a story about bad grammar and non-existent punctuation and my TEFL adventures
After a couple of years of teaching you might find yourself wondering if there’s more to TEFL than PPP. If you are, welcome to the next step. The next step can materialise in a number of different forms, from the MA TESOL, or the TKTs, or the DELTA. I chose the DELTA and I know many people vaguely entertain the idea of doing the DELTA but are worried about it, usually because they don’t know what to expect.
So, what to expect from the DELTA?
Let’s start with the obvious: a lot of hard work.
The 3 modules of the DELTA all require a lot of time, reading, studying, planning and writing. They are all challenging in their own ways. None of them are impossible, but they are all tough. If possible, if you have the time, do them one at a time, so you can dedicate your brain to each module in their own right, and still manage to have a bit of a life.
Module 1: the exam. I know most of us think that by now we can take an exam, but as is the issue with most exams, it’s the time constraints that are the killer. Studying the material should be pretty easy, but make sure you do practice exams in order to figure out exactly what they are looking for in the answer and to practice doing a full paper under the time limit. Remember all those tips we hand out to our exam students? Applicable.
Module 2: the practical bit. This module I did fulltime and I am very thankful I was able to do that. Besides all the reading that needs to be done, there are a lot of observations too. For each observation a lot of preparation and justification (writing essays) is necessary, so it’s not just a matter of showing up for lessons and doing what we already know how to do. The DELTA tutors also seem to follow the break-em-down-to-build-em-up school of thought, so expect criticism, because it will come. Your classmates too can become your harshest critics; after spending so much time together in such close quarters your DELTA class is bound to resemble the Big Brother house at some point.
Module 3: the curriculum. A tip: do something you know. Many people decide to do a speciality which they would like to learn more about because they don’t have much experience with. A noble idea, but a lot more work in practice. Choose an area you have experience in and preferably are teaching at the same time. Try find previous examples of the module, because otherwise you won’t have any idea how to start. There are a lot of online courses that will help you through this module (as well as Module 1) and it’s a great idea to get extra support if you can.
All in all, though, the DELTA may well be the best thing you decide to do in your TEFL career (in my humble opinion). The ideas you will find and the conversations you will have with other people who are on a similar level to you will stay with you for a long time. The effect on your teaching will be noticeable very soon, and it doesn’t look too shabby on your CV either.
Go forth and conquer!