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What is DELTA Module 3?


DELTA Module 3

What is Cambridge DELTA? Cambridge DELTA is a post-CELTA qualification for teachers who already have experience. Many teachers do it because they're interested in learning more about teaching and about broadening their skills, and others do it because it's often required to work in senior posts in schools like academic managers or teacher trainers.


What are the DELTA modules?

DELTA is made up of three modules. Module 1 is assessed with an exam, looking at theories of language and language learning. Module 2 is assessed with teaching practice and assignments, looking at classroom practice. Module 3 is assessed with an assignment, reporting on a project into a specialist area of teaching.


Do I have to do the DELTA modules in order?

No. The modules can be done in any order you like. Their order is logical, moving from theory to practice as you go from module 1 to module 2 and moving from general to specific as you go from module 2 to module 3.


Does a DELTA certificate have an expiry date?

No. Teaching qualifications like CELTA and DELTA are lifelong and don't expire. Cambridge issue a certificate for each module and you can apply for a joint certificate for the qualification as a whole once you've received all three certificates. This means that you can complete the modules over an extended period of time and do them all in one school or in different schools and you'll still get one joint certificate in the end.


What is DELTA Module 3?

Module 3 is essentially an assignment you write based on a research project. The assignment is 4000-4500 words and it can be submitted electronically to Cambridge in early June or early December each year.


The assignment must be based on one of the following areas:

  • Business English

  • Teaching young learners/young adults

  • English for Specific Purposes

  • English for Academic Purposes

  • Teaching examination classes

  • Teaching one-to-one

  • ESOL learners with literacy needs

  • CLIL/Embedded ESOL

  • Teaching monolingual classes

  • Teaching multilingual classes

  • Teaching in an English-speaking environment

  • Teaching in a non-English-speaking environment

  • Teaching learners online/through distance/blended learning

  • Teaching English to learners with special requirements, e.g. visual/ hearing impairment, dyslexia, autism spectrum disorder

  • Language development for teachers

  • Language support (e.g. on mainstream teaching programmes, specialist skills support, such as supporting writing needs)


Before you write your assignment, you'll need to select one of these areas to work on. Think carefully about this. While it can be a noble idea to try and learn about something you don't know very much about, it's also storing up future problems for yourself, so most people would recommend choosing a specialism that you have some experience with. I think it is also important to think about which students you can easily access, as you'll need to access a group or an individual student that fits into the category that you're specialising in. Access to the right students can make or break a Module 3 project, so think carefully about this.


What should be included in the DELTA Module 3 assignment?

There are five sections to be completed:

  1. Introduction (background): this section is an overview of what you have learned about the specialist area from your own experience and from your reading. You should say why you chose this specialist area and give a review of the most important texts and issues in the area. This section of the assignment should be up to 1100 words.

  2. Needs analysis: you'll need to conduct some needs analysis with the chosen students. This could be through needs analysis questionnaires, or learner interviews or observations. You'll also need to give the student(s) a diagnostic test to see what they know. This section will include information on why you chose the student(s), why you chose to do needs analysis in the way you did and an analysis of the outcome of your needs analysis and diagnostic test. This section should be up to 900 words.

  3. Course plan: you need to write a course programmes for your student(s). You'll need to show an understanding of background reading in the area of course planning. You'll also need to show how this plan meets the needs of the students as identified in the previous section. This part of the assignment should be up to 1100 words.

  4. Evaluation: here you'll describe how you'll assess the student(s) and how you will evaluate learning during the course. In this section, you'll need to demonstrate an understanding of theories of assessment and evaluation. This section of the assignment should be up to 1000 words.

  5. Conclusion: you'll finish your assignment by linking everything together. You'll need to review the potential strengths and pitfalls of your course plan and assessment tools and to link this to the background reading on the specialist area in part one. This section of the assignment should be up to 400 words.


Many people say that the assignment itself is straightforward and logical, but the challenge lies in reviewing literature in four areas - (1) your specialist teaching area, (2) course planning, (3) needs analysis and (4) assessment, and linking all of this to a real group of students while coming up with a realistic and well-justified course plan. Most people will need two to three months to complete this module and will need the support of a qualified tutor.


DC Teacher Training run a 10-week online Module 3 preparation course on Zoom. You can find out more here.


Dr Connor O'Donoghue hails from Ireland and he started teaching English as a foreign language in Poland in 2003 and he became a CELTA trainer in 2008. He has taught and trained in Ireland, the UK, France, Italy, Slovenia, Macedonia, Poland, Russia, Kazakhstan and Vietnam. Connor also holds a Masters and a PhD in Education from Trinity College in Dublin. He has previously managed large teacher training centres in Vietnam and in London before founding DC Teacher Training.

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