First off, it’s great that you are interested in furthering your knowledge and professional development. But now that you have decided to do so, you need to know what program is the best fit for you.
After taking the CELTA, the next step is the DELTA: the Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. However, another popular and better-known option is getting a Master’s. Both are prestigious and carry a lot of weight, but is one better than the other? There are a few things to consider that will help you make your choice.
Location of Use
Every employer has their own preferences, and specific qualifications are no exception. Some prefer the DELTA while others like to see an MA on your resume. It’s worth it to learn about potential regions or even specific places that you might like to work at after you get your degree and get an idea of what they would prefer. If you really aren’t sure yet, the DELTA has a slight advantage given that it has been carefully created by Cambridge. Any institution that holds the British Council in high regard will look upon the DELTA with favor.
As much as you may love school, it isn’t practical for you to be in it forever. The DELTA can be done faster, but it also can be much more intense. Since Module 1 is a test, you can take it when you feel ready. Doing Module 2 full time is only 6-8 weeks, and distance learning is 9 months. Module 3 is also submitted on your own time, but a preparation course is recommended.
Master programs vary as well, but can be anywhere from 1 year to 5.
Another important personal consideration is cost. Depending on where and how you do each program, there will be a difference in cost. If you are doing a full-time DELTA or even a full-time Master’s, accommodation and other living expenses must be accounted for since you probably won’t be able to work during that time period. Do your research carefully. We haven’t added any specifics here because prices tend to change often based on institution, season, or in the case of some DELTA programs special discounts.
There’s no doubt that the DELTA is very rigid. Each module is set up very particularly, and some complain knowing the formatting of the tests and assignments is almost as important as knowing the content needed to pass. There is some flexibility for niches you wish to study in Module 3. On the other hand, when it comes to a Master’s in TESOL, Teaching English, or TEFL, you will have a lot more choice in the classes you can take and the specific field you want to explore. This is an important consideration because it has a lot to do with your personal interest and overall gain.
So who wins?
Unfortunately, taking an overall look at the DELTA vs. a Master’s doesn’t really help you out because they are essentially tied. In order to find which one is right for you, you have to really think about the points presented here and go off of those. Everyone is in a different situation with different goals, current desires, and abilities.
The best advice would be to find 1 or 2 options of each the DELTA and a Master’s program that you could conceivably take, and make a pros and cons list in order to weigh them against each other. In the end, you have to do what’s best for you! Good luck!
About the Author
Yvette Smith is an English teacher currently in Vietnam. She has taught in China and Mexico as well. She enjoys writing about the ESL field and thinks everyone should take the chance to travel abroad at least once in their lives.