DELTA Diary: ELT Methodology causes flu

That’s the only conclusion I can come to after a week of nasty man flu. Reading about ELT methodology must cause the flu. I haven’t been ill for over three years and after starting paper 2 and reading about testing, the history of ELT, how second languages are acquired, I was hit with the flu. I should have got that flu jab.

Anyone for a jab up the #@$%
I guess it’s more a reflection of how much a DELTA can take over your life. For the past month my timetable has been manic. Up studying, writing terminology cards, and doing assignments from 8am till 1pm, then some lunch before heading off to work until 10pm. That’s just Monday to Thursday. I’ve been working flat out Friday, Saturday, and even Sunday mornings. My body had to break at some point and last week it did. Photo by sylvar.
I’m not moaning though, even though my wife will tell you different if you ask her how I was last week, I’m enjoying Paper 2 and the first Mock Exam is just around the corner.
How’s Paper 2?
It’s actually really useful. Yes I am surprised because when I started reading about testing, I questioned its uses.
Question 1 is all about analyzing whether a given test is appropriate for a given student. It’s probably one of the most difficult parts of the exam for me because I didn’t have a clue about the terminology and during my working day I don’t think much about testing. Saying that, after the assignments I feel ready for the exam.
Questions 2 and 3 are linked and I think these are both quite practical and useful. You have to analyse exercises from a given course book and comment on their purposes and state certain assumptions about why the authors have included them. One great aspect of this question is that you start to question yourself more about each activity you do in class. Exactly why am I doing a warmer? What’s the point of talking about the images in the book? Is it necessary to do two different types of grammar exercises? How do all these exercises link together?
It’s not that I’ve never really thought about my classes before, and maybe now I’m thinking too much about what I’m doing, but you get a better sense of why you’re doing what you’re doing. I’m hoping that over time this will become automatic.
We’re on question 4 this week and it’s a bit of a pig. The problem is that the question is unpredictable, there is no set rubic, and it’s worth almost half the paper’s marks. The question can cover anything from the grammar or lexical approach, accuracy to fluency or fluency to accuracy, the importance of course books over no course books, plus a lot more.
I’m just hoping with the reading I’ve done and my teaching experience I can get a few marks together.
What’s in store?  
As I mentioned before the mock exam is next week. The tutors suggest doing it under exam conditions, which means doing paper 1 in 90 minutes, having a 30 minute break, and then doing paper 2 in 90 minutes. I’ve got a couple of days off before where I plan to study and then give the exam a go. Then it’s back to assignments based on paper 1 again.
How am I feeling?
The closer we get to the exam the more I just want to get it over with, but at the same time I’m trying to apply things that I’m learning to my classes. I’m definitely doing a lot more pronunciation this year, writing in phonetics, and I feel more prepared helping FCE with their writing. I think module 2 will tightened up my classes even more though. It’s hard work, but now I’m over the flu, I’m back on track and raring to go.
Is anyone else out there doing the DELTA? Drop a comment below and let me know, get in touch. 

2 thoughts on “DELTA Diary: ELT Methodology causes flu

  1. Hi,

    I'm Dalal from Syria, teaching English in Saudi Arabia. I did module one and failed in the exam
    due to lack of time management skills.But the great benefits I got from the course override the failure. I did the CELTA before, but the DELTA, like you said makes you aware of why you are doing certain activities and what are the assumptions behind them.
    Now I am planning to do M2 and trying to do some reading first.
    I started an MA in TESOL only to discover how boring it is, with alot of theoretical loads, you forget them soon after you finish. The hands-on feature on the DELTA
    is what makes it unforgetable and illuminating.

  2. Hey Dalal,

    Thanks for writing. How's it going in Saudi Arabia?

    Sorry to hear you failed, do you mean time management in the actual exam or leading up to it. In part the exam is a test of your timing, I did loads of practice with past papers and set specific times so I knew how to do the questions. Are you going to do it again?

    There's not as much intense reading in M2, you can skim books and find what you want for your LSA's. I'm enjoying M2 because, like you said, you can actually teach what you're learning and put it to the test. I'm doing an experimental class on CLL next week, should be fun.

    Anyway, good luck with your DELTA.

    Barry

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