?

As you gain experience as a DELTA-qualified teacher, you might think about moving into teacher support, in the role of senior teacher. You could develop in-service training for teachers in your school via talks and professional development sessions. Conducting observation and giving feedback is also useful for many teachers for professional development purposes.
Typically DELTA qualified teachers can expect to have access to job postings for more senior positions such as senior teacher, academic coordinator and director of studies.

You could also explore giving seminars and webinars, as well as writing blogs and materials. Course book and curriculum development are also interesting areas to explore. 

5. Is the DELTA designed for people who want to teach adult ESL learners only?

No. The course incorporates teaching in a variety of contexts, such as Younger Learners, Business English and Academic English (depending on the module you take and the optional research topics you choose).  However, it is important to note that the teaching practice component on the course is based around teaching English to adults.

6.    When and how do I get the results?

For each of the modules, you will receive a statement of results first, which is generally issued two months after the exam date of the submission of the coursework/assignment. Possible grades are Distinction, Pass or Fail, and will be confirmed approximately 6 weeks after you receive the statement of results. You will, then, receive a certificate for each module. When all modules are successfully completed, you can request an over-arching certificate. 

7. What happens if I fail anything? 

Module 1 (exam): You can retake the exam at any time, at any centre. (You are not restricted to the centre you have studied at.) 

Module 2 (Lessons): You can fail an internally assessed lesson, as long as the Module (2) as a whole satisfies criteria for a pass. If you fail the externally assessed lesson you can retake it within 12 months.

Module 3 (course proposal): You can ask for feedback on your proposal and this will help you improve your work so that you can resubmit an improved version.

8. Should I do the DELTA or a Masters course?

This depends very much on your personal career objectives. The DELTA is a much more practical teaching qualification than most Masters courses, but if you are thinking of doing the DELTA first and then going on to do a Masters, it is worth noting that a pass in all three DELTA modules may be accepted by different university worldwide giving you exemption from some core modules.

Many universities which run MA (or M.Ed.) courses in TESOL or Applied Linguistics accept the DELTA as equivalent to between 1/4 and 1/3 of the total course modules. 

9. Is DELTA recognized outside the UK?

This certification is placed at level 7 of the Regulated Qualifications Framework of the UK Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual). However some countries may call for a validation procedure to be officially regarded as part of a teacher’s portfolio – this is quite standard and nothing to be worried about.