DELTA notes

Writing section 3 in DELTA M3 (or I need a plan!)

Seems like you are about to start the course design section which is the heart of your DELTA module 3 assignment. It will take lots of time and energy to put things together in a nice manner, but, once you have finished, the major workload would be behind. Here is what you should introduce in another meager 1100 words.

Action plan for section 3

  • Syllabus type (what, why)
  • Objectives (based on language priorities from section 2 and, maybe, specialism issues)
  • The course plan itself
  • Content + methodology (connected with section 2, objectives and with references to the plan)
  • Constraints (related to sections 1 and 2)

Also, you should prepare a ground for the 4th section and have minimum 5 references.

Syllabus and objectives

There are quite a few types of syllabuses and you can easily google them or read any trustworthy book from your reading list. You should choose something meaningful and logical for your case, crossing out everything you don’t like or don’t want to deal with. There are 8 generally accepted types:

1. Structural (Grammatical) syllabus

2. Situational syllabus
3. Topical syllabus
4. Functional-notional syllabus

5. Skills-based syllabus

6. Task-based
7. Content-based
8. Mixed or layered syllabus

You don’t need to explain why you don’t use certain types but think of a good explanation for your choice as well as a couple of names and a definition.

Objectives are the most important elements of your work. If there is something wrong with this section, the rest of the work won’t fall together. Be S.M.A.R.T.! 

You can have anything between 6 to 9 objectives. If you want, you can add colours here as for some reason Cambridge likes colour coding and it will make the whole work vibrant and add some life to your work. In addition to the objective add a reference to sections 1 and 2 (maybe you’ll need some in-work reference system) to show where did those objectives come from.

Course plan

Even though this part goes to the appendix but the examiners will pay lots of attention to this part. Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer to how long and how detailed the plan should be as different papers I found online had different structures, approaches and ways of organisation. What is the general feature of all those works? Colour-coding. I cannot tell that it makes your job easier but it looks nice and obviously signals how well you address all the objectives.
Take it as a rule: each stage of the lesson should be connected to one of the objectives. Once you have a great task but can’t find a matching objective – cut it out with no sorrow! It does not belong to your work.
When you plan the course in terms of timing, leave some space for the assessment section. Say, one of the last hours and, probably, something in the middle. With this, you wouldn’t get stuck in section 4 when it turns out that there are no time slots left for your summative assessment.

Content, methodology, constraints and whatever else

Once you are happy with the plan you can come back to the main body of the assignment and start showing off: you should choose the best parts of your work, bring them to the assignment, explain why they are so great and provide some theoretical background for all your bright ideas. Leave some space for criticising: think when and where the course will have to change a bit and what the reasons may be. What else can go to this section? Try to give at least a sentence to answer each of the guiding questions below.

Guiding questions

• 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, e.g. availability of teachers with the relevant skills and experience, availability of materials and resources, timetabling?

It seems like a lot of work while it just requires clear mind for choosing the right objectives. Finally, keep the big picture in mind and try to see the plan closely related to all other sections (even to the assessment you haven’t done yet).


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