General Introduction to the Cambridge Delta

The Cambridge Delta has a long history – so long that at one point it wasn’t even a Cambridge exam but the Advanced Diploma of the Royal Society of the Arts! Its existence preceeds the CELTA, which is often seen as its predecessor, yet you don’t need to have the CELTA to do the Delta, though it often helps. What is more, the two courses have very little in common in terms of assessment and training. For example:

  • CELTA is geared exclusively to English Language Teaching to Adults – add the words Certificate in and you get the acronym C.E.L.T.A.Delta – note the lack of block capitals – isn’t an acronym but just simply an epithet. Its full name is Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. It used to be called the Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults, but this was dropped a few years ago when the course was totally revamped in light of changes in the industry. For example: most ELT professionals teach Young Learners at one point or another, so both the industry and the Delta are no longer exclusively about Adults – hence the inclusion of the Young Learners option in Module 3.
  • The assessment criteria of the CELTA change week on week in order to reflect the progressive challenge of the course. Your first Teaching Practice doesn’t require much more than turning up, looking the part and giving it ago. Your final TP, on the other hand, is much more demanding.The assessment criteria in Delta are fixed: from your first lesson to your last they never change. On the one had this is good, because it offers stability: you become acquainted with the criteria and you know they won’t change during the course. On the other hand, it often means candidates fail their first Teaching Practice – or LSA as it is known in Delta – because they aren’t quite up to Delta level yet in their teaching.
  • Most CELTA courses are delivered intensively, over a period of four weeks. There is also the part-time option, where the input sessions and the TP’s are spread out across a longer period of time. However, regardless of which mode you take, the CELTA is still just a single, self-containing course.Delta can also be taken as an intensive course or spread out across a longer period of time, just the CELTA. However, unlike the CELTA, it is divided into three distinct modules. You can read more about each module below.

So, what does each module involve? Well, you can read an introduction to each module here:

  • Module 3: Extending Practice and ELT Specialism

8 thoughts on “General Introduction to the Cambridge Delta

  1. It’s more of a long term goal. I’ve had several colleagues who have done the DELTA and have told me that it’s a lot of work, but very worthwhile. I think that if you decide to stay in teaching long-term, it’s the logical step to progress and most of the management and training positions require one. I’m based in Berlin, so I’d do it here.


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