Well. I started this Cambridge Delta Modules journey in 2016. I got through Module 2 quite successfully, and (feel like I) just scraped through Module 1 (as I received a pass when I was sure I would fail!). That is all about two years ago now, yet I am no closer to submitting Module 3 than I was back then. Why?
There’s an open-ended deadline.
Sure, there are only two submission dates per year, spaced 6 months apart, which does bring a sense of a deadline. But so what if I’m not ready by June? I can just take some more time to get everything right and submit in December. Not ready by December? No worries, take another 6 months and submit in the following June. And so on.
I’m on my own.
Module 2 was a group effort, with lots of peer and trainer support. Module 1 was similar, as I took it just after the Module 2 course. But now, with my peers spread across the world and many moved on to other pursuits, I am mostly left to my own devices, which has been my downfall.
I can’t decide what I want to specialise in.
Working with a private language centre for the last 6 years has afforded me the opportunity to teach a very wide range of courses and learners.
I’ve done a lot of work with universities and taught a lot of EAP. I have done many IELTS and TOEIC prep courses. I have done a lot of business English courses. I often teach one-to-one. I use a lot of digital technology in my courses. I usually teach monolingual (Thai L1) learners, in a non-English-speaking environment. I have done a few ESP courses as well, in hospitality and sales mainly.
There we have 8 specialisms I could choose from.
So, which specialism do I go with? They say choose one that you’re interested in. Okay, so that would probably be either EAP or IELTS prep. They also say going down a road-less-travelled is a good idea, as then the examiners are less likely to be able to spot flaws in your course design. They also say to go with a specialism you’re likely to use in the future. I would add that it might be a good idea to choose an emerging or developing area, one that might be a ‘sort after’ kind of expertise in the future. So, that probably narrows it down to “Teaching learners online, or through distance/blended learning”.
This is a rather ambiguous title if you ask me, but if you take the general definition of blended learning as being “a mix of digital (usually out-of-the-classroom) learning and traditional face-to-face learning”, or perhaps just as “the use of digital technology on a course”, then I think we have a winner.
I’ve always been a very digitally literate person, growing up with PCs, and continuing to use them and many other types of digital tech since then. This has brushed off into my teaching, where I use digital tech whenever there is opportunity and seems appropriate.
So, alright then. Writing things down can certainly help gain clarity!
But – where to go from here? I still need to pick something specific within digital/blended learning. I still need to choose a group of learners that I can apply this to. I still have so much I could read on teaching with digital technology and blended learning. So what – I just start reading and things will come to me? Read what? Even though blended learning and teaching with tech are still emerging (and rapidly developing) fields, there are already quite a lot of publications.
Thoughts and recommendations, anyone?