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Nergiz' DELTA experience

Page history last edited by Nergiz Kern 10 years, 5 months ago

Full-time DELTA at ITTC in Bournemouth 2007



One of the major issues I had during the DELTA course was keeping to the word limit.I like writing but I tend to be wordy. So, I had to edit my drafts a lot to reduce the number of words. This is why, I am going to keep this very brief. Maybe the other extreme :-) If you want more details feel free to ask me and I will tell you.

What went before?

  • Three years of teaching without any qualification (except as an English learner myself).
  • CELTA in 2003
  • Four years of teaching in different contexts:
  • General, business, technical English,
  • some exam preparation,
  • Adults, teenagers
  • one-to-ones, small groups, larger classes
  • private lessons, in-company, language school, seminars
  • Brazil, Germany


How did I prepare for the DELTA course?

Here are some (in no particular order)
Harmer, J. – The Practice of English Language Teaching

Underhill, A. –  Sound Foundations


Thornbury, S. – Beyond the Sentence

Thornbury, S. – Uncovering Grammar

Thornbury, S. – How to teach Grammar

Yule, G. – Explaining English Grammar


Celce-Murcia + Larsen-Freeman – The Grammar Book

Thornbury, S. – How to teach Vocabulary

Hedge, T. – Writing

Yule, G – The Study of Language

Buzan, T – Use Your Head

Buzan, T – The Mind Map Book

+ many sample papers

+ many online articles (see link page)


+ some journal articles (e. g. ETp)


The DELTA course itself


First impression:

Overwhelmed, thoughts of giving up, not feeling up to the task (like all others in the group).


The following weeks:

– Loads of hand-outs

– A lot of new things to be learnt

– No time to review

– Not much time to socialise or exchange ideas

– At the end, no energy left, had to force myself to do the second component - the Extended Assignment

– Lack of time to prepare for the exam (because Extended Assignment took me much longer to write than I had thought)


+ Knowledgeable, experienced tutors

+ Learnt a lot

+ Read books that I would never have found time or motivation to read otherwise

+ Reflected a lot


At the end:

+ Extremely relieved that the coursework, all the writing, planning, reading and observed teachings were over

+ Self-confident

+ Thankful and a bit proud of of myself that I persisted and not only passed but got distinctions for the coursework components.

+ Surprised at what I was actually capable of


– Drained

– Disappointed after the written exam because I only finished 7 out of 9 tasks (although I have to say it was a very fair exam, absolutely doable)

– No feeling of having completed something (After the CELTA you basically know whether you have passed or not. Not so with the DELTA. You have to wait for three months for the results. I'm finding this very dissatisfying).


Post-DELTA thoughts

Would I do it again? — Certainly! But maybe in part-time mode if it was possible (e. g. centre near-by).


What would I like to see changed?

  • Get rid of the written exam altogether. In my opinion it contradicts the DELTA philosophy and my personal philosophy regarding such kind of tests as well. I do not believe that many people are capable of showing what they know under such a time-pressure, especially after such an intensive time (full-time DELTA), drained of all energy. That's how I felt during the exam, anyway. 
  • There should be some kind of feedback after the externally assesed lesson/assignment. After all, this is not only about a grade but also about learning and improving. This is why we get feedback after every observed lesson during the course. Why not after the external? Why is this part of the DELTA so intransparent?
  • Receive the result sooner!


The Result

I've made it! Finally, after three agonizing months of waiting I recieved the GOOD news on 11 March 2008.

Written Exam - Pass

Coursework - Pass

Extended Assignment - Distinction


Am I happy? - Yes, I wouldn't want to go through the observation and exam stress again and having to wait for the result another couple of months.

Am I absolutely happy? No, I am a bit disappointed because after receiving Distinctions for all my observed lessons and backgroud assignments (except one background, which was only a pass), I "only" got a Pass for Coursework. This means something must have gone wrong in the external. As I pointed out in my  post-DELTA thoughts, I will never know what happened because there is no feedback on that part. I want to point out that I don't distrust Cambridge ESOL and their examiners. However, I don't see the point of keeping it secret and I think if our tutors can face us and give us feedback why not the external assessors?


My assignments

Here is a link to my DELTA assingments.



Comments (3)

pandreop12@yahoo.com said

at 1:22 pm on Apr 26, 2010

It`s well worth the effort...

Laura said

at 2:42 pm on Apr 26, 2010

I'm not sure I agree. I teach in Switzerland and I'm still not convinced that having a DELTA certificate will 1) find me more work, 2) give me better pay, or 3) make me a better teacher. Well...maybe make me a more conscientious teacher, more aware of why I'm teaching certain things. But, as you know, when you're carrying a full load of courses, the sheer amount of prep time each week can cut into creativity. How do you think the DELTA will change your situation in Greece, particularly if you are already the head of the language center?

Sharon Nosely- Kallandzhs said

at 11:04 pm on Jun 7, 2010

I agree with you to certain extent Laura - the above three points also apply to Greece. However, it is something that just by being on the course, has made me question why/how/what i teach and has given me the confidence to apply for other postions..I am more confident in my teaching and I'm developing all the time - this is for me and my students - not for money etc. One day, maybe other doors will open because of all this stress and time...let's wait and see!

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