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Module One

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Saved by Elliott Brett
on December 11, 2009 at 9:07:38 am


Hi all,

I just wanted to share my feelings of module one of the modular Delta course, with advice, as little is available or known about this on the internet. To simplify my explanations/opinions, I'll use bullet points. I completed the course recently, December 2009, and the exam on December 2nd 2009. The result is due in February 2010 - two months is the said time.


  • Online - no face to face with tutors or fellow students. Some people like this, others like myself do not. The plus side is feeling less pressure as you are at home, but the pressure is always on until you take the exam regardless.


  • The course is designed for one main purpose: learn how to take the exam. Just as you might teach a student to take i.e. the Cambridge PET, you need to learn how to take module one's exam. Underlying this is linguistics and methodology study, but with weekly tests/reports and mock exams - I personally could only focus on the exam, and passing it. It is supposed to be about increasing your knowledge, and it does, but it is hard to not take your eyes off the exam and how it should be done.


  • There is a lot to read, a lot. I read two books a week for three months on varied topics of linguistics etc. And this means cost too - it is pricey buying over 20 books in order to learn more and have a better chance at passing the exam. I highly recommend reading varied books on methodology etc. well in advance of the course; this means you will be able to spend more time on how to take the exam.


  • 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 (my fault for ignoring them previously). 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 after three months (should you choose to immediately take the exam) 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 & absorb things you have never encountered before. So I personally would recommend a minimum of five years experience (higher chance of having come across more information related to teaching), and recommend you take the course after having read at least one book on varied linguistic related topics and teaching methodology. With this you should have a much better chance at passing, or getting a Merit etc.


  • What should you focus your reading on? The following will help: 


  1. First and second language acquisition.
  2. Language testing and assessment.
  3. Discourse analysis.
  4. Phonology (with a little Phonetics).
  5. Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking skills.
  6. Language teaching methods/methodology/concepts.
  7. Vocabulary/Lexis - teaching.


  • What else can help with the course and exam:


  1. Advice Jeremy Harmer gave me: rather than read every chapter of a book front to back, first read the conclusion and then the first page or two of a chapter - this helps focusing on what you need to read, and helps avoid reading what you do not need to read. There is a lot of information that is not needed for module one's exam. Focus on what your tutors tell you to focus on. Bell school (my school) informed us well here with exactly what we needed to know. The books however include more than you need.
  2. Summarise your summary! You need to improve or learn summary skills. The exam demands short, concise and well-informed responses/answers/explanations. You are on a short time limit for every section of the exam, and you will be pushed to read fast, and write very concise and well informed responses. Past examinees failed due to writing too much, or writing what they were not asked to write about, or for simply being ill-informed. For practice, try writing about a certain topic i.e. why you think the author of your school textbook wrote the unit in such a manner - why is Exercise One like this? What is its purpose? How does Exercise One relate to Exercise Two? How does it relate to the whole unit? After you write your answer - summarise it. Use bullet points. What are your students' strengths and weaknesses? Write your answer - then summarise it!
  3. So - know a lot about language teaching, and be able to explain that knowledge concisely. This is the main point of module one in my eyes.


  • Do what you are told. I started the course fighting against what Cambridge wanted me to do. I believed, and still do, that language teaching is varied, eclectic, and individual in the teacher's eyes. In the end the students are looking at you, looking up to you, not the teachers in the next room. However, this is a Cambridge exam, and they have rubrics and requirements. The course, and the course tutors will tell you how to abide by what Cambridge wants from you. For my first mock exam I wrote how I wanted to write and failed. For the second mock I wrote what Cambridge (and the tutors) wanted me to write, and passed.




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