Delta Module 2 – Developing Professional Practice, a.k.a The big one. This is what Delta is famous (or perhaps infamous?) for. It is the module where everything about your teaching is put under a microscope, you are asked to go further into the world of ELT and linguistics, and you complete a seemingly endless amount of tasks, research projects and, of course, assessed lessons.
Module 2 is big so I’m going to break it down into bite-sized chunks. We will first look at the major components, then I will talk about my own Module 2 experience, and finally some tips.
What does Module 2 consist of?
Language skills/systems assignments (LSA): These are the assessed lessons. In total, you will complete six of these bad boys, however the first two are unassessed. For each LSA you will have a focus, either a skill (speaking, listening, reading or writing) or a system (grammar, lexis, phonology or discourse). You need to write up not only a lesson plan (which is extremely detailed) but also a background assignment detailing the findings from your reading, and a post-lesson reflection. I will go into detail about the LSAs at a later stage.
The professional development assignment (PDA): This is assignment is actually two assignments in one. The first part is a reflective essay that is done in three stages – at the start, middle and end of the course. In this essay, you identify areas of improvement for your teaching and how you intend to work on them. You then evaluate how the process you took to do this (the methods) and the results from the data collected. The second part is the experimental practice. In this part, you choose a technique, methodology, approach, etc. from ELT that you have little experience with, research and teach a lesson using that technique, etc., and then evaluate it.
Input sessions/tasks: If you do a face-to-face course, you will do input sessions that cover many aspects of teaching, such as teaching grammar lessons and teaching-learning roles. If you complete the module via distance, then these will be given to you in either video or PDF format. At the end of each input session/task, you are then required to write up an essay responding to questions that relate to the content covered.
Peer observations: As well as being observed, you are required to observe other teachers (either Delta trainees or Delta-qualified teachers). Each of these observations has a specific focus, e.g. Interaction patterns, and following the observation you need to write a short report on what you observed and how this makes you reflect on your teaching. You must observe ten lessons in total.
And, that’s pretty much it! Well, you still have to take into consideration that you need to complete all of this in nine months while working. It’s pretty crazy at times, but well worth it!
My Module 2 experience.
I, as does every Delta-qualified teacher, think that Module 2 was a stressful time, however extremely worthwhile. I completed Module 2 via distance with ITI Istanbul (Sally and the team there are phenomenal – highly recommended) whilst I was teaching full time in Spain. I will keep the details about each of the parts here brief, however should you want more detail, feel free to contact me.
The LSAs: Each LSA takes a phenomenal amount of time and trying to fit everything in whilst I was working full-time was very difficult, however not impossible. You would have heard about the detail that goes into each lesson plan, no? Well, that is only one component. The part that required the most time, for me at least, was the background assignments, which involved doing the research on the topic that I had chosen, synthesizing it, and then presenting it in a manner that made sense. For each LP (including the teaching that takes place) and BA, you can receive one of four grades: fail, pass, pass with merit or pass with distinction. For a more detailed understanding of these grades, go have a look at the Cambridge Handbook for Candidate and Tutors. In the overview below, you can see what my focuses were and the grades I received:
- Unassessed LSA 1: Multi-word verbs
- Unassessed LSA 2: Turn-taking
- LSA 1: Systems – Lexis – Multi-word verbs (BA – Merit; LP – Pass)
- LSA 2: Skills – Speaking – Turn-taking (BA – Merit; LP – Pass)
- LSA 3: Systems – Grammar – Clefting (BA – Merit; LP – Merit)
- LSA 4 (external): Skills – Reading – The gapped text
For LSA 4, you get externally assessed, i.e. Cambridge assigns someone from a different Delta centre to come and observe your lesson. You don’t receive feedback from this nor do you find out your grades (although you can pay for a report). It is perhaps the most nerve-racking part of Module 2. When I had my external, I was very nervous, however I think the most nervous people in the room were my learners! I used the same class (B2 teens) for the majority of my Delta lessons and so they knew what was at stake. Whilst the lesson didn’t go fully according to plan (no lesson ever does or, perhaps, should) it went really well and we were all super happy in the end.
Oh, and for those of you wanting extra information regarding the focuses I chose, I will be writing separate blogs on each of them. They will be written in a more general sense, however will be useful for Delta nonetheless.
The PDA: The PDA certainly is where I not only became more reflective in teaching but also more aware of how to collect and what constitutes reliable data. There is no perfect way to complete the PDA, however the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it.
The reflective essay really pushed me to think about what my strengths and weaknesses were as a teacher, and, consequently, what I could do to further amplify my strengths or rectify my weaknesses. Initially, you write about your teaching in general and some of the things you have noticed while writing and completing your unassessed LSAs, then the tutor gives you feedback; I wrote that I believe my weaknesses included excessive content, TTT, instructions and exploiting learning strategies, and I created action points to reflect this (e.g. I will create more opportunities to exploit learners strategies over the next month). I also chose a number of data collection methods (questionnaires, videoing, etc.) that I would use to measure how much progress I made. This process is repeated another two times throughout the course, each of the times being a reflection on what you have learned, evaluation of the data collection methods, and what you plan to do next (after having identified other weaknesses).
My experimental was based around Suggestopedia. I created a lesson for YLs using the Suggestopedia methodology and then evaluated the method, lesson outcomes, etc. This lesson was extremely rewarding as I had never worked with or done any research on Suggestopedia previously – everything was relatively new to me. This really pushed me to try and evaluate new techniques and activities, and then work out how they can be used in a more eclectic classroom. One example of this is the concept of peripheral learning which is the idea of placing posters, pictures, diagrams, etc. around the classroom that relate specifically to the content being focused on during the course, term, chapter, etc. The idea behind this is that learners not only learn from the content that the teacher provides but also the learning environment – we as teachers should exploit this. For a more detailed picture of peripheral learning, consult Jane Bancroft’s (1999) Suggestopedia and Language Acquisition.
Input sessions/task: As I took Delta via distance, I completed the ‘tasks’ option. All of the course tasks are ready to be completed from the beginning of the course, however generally you follow the order as dictated by your tutor. The initial tasks I completed were all related to what Module 2 was, what is expected of me, etc. Then, I got into the nitty-gritty stuff – L1 in the classroom, classroom management, discourse focus lessons, etc. The average time to complete one of these tasks was about 3 hours – some took more, some less.
Peer observations: Doing the distance Delta, I had no other candidates to observe. So, I had to either observe other Delta-qualified teachers (there are a couple at the school in which I work) or observed filmed lessons that were supplied by ITI. I really enjoyed the peer observations not only for the fact that I got to watch other teachers teach (which enabled me to steal many ideas!), but it eliminated the idea that observation is about appraisal or looking for negative aspects of teaching – this was my view on observations prior to taking Delta. Observations are tools for development and should be used as such!
Note: If you would like to view any of my assignments (LSAs or PDA) please contact me via the contact page. Be warned, though, that Cambridge takes plagiarism extremely seriously; you are more than welcome to view my work, however you must not use any of it.
Module 2 is long and, at times, mentally straining. Below are some tips that I think will help you get through it all, hopefully happy and content!
- Give notice. Give your employer fair warning that you are doing Module 2 so that they can allow you extra time throughout the year to study. I was very lucky in that my DoS had already taken Delta and was fully aware of what I needed to do. She gave me plenty of space and made sure that I was left largely to myself around assessment time. Thanks Katy!
- Plan. If you are doing Module 2 via distance, plan your year. ITI supplied me a proposed timetable for the year and I tried to follow this as best as I could. It is very easy at the start to go through at a relaxed pace, however this will come back to bite you at a later stage as there is a lot more heavy work to be done in the final stages.
- Read. You will need to devote plenty of time to reading, as with any of the Delta Modules, so make sure that you are well stocked up on books specific to your focus and have cleared your schedule. I will put a recommended reading list at the bottom of this blog.
- Make friends with Word. You will be using Word a lot. You need to be friends with Word. You need to know the ins and the outs of Word. It will make your life a whole lot easier. The amount of time I wasted copying and pasting headings into the table of contents when there was a button that did this all automatically right in front of me… oh it drives me insane to think about all the time I could have saved. Check out this site for a good overview of the most of things you need to know.
- Invest. Invest time in the PDA. The LSAs are big and I think they push the PDA out of the spotlight a little, however the PDA is, in my mind, one of the most important components of Delta.
- Focus. One of the most difficult parts of the LSAs is choosing a focus. Be specific, don’t chose something that you cannot cover in the 2500-word limit. Ahmad gives a nice overview of how to choose a focus/title for your LSA here.
- Use. One of the most important things to do is to use the knowledge you are gaining during Delta in all aspects of your teaching, not just in your Delta lessons. So, that new technique you discovered? Use it and evaluate it. Haven’t tried the Silent Way before but you’ve done your experimental? Who cares, try it! Read about a new way to teach cleft sentences? Give it a crack and then maybe you can use this knowledge in your next LSA. The point I’m trying to make here is that you shouldn’t try and save everything for the LSAs – try it out before, or after, with different classes, levels, learners, etc.
- Smile. With every assignment, task, and lesson completed, you get one step closer to finishing the Module. Make sure you have a little celebration after each of them. Whether that’s taking the rest of the Saturday afternoon off to spend time with friends or simply having a glass of wine whilst sitting on the balcony, be sure you do it. Otherwise, you’re going to be an extremely tightly-wound person for nine months.
The fact that you are here should make it clear that there are numerous blogs with an awesome amount of useful information regarding Module 2. Here are some of the most useful that I have found so far:
Sandy Millin’s blog I have mentioned in previous posts, but I will mention it again. This blog guided me numerous times during Module 2, and I think you will find it very interesting.
Lizzie Pinard’s blog is full of information, tips on writing LSAs, as well as much, much more. Definitely check it out.
Ahmad’s blog is very useful if you’re looking for tips for making the little but important things in Module 2 easier. He also has loads of information about lots of other ELT-related matters.
ELT Concourse. Wow. This site should be in your bookmarks. Just go and check it out.
As well as the blogs, you will obviously need to be reading the relevant books and articles. I could write many books here, but what I will do is write the bibliography for each of my LSAs and PDA. If you would like to see a complete recommended reading list, have a look here.
LSA 1 – Multi-word verbs:
- Ballard, K (2001). The Frameworks of English. Hampshire: Palgrave.
- Chang, J (1987). Chinese Speakers. In Learner English, 224 – 237. Cambridge: CUP.
- Consigny, A (2006). The polysemy (?) of phrasal verbs in English. Word, Volume 57, Number 1, 01 – 25.
- Crystal, D (1987). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language. Cambridge: CUP.
- De Cock, S (2006). Learners and phrasal verbs. MED Magazine, Issue 35. Accessed 18 Oct 2017 (http://www.macmillandictionaries.com/MED-Magazine/February2006/35-Phrasal-Verbs-Learners.htm).
- Ellis, R (1985). Understanding Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Fletcher, B (2005). Register and phrasal verbs. MED Magazine, Issue 33. Accessed 20 October 2017 (http://www.macmillandictionaries.com/MED-Magazine/September2005/33-Phrasal-Verbs-Register.htm).
- Gardner, D & Davies, M (2007). Pointing Out Frequent Phrasal Verbs: A Corpus-Based Analysis. TESOL Quarterly, Volume 41, No.2, 339 – 359.
- Gairns, R & Redman, S (1986). Working with words. A guide to teaching and learning vocabulary. Cambridge: CUP.
- Garnier, M & Schmitt, N (2015). The PHaVE List: A pedagogical list of phrasal verbs and their most frequent meaning senses. Language Teaching Research 2015, Vol. 19(6) 645– 666.
- Leech, G, Cruickshank, B & Ivanič, R (2001). An A – Z of English Grammar & Use. Edinburgh Gate, Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.
- Marks, J (2005). The truth revealed: phrasal verbs in writing and speech. MED Magazine, Issue 34. Accessed 16 October 2017 (http://www.macmillandictionaries.com/MED-Magazine/October2005/34-Feature-PV-Spoken-Written.htm).
- Parrot, M (2010). Grammar for English Language Teachers. Cambridge: CUP.
- Potter, E (2005). The syntactic behavior of phrasal verbs. MED Magazine, Issue 32, Accessed 16 October 2017 (http://www.macmillandictionaries.com/MED-Magazine/July2005/32-Phrasal-Verbs-Syntactic.htm).
- Puente, P.R (2013). The Development of Phrasal Verbs in British English from 1650 – 1990: A corpus-based study. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation) Universidade De Santiago De Compostela, Santiago, Spain.
- Richards, J, Platt, J & Platt, H (1992). Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics. Longman House: Longman Group UK Limited.
- Rot, S. (1988). On crucial problems of the English verb. Bamberger Beitrágezur Englischen Sprachwissenschaft Band 22, pp. 182-242.
- Side, R (1990). Phrasal verbs: sorting them out. ELT Journal Volume 44/2, 144 – 152.
- Thornbury, S (1997). About Language. Tasks for teachers of English. Cambridge: CUP
- Underhill, A (2005). Pronunciation and Phrasal Verbs. MED Magazine, Issue 34. Accessed 15 October 2017 (http://www.macmillandictionaries.com/MED-Magazine/October2005/34-Phrasal-Verbs-Pron.htm#4c).
LSA 2 – Turn-taking:
- Brown, H.D. (2000). Principles of language learning and teaching – Fourth Edition. White Plains: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.
- Brown, G. & Yule, G. (1983). Teaching the Spoken Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Bygate, M. (1987). Speaking. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Cook, G. (1989). Discourse. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Dörnyei, Z. & Thurell, S. (1994). Teaching conversational skills intensively: course content and rationale. ELT Journal, Volume 48/1, pp. 40 – 49.
- Ford, C. E., Fox, B. A. & Thompson, S. A. (2002). Constituency and the Grammar of Turn Increments. The Language of Turn and Sequence. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Geluykens, R. (2011). Adjacency Pair. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Language Sciences. New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Harmer, J. (2001). The Practice of English Language Teaching. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.
- Hatch, E. (1992). Discourse and Language Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Hughes, R. (2002). Teaching and Researching Speaking. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.
- Keller, E. & Warner, S.T. (1988). Conversation gambits: Real English Conversation Practices. Hove: Language Teaching Publications.
- Lerner, G. H. (2011). Turn-Sharing – The Choral Co-Production of Talk-in-Interaction. The Language of Turn and Sequence. New York: Oxford University Press.
- McCarthy, M. (1991). Discourse Analysis for Language Teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Nolasco, R. & Arthur, L. (1987). Conversation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Richards, J. C. (2006). Communicative Language Teaching Today. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Richards, J.C. (1990). The Language Teaching Matrix. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Richards, J.C, Platt, J. & Platt, H. (1992). Dictionary of Language Teaching & Applied Linguistics – Second Edition. Essex: Longman Group UK Limited.
- Schegloff, E. A. (2007). Sequence Organisation in Interaction – A primer in conversation analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Thornbury, S. (2005). How to teach speaking. Harlow, England: Longman.
- Wilde, J. (2014). Is it my turn yet? English Teaching Professional, Issue 95, pp. 8 – 9.
LSA 3 – Clefting:
- Azevedo, C. (2012, May 05). Movie Segments to Assess Grammar Goals. Retrieved April 23, 2018, from The Karate Kid – Cleft Sentences: https://moviesegmentstoassessgrammargoals.blogspot.com.es/2012/05/karate-kid-cleft-sentences.html
- Calude, A. S. (2007). Demonstrative Clefts in Spoken English. Auckland: The University of Auckland.
- Collins, P. (1991). Cleft and Pseudo-cleft Constructions in English. London: Routledge.
- Cowan, R. (2008). The Teacher’s Grammar of English. New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Di Tullio, A. (2005). Clefting in Spoken Discourse. In K. Brown, Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (2nd Edition ed., pp. 483-491). New York: Elsevier.
- Greenbaum, S. (1992). Cleft Sentence. In T. McArthur, The Oxford Companion to the English Language (pp. 221-222). New York: Oxford University Press.
- Halliday, M. A. (2004). An Introduction to Functional Grammar (3rd Edition ed.). London: Oxford University Press.
- Halliday, M. A. (1967). Notes on transitivity and theme in English, Part 2. Journal of Linguistics, 3, 199-244.
- Huddleston, R., & Pullum, G. K. (2002). The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Hudson, R. (2010). An Introduction to Word Grammar. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Lambrecht, K. (2001). A Framework for the Analysis of Cleft Constructions. Linguistics, 39 (3), 463-516.
- Prince, E. F. (1978). A comparison of WH-clefts and it-clefts in discourse. Language, 883-906.
- Richards, J. C., & Schmidt, R. (2002). Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics (3rd Edition ed.). Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.
- Storton, R. R. (2017). Straight to Advanced – Students book. –: Macmillan Education.
- Willis, D. (2003). Rules, Patterns and Words. Grammar and Lexis in English Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
LSA 4 – The Gapped text.
- Afflerbach, P., Pearson, P. D., & Paris, S. G. (2008). Clarifying Differences Between Reading Skills and Reading Strategies. The Reading Teacher, 61 (5), 364–373.
- Alderson, J. C. (2000). Assessing Reading. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Birch, B. (2002). English L2 Reading – Getting to the bottom. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
- Bouchard, M. (2005). Comprehension Strategies for English Language Learners. New York: Scholastic Inc.
- Brown, H. D. (2007). Teaching by Principles – An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy. White Plains: Pearson Education Limited.
- Grabe, W. (2009). Reading in a Second Language – Moving from theory to practice. New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Lems, K., Miller, L., & Soro, T. (2010). Teaching Reading to English Language Learners. New York: The Guilford Press.
- Mann, M., & Taylore-Knowles, S. (2014). Reading for First. London: Macmillan Education.
- O’Dell, F., & Black, M. (2015). Advanced Trainer (2nd Edition ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Richards, J. C., & Schmidt, R. (2010). The Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics (4th Edition ed.). Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.
- Thornbury, S. (2005). Beyond the Sentence – Introducing discourse analysis. Oxford: Macmillan Education.
- Wyatt, R. (2002). First Certificate Games and Activities. London: Penguin Books LTD.
PDA Experimental – Suggestopedia:
- Bancroft, W. J. (1994). Suggestopedia and Memory training in the Foreign Language Classroom. ERIC documents on Foreign Language Teaching and Linguistics, 19 pp. ED 377 685.
- Bancroft, W. J. (2005). Suggestopedia and Language acquisition – Variations on a theme. Amsterdam: Gordon and Breach Publishers.
- Brown, H. D. (2000). Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. White Plains: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.
- Dipamo, B. & Job, R. F. S. (1991). A methodological review of studies of SALT (Suggestive-accelerative learning and teaching) techniques. Australian Journal of Educational technology, 7(2), pp. 127 – 143.
- Hagiwara, K. (2010). Suggestopedia: creativity in language teaching and beyond. THE LANGUAGE TEACHER: 34.4, pp. 27 – 28.
- Larsen-Freeman, D. (2000). Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching – Second Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Lozanov, G. (1978). Suggestology and Outlines on Suggestopedy. New York: Gordon and Breach.
- Richards, J. & Rodgers, T.S. (2001). Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching – Second Edition. New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Richards, J. & Schmidt, R. (2010). Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics – Fourth Edition. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.
- Scovel, T. (1979). Review of Suggestology and Outlines of Suggestopedy. TESOL Quarterly, 13, pp. 255 – 266.
So, I look back at what I have written and I realise that there is so much more I would like to tell you, however the blog would go on forever. Plus, there needs to be some element of discovery, as with all types of learning. Hopefully, though, I have provided you with a base for you to work off, but if you have any questions, are lost or feel I have missed anything out, please don’t hesitate to get in contact!