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elt concourse

A free training course for Delta Module One
Understanding language, methodology and resources for teaching

study This is a free self-study course for Module One of the Delta
You do not have to take a course at a recognised centre to enter the Delta Module One examination.  You can take the examination at a Cambridge Open Centre.
To find an open centre near you, click here to go to the Cambridge site and enter the details.
(Note that you need to find an open centre rather than a closed, internal-only centre.)
This course for Module One covers all the syllabus areas.  Following it won't guarantee you a pass, of course, but if you take your time, do things thoroughly and follow all the sections you will be well prepared.

Parts of this course will send you off to follow guides elsewhere on the site.  Be prepared for that.

This page serves as an introduction and contains:


Following the course

The course starts here!



Your first step is a reading task to familiarise yourself with the format of the Delta Module One Examination.
This will give you the background data so that talk of Paper2, Task 3 etc. will not be mysterious.
In particular, the guides will explain the marking scheme so that you can plan your time in the examination itself and not take half the time trying to get 10% of the marks.

  1. Go to these two links in turn (they open in new windows or tabs):
    1. The Delta Examination Paper 1.
    2. The Delta Examination Paper 2.
  2. Read through the overviews of each paper.
  3. Try this test.
  4. Check your score at the end.  If it's less than 80%, try again.

The examination comprises two papers, each of 90 minutes with a half-hour breather between them.  The examination is held twice a year, in early June and December, usually on the first Wednesday of those months.

The examination targets different areas:

Now that you know what you are letting yourself in for, we can look at some other issues.

How much time to devote to the course

People work at different speeds and some sections are larger than others.  It is also true that people come to the course with different experiences and knowledge.  It is difficult to predict, therefore, just how long you will need.
Overall, assuming no knowledge beyond that provided on an initial training course such as CELTA or the Trinity CertTESOL, the course should take around 100 hours to complete.  That's a generous allowance and many people may be able to do it in less time.
Much depends on how thorough you want to be in chasing down the links to guides on the site which appear in each section.
Sections 3 and 4 in particular, require you to do so.
Don't do it all at once.

When to do the course

The examination is usually held in the morning of the first Wednesday in June and December each year.
Plan your time so that you take the examination about a week or so after you have finished the course, which allows you some recovery, revision and reflection time.  (This means, for example, if you intend to take the examination in June, you can devote 8 hours a week to this course starting in early February.  That's a generous allowance so you could take a week off in the middle.)
Decide how much time you can realistically devote to this each week and then work backwards from your preferred examination date.


This course is free so you can't expect tutor support (although that is under review).  However, if an area puzzles, confuses or plain bewilders you, try posting a question to ELT Concourse.  If you are not alone in your bewilderment, it will probably get addressed on these pages.
Your colleagues are an invaluable source of support.  If at all possible, try to do this course with a colleague so that you can test each other and bounce ideas around.

What the course involves

This will not be easy and will require you to take notes, read, respond to tasks and do quite a lot of tests and revision exercises.  There is no reading list because you are not expected to refer to sources in the examination.  There is, however, a reference list for Modules One and Two of the Delta which will open in a new tab for you to download and print if you need to.  You should have access to (and read!) at least one resource for each area.

The other resource that this course draws on heavily is the site itself and from time to time you will be required or advised to follow some of the guides in the in-service training area.
To have any chance of passing, you need to do the obligatory guides but if you have aspirations for more than a pass or have time to spare, doing the recommended guides will pay dividends.
The tests which accompany each area of the course (and which are linked at the end of each guide) target more than has been covered in the guide itself because they assume that you have followed at least some of the recommended extra guides.
If you find them confusing or impossible, you can always go to the guides to those areas to learn what you don't know.

At the end of each section, you will encounter this graphic:
and it will take you to some examination practice for the area you have just studied.
(The image of a pen is deliberately chosen to encourage you to do the examination practice by hand because you need to get accustomed to that.  In the examination itself, you will have to write quickly, legibly and continuously for 3 hours and that is not something that many people have done for a long time.)

There is a complete Delta Module One revision course on this site but you should do that only when you have finished the course.  Doing any of the revision course before the course proper is a waste of your time and the resource itself.

How the course is organised

Including this introduction, there are seven sections.
We have chosen to use the Cambridge syllabus document as the organising principle rather than following the tasks in papers 1 and 2 of the examination in order.
There is no one-to-one relationship between the format of the examination and the format of the syllabus so you will find different parts of this course are tested in various tasks on each paper.
This may be confusing at first but it allows you to build your knowledge incrementally as you work through each section and, as you gain greater familiarity with what the examination tasks target, you will be able quickly to see what fits where.


Click on the area you want to begin with for more.
If this is the first time you have worked through the course, start with theoretical perspectives on language acquisition and language teaching and then go on to different approaches and methodologies including current developments.  These are closely related areas.  Then work clockwise around the outer circle.

At any time, you can click on the small picture of the syllabus areas graphic at the bottom of the page and that will take you back to this diagram.  Links in the menu on the left of all pages will also take you where you need to go.
The course contains links to guides elsewhere on the site.  Those links usually open in a new tab but be prepared to use the back button on your browser from time to time.

Module One syllabus


At the end of the course

There are links on the left to take you back to the Delta index or on to the Mock examinations.  These links lead outside the course.  Follow them at the end.


Revision and more

Once you have done the course and taken the tests, it's time for a little revision.  You should do this in the days and weeks leading up to the examination.  There are many things you can do:

  1. Use the revision course (link here and from the Delta index).  The course covers all the areas of Module One of the Delta and has tasks on each section.
  2. Work through the course sections focusing only on the areas with which you had some difficulty.  Use the links on this page.
  3. Retake the tests for each section of the guide (go to the link at the end of each section).
  4. Try the 100-item multiple choice test on terminology for ELT to see if there are areas you need to re-visit.
  5. Revisit the examination practice areas for each section of the syllabus (go to the link at the end of each section).
  6. Read the Delta examination tipscarefully, they contain the most common gripes from markers and reasons for failing.
  7. Do the Module One Paper 1 and Paper 2 tests (and from the Delta index).
  8. Take the mock examinations (linked from the menus on the left and from the Delta index).

Two or three days before your examination, come back to the course and review what you learned.  Re-taking tests or redoing the revision course is a good way to revise.


Entering for the examination

If you are studying independently for Module One, you need to find a Cambridge Open Centre where you can take the examination.
To find an open centre near you, click here to go to the Cambridge site and enter the details.
(Note that you need to find an open centre rather than a closed, internal-only centre.)
Most centres have a deadline for entry at least 4 weeks prior to the examination and some may require even more notice so make sure you apply in good time.

Enjoy the course and good luck in the examination.
If you would like to send feedback including ideas for developing the course, please use the contact page.