logo ELT Concourse: Delta Module Three

Delta Module Three ELT Management: choosing your topic


What are the choices?

The choices for the management option of Delta Module Three are considerably more limited than the range for the ELT specialism option.
Here are the options according to Cambridge's Handbook for Module Three

These are large areas in themselves so within your choice, you will need to narrow the scope to something manageable.
For example, within Academic management, you could focus on introducing a new course, introducing new technologies and/or course materials or varying the content of a current course or courses.
Within Human resource management, you could focus on teacher development programmes, raising the teaching teams' skills and qualifications or on current employment practices to conform to regulations and laws or on recruitment and retention strategies.  Be aware that you do not necessarily need to focus on teaching staff alone.
Within Customer service, you could investigate ways to enhance the commitment and motivation of learners or creating a better fit between the courses you offer and the demands of sponsors and other stakeholders.
Within Marketing you could look at ways of investigating how your organisation's target market may be changing and what responses you need to implement or consider a range of marketing tools that the organisation either does not use or uses inefficiently or ineffectively.

Nevertheless, in the introduction to your Module Three essay, in which you provide a rationale for your management specialism and review the key issues, you will need to consider general management principles and explain how these relate to your specialism before you look at the specific management principles which apply to your topic area.

If Academic management is your first choice, you may find some ideas in that section of this site.


How do I decide?

The choice of specialism is not huge but the first principle for making a choice should be consideration of your current role in your language teaching organisation.

Organisations vary quite considerably in terms of how job titles and job descriptions are designed so it is difficult to offer more than general advice here.
Within most organisations there are some generalities however, and you need to look at whether you have the experience and knowledge you will need to do justice to the topic.  If you are not, have never been and are unlikely to be associated with any marketing activities, for example, you would be unwise to select a topic within that area.  On the other hand, if you are responsible for designing and implementing training and development for teachers, then Academic management or Human resource management are clearly options to consider.
If your role involves being the public face of your organisation, then Customer service and Marketing are both relevant areas for you.

Overall, the advice here is not to stray too far (or at all) outside the areas of the organisation in which you have first-hand experience.
Look at the things you are going to need to do for this option for Module Three and ask yourself whether you have enough background knowledge and experience already to know what you need to research and read.

In outline, again from the handbook, you must do five things:

  1. research a chosen ELT Management specialism
  2. understand and use appropriate methods of situation analysis for your specialism
  3. design a change proposal to address the issues you have identified in the situation analysis
  4. design and implement a plan for the change you want to effect
  5. synthesise all your learning into a project which can be coherently presented to a third party


One at a time

research a chosen management specialism

For this part of the Module, you will be assessed on your grasp of the topic area.  This includes:

A rationale for the choice of specialism and a review of the key issues
In this part you will briefly justify your choice of topic.  Do not take it as a given that the change or development you intend to introduce is valuable to the organisation.  Set out the reasons for doing what you intend.
You also need to make clear here how any overlap between the four general topic areas has been considered.  For example, development programmes may enhance teachers' classrooms skills but that, in turn, may have an impact on the level of customer service your organisation provides.  Be explicit about where the main concern of your essay lies but also show that you have considered other aspects.
Understanding of key issues in the topic area
This means you have to demonstrate a grasp of general ELT management principles as well as the specific principles relevant to your specialism.  Note the word 'key'.  Points here have to be relevant and prioritised by importance.

understand and use appropriate methods of situation analysis

For this part of the module you need to explain how you analysed a specific aspect of the language teaching organisation in which you work and show how the results of this analysis were used to clarify and target areas for improvement.  You need to do four things:

  1. Explain the context and characteristics of your organisation.
  2. Explain how you analysed the situation showing where the data originated, how the data were gathered and why this method of data gathering was used.
  3. Explain the role of key stakeholders within and outside the organisation and discuss their influence.
  4. Explain how you used the results of the analysis to focus on what you are proposing to do.

proposal and justification

Here, you have to maintain clear relevance to the situation analysis and to the key principles you identified in the introduction.  Do five things:

  1. Identify your priorities
  2. Link your proposed changes to your reading of management literature.
  3. Set out what your aims are and what outcomes you hope to achieve saying how the situation will be improved.
  4. Say exactly what you plan to do and how it will work.
  5. Explain the limits and constraints under which you work and how you have taken them into account.


Do six things here:

  1. Explain your overall approach to implementing the change and how your reading has influenced it.
  2. Describe the impact of the change on internal and external stakeholders
  3. Be clear about exactly how you will implement changes.  For this you need a thoroughly worked out action plan.
  4. Explain how you will manage people and resources during the actions.
  5. Explain any constraints and other factors which limit the way you handle the change.
  6. Explain how and when you will evaluate what you have done / will do.  Did it work?

synthesise all their learning into a project which can be coherently presented to a third party

If you have followed the guide to writing Delta background essays you will be aware of the ways to make sure you maintain relevance and reference acceptably.
The genre of Module Three is fundamentally an information report but it's a long document so there will be embedded sections which follow the staging and structure of a discussion, setting out arguments on either side of an issue.
For a little more on this, review the guide to genre in English for Academic Purposes.

Clearly, no site like this can cover all the possible topics within the four general areas so only general structuring advice can be given.  That's the topic of the guide to how to write Module Three.

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