DELTA Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults

DELTA is suitable for candidates who have substantial experience teaching English to speakers of other languages. DELTA is internationally recognized and will help candidate’s progress in their career. DELTA will help you:

  • Better understand the principles and practice of teaching English to adults
  • Examine your current practices and beliefs
  • Apply what you learn to your current teaching position and more senior roles

Who is DELTA for?

If you are a graduate or already hold an initial teaching qualification, you can apply for DELTA to help you progress further in your career as it will show a commitment to the profession and is proof that you are capable of taking on new responsibilities. You may also want to increase your understanding of the principles and practice of teaching English; DELTA will help you analyze your existing practices and beliefs as well as encouraging you to apply what you have learned to your current professional life.

Who does DELTA involve?

DELTA can be taken full time and part time. DELTA courses combine theory and practice to enhance your understanding of English while showing you the principals of effective teaching and the practical skills you will need to teach adult learners

DELTA courses include:

  • Teaching practice
  • Observation of experienced teachers in the classroom
  • Completion of a range of practically focused written assignments
  • An extended assignment
  • A written examination

There are six main units of learning:

  • Understanding, knowledge and awareness of language
  • The background to teaching and learning English at adult level
  • Resources and materials
  • Working in the classroom
  • Evaluation, monitoring and assessment
  • Professional development

As part of the DELTA course you will be can expect to have 120 contact hours with other candidates and course tutors and 10 hours of teaching adults. Four lessons are supervised and assessed by the tutor and one lesson is externally assessed. You will also have 10 hours of observing lessons being taught by experienced teachers. You will also be spending around 300 hours on reading, research and assignment writing.

The DELTA Modules

Delta modules can be taken by teachers no matter what stage they are at during their career. They are suitable for in-service teachers and are intended for an international audience of non-first language or first language teachers of English. Candidates taking Delta module one, two and three usually have an initial ELT qualification and have at least one years’ ELT experience. Teachers who want to refresh their teaching knowledge as well as those who wish to review and update their practice can take delta modules. It is also suitable for teachers who simply want to extend their expertise in a specialist area. Success in the Delta modules prepares you for more senior teaching roles and will help your progress into areas such as MA in linguistics and language teaching.

Module One: Understanding language, methodology and resources for teaching (20 credits). This module focuses on background to teaching and learning English in a range of contexts. Content areas:

  • 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

This module is assessed through written examination


Module Two: Developing Professional Practice (20 credits).Aim of this module is to test the knowledge of the elements of planning and preparing a lesson and how to select and use resources and material. Content areas:

  • The language learner and the language learning context
  • Preparation for teaching adult learners of English
  • 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 two is assessed through a portfolio of coursework, which includes observed lessons, background written assignments, and an externally assessed lesson observation.


Module Three: Extending practice and English language teaching specialism (20 credits). Module three test the knowledge of classroom management and what takes place in the classroom in terms of the language used by the teacher or learners, and how the teacher can manage the classroom. Content areas:

  • Research into specialist areas
  • Principles of syllabus design and implications for specific learning contexts
  • Designing syllabuses and teaching programmes to meet the needs of learners in the specific context of the selected specialism
  • Course design and development in the specific context of the 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 three is assessed through an extended written assignment. And there are no practice papers associated with this test.


There are three components of assessment

  • 1. Coursework - You will be expected to complete seven coursework assignments. Six are internally assessed and the one is externally assessed. There is also an overall external moderation of your coursework by Cambridge ESOL
  • 2. Extended examination - This is a case study of a learner. It will be supervised by the centre but will marked externally
  • 3. Written examination - The written examination is set and marked externally

To be awarded the Diploma you will need to pass all three components. Only Pass and Distinction marks are awarded. DELTA is accepted all around the world by organizations, which employ English Language teachers. DELTA has been accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) as a diploma in teaching ESOL at level 5

Who is eligible to apply?

Those who want to apply for DELTA should ideally:

  • Have at least 2 years full time experience (1,200 hours) of teaching English to adults within the past five years
  • Have a range of teaching experience in different contexts and at different levels
  • Be a graduate and/or have an initial teaching qualification
  • Have a standard of English which will enable you to teach at a range of levels

Even if you do not have all the requirements you may still be admitted to the course if you can show that you are likely to complete the course successfully. The choice is entirely up to the centre. These courses are designed by individual centres, based on specifications given by Cambridge ESOL.

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