Meet our Delta graduates! (3)

Iskra Stamenkoska did Delta Module Two at Cambridge School in summer 2016. She tells us about her reasons for doing Module Two and how it’s impacted on her life and career!

Hi Iskra! Tell us about your academic and professional background before you did the Delta Module Two course.

Three years before Delta Module Two, I received my MA in TESOL. As I work in academia, my MA thesis was research based, as a prerequisite for the next step – PhD studies. At the time, I’d been part of academia for 14 years as the core faculty of a TESOL BA and MA program. I work with pre-service teachers of English, so my work implies lots of theory and theory-based courses. 

Why did you decide to do the Delta?

My primary motivation for doing the Delta was rather extrinsic – I was pushed into it in order to become a CELTA trainer. However, in preparation for the 3 modules, I realized it has helped me grow immensely as a trainer, especially taking into consideration the practical realities of teaching English as a foreign language. I’ve completed all 3 modules and in each module, there were aspects which I found novel and eye-opening.  

What aspect of the Delta did you most enjoy?

I have to say, I enjoyed Module 2 most and for several reasons. When you work in tertiary education, you’re allowed a lot of freedom and flexibility and you work rather autonomously. In my context, it means you never have any peer-observation or guidance. I have a rather cushy job and live inside my comfort zone. I work with English language majors whose language level is B2 and up.

So, Module 2 was a big eye-opener, starting from my diagnostic lesson. It was mind-blowing, especially since I was the only trainee in my cohort who worked in academia. During my training, I had to learn how to grade my language, how to change my approaches to giving instructions and the importance of using multiple techniques to check whether my students understood what I was saying. At the beginning it was a daunting experience and I have to say I had doubts whether I’d complete the course successfully. Luckily, I picked a school where the trainers were extremely supportive and encouraging. With a lot of patience from their side, I received a lot of guidance, help and support. There were some worries, an occasional tear and a numerous sleepless nights, but at the end of the course, I felt stronger, more confident in my teaching skills. So from someone who had openly doubted whether she’ll pass Module 2, in 5 weeks I managed to improve and amend my teaching practice and be awarded with Distinction. I’m fully aware that I owe it all to my trainers, and to some extent to my fellow trainees. It’s no accident that one can grow so much in such a positive, supportive and professional setting. 

Tell us about the impact it’s had on your teaching and/or career.

The Delta has been instrumental in advancing my career. It has given me the confidence to hold teacher training courses for in-service teachers who come various contexts. It has helped me elevate my skills and competencies, and it has helped me secure solid foundation for the curricula I teach at the university.

As Delta is an internationally recognized teaching qualification, it means I can now build an international career too – in 2019 I was part of a large-scale project which offered training to around 3000 Tunisian primary school teachers of English language. The project was run in collaboration with the British Council in Tunisia and the Tunisian ministry of Education, and included over 40 trainers from all over the world, all of whom are Delta qualified. As a non-native speaker of English, I’ve learned that the Delta is a must as almost all teaching centres around the world require an international teaching certificate.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about doing a Delta Module Two course?

I would tell them to brace themselves for the most challenging yet the most rewarding programme of their life. I would tell them that it’s worth the hard work and I would also tell them to carefully select their training centre. I was fortunate to choose a centre where the trainees are an amazing group of professionals. The trainers are competent and knowledgeable and their commitment to the trainees is unparalleled. I particularly appreciated the fact that their door was always open and they are genuinely invested in providing top-quality service. The centre is properly equipped with all the literature you need, as well as the latest technologies.

What’s next for you?

I’ll never leave academia as I love working with young and driven future EFL teachers, but I also want to design and deliver teacher training courses. I’m thinking of spending next summer in Asia, teaching English to as part of a summer course. Thanks to the Delta, I’m now qualified to do it. 

Maria, Anna, Denise and Steve, thank you for everything you’ve done for me. My time at Cambridge School Granollers was by all accounts happy and productive. 

Thank you, Iskra! It was a great pleasure having you on our course.

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