Saturday, 13 October 2012

You Can Now Do the Delta Online

Not to be confused with the Distance Delta which is run through IH and has a 2 week orientation session or a 6 week session depending on whether you choose the Integrated or Blended one, the Online Delta is through Bell and seems you can do it completely online.

Not too much info on the site, but it looks like online education is finally getting accepted. First the Distance Delta, then the Online CELTA (which is really blended, not completely online) and now the Online Delta.

Just doing the modules isn't enough. You'll have to take the exams in June or December and pass all 3 in order to get the Delta.

The 3 Modules
Mod 1: Language and theory. You have to pass a written exam which is composed of two papers, each lasts 1.5 hours. It's externally assessed. It's cheaper to do Module 1 with the Distance Delta.

Mod 2: Practical teaching as well as reading and research. This is the tough, expensive one. You'll have to nominate a local tutor to assess 4 of your classes during the course and then pay for the Cambridge assessor for the teaching exam, which might include their flight, local food and transport. There's more info on the Distance Delta site. It's cheaper to do Module Two with the Online Delta.

Mod 3: Choose a specialism such as Young Learners, Business English, English for Academic Purposes, ESOL with Literacy Needs and Exam teaching with guided reading for 3 further Delta specialisms: Teaching One-to-one, Teaching Monolingual classes and Teaching Multilingual classes, ELT Management with specialisms in Academic Management, Human Resources Management, Customer Service or Marketing. You're assessed on a 4000-4500 essay. It's cheaper to do Module Two with the Online Delta.

What Bell Says
I emailed Bell with a couple of questions. You can find my questions and their answers below.

1. Regarding module 1, I just wanted to double check on the price, the distance Delta is £400 and the online Delta is listed at £756. Does this include the exam fee or any other additional material that the distance Delta doesn't?   
We offer Module One as an online course with no face-to-face content. This is referred to either “distance” or “online” Delta. Our M1 course at £756 (2012 rate) includes intensive personalised tutor support to ensure that participants have the best possible chances of passing the exam. Many other course providers who offer M1 courses for less only offer generic advice rather than personalised tutor feedback. For 2013 we also plan to offer a version of the course at around £500 which will offer more generic exam tips and feedback to help participants prepare for the exam. Our course fees do not include Cambridge ESOL exam fees.
2. For module 2, I'd have to nominate a RDT, what are the requirements for the RDT?
You should nominate somebody as an RDT who has got teacher training experience. I’ve attached the RDT job description for your information.

3. I understand that for module 2 there is a teaching assessment, who would do that? There is a BC near me, would someone there be able to assess me or would I have to pay for someone to fly over from Europe?
The external assessor has to be done by a Cambridge ESOL approved Delta assessor. On the current list provided by ESOL one assessor is listed for South Korea, so it shouldn’t be necessary to fly somebody in from another country, provided the assessor in Seoul is available. This might require some flexibility regarding dates/times of the assessment and unfortunately we cannot give any guarantee that a local assessor can be found for you, although of course we will do the best we can to arrange this. Please be aware that you will be responsible for bearing any travel/accommodation costs for the assessor.

What People Are Saying
You can see the discussion on Dave's here. Below you can find what some posters have said about it.

Denim-Maniac states that "25% fail rate of module 1 in 2010 - Thats according to a Delta report dated June 2010. Cambridge states that you should have a minimum of three years teaching experience.

Debatable. With over 15 years experience at the time I took the course, I was learning things I had never heard of. I think it is not so much the time you have been teaching, but more how much knowledge you have of i.e. discourse analysis, pragmatics, CLIL, intrinsic motivation, summative assessment etc. If you know little to none of this, you will have to cram-read it all during the course, and you will have to summarise all that crammed-in knowledge into well written, well-informed sentences, answers etc. on the exam.

Therefore three years is probably o.k., as long as you are ready and able to speed read and absorb things you have never encountered before. So I personally would recommend a minimum of five years experience and recommend you take the course after having read at least one book on varied linguistic related topics and teaching methodology."

Teacher in Rome says, "I did the precursor of the DELTA with no teaching experience to speak of, and without a CELTA. I passed with Distinction, first time, but, and it's a huge but, I had lots of luck on my side: I could study full-time for 9 months. I didn't have to worry about paying rent, or having to attend job interviews. I came straight from uni and had reasonably good study skills. I could absorb large amounts of info. I was young, with plenty more brain cells than I have now. And it was mostly face-to-face, meaning I had the support of  an excellent tutor and all my classmates.

When I failed my first assignment, my tutor went through it with me, line by line, and gave me more reading to do, tips to pass assignments, and so on. Each assignment we did, in fact, we had extensive feedback and were shown how to write the "perfect" answer for that type of question.

Encouragement was a huge part, too. The first TP I ever did in front of the class was a complete disaster. When asked for feedback, my classmates said, "well you've got a lovely manner". So the content was crap, but at least I had a good starting block. The techniques are things I can work on.

Knowing I had at least some of the raw materials gave me hope. - I did nothing else but read, research, TP. No social life to speak of  and no "distractions" - my examiner took a like to one of my examined lessons and gave me a distinction. Very fortunately for me, as he's a lexical expert and my overall aim was vocabulary acquisition.

I knew there was nothing else / better that I could do right at that moment, and I had a lot riding on it. Failing was not an option. I had no other safety net - no parental nest to return to, benefits that were going to run out after those nine months, no savings, and friends that were as poor as me."

To do the distance / online DELTA I think you need a lot more than just x years' experience. Support, encouragement, access to a specialist library, and a very good reason for wanting it are all important.

Sashadroogie reminds people that, "Support, in the form of a quality school which has well-organised classes, is essential. Especially for the observed lessons, naturally. But also for providing an environment where a Delta trainee can get help when they struggle. Help from people more qualified than they are, and who possibly did the Delta themselves."

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