|DELTA-001| What is the DELTA? – an overview

Hello Exam Seekers,

Have you ever heard about DELTA?


No, no, no… Not the DELTAs above, but the Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

According to Cambridge, DELTA deepens your knowledge and understanding of English language teaching, to help you progress in your career. It is suitable if you are an existing teacher working in any teaching context.

But, What is the DELTA?


The DELTA is a combination of 3 modules certificate. If you are looking for this certificate, it means that you have already been over the previous ones: TKT modules, CELTA and ICELT.

It is one of the top certifications according to the CEFR – Cambridge Teacher Development Framework, as you can see above.


After the Delta, there is only the EMI Skills and the Train the Trainer:

The EMI Skills is a certificate for those who work in the medium of English, for example, university professors, lecturers, tutors and researchers whose first language is not English.

The Train the Trainer is a face-to-face course for experienced teachers who need to train English language teachers.

The IDLTM (International Diploma in Language Teaching Management),  was discontinued as of June 2016 by Cambridge, but the University of Queensland still offers it.

So, the DELTA is basically the last certificate teachers tend to look for. It is quite famous here in Brazil, but people around the world don’t actually go for it.


What are the models about?

It covers all the areas of knowledge at an advanced level. Each of the three modules is assessed separately and they include theory and practice.

Module 1 – Understanding Language, Methodology and Resources for Teaching

  • A written examination consisting of two parts each 1 hour 30 minutes long.

Module 2 – Developing Professional Practice

  • Assessed assignments incorporating background essays and observed teaching.

Module 3 – Extending Practice and ELT Specialism

  • An extended assignment of (4,000-4,500 words).


Requirements for the DELTA:

There is only one requirement: BE at a C1/C2 level of English according to the CEFR. However, you don’t have to own a CAE or a CPE certificate, you basically have to show that you have language enough.

On the other hand, it is good if you have other certificates before looking for the DELTA. Cambridge does not necessarily require the CELTA, but each center has its own requirements, and most of them ask that a candidate who is trying for the DELTA, has already taken the CELTA and a CAE or a CPE. Remember that the CELTA is the Certificate and DELTA is the Diploma, so it makes sense that you take one before aiming for the other – not only for the number of certificates you are going to sum by the end of your career but it’s a preparation for the DELTA Modules.

Another important thing is: you don’t need to take all the three modules!!! Some people only take the course (module 2) and others just take the test (module 1), but the truth is that you are not required to take all of them, you can choose to take only one or two of them. Whatever/whichever you choose, you will get a certificate for it :).


Format and Results:

The DELTA is very flexible. You can take it either full-time or part-time face-to-face courses. Online and distance learning options are also available.

You don’t have to take them all at the same time, you can take the course of module 2 first and when you feel you are ready for the module 1 test you can sit for it. It is up to you.

If everything goes according to plan, candidates will receive the statement of results approximately two months after the examination/submission date, and the certificates will arrive approximately 6 weeks after.

Successful candidates will be awarded a certificate for each module. Grades vary between Pass, Pass with Merit, Pass with Distinction or a Fail.


Why take the DELTA?

If it is so hard as it seems, why take the Delta? People take the DELTA for different reasons:

  • It can help you improve in your career and get higher positions in your job.
  • It can increase the amount of knowledge about the English language.
  • It can help you update your teaching knowledge/skills.
  • It can prepare you to higher teaching positions and other qualifications (some MA programs accept the DELTA as school credits: 20 per module).
  • It is recognized around the world with excellence.

In the end, it is another certificate, one that proves that you have an extremely high level of knowledge in the teaching field. So why not take it?

If you have any other question about it, you can check the Cambridge website or ask us in the comment section below.

Have a nice weekend,
Patty and Eve.

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