English Teaching

Brief thoughts on DELTA Module 2

So, I’m back in Dublin after 10 weeks in London working on Module 2. For anyone not well-versed in all things ELT, the DELTA is the Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages accredited by Cambridge. It’s basically a major step up from CELTA, the pre-service month-long introduction to becoming a teacher.

Module 2 is face-to-face learning with input sessions on aspects of the English language, teaching and the ELT world in the mornings, with observed and assessed teaching practice in the afternoons. There were 10 of us on my course at International House London, here are some of my pals (I’m the optimistic thumbs-up one):


In essence, the last 10 weeks have seen me read a lot, write a lot and teach a lot and learn a lot. I had to do four big assignments: 4 LSAs. These Language Skills/Systems Assignments were four 2,500-word background essays and lessons plans, which were laboured over every weekend.

Last Wednesday I had my final lesson – the big Cambridge externally assessed one. I was so so nervous about it that I don’t think I came out of it well, but I won’t find out until August whether I passed or not – fingers crossed!

It’s a big blur actually, with a dark cloud over it. However, my students told me they got a lot out of it – I keep telling myself this to feel better. I’ve been dwelling on my performance for a few days, since the lesson itself. But I’ve got to move on for now…

What I’m looking forward to:

I’m back to work next week, after a well-planned 7-day break (to study for Module 1 [terminology paper] and Module 3 [course design project]). I can’t wait to get into the classroom again and try out the things I couldn’t get to do on the course… like The Lexical Approach, Michael Lewis’ big contribution to ELT and Scott Thornbury’s Dogme.

I want to continue what I’m doing with lexis lessons — ‘chunking’ is definitely the word du jour. I’ve got reams and reams of paper to reread from the course; articles from ETp, intro chapters from relevant authors and lesson planning tips.

I really want to work on emerging language and how to get it on the board to reformulate and upgrade effectively. Improving my whiteboard writing and IWB use is also top of the list. To be honest, there are so many things to get better at and I’m thankful I have so much time to do it now.

Anyway, just a little update…

Hoping to get into a rhythm with this blogging too!


PS. On a personal note, had the loveliest return to Dublin in the form of Leo’s Eurovision party. My beloved Sunstroke Project (Moldova) didn’t win, but 3rd place is nothing to be sniffed at! Slán for now!


English Teaching

DELTA Diary: I’ve arrived in London!

So, I’m here now. In London.In freakin’ LONDON! I still can’t believe it.

Tomorrow I start my DELTA journey. For anyone not in with the TEFL world, DELTA is short for ‘Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages’. It’s an eight-week intensive course, with observed teaching practice, syllabus design and lots and lots of theory to critically evaluate.

I’m excited and nervous about starting the course, but those feelings can wait until tomorrow. Today is about London.

I woke up in Nina’s flat (she’s my best friend) and immediately felt grateful to have someone based in the city. When I moved to Strasbourg (2013) and Brussels (2015) I felt completely alone, but here Neens has helped me settle in.

After copious cups of tea we went to the Tube and headed for Islington, where my temporary abode was waiting for me.

I was anxious about the Tube, but I managed to avoid thinking about it until we got to the station. Then, on the train, I just did some deep breathing exercises and occupied my mind with chatter and stories to Nina…

I was quite conscious that I was catastrophising the Tube so I zapped away any unhelpful thoughts as they came to me.

On that note, recently I’ve been managing extremely well with my anxiety. I’m expecting some shaky moments here, but I’ve been working on anticipatory anxiety – the nervy, self-conscious and worried feelings that strike before anxiety hits hard.

Tackling anxiety before it drops has definitely calmed my nerves. Read SOAR: The Breakthrough Treatment for Fear of Flying by Captain Tom Bunn. I’ve found the 5-4-3-2-1 Exercise very very helpful!

Back to London…

16995943_10154520148143237_2475246536532872794_nHere’s a photograph of my surroundings: it’s dark, dull and rainy today.

Of course I don’t mind – anyone who knows me knows that I usually find ‘bad’ weather a welcome addition to my day.

More rain, please!

I’m staying in a single studio flat in student accommodation thirty minutes walk from my school – I’m so thankful that I can get a walk in before class AND avoid the daily commute!

My studio has everything I need; a bed, a table, en suite, a kitchenette and places to hang stuff up. What I’m thrilled about the most though is the TV (wasn’t expecting this!) and free WiFi thank God!

Anyway, that’s it. Even though I’ve been to the shops twice already – keep forgetting essentials! – and the first night alone is always a little lonely, I’m doing pretty good this evening.  Onwards and upwards!