logo ELT Concourse: Delta Module Three

Delta Module Three ELT Management: the introduction

M£ Introduction

This is where set out your stall and impress the reader with the quality of thought, research, reading and reflection which has gone into making your Module Three essay.

Get this part right and the rest will follow.  The graphic on the left is designed to remind you of the essentials.

The suggested word count for this section is 1,200 words, give or take 10%.


Choice of specialism

Sometimes specialisms overlap.
For example, if you are focused on a teacher development programme you must decide whether your Module Three focuses on Academic management or Human resource management.  You also need to decide whether the focus is on management (i.e., the maintenance and development of current procedures and practices) or on leadership (i.e., the implementation of change).  You can't begin until you have done that.
See the guide to choosing your Module Three specialism for more.


What the Introduction covers

This is not the place to discuss:

  1. the nature of language teaching organisation in which the innovation will take place.
  2. the problem(s) or issue(s) that you hope to address.

Both of those come later.  The advice to you from Cambridge's Handbook specifically makes this point;

The context, background, problems etc. of the specific LTO [Language Teaching Operation] should not be discussed in Part 1 [the Introduction]
Cambridge English Delta Handbook, p77, emphasis is the original.

This is the place to:

  1. focus on wider issues and show that you really know what you are writing about.  That means lots of reference to reading and research but you should also draw on your own experience and knowledge.
  2. set out why you have chosen a Management specialism in general (but keep it brief) and why you chose this particular specialism, basing your comments on:
    • your experience
    • the need to learn about and design an innovation
    • your professional needs now or for the future
  3. discuss the underlying theory which relates to your specialism and applies to this type of ELT management area, not this specific plan.  For example:
    If you are focused on introducing a new course to meet a perceived client need, remember that specialism you have chosen is probably centred in Academic management with implications for Customer service (and, maybe, Human resource management), not introducing a summer course for teenagers or whatever you have in mind.  Equally, if your focus is on improving the institution's marketing activities to take advantage of new opportunities, your specialism is Marketing, not website design.
    You have to show:
    • a thorough understanding of all the key issues
    • that you are comfortable with the terminology and concepts used in the area
    • that you have read at least five sources concerned with the specialism and can summarise and integrate the ideas.  (Check out the reading and reference list for this option for Module Three.  The Cambridge Assessment site has a list at https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/it/images/22095-delta-module-three-reading-list.pdf but it is out of date and the links don't work.  There are also numerous errors.  A new list, based on what is available and with links that work is here.)
  4. set out a critical discussion.  I.e.:
    • Do not simply cite from authority; react to it.  You need to show that you can see more than one side of an issue.
    • Make sure you can handle the generic characteristics of a discussion.  That means either:
      • setting out all the positives on one side of an argument or issue and then setting out all the negatives, or
      • setting out each point in turn, commenting on the positives and negatives in an integrated way
    • Do not assume that authorities agree.  There will be many shades of opinion concerning best practice.  It's your job to navigate through the field and come to an appropriate decision for yourself.  Whatever you conclude is OK, providing you have good reasons for reaching the conclusion.


Review what you have written

Because the introduction is so important, read through it again when you have finished (or think you have) and check how a reader will react to it.  In particular,

Will a reader know:

  1. exactly what area you have chosen and why?
  2. what theories and principles you have researched and found most relevant to your undertaking?
  3. what ideas from your experience of and observation of other organisations you have drawn on?

If the answer to any of these questions is No or Maybe, go back and re-write some of the introduction.

banana skin

Avoid the obvious errors

Examiners' reports contain more or less the same catalogue of weaknesses year after year so be careful to avoid any of the following criticisms being levelled at your introduction.
For this section, the most frequently cited problems are:

Test yourself on the contents of this guide.

The Module Three ELT Management areas:
Choosing the topic Writing the essay The introduction Situation analysis
Proposal Implementation Reading list Before you submit