When you apply to do a Delta course, you are usually asked to complete a Pre-Course Task. For some training centres, this might form part of your application, for others it is more of a task to get you thinking before beginning the course. For some centres it will be used for both of the above. Very often its purpose is to function as a bridge between the application process and the start of the course.
The whole idea behind Delta is to re-evaluate your teaching and the principles behind it. As such, the Pre-Course Task usually gets you:
- To think about how you understand what learning is and what it involves
- To think about how you understand what teachingis and what it involves
More often than not, the above requires you to consider:
- Activities you use in class and why you use them
- Experience with various ELT methods
- Reflection on your own language learning or learning in general
- Second Language Acquisition theory
Follow this link for an example of a Pre-Course Task concerning Learning
Follow this link for an example of Pre-Course Task concerning Teaching
What do you think are the ideal conditions for learning a language?
A question like this could lead to a variety of answers with the focus on many different conditions and areas. However, in such a case it might be beneficial to concentrate on the most basic conditions which are common across all advice for language learning, namely:
- Active Receptive Engagement
- Active Productive Engagement
Whether a language is being learnt by attending a course, using a teach-yourself guide or simply extracting language from a friend or a newspaper, in all three cases the Target Language can only be extracted, processed and acquired if the learner actively engages with the language.
This means that a learner could learn a language completely on their own or with a teacher – in either case, any language they are exposed to must be under the condition that elements of it are later engaged, exploited and explored.
As part of the preparation for the course I have been asked to write up my opinion on a number of statements. I have seen these kinds of statements before: they aim to challenge the status quo on many aspects of teaching which teachers have reached several years after their pre-service training. What do you think of my responses? What would be your reaction to these statements?
(1) I used to drill a lot and do lots of controlled practice. Now I get them to practise in a much more relaxed way.
Drilling was born out of the Audio-Lingual method, whose theory of language learning was based on the behaviourist approach to psychology i.e. language was acquired through repetition and reinforcement. Continue reading