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Delta Course in Cape Town

Course Participants

Delta (Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults) is for practising teachers and Delta Modules can be taken at any stage of a teacher’s career. It is a post-graduate level qualification. The Modules can be taken in any order, any number of times. 

Delta candidates will

  • normally hold an initial teaching qualification enabling them to teach English in their own context.
  • have a range of experience of teaching different levels in one or more contexts.
  • have a level of written and spoken English which enables them to teach advanced level students.
  • be able to research and present written assignments to the required standard.

Delta Modules may also be taken by

  • Teachers who wish to refresh their teaching knowledge.
  • Teachers who wish to review and update their practice.
  • Teachers who wish to extend their expertise in a specialist area.

Delta Modules

The course is closely monitored by University of Cambridge English Language Assessment Examinations and all trainers are approved Delta trainers. There are three Modules and candidates can take any combination of modules. Each Module is assessed independently and is separately certificated. The written exam can be taken at Good Hope Studies Cape Town in June or December.

Module Title Assessement Format
One Understanding Language, Methodology and Resources for Teaching A written examination consisting of two parts, each 1 hour 30 minutes (externally marked)
Two Developing Professional Practice Assessed assignments incorporating background essays and observed teaching
Three Extended Practice and ELT Specialism (E.g. Teaching young learners, English for Special Purposes, Teaching one-to-one) An extended assignment of 4,000 – 4,500 words (externally marked)

Course Syllabus

The course programme focuses on the following areas:

Module One

  • Theoretical perspectives on language acquisition and language teaching.
  • Different approaches and methodologies including current developments.
  • Language systems and learners’ linguistic problems.
  • Language skills and learners’ problems.
  • Knowledge of resources, materials and reference sources for language learning.
  • Key concepts and terminology related to assessment. 

Module Two

  • The language learner and the language learning context.
  • Preparation for teaching English language learners.
  • Evaluating, selecting and using resources and materials for teaching purposes.
  • Managing and supporting learning.
  • Evaluation of lesson preparation and teaching.
  • Observation/evaluation of other teachers’ lessons.
  • Professionalism and opportunities for professional development.

Module Three

  • Research into specialist areas.
  • Syllabus design: principles, influences on, methodological effects of, and major syllabus types as applied to the specific learning context.
  • Designing syllabus and teaching programmes to meet the needs of learners in the specific context of their selected specialism.
  • Course design and development in the specific context of their selected specialism.
  • The principles and practice of testing and assessment and application to the candidate’s specialist area.
  • Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness and quality of courses and programmes of study.


Module One

Two 1.5 hour papers with a 30-minute break in between. Paper 1 has five tasks and Paper 2 has four. All tasks are compulsory. There is no minimum or maximum word length and answers can be written in continuous prose, bulleted lists, notes, grids or tables. There are a total of 200 marks available. Timings for each task give an indication of the number of marks available. Results are awarded as Pass with Distinction, Pass with Merit, Pass or Fail. 

Module Two

Five assignments which are completed during a Delta course. Results are awarded as Pass with Distinction, Pass with Merit, Pass or Fail.

Candidates complete

  • a two-part Professional Development Assignment.
  • two Language Systems Assignments.
  • two language Skills Assignments.

The Professional Development Assignment includes two parts

  • Reflection and Action (2,000-2,500 words).
  • Experimental Practice (2,000-2,500 words).

Each Systems/Skills Assignment includes

  • a background essay (2,000-2,500 words) in which the candidate explores an area of language systems/skills and considers related teaching and learning issues.
  • planning, teaching and evaluation of a lesson related to the chosen area. 

Module Three

A 4,000-4,500 word Extended Assignment (excluding appendices). There is no set time limit, but the assignment has to be submitted through an approved Cambridge English Language Assessment Centre in time for the centre to submit it to Cambridge English Language Assessment by the set submission date in either June or December. The assignment must be submitted electronically. Results are awarded as Pass with Distinction, Pass with Merit, Pass or Fail. 

Further information about Delta Modules

Course Organisation

Classroom teaching

Candidates will teach specially arranged TP (teaching practice) classes for the duration of the course. It is necessary to teach two levels and so candidates will work in two TP groups which will swap classes midway through the course. Observation times will be arranged with candidates at the start of each week. In the first weeks of the course all candidates will be observed at least once for developmental purposes; thereafter the observations will largely follow the Delta coursework requirements although additional observations can still take place. Oral and written feedback is given after each observation, whether part of assessed coursework or not.

Candidates must complete ten hours of directed observation of suitably experienced teachers, which may be live or filmed lessons. These observations will be scheduled mainly for the early weeks of the course so candidates gain maximum benefit from them, and also to avoid overburdening candidates later on when the load of assessed coursework is heavier. 


There is a total of around 90 hours of input, scheduled in 2.5-hour blocks from Monday to Friday. Tutorials and post-lesson feedback sessions will be organised throughout the course in addition to this. 

Additional tasks

Outside the course hours, you will be required to: 

  • Do pre-sessional reading tasks.
  • Do a lot of reading and research (approximately 100 hours over the course).
  • Prepare presentations of your reading and research for the group.
  • Write a number of written tasks in preparation for the examination.
  • Do post-sessional consolidation tasks. 

Classroom Development

To get the most out of the course an organised approach to teaching development is needed, even when not observed and assessed by your tutors. This means: 

  • Research a number of areas.
  • Plan lessons carefully and devote your energy to experimentation and extension of your teaching skills.
  • Formally reflect on and evaluate your lessons, producing written summaries of lessons’ strengths and weaknesses and action plans for future improvement. 

Reading and research

In your assignments you will need to be able to quote relevantly from ELT literature. Because the course is short, you will need to be selective in what you read. It is not a good idea to ‘plod through’ books from beginning to end. For one thing, you simply haven’t got time. More importantly, it isn’t necessary. Prior to the course, it is useful to get an overview of the books available and skim them initially to find out what they cover. When you come to do your assignments, you will then have an idea where to look for particular kinds of information. In the assignments themselves, references to the literature will be judged on their relevance to the topic you are discussing, not the number of quotes you manage to get in. More generally, clear and relevant argument is more important than showing that you know lots of big words and authors’ names.

Workload, stress and being organised

Some points to consider

It should be apparent from the above that the course is extremely demanding and requires full commitment on the part of participants. There is a great deal of material to be covered on the course, and participants usually feel the pressure of assimilating this. Course participants may find it a considerable strain to be observed regularly by tutors and peers in class, particularly if it is a long time since they have been observed. In fact, in spite of course participants’ willingness to improve their teaching skills, it can often be more difficult than expected to accept suggestions made and incorporate them into teaching. One of the aims of the observations is to question received wisdom and to encourage participants to re-evaluate as well as consolidate their approach to teaching; participants should be prepared to do this. 

Your course notes

There will be a lot of handouts right from the start of the course, and it will help you to think about how you are going to organise your notes before you start the course. You are strongly advised to provide yourself, from the outset, with at least one A4 ring-binder file with dividers. 

Your portfolio

You are required to keep a portfolio of your observed lessons and documentation related to the assignment. Some of this documentation will be sent to Cambridge ESOL at the end of the course for moderation and will not be returned to you. If you want copies of the contents, then you are responsible for making these. We will provide you with a folder for your portfolio. 

Time management

You will need to be a good time manager, so that you can keep to assignment deadlines and fulfil other requirements such as pre-session tasks, TP liaison meetings, background reading, etc. If you don’t use a diary regularly, it might help you to do so for the purposes of this course. 

Typical daily timetable

This is a typical timetable for the course, although it is possible that precise timings will be different for your particular course.

09.30 – 11.30 Teaching Practice (TP)
12.30 – 13.15 Feedback
13.15 – 13.45 Consultations
13.45 – 16.30 Input (including 15 minute break)