DELTA

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Distance learning for teachers – is it right for you?

It’s a pleasure to introduce this guest post from Phil Wade. He shares some useful advice for teachers thinking of undertaking distance study.

I did my first TEFL course with i-to-i about 18 years ago and as a follow-up, I took a distance course. At that time, it was by mail so they sent me some books and tasks and I sent them back in a rather heavy envelope.

10 years later I started hearing about MOOCs and the Khan academy and looked into online TEFL MAs. It was tough as the idea of ‘distance study’ seemed to vary a lot between universities. There were some with residentials and others with weekend attendance but bolstered by ‘online modules’. This started changing so I jumped at the chance of taking what came to be called a ‘fully online course’. After that, I took the DELTA module 3 online, some LearnDash MOOCs, participated in the EVO sessions, completed 2 online coaching courses and recently started a fully online postgrad. I also moved to the other side of the screen, teaching online for a bit and tutoring the Cert iBET course.

I have learned a lot from studying online, and for a teacher who cannot relocate for a month or a year just to study it provides me access to the best of PD from my laptop. However, it does not suit everyone. Many classmates have fallen for one reason or another. The ‘motivation’ issue is not to be underestimated and the workload too. I’d like to share some questions you can ask yourself to see if distance study is for you. (more…)

Perceptions of the DipTESOL

If you’re about to finish the Trinity DipTESOL, prepare yourself. You’ll soon have one of the most poorly understood qualifications in ELT.dip1

I finished mine in late 2014. Since then, I’ve had 3 different DELTA-qualified teachers suggest that my next step should be to take their Cambridge-accredited course. At least a handful of teachers have commented that I took the ‘easy DELTA’. My old boss all but dismissed my qualification by stating that the assessment ‘does appear less rigorous than the DELTA’. I’ve come across a fair few job adverts where the requirements ask for ‘DELTA or equivalent’ – my qualification isn’t even mentioned by name!

I can’t honestly say which is a harder course, I haven’t taken both and I don’t intend to. I’ll soon sit down with a DELTA-qualified colleague and record a conversation comparing our experiences of the two courses, which should be pretty interesting. I’ll post it up once it’s done. In the meantime, here are some of the most common perceptions I’ve encountered about the Trinity DipTESOL in the last year or so, and my own thoughts on them. Feel free to comment, disagree, and share some of your own experiences of both courses. (more…)

Test your knowledge: Second Language Acquisition

Here’s the last of my online quizzes for now, although plenty more will follow as they’re fun to make! This time, Second Language Acquisition (SLA). You’ll find questions covering things like the Accommodation theory, Acculturation Model and Universal Grammar. I hope it helps.

I’ll make a Part 2 to this quiz soon as there’s plenty more to cover. If you have any requests for a particular quiz, just ask.

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Test your knowledge: the Sounds of English

Here are a few quizzes to test your knowledge of the phonemic chart. I’ve based the questions on information in Sound Foundations (Underhill, 2005) and The Book of Pronunciation (Marks and Bowen, 2012).

The quizzes are designed to help people revising for the DipTESOL phonology interview, but they are open to all. They are by no means comprehensive, so if you fancy making another one I can add it into the post.

Note: clicking on the picture links to the quiz. For some reason I couldn’t embed them into the post, which is really annoying!

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quiz part 2

What were the last 10 teaching books you used?

Last week my boss Martin Sketchley (eltexperiences) was sitting next to me compiling his list of recommended reading for the CELTA. It made me think about resource and reference books in general, and how I use them. I thought it would be an interesting self-development task to look at the last 10 ELT books I used, and explore what they tell me about my teaching. (more…)

DipTESOL Tip – Phonology based activities

I found ‘Phonological Theory in Classroom Practice’ the most useful module on the DipTESOL. It really encourages you to try out new activities and integrate phonology into your lessons. During the final assessment for the module (which is a 30-minute interview), the examiner asked me a fair few questions on phonology in my own practice. I came out of the interview thinking this:

‘Phew, I’m glad I actually tried all that stuff out in class so I had something to talk about!’

My advice is to experiment with phonology based activities a lot during the course. Below I’ve listed a few tips to help you integrate phonology into your practice. These are all based on my experience during the 9 month distance DipTESOL course. It’s only a small insight into this topic, but I hope it gives you a few ideas. (more…)