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Bell Online Delta v. IH Distance Delta

Posted: 10 Jan 2013, 22:01
by rachelb
Hello there,

I am planning to do the Cambridge Delta via distance learning and I would like to confirm a couple of details about the only two course providers that seem to do it - Bell ... 013-02-18/ and International House

From what I can see, there are a few differences: for Module 2, the IH course involves a compulsory 2-week "Orientation course", available in various locations, whereas Bell's doesn't; the IH orientation course includes 10 hours of peer observation, but the Bell course apparently has no requirement for peer observation in any module; IH Local Tutors are not compensated for their support, but Bell pay Local Tutors and will even put you in touch with one if they are nearby.

Each of these differences makes me favour the Bell course (the fact that it is more expensive than IH's is not an issue for me). Has anyone else who has researched the two courses confirm that these differences are true, or have I not understood or missed something? Has anybody done the Delta via distance learning - if so, did you have a positive experience with it or do you have any advice? Finally, do Delta courses usually differ so much in content from provider to provider (not just distance ones)?

Thank you in advance for any comments!

Re: Bell Online Delta v. IH Distance Delta

Posted: 11 Jan 2013, 20:53
by Alex Case
I've worked as a Bell Local Tutor and researched these questions for the Cambridge Delta FAQ on this site.

You've basically got it right, apart from:
- They aren't the only providers who do online or blended courses - I'm going through the list on the Cambridge ESOL site at the moment and of the ones who still offer Delta courses (the list is really out of date), about half offer these options (the other options being intensive ten or so weeks face to face or part time face to face over nine months)
- The peer observations are a Cambridge requirement, so with Bell you will need to arrange for them yourself (or perhaps that is included if you do the optional face to face component with Bell)
- In reality it is your responsibility to find a suitable Local Tutor, and Bell don't give a lot of help for this

As you said, the Local Tutor issue is the main one - do you have a suitable person to do it?

Re: Bell Online Delta v. IH Distance Delta

Posted: 12 Jan 2013, 19:19
by rachelb
Hi Alex,

Thanks a lot for your quick and helpful reply - I will look into other Distance Learning course providers before making my final decision.

My language school is very pro- peer observation, so that should be straightforward enough to organize myself. In theory, finding a Local Tutor shouldn't be too much of a problem either, as there are several suitable people who I could approach where I work - quite a few of my colleagues are experienced teacher trainers. However, they are also super-hardworking people with lots of other responsibilities, so I don't want to burden them too much. Is the extra workload as an RDT/LT manageable on top of a full-time job, and does the financial compensation reflect what an RDT has to do? Not that they would necessarily be motivated solely by money, but if it's there to be had, hopefully it's half decent.

Thanks again for your help (and thanks also for all your worksheets, blog posts, articles, etc that you've posted over the years - very useful and entertaining).

Re: Bell Online Delta v. IH Distance Delta

Posted: 13 Jan 2013, 22:48
by Alex Case
Because I was being paid by Bell, obviously my school was not willing to cut down on my hours and so I had to do the Local Delta Tutor stuff on top of my normal schedule. My company tried to arrange for Bell to pay them and my company to cut my teaching hours down by that amount, but no go, so they have since decided that they prefer the Distance Delta with the tutoring duties becoming part of someone's job.

As to pay, it depends if you've done it before and what local teaching rates are like, but I found it paid less per hour than my normal job. Still worth it for personal development and helping other teachers reasons though.

As you've very kindly mentioned by blog, maybe I'm justified in giving a link to a post on the topic:

Re: Bell Online Delta v. IH Distance Delta

Posted: 15 Jan 2013, 22:49
by rachelb
Of course you'd already written a blog entry that answers all my questions - why didn't I think to check? And now I see you've put up this: ... elta-2013/. You are the best!