The ABC of ELT

ELTChat summary: What has the DELTA done for us anyway?

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On 12th of September 2012 at 21:00 British Summer Time ELTChat had its second chat back after the summer following on from the lunch time discussion on “What do you know about Suggestopedia, Silent way, TPR & Community counselling Learning and what can we learn from them?” we discussed “How useful is the DELTA?” Something very useful for myself as I was looking at studying the DELTA anyway!

The chat of course had its off topic shoots including; Discussions about the CELTA (How to get an A in the CELTA, one Boss who spells it SELTA etc) but the main pulse of the chat involved teachers who don’t have a DELTA asking questions about it and Those who have taken in sharing their experiences and insights.

The full transcript can be found here.

A few little facts about the DELTA

  • The DELTA stands for Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults (but Cambridge are looking to get rid of the “Adults” part) (@Marisa_C)

It can be an intensive course (3months or so) or now, distance learning

  • My dip was 3-months intensive (IH) #eltchat (@rliberni)
  • @aClilToClimb If it is done intensively about 7/8 weeks plus exam and externals for module 1 and 2 #ELTchat (@Shaunwilden)
  • distance courses only work if U R able 2 stdy in that way. We’ve got 4 candidates at the mo & 1 of them hates the lack of f2f contct#ELTChat (@SueAnnan)
  • @MrChrisJWilson  Remember the DELTA is three parts now, you don’t necessarily have to do them all #ELTchat (@Shuanwilden)

How long did teachers wait before doing the DELTA?

  •  I did mine after 6 years but I started teaching unqualified so it was my first qualification #ELTchat (@Shaunwilden)
  • #eltchat had been teaching 8 years beforehand… probably should have taken it earlier (other stuff got in the way) (@Pysproblem81)
  •   2 years it was the minimum but I’d just done VSO so perfect 4 me then but could be longer perhaps now #eltchat (@rliberni)
  • #eltchat 2 years – had done PGCE before that for secondary school in UK (@cerirhiannon)
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The DELTA blues: photo credit: Waka Jawaka via photo pin cc

How much does a DELTA (or MA) cost? (asked by @aClilToClimb)

  • #ELTchat @aClilToClimb DELTA cost around £2500 think MAs are around £4000-£5000 in UK (@pysproblem81)
  • @aClilToClimb You know what i have no idea at my old school we gave the DELTA for free(ish) as part of long contracts #ELTchat (@Shaunwilden)
  • @aClilToClimb English MA prices are set to rocket to mirror undergrad fees (ie. £9,000) – prices are already creeping up #eltchat (@blairteacher)

The DELTA is hard work

  • @MrChrisJWilson @Shaunwilden It consumed me for 9 mths..but in a good way! Opened a bottle of champagne each time an essay was done! #eltchat (@ChiaSuan)
  • @MrChrisJWilson @chiasuan @Shaunwilden Doesn’t leave much time for other stuff – I became a hermit for 9 months…#eltchat (@shetlandESOL)
  • @MrChrisJWilson certainly feels time-consuming at the moment – 10pm and I’m still working. Bedtime soon though! #eltchat (@sandymillin)

Alternatives to the DELTA

  • DipTESOL
  • MAs In various field such as Applied Linguistics and Education (with an ELT focus)
  • Both the DipTESOL and MA’s are rated level 7 on QEF but their aren’t the same

Are there any differences between the DELTA and DipTESOL?

  • Not enormous difference TBH #eltchat (@SueAnnan)
  • For those of us who are #new or #clueless, DipTESOL = #eltchat (@Mathfour)
  • @Mo_Americanoid  different awarding bodies #ELTchat (@Shaunwilden)

Differences between the DELTA and MA

  • MAs are hard to judge many dont have [Teaching Practice] for example, I found it hard to hire MAs #ELTchat (@shaunwilden)
  • I think the MA is more theoretical whereas the Delta is still teaching related #eltchat (@rliberni)
  • DELTA focus to relate theory to improved classroom teaching and planning – syllabus planning skills – MA more research focus #ELTchat (@Marisa_C)
  • [An MA is] not quite the same – DELTA  gets you out of some of [the MA] #ELTchat (@Shaunwilden)
  • At MA level u read the original researach – at DELTa level mostly summaries of reported research in methodology books  #delta #MA #eltchat (@Marisa_C)
  • #eltchat I’ve done both – they’re very different qualifications, I don’t think it’s a case of either or … do which best suits your needs (@Blairteacher)
  • So in pte sectors DELTA’s better but in state institutions like unis MA wud be better – that’s safe to assume then? #eltchat (@aCLILToClimb)
  • The MA is more common/valued within American circuits than British “@Mo_Americanoid Where the MA carries  more value anyway IMO #ELTchat” (@Shuanwilden)

Maybe the differences are reducing?

  • Leeds (I think) have introduced an MA course which includes the Delta  i.e. you do Delta as part of MA @LizziePinard is doing it #eltchat (@SandyMillin) [In the comment section Lizzie Pinard clarified that it is Leeds MET that offer an M.A. in ELT with integrated DELTA]

A useful link

  • #ELTchat I blogged about MA vs DELTA perhaps the order you do them changes your opinion? (@EBEFL)

What people got out of doing the DELTA

Professional Growth

  • I decided to take DELTA because I wanted to question my pedagogical practices #eltchat (@Raquel_EFL)
  • I benefitted a lot from the #Delta and would recommend any teacher who wants to develop professionally to do it. #eltchat (@ChiaSuan)

A fresh Challenge

  • I start 2 stagnate if I am not challenged,then I get bored. So 2 avoid boredom & stagnation,I did my #Delta . #eltchat (@ChiaSuan)
  • @Marisa_C  I think the #delta ‘allows’ you to tackle things like esp and eap (#celta wouldn’t give enough confidence I think #eltchat (@rliberni)
  • #eltchat – After completing the DELTA, I felt really confident that I was a professional rather than an English guy winging it abroad. (@stephenburrows)
  • @Marisa_C Really useful for me – even tho didn’t use it to get promotion or new job – found it rejuvenated my teaching! #eltchat (@shetlandESOL)

Financial gain and Career opportunities

  • and without a Dip its hard to get a better position, or more money 🙂 #eltchat (@SueAnnan)
  • Certainly in the IH network it is the key to moving into more senior positions #ELTchat (@Shaunwilden)
  • RT @Marisa_C: Post-DELTA what career opportunities open to teachers? #ELTchat – DoS, ADos, Teacher trainer, writing…. (@Shaunwilden)
  • As an employer I would certainly choose sb with a  #delta for business Eng or EAP – course planning skills needs analysis #eltchat (@Marisa_C)
  • @aClilToClimb also a DELTA makes u eligible to be a CELTA tutor – to make money for a DELTA and an MA!!! 🙂  #eltchat (@Marisa_C)

I asked Why I Should do the DELTA and here were people’s answers

  • @MrChrisJWilson It will enhance your current teaching and open doors for you if you intend to stay in ELT #ELTchat (@Shaunwilden)
  • @MrChrisJWilson @Marisa_C  it’ll stimulate and challenge you  #eltchat (@Cerirhainnon)
  • @MrChrisJWilson  you should do it to be a better teacher you shouldn’t do it unless you are interested in being a better teacher #eltchat (@rliberni)
  • @MrChrisJWilson @marisa_c you’ll get much better jobs #eltchat (@EBEFL)
  • Doing the DELTA is about reaching your prime, bubbling with enthusiasm still, but with some knowledge + experience #eltchat (@Antoniaclare)

Make the most of your DELTA

  • Whether it was the #Delta or the #MA I made sure I got my money’s worth by picking topics I knew nothing about e.g. SFG #eltchat (@ChiaSuan)

The bad sides of the DELTA

  •  #eltchat the reading list for the DELTA has been pretty much unchanged since the mid-90s (@Blairteacher)
  • #eltchat I admit, I preferred MA – it was more about inquiry. DELTA was excellent, but definitely steered to communicative method (@Blairteacher)
  • @cerirhiannon @chiasuan @aClilToClimb @ShetlandESOL Some pple r just doing it for the qualification & want to get over & done w it. #eltchat (@eltknowledge/@ChiaSuan)
  • @MrChrisJWilson depends how you do it – intensive options is like all time consuming  #eltchat (@Marisa_C)

Round up

A couple of final comments that I thought would round-up the discussion nicely.

  • #ELTchat a friend said when he was a DOS “DELTA teachers seem to know what they’re doing” – gives you that confidence, rightly or wrongly. (@EBEFL)
  • I think neither the MA nor the DELTA will create a career unless you pursue it with dedication and energy 🙂 #eltchat (@Marisa_C)

Personally, This discussion made me certain that I did want to take the DELTA and so I’m glad that I had the chance to attend and everyone’s insights from the discussion. Thank you to everyone who attended and I’m sorry If I didn’t include your tweets.

P.S. remember to visit the new eltchat website at

About Chris Wilson

I'm an English Language teacher based in Krakow, Poland. I enjoy writing, using technology and playing the Ukulele.

4 Replies

  1. Lizzie Pinard

    Just to clarify, it’s Leeds Met who offer the M.A. in ELT with integrated DELTA! 🙂

    1. Thanks for that Lizzie. I’ll add it to the post.

  2. Hi! I am taking module 1 in Uruguay in June, but I am really worried because there is no module 2 available here!!!

    1. Hi there, Good luck starting in June, can you not do the module at distance with a group like the distance delta? Or maybe travel to somewhere for the 8 week version? That’s what I am going to do as we can’t do Module two here.

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