CELTA stands for “Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults”. It is the original certificate course in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) or teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL), and it has been running for four decades. It is highly respected and recognized globally, with 7 out of 10 employers worldwide asking applicants to have it.

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What’s Cambridge DELTA?

DELTA is a teaching-oriented certificate designed for experienced teachers who want to take their career to the next level. There are three modules:

Ÿ Module 1: Understanding language, methodology and resources for teaching (theory of ELT). It is assessed through a two-part written exam, 90 minutes each part.

Ÿ Module 2: Developing professional practice (practical component). This is assessed through coursework and the teaching of four lessons (LSAs), one of which assessed externally. Your portfolio will include a PDA (professional development assignment), the essays written in support to the lessons taught (background essays), and post-lesson evaluation.

Ÿ Module 3: Extending practice and English language teaching specialism OR English Language Teaching management (extension). This is assessed through an extended assignment of 4000-4500 words.


Do I have to take the modules in a set order?

No, DELTA can be taken in any order. However, if you are thinking of adopting a modular approach to it, teachers who do Module 1 first and then go to Module 2 tend to benefit more from all the theoretical basis they need to go through, which generally helps them with the essays they need to write in Module 2. This remains true when Modules 1 and 2 are done together.

You can prepare for the exam in Module 1 (or even for the extended assignment in Module 3) independently. However, it is recommended that, at least for Module 1, you attend a course that helps you understand not only the concepts, but also exam strategies.


Can I do the DELTA without a CELTA qualification?

It is not an absolute requirement that you have the CELTA, but you should at least have a similar initial teaching qualification. Whilst many other 4-week preparatory TEFL/TESOL certificate courses exist and most of them equip their candidates with a similar level of knowledge about English language teaching, some of them do not provide their candidates with suitable opportunities for observed teaching practice with regular feedback, which makes them less effective. If you do not have the CELTA, our DELTA tutors will ask you during the application process about the initial training course you took. DELTA candidates who do not already have a CELTA often find themselves at a disadvantage in the early weeks of the course, because they have no previous experience of its intensive nature and they are not expecting to be assessed so rigorously and in so much detail.


What’s the difference between the CELTA and the DELTA?

The CELTA is regulated at Level 5 of the UK Qualifications and Credit Framework and the DELTA at Level 7. The two courses are very different. The CELTA is a preparatory pre-service course. It takes a very practical “applied science” approach, i.e. it is a course in which the tutors demonstrate and teach the use of certain techniques and approaches to second language teaching, and in order to pass the course a candidate must show that they are able to replicate these with a certain level of competence and understanding. The DELTA is a course for experienced teachers who already have a good level of competence and understanding. Its aim is both to help the candidate develop as a teacher, and to open up new career opportunities. In all three modules of the DELTA, there is as much of an emphasis on theory as on practice. Reading and research are necessary to pass it just as much as the ability to deliver effective lessons. The DELTA aims to increase and deepen your knowledge and understanding of all approaches to second language teaching and to improve your ability to apply them effectively in the classroom. It expects that during the course the candidate will become able to make their own decisions about lesson planning and equally able to justify them with reference both to research and an in-depth observation of learners. In all these ways, it is radically different from the CELTA, but two things it does have in common with the CELTA are its intensity and the rigour and detail of the assessment.


Do I need to have passed all three modules before I can say I have the DELTA?

As far as Cambridge Assessment English is concerned, the “DELTA” ceased to exist in 2008, when this qualification was replaced by the current three DELTA Modules. However, the term “the DELTA” is still widely used by employers and teachers alike. It is important to realise that you will receive a separate authorised certificate for each module that you have passed, enabling you to say that you have, for example, DELTA Module 1 and DELTA Module 2. When you have passed all three certificates, Cambridge Assessment English will issue you on request with an “overarching certificate” which gives evidence of and records the dates when you passed each of the three modules in one handy document. What exactly employers mean by “DELTA-qualified” teachers may vary from place to place and if you think it may be important, you should ask. Probably a majority of employers are most interested in whether you have Modules 1 and 2 and less interested in whether you have Module 3, unless they are looking for someone with a particular specialist knowledge.


What’s the difference between a DELTA and an MA in Applied Linguistics or TESOL?

Both courses are regulated at Level 7 of the UK Qualifications and Credit Framework (that is, one level above a university degree). The main difference between them is that the DELTA is more practical and an MA is more theoretical and research-based. We would advise you to research the types of institution where you would like to work and the type of teaching you would like to be doing to find out whether one qualification rather than the other might be favoured.


What kind of jobs can I expect to be qualified for after completing the DELTA?

As you gain experience as a DELTA-qualified teacher, you might think about moving into teacher support, in the role of senior teacher. You could develop in-service training for teachers in your school via talks and professional development sessions. Conducting observation and giving feedback is also useful for many teachers for professional development purposes. Typically, DELTA qualified teachers can expect to have access to job postings for more senior positions such as senior teacher, academic coordinator and director of studies.

You could also explore giving seminars and webinars, as well as writing blogs and materials. Course book and curriculum development are also interesting areas to explore.


Is the DELTA designed for people who want to teach adult learners of English only?

No. The course incorporates teaching in a variety of contexts, such as Younger Learners, Business English and Academic English (depending on the module you take and the optional research topics you choose).  However, it is important to note that the teaching practice component on the course is based around teaching English to adults.


When and how do I get the results?

For each of the modules, you will receive a statement of results first, which is generally issued two months after the exam date or the submission of the coursework/assignment. Possible grades are Distinction, Pass or Fail, and will be confirmed approximately 6 weeks after you receive the statement of results. You will, then, receive a certificate for each module. When all modules are successfully completed, you can request an over-arching certificate.


What happens if I fail anything?

Module 1 (exam): You can retake the exam at any time, at any centre. (You are not restricted to the centre you have studied at.)

Module 2 (Lessons): You can fail an internally assessed lesson, as long as the Module (2) as a whole satisfies criteria for a pass. If you fail the externally assessed lesson you can retake it within 12 months.

Module 3 (course proposal): You can ask for feedback on your assignment and this will help you improve your work so that you can resubmit an improved version.



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