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Delta Module Three: an overview and self-study course plan

overview

This guide is mostly intended for people who want to enter for Module Three independently and do not wish, cannot afford, do not feel the need or are unable to take a taught course.  It will, however, be of some utility to people taking or intending to take a taught course.

You are probably aware that there are two options for Module Three:

  1. Extending Practice and ELT Specialism which is designed to develop your mastery of:
    1. your specialist area
          so you will be the go-to person wherever you work
    2. conducting needs analyses
          so you can always keep up with what your learners need
    3. curriculum and syllabus design
          so you are well placed to take on an academic management role
    4. types of syllabus
          so you know what the options are
    5. course design and evaluation
          so you know how to design a course which will benefit your learners and be able to assess whether it did
    6. assessment of learners
          so you know how to test, evaluate and plan for your learners' progress
  2. English Language Teaching Management which is designed to develop your mastery of:
    1. your chosen management area in general
          so you know how to talk about it, write about it and access the literature
    2. conducting a situation analysis
          so you know in detail where an institution or business current is
    3. designing change
          so you carry people with you towards definable and explicit objectives
    4. implementing change
          so you can do this smoothly and effectively and assess success (or otherwise) dispassionately

In brief, then, the aim of your assignment is to make yourself something of an expert on whichever option you are going for.


generic

Global issues

Some issues are generic and common to both options for Module Three so we'll handle those here because it doesn't matter which option you select.  Later, we'll take each option in turn and explain, briefly, what is required of you and give you links to more detailed guides to each section of the essay.
First, though, a bit more overview of both options.  The following is extracted from the Delta Handbook insofar as the author appears to want to be understood.

contents

Contents

Where the handbook is clear, the following are the regulations.

  1. The product of your work is an essay of between 4000 and 4500 words, not including the contents page, the bibliography and any appendices.
    The essay must be written in clear, accurate English and you will gain 10% of the total marks for:
    1. writing in a suitably academic tone and using suitable hedging and referencing techniques
    2. presenting a properly organised, coherent piece of work which does not impose a strain on the reader
    3. arguing clearly and presenting high-quality, thought-through ideas
  2. You may not exceed the word count.  If you do, you will be penalised and if you do by more than 100 words, the essay will not be assessed.  The word count includes text embedded in any diagrams and charts, incidentally (although the Handbook is silent on this).  You must state the word count on the essay and you should say which word-processing package you used as a counter.
  3. Both types of essay are marked according to clear(ish), section-by-section criteria
  4. Background:
    1. you need to refer to an extensive range of reading resources
      See instructions about the bibliography, below
    2. you are expected to do appropriate research
      And the bibliography along with in-text referencing will demonstrate this.
present

Submission and presentation

  1. You must present your assignment electronically in no more than two files:
    1. the main body of the essay including the bibliography
    2. appendices
  2. Margins on both documents should be set to 2.5 centimetres
  3. The title page must include:
    1. the centre details (name and number)
    2. your details (candidate number and full name)
    3. type of assignment (ELT Specialism or ELT Management)
    4. topic (i.e., a title which clearly identifies what the essay is about)
    5. the word count (and the name and version of the program you used to count)
  4. The main text must:
    1. include a footer with your name and the assignment title
    2. include a contents page immediately after the title page (Word will do this for you if you ask nicely and have been consistent with the style for headings and subheadings)
    3. not include footnotes
    4. include a page number either in the footer or in a header (preferably as Page x of n)
    5. use consistent headings and subheadings.  Settle on a format and use it throughout (see the Delta Style Guide for more)
    6. be submitted as a Microsoft Word document with a file extension of .doc or .docx.  No other format is acceptable.  If you do not have access to Microsoft Word, you can use a free processor such as Apache OpenOffice which you can download from this link.  If you write your assignment in a program like this, you need to use the ‘Save As’ option and save the text as a .docx document.  Do not submit a .odt file because that will not be accepted.
      (The Handbook is wilfully unclear on this, stating, either Microsoft Word of Adobe PDF format, and then stating that the main body must be in Word format.  We can only take that to mean that the appendices may be presented either as Word or PDF files.  It would be helpful if those who demand clarity from candidates could manage a little themselves.)
    7. include the bibliography (at the end, before any appendices)
    8. be named as follows:
      1. for the ELT Specialism: centre number_candidate number_Delta3_specialism code_mmyy
        For example: 99999_017_Delta3_EAP_0622
      2. for the ELT Management specialism: centre number_candidate number_Delta3_ELTM_mmyy
        For example: 99999_017_Delta3_ELTM_0622
  5. Appendices may be separately submitted as either a Word file or a PDF document (presumably) and named as:
    centre number_candidate number_Delta3_appendices_mmyy
    for either type of essay.
    For example: 99999_017_Delta3_appendices_0622
  6. File sizes must not exceed 10MB (the Handbook is characteristically unclear but this figure applies to each file, not the combined size)

Even with the help provided here and your own best efforts, it is always possible that you won't pass Module Three (although a pass rate of over 75% is reassuring).
If you don't pass, the regulations are that you can re-submit an amended essay, responding to the reasons the first one did not pass, once only.  You must do so within one year of the original submission.
For example, if you are referred in June you can resubmit in December or the following June.  If you are referred in December, you can resubmit in June or December next year.
If the resubmission still doesn't pass or you miss the deadline, you need to start again and submit a new assignment.


plan

Planning your own course

The following is mostly for those who want to enter for Module Three independently and will not be paying for a course.
There are plenty of paid-for Module Three courses, mostly delivered online, and run by a number of centres.
If you do opt for a taught course, bear in mind that there is no oversight from Cambridge concerning the staffing or content of such courses.  Anyone, anywhere can set up and run a Delta Module Three course.
You will, therefore, be well advised to check carefully that the centre has qualified tutors, knows something about your specialism and is honourable before handing over your money.  For more, see the guide to considering Delta.

If you decide to enter independently, you need to construct a personal work plan and do your own research.  Here's some help.

Before you begin at all, you are advised to follow these guides on the site:

  1. The Delta Style Guide
    which covers the mechanics of writing at this level including issues of formality, stereotyping, referencing conventions, avoiding plagiarism, using Latinisms, hedging, using reporting verbs, common syntax error, commonly misused words, jargon, structure and presentation.
  2. Hedging and modality in academic writing
    which covers a good deal more in terms of making sure you do not sound too sure of yourself and assertive but are tentative in your conclusions and suitably modest in your suggestions.
  3. Reporting verbs in academic writing
    which is concerned with selecting the appropriate verb to use when citing the works of other people rather than always using Smith says ..., Jones states ... etc.

Module Three ELT Specialism essays have 5 parts and are assessed under 5 criteria.  It looks like this:

sections

assessment

Your task is to plan each section independently and apply the assessment criteria to what you are writing as you go along.

Here's an idea of how to do that, set out as a course timetable for you.  You will, naturally, have to amend and adapt to suit your circumstances.  The left-hand column is deliberately non-specific.  Your time is your time.
The Check questions are taken from the Cambridge Handbook (sometimes slightly abbreviated.  See the Handbook for the full text.
If, when you read through what you have written, all the questions are adequately answered, you are on the right track.

Date Section Find Read and take notes Check on this site Write Check questions
1 Introduction First three key references in the Reading Listfor my specialism Three sources The structure of Module Three Reasons for my choice of specialism. Why did you choose this specialism?
What theories and principles in the academic and professional literature have you found relevant, useful or challenging?
What ideas from observation and experience have you drawn on?
What have you found out from your research which is important for the design of your course?
2 Introduction Three more key references in the reading list Three more sources Writing the introduction Set out the key theories in relation to my ideas for a course.
3 Needs analysis Three key sources on needs analysis from the general reading list On how these apply to my learners Conducting needs analyses Main group characteristics:
ages
educational and language level
nationality and 1st languages
learning preferences
motivation
employment
Who is your specialist group?
What are their main characteristics?
How did you identify the needs of your specialist group?
Why did you select these methods?
What form of diagnostic testing did you use and why?
What were the results of the diagnostic test(s)?
How did you use these in clarifying the learners’ needs and identifying language areas requiring attention? What aspects did you focus on and why?
What priorities have you identified from the above?
4 Needs analysis Good diagnostic tests Key resources on testing Needs analysis for Module Three Methodology of my needs analysis.
5 Needs analysis Two texts on testing Test types: advantages and disadvantages Testing and assessment Outcomes of the tests: summary in main text plus appendix.
6 Needs analysis     Testing for Module Three The results and implications.
Justification for the priorities set out.
7 Course proposal Two texts on Syllabus and Course design These texts and look for relevance to my course. Types of syllabusWriting the course proposal Identify key influences:
Theories (from the introduction).
Outcomes of needs analysis and diagnostic tests.
In what ways is your proposed course based on or influenced by ideas and information from Parts 1 and 2 and your reading of relevant literature?
What are the learning aims and objectives you hope to achieve?
What is the content of the proposed course?
How is content organised?
What approach to teaching will be used?
What materials will be used? If you propose using published materials, how do these match the aims of the course?
What institutional requirements or other constraints have you taken into account?
8 Course proposal Materials to use Guide to materials evaluation Activity typesTask types Aims and objectives of the course.
9 Course proposal Course design text What is methodology? Communicative Language TeachingSecond Language Acquisition Theories Summary of course content in main text.
Detail and timetable in appendix.
10 Course proposal Methodology texts Methodology refined Unlocking learning Teaching approaches.
Materials.
Constraints.
11 Assessment Texts on course assessment   Testing for Module Three(again) Conducting on-going assessment. How will you monitor learning progress?
How will you assess learning outcomes?
What are the assessment principles outlined in the testing literature which will be applied to the assessments?
How have these principles influenced your choice of assessments?
In what ways, if any, are your choices of assessments constrained?
How fit for purpose are the assessments in relation to your learner group and the proposed course?
What constraints and opportunities affect the proposed assessment procedures?
How will the course be evaluated for future use?
12  Assessment   Testing and assessment(again)    End of course assessment of progress.
13  Assessment       Evaluation of assessment methods.
14 Conclusion     Before you submit:check list How the proposal matched the principles I worked from.
List the benefits of the course.
Critically evaluate success.
How has your course proposal applied the principles you discussed in Part 1?
What do you expect to be the benefits for the learners of your course proposal?
What do you consider to be some of the limitations of your proposal?

Module Three Management essays also have 5 parts and are assessed under similar criteria:

sections

assessment

Your task is to plan each section independently and apply the assessment criteria to what you are writing as you go along.

Here's an idea of how to do that, set out as a course timetable for you.  You will, naturally, have to amend and adapt to suit your circumstances.  The left-hand column is deliberately non-specific.  Your time is your time.
The Check questions are taken from the Cambridge Handbook (sometimes slightly abbreviated.  See the Handbook for the full text.
If, when you read through what you have written, all the questions are adequately answered, you are on the right track.

Date Section Find Read and take notes Check on this site Write Check questions
1 Introduction The Management Reading list The three essential texts Choosing the topic Reasons for my choice of target change. Why did you choose the ELTM option?
Why did you choose this particular specialism?
What theories and principles in the academic and professional ELT management literature have you found relevant, useful or challenging?
What ideas from observation and experience of LTOs (Language Teaching Organisations) have you drawn on?
2 Introduction Three more specific references in the reading list Three more sources Writing the introduction Set out the key theories in relation to my ideas.
3 Situation analysis Three key sources on situation analysis from the reading list and the web On how these apply to my LTO Doing a Situation Analysis Main LTO characteristics:
type of language teaching operation
size
purpose
local/national context.
Describe the data sources and comment on their reliability.
What is your educational context ?
What are the main characteristics of the LTO?
How was the current situation analysed?
What is the source of information?
Why were these methods selected?
Who are the key stakeholders and what influence do they have?
What were the results of the analysis of data?
How did you use these results to clarify the focus of your proposal?
4 Situation analysis Examples of SA from the web (SWOT analyses etc.) Key resources on SA   Methodology of my Situation Analysis.
SWOT / 5C etc.
5 Proposal and justification Two texts on strategic management These texts and look for relevance to my proposal. Writing the proposal Identify key influences:
Theories (from the introduction).
Outcomes of situation analysis.
What priorities have you identified from the above situation analysis for improving the current situation in your educational context (LTO)?
In what ways is your proposed change based on, or influenced by, your reading of relevant literature related to strategic management and organisational improvement?
What are the institutional and educational aims and objectives you hope to achieve?
How will the proposal improve the current situation in your LTO?
What is the content of the proposed change?
What are the expected outcomes?
How will the proposal work in practice?
What institutional requirements or other constraints have you taken into account?
6 Proposal and justification Texts on managing change     Set out the proposal step by step with a justification linked to theories for each part.
7 Implementation Texts on managing change Make notes on relevance to this proposal. Implementation The key principles of change implementation in management theory. What approach to implementation will be used and why?
How has your reading of change management, decision-making and/or project management influenced your choice of approach?
What will be the impact of the proposed change on different stakeholders, internal and external?
How exactly do you propose to implement your proposed change?
How will people and resources be managed during the change process?
In what ways, if any, are your choices of implementation constrained institutionally and contextually?
How will you evaluate the outcomes of the implementation?
8 Implementation       The steps in the implementation process linked to theories of managing change.
9 Implementation       Consideration of impacts on stakeholders.
10 Implementation       Constraints.
11 Implementation Ideas for surveying views of stakeholders     The survey methodology.
Summary here, details in the appendix.
Evaluation of outcomes: summary here, details in the appendix.
12 Conclusion     Before you submit:check list Refer to the introduction and to the principles I set out to follow.
What benefits will the change have?
What are the limitations of the proposal?
How has your proposal applied the principles you discussed in Part 1?
What do you expect to be the benefits of your proposal for the LTO?
What do you consider to be some of the limitations of your proposal?


Good luck with the module.
Use the index on the left to select the areas one by one and then do your research for your topic.