DELTA: Why I’m Getting Cambridge’s English Language Teaching Diploma

I’m one of those people who kind of fell into English teaching as a way to travel and pay off student loans. However, over the years it has ended up turning from just a job into a career, and it’s something that I could picture doing for a much longer period of time.

Which is why I decided to do the Celta (certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults), so that I could have some sort of formal teaching qualification to go along with my Masters in unrelated stuff and the years of experience that I had.

After finishing the course, I decided to keep going and do the Delta (diploma). I also considered doing an MA in Tesol, but decided on the Delta because it’s shorter (can be done in about a year), cheaper (will be 4-$5000 US total), and you can often get a ¼ to ⅓ credit for doing the Delta on many MA courses. Plus, it would open the door of eventually becoming a Celta trainer, which is what I’d like to get into, post-Korea.

There are various options for doing the course, but the easiest is to work for one of the big language teaching centers like the British Council or International House. You’ll often get the training as part of your employment package. Failing that, you have 3 options: online, in-person or blended.

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The in-person course takes around 3 months full-time, while the online course is not really possible in Korea due to lack of supervisors for Module 2. Which leaves the blended option. I did Modules 1 (comprehensive exam) and 3 (thesis-like research paper) through The Distance Delta and had a great experience. They recommend about 10 hours a week for the 3-4 months of each module and I found that to be accurate.

From my informal inquiries, the Distance Delta seems to be both cheaper and better than Bell. I’ll be heading somewhere in Europe this summer to do Module 2 (in-person teaching practice), which takes about 6 weeks.

For more information about Jackie's experiences with the Celta and Delta courses, please check out her blog ESL Teacher In Korea and search the sidebar under the labels “Celta” and “Delta.” And don't forget to grab a copy of her book How to Get a University Job in South Korea: The English Teaching Job of Your Dreams.

Jackie Bolen

Jackie teaches English at a university in Busan, Korea. She can be contacted at jlbolen[at] with outrageously high-paid ESL Teaching or Scuba Instructing job offers on breezy, tropical islands (preferably Bali), or about any regular kind of stuff too.