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.
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.
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.
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.
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.