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I’ve decided to write this blog post because before starting my module 2 I was really frustrated, and had no idea what to do and how to prepare. Hopefully, this post will help you, or at least give you some ideas of what needs to be done, and how to prepare. Please let me know if there’s an area that I haven’t addressed.

Delta Module Two is the toughest among the three, and the one that needs the most time and preparation. One of the reasons for that is the amount of writing needs to be done. You will be writing about 39.000-47000 words (chances are you are going to write toward the higher end of that number) in total which are divided among background essays (8000-10.000), lesson plans (16.000-20.000. However, there is no specific word count for lesson plans), reflection forms (1.200-2.000), peer observations (10000+), professional development assignment (PDA) parts A (2.000-2.500) and B (1.500-2.000). Not to mention the rewriting which is going to happen a LOT when the tutor asks you to rewrite some sections of your work.

Another reason is the time. I took Module 2 in six weeks, and I call that ‘not the intensive course,’ but the ‘insanely intensive.’ To be able to pull that off, you need to be well-prepared, able to handle the pressure, stay organized, meet the deadlines, and be responsive to tutors’ feedback.

I can’t stress enough how imperative the preparation is. I know countless people who started CELTA with almost ZERO knowledge about the course, and yet they managed to pass. However, when it comes to Delta Module 2, the same doesn’t apply. You need to be aware, and well-informed about the layout of the course even before contacting the center to register. Many people fail the course, or withdraw. So, you have a challenging journey ahead, and you need to brace yourself.

To get a visual perspective on the layout of the course, I’ve created  a graphic timeline  of the course. You can take a look here.

The Tips

Some of the suggestions might not apply to you depending on your experience and your teaching background. It would be a good idea to brush up/refresh general teaching knowledge by reading PELT by David Nunan.

Delta Module One

Take Delta Module One. That way you will read a lot of books, and will gain knowledge that would be invaluable when doing Delta Module 2. Even if you don’t sit the exam, the work is going to help … a lot.

Delta Module Two Handbook

to put the importance of reading and understanding the handbook, I will quote my tutor when he said to us on the first day “For the next six weeks this (pointing at the handbook) will be your bible.”

After you read this post, go to Cambridge website, download the handbook, and start reading right away!

The Skills and Systems

Decide on the skills and systems that you are going to base your assignments (LSA) on. You will have to do 4 LSAs.  Two skills  (Speaking/writing, reading/listening) and  two systems  (Discourse, phonology, grammar, and lexis.) Regarding the skills, you have to choose one that is productive and another which is receptive.

Pick the skills and systems you either feel confident and knowledgeable about, or the ones you need to develop. The best choice might be a combination of both.  That’s only what I think.

Having decided on the skills and systems (or at least 2 of them,) next you will need to do some background reading. You will need to read anything from 2 to 5 books (if you can read more, go ahead ’cause all will come in handy.) However, you might need/use more than 10 books/references when actually writing the BE and LP (I advise you to learn the abbreviations because everyone is going to use them throughout the course. click here to read my post about the abbreviations).

The next step is getting in touch with your colleagues/friends who have been through Delta Module Two. You need to ask them for some sample BEs (ONLY BEs that have passed.) You need to read the BEs thoroughly to get a solid idea of what is required, and how it should be done.

Finally, after reading some BEs, try writing one! It doesn’t have to be a complete BE. You just need to see what the experience of writing it feels like. Think of an idea for a BE and try to follow the layout of the sample BEs you have, but choose a completely different topic so you won’t find yourself just copying things. (NOTE: during the course Cambridge University doesn’t tolerate plagiarism of any kind and any candidate who plagiarize will fail the course and might be suspended for 3 years.) The reason I suggest doing this process is because you will have to do some research, use your own voice, quote some references, organize the essay, and finally writing the bibliography. Thus, when you are writing your first LSA during the course, the process is going to be easier since you have actually tried to write something, even if it wasn’t a complete BE.

A golden tip I wish I thought about when I was taking the course: For writing your LSAs (if you are using ebooks or online resources) if you happen to have another screen connect it to your laptop/PC and use one screen for the Word document and the other for ebooks/websites. You can’t imagine how smooth the process is going to be.

PDA Part A

You will be writing this assignment throughout the course. It consists of four stages. You will find details about each stage in the Delta Module Two Handbook (click here to see when each stage should be written.) In stage one you have to list your weaknesses and strength as a teacher. You can think of those prior to the course and take notes. You can also invite a colleague to observe you and tell you what they think your strengths and weaknesses are. Having an idea of them, will make writing Stage One flow smoothly. Not to mention that you will benefit as a teacher, ’cause after all that’s why you are doing Delta; to become a better teacher, right?

Another thing that will help you to start your PDA Part A is the diagnostic lesson.

Diagnostic Lesson

In week one you will have to teach the diagnostic lesson which is an unassessed lesson. Your tutor will give you feedback after the lesson which will get you starting on PDA Part A and the course in general. For the diagnostic lesson, just be yourself. Don’t try to pull off the best lesson the world of ELT has ever witnessed. Because you will need both, strengths and action points from your tutor. Take notes from your tutor feedback and go home and start writing Stage One right away.

The Experimental Practice (PDA Part B)

decide on the  approach or method of your Experimental Practice prior to the course. It’s better to have not only an idea of the EP, but also that you have some theoretical background about it. You can choose anything that you haven’t practiced in the classroom before doing the EP during the course. Some potential approaches/methods are Dogme, TBL, and Using Cuisenaire Rods.

You will have to write:
-A background essay 750-1000 words.
-A commentary for the lesson 750-1000 words.
-A lesson plan (not like the detailed one you need to write for the BE)
-A post lesson evaluation 400-500 words.
You will also need assessment tools for  your learners and your peers who will be observing you. You might use two questionnaires.

Peer Observations

I have already covered this in a post. You can read it here.

Get to know the layout of the course and what is required to be done. You can do that by reading this post Delta Module 2 Time Line.

Organization

Right from the beginning of the course you gonna hit the ground running. So, you need to be  highly organized , meet deadlines, and keep track of what needs to be done, and when it should be done. For that reason, I’ve created here  a planner for module two. The planner lists the all that needs to be done throughout the course, and empty boxes for the days so you can write notes on them. Lots of candidates have used it, and many have written me some positive feedback about it.

Which Option to choose

There are some full-time and part-time options for taking module two. I’ve written a post about it it here.

Something to Help

you need to find something that makes your mind stray away from the stress of the course for a little while. For me it was a cellphone game called Hill Climb Racing 2. I used to play a little on my way back home, or when I first got home before starting to work on LSAs/PDA. It can be anything you want, but I think it is important to find something completely unrelated to the course or ELT in general.

That’s all. If you have any question, feel free  to comment  on the post or  get in touch  with me. Good luck with your course.

Delta Module 2 LSA Title

Deciding on a title for the LSA is the most important thing because you would know your focus area and narrow it to be able to cover it in 2000-2500 words. Once you know what your title is, the rest is easy (I’m just kidding, nothing is easy :D) but you would know what your focus is.
Don’t go back and forth between systems and skills, or a system and another. Once you start the process of going back and forth between options, you’ll be frustrated and probably won’t know what to write and how to write. Just stick with the first idea you get, ask for your tutor feedback, and start writing.
It is a good idea to pick a system  or a receptive skill for the first LSA, or even the first two LSAs, and leave the productive skill till the third or fourth LSA.

So, what does an LSA title look like?

The titles of LSAs in Delta are long and might be up to 20 words! Depending on what you’re analyzing, for whom, and using what. Some sample titles (thanks for my friends Romina, Basak, Duygu, Nastya, Maria, Ebru, and Saoirse for providing me with some of their titles) :
Skills Titles
Helping Low Level Learners to Develop Scanning and Skimming Reading Subskills to Find Information Online about University Courses
Helping lower level learners (A1, A2, B1) develop skimming and scanning subskills for reading advertisements
Developing lower level learners’ (A1, A2, B1) speaking subskills (turn-taking and adjacency pairs) in transactional situations
Helping Higher Level Learners to Develop Speaking Sub-skills to Participate in Conversations.
Helping lower level learners to write a cover letter for a job application.
Helping lower level learners develop their intensive reading skills.
helping lower level learners to listen to video travel guides.
helping lower level learners write a job application email.
Helping lower level learners to develop skimmimg and scanning sub- skills.
Helping lower level learners write text messages.
Developing lower level learners’ speaking sub skills in conversations.
Developing lower level learners’ informal email writing sub-skills.
Developing lower level learners’ skimming and scanning reading sub-skills.
Systems Titles
Helping Turkish Speakers to Notice and Produce Intelligible Pronunciation of Dental and Labiodental Sounds
Helping lower level learners to use the simple past
Helping learners of lower levels (A1, A2, B1) recognize and use modal verbs of obligation.
Helping lower level learners (A1, A2, B1) recognize and use functional language to offer and request help.
Enabling lower level (CEFR a1,A2) learners to use be going to for future plans and present progressive for arrangements.
Introducing lower level learners to phrasal verbs within the theme of friendship.
Helping lower level learners recognize and used adjective+ noun collocations
Helping lower level learners to understand and use verb noun collocations
Helping lower level learners recognize and use Type 1 Conditionals for future possible results
Helping A2 level learners use polite requests in transactional contexts.
Helping lower level learners use the Past Simple to describe past events.
Enable lower level learners to recognise and use phrasal verbs.

 

What does an LSA title contain?

  • The word used to introduce the learners
  • The level of the learners
  • The Skill/System you’re analyzing
  • The genre/context

 

The word used to introduce the learners:

Avoid using the word ‘teaching’ it entails that the lesson is teacher-centered and the focus is on teaching rather than learning. Use words like enabling, helping,  and developing, these words shifts the attention to the learners. To add, developing or helping the learners is what actually is going to happen in the lesson, since the learners won’t be able to be introduced to a system/skill, practice, and become experts at it in one lesson, right?

 

The level of the learners:

Mentioning the level of the learners, like lower-level or higher-level learners, in your titles narrows your focus to that level. It would help you when writing the issues and suggestions section(s) in your LSA. Picking a specific level means that your issues will be about that level. Sometimes, it is a good idea to narrow down to a level since some areas come with numerous learning issues and you need to keep the number to four or five issues due to the word count.

 

The Skill/System you’re Analyzing:

Obviously, you will need to write the system or the skills your LSA is about. be careful though not to choose something that can’t be covered in 2500 words. When I wanted to write a grammar LSA I thought about the past tense and past aspects. After pondering on the decision for like half an hour, I realized that I would need like 10,000 words to cover the topic. Instead, I went for used to and would for expressing past habits.

 

The genre/context:

You don’t have to write a specific genre, but sometimes you need to. Like if your LSA is about scanning and skimming it might help to add the genre or the context that these sub-skills will be practiced. Be careful though, if you include the genre in your title, you need to analyze the genre in your LSA. One of my LSAs (my first actually) was about developing scanning and skimming in reading, and I added the genre to the title. My tutor read my LSA and asked me about the genre analysis, and I was like “do I need to add it?!!!!” I had to spend a whole evening researching the genre to include an analysis in the LSA (I don’t need to talk about how frustrated and upset I was, and how I felt I was going to fail the assignment. But I didn’t!!)

 

So, that’s all I have to say about titles. Remember, pick an area quickly to avoid frustration, and then give a careful thought about the wording of the title. Of course, your tutor will provide support, but it’s HIGHLY recommended to have an idea in mind before going to your tutor.

The idea of a sharing board first came to me when I saw the bulletin board at my school, and thought we could use it for sharing stuff. However, the idea as it is, came from reading the informative book, The Developing Teacher by Duncan Foord, where he talks about creating a sharing board, its benefits for teachers, and how it can be used effectively.
The board is a very effective way to share and develop with teachers at your institution. It costs nothing other than 2 sheets. It doesn’t take time to maintain since many teachers will be working on it.

Sharing Board

The Sharing Board that I’ve created is two A3 sheets with spaces for websites, YouTube channels,  webinars, seminars, books, articles, blogs, activities, games, materials and worksheets, rules, and thanks. You can download the sheets and print them on A3 or A4. However, A3 is recommended to have some space for what is going to be written.
If you don’t like the layout, or some of the sections, you can use some labels to cover  the sections’ titles, and write above them the section you want. Or you can design or draw your own, it is practically some squares/rectangles, but I thought a colorful one would make it a bit attractive. If you have suggestions for other sections, please write them in the comments so I can add them to the current design.

 

The Rules

These are the rules that I’ve written on the board. You can add/remove as appropriate:
• Post one idea at a time.
• Leave space for others.
• Put your name on the material, or near it so that people will know who posted it.
• If you post something, make sure it is clear how to use it.
• If you use something, thank the person who posted it.
•use a pencil to write so we can erase the old posts to make place for new ones.

Gamification

To make the experience fun, and to add an element of competition to it, I’ve created a point chart. The teachers can be in team a (Awesome) or team b (Brilliant). For each thing shared by a team member, the team get a point.They can circle a star. Every 25th star is golden to make it easier to keep track of points. The team that reaches 200 points (the big star) is the winner. If you like, you can make a small party for the winning team where the team that lost gets a cake and some juice, or something else! Then you can reprint/erase the point chart, and start over.
This is my first attempt to gamify a learning experience. If you have a suggestion to enhance the experience, please let me know so I can add it to the point chart, or change the design altogether. Having said that, I tried to keep the gamification experience to minimum so it won’t take time to track since we’re already busy teaching.

Extra Stuff

I have added two plastic sleeves next to the board. The first is going to be used for ‘Article of the Week’. Each week I will print out (or one of my colleagues will) an interesting ELT article that I’ve read to share with my coworkers. The other is for the materials and worksheets, so teachers can provide a sample copy for other teachers to photocopy.

Download

These ones are the same as the first, but I’ve added ‘online courses‘ with seminars and webinars. The second has ‘YouTube Channels‘, and the third one has ‘Games and Activities‘ in the same box. Pick the ones that you like most.

Photos

The board one day after sticking it on a wall in our teachers’ room:

You can access the page behind this post here, and if you like you can read the post too 🙂

There are many forms of continuing professional development, one that I just love is webinars. They’re held regularly, and tackle different issues in ELT. I always learn new things from webinars, that’s why I keep attending them. So far, I’ve attended more than 30 certified webinars, and half as much of recorded webinars.
Before going any further, I’d like to say that this is why I’ve decided to create The ELT Webinars Calendar. I’ll add the webinars that I know so you can check them and attend those who interest you. You can also find a form beneath the calendar which you can use to add an event or a webinar which is not already on the list. And beneath the form you can find links for recorded webinars in case you wanna watch some.
So, back to the track, here’s my list of reasons why you should attend webinars:
-You can access them on your desktop, laptop, tablet, and cellphone.
-They don’t take a lot of your schedule. Usually they are 40-80 minutes.
-You can gain certificates to prove your CPD (continuing professional development) to your (potential) employer.
-In case you miss one, you can watch the recording when it’s convenient for you.
-They keep you up-to-date with what’s new in the ELT world.
-You learn about an area that is new to you OR you deepen your knowledge in an are that you already know.
Jack Richards give these reasons for attending a workshop (workshops and webinars are practically the same thing) in his book Professional Development for Language Teachers, on page 25:
Attending workshops can provide input from experts.
Workshops offer teachers practical classroom applications.
Attending workshops can raise teachers’ motivation.
Workshops develop collegiality.
Participating in workshops can support innovations.
Workshops are short-term.
Workshops are flexible in organization.
I can’t stress the importance of attending webinars enough. If you are new to them, try them a couple of times, and you’ll become addictive.
Over to you: what is your take on webinars?