Question: There are different ways to do Cambridge Delta Modules. You can do the Distance Delta, where you can work on all three modules over the course of 9 months, you can do each of the modules separately, or take a course which combines Module 2 with either Module 1 or Module 3. Why did you decide to do the intensive 6-week course which focuses only on Module 2?
Chris Reese (currently the Director of Studies at ILC): I decided to do the intensive course because I like the environment on these types of courses. I’m usually very busy, so it was better for me to take the time off from work and be able to focus only on my studies for the time being. As well, I’m not a big fan of studying online - for me, personally, I have a hard time staying organized. It’s a lot easier to keep up with what you need to do when you’re seeing your classmates every day.
How did you do Modules 1 and 3?
I prepared myself for Module 1, but for Module 3 I worked with a tutor online. I found that getting feedback on my drafts was quite helpful, as it was good to be able to see how my writing was meeting the guidelines for the assignments or not. I think I prepared myself well for module 1 - I managed to pass with merit, but this was after failing it the first time! I think having a tutor the first time around would have saved me some trouble in this respect, and I might have passed the first time (and saved some money!).
What were the most difficult aspects of the course?
The most difficult aspect of the course for me was keeping myself organized. The course is manageable, even though there is quite a lot of work. The problem I had was that I was significantly less experienced than my peers on the course, so I had to work a bit harder to make sure that my work was at the appropriate level for the course. My peers were very helpful though, and the tutors did everything they could to make sure that we all were doing well in the course.
It’s obvious that the course is quite intensive, how did you manage to cope with the workload?
I took time off work - I had saved up for a few months before, to make it possible, but I know that this was a luxury. Some schools offer slightly longer part-time courses, for those who can’t take time off work, and it’s also possible to do the Delta online. I also found that taking some personal time really helped me cope - so I made a point to take a few evenings off and spend some “me” time.
What do you think was the best thing about the full-time course?
For me, it was the immersion. All that I had to worry about in this time was the course, and that meant that I was able to focus intensively on my development for a while. I also had the good fortune of being able to observe my peers lessons - most of whom were (and are!) incredible teachers, and I learned almost as much from them as I did from the tutors!
What do you think you gained from doing the Delta?
I think the key thing which I gained from doing the Delta is an in-depth awareness of how people learn languages, and how to translate this into teaching techniques. Moreover, I gained the ability to critically analyze teaching techniques and approaches, and because of this I feel more equipped to develop independently in the future. In my current position as the Director of Studies at ILC, I use what I learned on the Delta almost every day, from simpler things like providing support to our teachers to more complex issues like syllabus design, assessment, and evaluating materials to use with our clients.