Unlike Module 1 and 2, Module 3 is not usually conducted as a course of study followed by a written or practical exam. Instead, it is an extended assignment which the candidate has to work on their own. Although there are Module 3 preparation courses out there, candidates have to work extensively on the assignment by themselves, signing a document at the end which states the work is their own.
Module 3 has two routes or “options” as the Cambridge website likes to call them:
- Extending Practice and ELT Specialism
- English Language Teaching Management
My Delta tutor, who had taught following the old format of the Delta for many years, mentioned right at the beginning of the course that the new Module 3 is the offspring of what was “left over” when they revamped the Delta. Its main feature, left over from the pre-2008 changes, is the Extended Assignment or Project. The ELT Management route also involves extensive writing, but it is the first option which is overwhelmingly chosen by the vast majority of candidates.
Extending Practice and ELT Specialism
In short, this assignment is the planning, preparation and design of a course for a specific group of learners. You will consider the learners’ background and their needs, and on the basis of this, you will produce a syllabus which aims to help the learners achieve their goals.
What is very important here is the learners: they are at the centre of this entire assignment. You have to relate every decision you make back to the learners, their needs and what they are supposed to get out of the course.
This assignment is set within the context of a particular ELT specialism. This is to reflect the reality of life in English Language Teaching: learners study English in a wide variety of contexts and for a multitude of reasons. This is clearly reflected and demonstrated in the list of specialisms below:
- Teaching Exam Classes
- English for Academic Purpose
- Teaching Young Learners
- Business English
- Teaching One-to-One
- English for Specific Purposes
- Teaching Multilingual Classes
- Teaching Monolingual Classes
- Teaching in a non-English-speaking environment
- Teaching in an English-speaking environment
- ESOL Learners with literacy needs
For example: if you teach English in Poland, you will probably be teaching a monolingual class, so you might choose that option. If your learners have come to the UK to learn English for a month, then you are teaching English in an English-speaking environment. If your learners are studying English in order to get a specific IELTS band to enter university, then that would fall under the EAP specialism. Finally, if your group of learners are Teens or Young Learners, then you would go for the Teaching Young Learners specialism – this also happens to be the whole reason why the word “adult” was dropped from the original D.E.L.T.A. name, as it now contains a YL option.
This assignment goes over what it takes to plan and prepare a real course for a real group of learners. For that reason, you need a real group of learners who you will design an appropriate course for. A “group” means more than two learners, though there is a specialism for “One-to-One Teaching”, which of course only involves one learner.
The course can be as long as you want but it must contain a minumum of 20 hours. For this reason, some candidates submit a project which focuses on a part of a longer course, such as looking at 20 hours of a course which might contain 180 hours. There is nothing wrong with this, as you cover the Cambridge requirement of a minimum of 20 hours. This also makes the assignmnet more accessible for teachers who work in non-English-speaking environments, where courses are often a full academic year in length, covering many hundreds of hours.
Word Count and Sections
The overall word count is between 4000 – 4500. As with most big assignments, the difficulty is keeping it under 4500; however, it is an absolute necessity that you do, as any assignments which are too far over the word count will either be penalised or simply returned.
The assignment contains five sections. It doesn’t matter how you go about approaching your assignment, it will have to contain these five sections, as that is what it is assessed on:
- Specialist Topic Area [1100 words]
- Needs Analysis [900 words]
- Course Proposal [1100 words]
- Assessment [1100 words]
- Conclusion 
For these five areas to be successful, Cambridge states in its handbook that candidates need to do the following:
- Review the relevant literature of their chosen topic area and identify key issues
- Explain how they identified the needs of a chosen group of learners, and how they used diagnostic tests to establish learning priorities
- Design a course of at least 20 hours, providing a rationale for its design, goals and teaching approach
- Outline how the proposed course design relates to the issues identified in the introduction
The assignment is actually submitted as two files. The first file contains all of the background work and rationale: this is the main chunk of your work.
The second file is basically a folder of appendices. However, Cambridge is very specific about what can and cannot go into this file. As such, it may contain the following:
- Needs analysis materials
- Diagnostic tests
- Graph of results
- Course outline
- Course evaluation materials as well as formative/summative testing
- Sample materials or a summary of materials
You can refer to coursebooks and materials throughout your assignment. Some successful assignments have even been based around a single coursebook – this can be done provided that the materials fit the needs and outcomes of the course. However, what is of paramount importance is that you reference every single item of material you use, be it published or online. Cambridge takes poor refering seriously, so you could either lose marks or even be accused of plagiarism.
Some Guidance and Advice
The Delta Handbook 2010, provided by Cambridge and available to download here, contains a lot of guidance for candidates when it comes to Module 3, as it is aware many candidates will do this module without having followed a course of study.
Although the learners are at the centre of this assignment, the initial focus at the beginnign of each section is the background knowledge and specialism. For example: when you write the section on Needs Analysis, you need to start off by talking about Needs Anlysis in general and the theories and principles which underpin it, with plenty of quotes and references. Once you have covered that, then you turn to your specific learners and their specific Needs Analysis, relating what you have found out back to the general principle and theories you discussed at the start of the section. This approach of Theories/Princples – Specific to your learners – Theories/Principles is repeated throughout each section.
One the biggest mistakes many candidates make is choosing a specialism before investigating the learners and their needs. Your specialism, as well as the course design itself, needs to reflect what you discovered from the learners. As a result, you are probably best off choosing your specialism and your focus only after you have met and surveyed the learners.
You can download an example of a Module 3 Assignment as well as the appendices of a Module 3 assignment here. These are only to be used as an example: Cambridge takes plagiarism very seriously and the consequences are not light.